タグ: メイクアップ アーティスト

Mindful Face – Awareness

気力(心)、免疫力(体)、思考力(脳)と、人には心身の健康を保つ力が備わっています。この3つが一丸となって働き掛けた時、人は不可能を可能にすることが出来るのだと顔面神経麻痺のあるトレーニングで教えてもらいました。

発症から4ヶ月が経ち、右側の顔も順調に動きを取り戻してきた昨年7月頃。Synkinesis (病的共同運動)と言う症状が出始めました。病的共同運動とは再生してきた口と目を動かす神経が混線した状態となる後遺症の一つです。唇をとがらしたり大きくあくびなどをすると麻痺側の眼が細くなったり、逆に眼を閉じたり瞬きをすると麻痺側の口角が同時に上がってしまうのです。自分の意図に反して口と眼が同時に動いてしまうのは、何とも居心地が悪いものです。

せっかく回復して来たのにと、懸命に早く治そうとする。力を入れて強引に動かしてしまう。病的共同運動は、そんな自分の気持ちとは反対に、小さなゆっくりとした運動をコツコツと続けるのが良いそうです。そして1番衝撃的だったのは、どんな治療法よりも最終的に神経の誤作動をリセットしてくれるのは自分の脳だと知ったこと!!「脳からリセットする様に教えてあげて下さい」と言われても、最初は「?」でした。心と体と話すのは分かるけれど、脳との会話なんて意識した事がない体験でした。

私の習った脳との会話は、まず自分を瞑想の様な完全「無」の状態に心を整え、顔の筋肉をリラックスさせます。顔に全意識を集中させて、左と右の動きや感覚がどう違うのかじっくり観察します。正常な左側の感覚を肌で感じ、脳にインプットして、それと同じ動きを麻痺のある右側に伝えて行きます。動かす度、少しでも違和感を感じたら、直ぐにストップ!動作を止める事で右側に「その動き、間違ってるよ!」と教え込みます。

脳から「YES」か「NO」のサインを繰り返しながら神経の動きをリセットしていく作業は、想像以上に根気が必要で難しいものです。1日でもちろん達成される訳ではありません。何ヶ月と言う長い時間を掛けてトレーニングして行くと、不思議と顔の神経は脳の指令に反応し始めたのです!

病的共同運動は自然には治らないと断言する医師もいますが、私はそうは思いません。自分の経験を通して、治せたり症状を軽減することは可能であることを確信しました。

病気や辛い症状、また何か難しい局面に遭遇した時でも、結局それと向き合うのは自分自身です。心を穏やかに保ち、体の声を聞き、脳と会話すること。特に脳は意識することで自分の声となり体を正し、良い思考を持つことでポシティブな可能性へと導く力があります。この学びは顔面神経麻痺だけでなく、現在のようなチャレンジな時を生きる上でも大いに役立つのではないでしょうか。人間が持つこの3大パワーは、また詳しく語って行きたいと思います。

注)これはRHSに対する専門的医療知識を提供するものではありせん。あくまでも個人的な経験を通して感じた事や学んだ事として参考にして頂ければ幸いです。

[ IN ENGLISH ]

Will (mind), immunity (body), and thought (brain) are the three powers that we all possess as human beings to maintain our physical and mental well-being.  I have learned from my facial palsy retraining exercise on how these three can work in tune to make the impossible possible for me.

A new condition called synkinesis showed up in the fourth month from onset on the affected, right side of my face.  Synkinesis happens to be one of the consequences of facial palsy.  It is a condition where voluntary initiation of facial movement triggers varied involuntary movements immediately afterwards.  An example of when synkinesis happened for me was at the moment when I puckered my lips or yawned, my right eye squinted on its own.  The reverse also occurred when I fully closed my right eye or blinked; the right corner of my lips lifted up without my control.  These unexpected conditions were quite discomforting to say the least.

I was told that stress and forced effort to separate the voluntary and involuntary movements can worsen my synkinesis.  Instead, keeping the effort small and gentle can combat synkinesis. I had to learn not to fight with it.  It was very fascinating to find out that even with all the advanced treatments available to fix synkinesis, my own brain plays a crucial role as a messenger to the nerves and reset this distressful condition!  My head was full of questions and doubts when I was first told to “let my brain teach the right way”.  I heard about the mind and body connection, but I had never experienced what it is like to talk with my brain!

I’d like to share a little bit of my process on starting that conversation.  It was important for me to position myself to ZERO.  I likened it to being in a neutral mode as if I were meditating.  This helped my facial muscles to relax so I could fully focus.  It lead me to carefully study and really observe the tiny differences between the left and right side of my face.  The conversation was very slow and deliberate.  I picked up information from the facial movements and expressions from the unaffected left side.  I mindfully relay that to my brain so it can then teach it to my affected right side.  I observe if what I just relayed was being received properly.  As soon as I could feel that synkinesis occurred, I stopped and let my brain know calmly “No. This is not correct”.   Repeating this simple conversation of either “yes” or “no” required a lot more patience and practice than I anticipated.  Nothing happened overnight.  I gave myself the space for encouragement since I was tasked to reset my nerve movements.  It took several months of diligence and care before seeing any sign of improvement.  Gradually, my facial nerves started to respond in the positive direction.  

I disagree with some medical reports stating that once synkinesis starts, there is no natural cure. I am confident that my condition had improved after a long steady effort of retraining the nerve path by believing in my own three powers: I relaxed into my mind, I carefully listened to my body and I diligently talked with my brain.  

When I am faced with illness or physical challenges, when I am faced with hardships in life, I realize that no one can confront those challenges for me.  I have to face them head on for myself.  Keeping focus on my three powers helped open up a whole new ability to cope with life’s problems.  It has really guided me towards a positive path.  Not only was I able to work through my facial palsy conditions, I gained knowledge that benefits many aspects of my daily life.  It especially rings true during this unprecedented time.  

NOTE: This is not a professional recommendation on how to deal with RHS, rather it is my personal journey through this rare condition. Everyone can have different experience and I am happy to share mine.