Wear the mask with grace and and stay happy
Updated: Nov 27, 2020
Most Covid-19 masks have ear loops. They pull the ears forward, enough to put strain on the jaw and its joints. The mask itself seduces the wearer to stick the face forward, into the mask. That makes the skull slide forward on the atlas. Muscles, nerves, sinews, fascia experiences micro strain. That micro strain mounts up with time and can cause serious discomfort.
So, make wearing the mask a challenge. Here is my personal mini workout for wearing the mask with grace – and self-love. Without straining the posture.
First: Don‘t put your face into the mask. Bring the mask to your fac. Standing tall, upright and aligned. You will realize: Your mood stays up when you stay upright. It‘s the magic of embodiment. Good posture produces „happy hormones“, bad posture creates stress hormones.
The nerves of the face and the neck are very sensitive to the way you hold yourself up. Trigeminus, Facialis and the ventral Vagus nerve deliver immediate response: Bad posture, stressed nerves, bad mood.
The magic bat
Measure: Stay upright. Align your body above your heels, think vertically.
Now activate the trapezius muscle. It prevents the skull from falling forward. Here is an aid for your imagination: Starting from the line formed by the upper edges of the shoulder blade, "think-draw" the upper part of the trapezius upwards towards the point of the crown, the part below it downwards, towards the sacrum. Stretch the "dividing line" straight to sides, towards the humerus heads or upper arm balls.
Fluff those lips
I imagine that I have two pairs of lips: One pair in the front, one pair in the back exactly at the transition from the atlas to the base of the skull. I pull these four lips apart as fully and relaxed as possible. The front lips to the front, the back lips to the back. This way the foramen magnum, the hole in the skull through which the nerves pass, stays in place, the fasciae, tendons, muscles around the ears, neck and jaw stay where they belong. By the way, it also helps against "smartphone neck".
Eyes flying high
This is the imagination aid for four eyes: The two real eyes are in front. I think two more eyes at the back of the head. Now I pull the four eyes diagonally apart, to the front right and back left and to the front left and back right. Or I put the emphasis first on pulling backwards, the rear right eye pulls even more to the rear right, the front left eye stretches to the front left. Try it out, your eyes will immediately tell you what they like and need. This stretching diagonally through the skull also protects against tension headaches, including those from wearing a Covid-19 mask.
With a little practice, the back two eyes can be equipped with flying magic, butterflies, eye helicopters, drones. I borrow two Snatches from Harry Potter. They flutter all day long in the back of my head and hold my skull up. Since they are supermagical snatches, I can adjust the flutter as I need it, fast or slow, loud or quiet.
Very important and very simple: "Ng ng ng ng ng" intonation. Say it to yourself every now and then for a few seconds. This lifts the root of the tongue to the palate and activates the styloglossus, in the illustration this is the small strand from the lower jaw to the ear. Now use the "Ng ng ng" to position the ears, pull them up backwards - relief from mask stress is guaranteed.
The tongue is active in my mouth all day long, in very delicate contact with the hard palate and in direct, active contact with the perineum. This connection can be made through the Ng: Get "Ng" at the perineum and direct it to the crown point.
I hope this little mask workout will make the situation more pleasant for you, you too. And let‘s smile at each other under the mask, even more so. Wear the mask. Stay happy and healthy.
Good posture, pulsating nerves and fascia, happiness returns. A little mask can‘t harm you. Enjoy the exercises!
Best, Benita Cantieni