Lifting the face mask or “oh no, I’m losing my poker face”

During many years of body work the vice grip of muscles clamped around my head was largely ignored by practitioners; a few acupuncture points, a little gentle massaging but nothing that really addressed the issues. Finally an astute neuromuscular massage therapist sent me for cranio sacral work as her sense was that the huge issues in my face and head were holding a lot of the patterns in my body in place.

Off I went for cranio sacral which I quickly loved – yea!, it’s profoundly deep and not painful. Extremely slowly the masking layers of steely muscles began to release. My practitioners moved away before we finished but the releases they created had taken me far enough that the process of unwinding continued on its own. At a snail’s pace. Since I started Body Patterning treatments with practitioners who also do cranio sacral, the process has sped up but still, it’s about 11 years now and counting that I’ve been trying to get my face and head free.

Who knew you could have 80 million knots in your facial and head muscles (who knew you had so many muscles in there) – and still fit your brain in? Along the way I was told that the complicated crisscrossing of muscles wrapped around my optic nerve could cause blindness if it jerked open too suddenly and that something to do with blood vessels could cause a stroke if everything opened too fast. Even though the slow process has been frustrating, I’m also grateful that I seem to be getting through it healthy and if it had to be slow for that, well okay.

My face used to be so tight I could barely move it and the many layers of steely muscles gave me a great poker face. I was well aware for many years that if I didn’t want someone to know what I was feeling I could just stiffen up a bit and my face would reveal nothing. I started realizing a while ago that people seemed to be able to read more from my face than anyone had been able to before and now that I’m recognizing that those many layers of armor were like masks, a part of me is a little freaked out to think, “Oh no everyone can really see me now.” How blessed I am to finally be revealing the authentic me. 

For more on cranio sacral work: http://upledger.com/content.asp?id=61 

Body patterning: http://www.bodypatterning.com/index.html

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