In Qigong there are some facial exercises designed to reduce the feeling of stress.
Here is a great adaptation based on Threnergy techniques.
Make the Threnergy centre the middle of your face, around the top of your mouth and just under your nose. Make the upper Threnergy point the top of your forehead. Make the lower Threnergy point the bottom of your chin.
This exercise will not only help to reduce stress, but also free up your facial and neck muscles and help to improve your breathing.
1. Expand – Stand or sit comfortably and perform a Threnergy expansion of the centre of your face. This expansion is simply making the centre area of your face feel stretched out. Follow this with an expansion your forehead and chin out and away from the centre of your face. As you do this let your jaw drop and your mouth open loosely, and breathe in through your nose to a count of 10. To start with, do this gently – jaw cramp is painful!
2. Relax – let your face centre relax first followed by your forehead and chin. As you relax, breathe out to a count of 10 through your mouth, which should be held slightly open. Repeat this expansion and relaxation 10 times. You should pretty quickly feel the relaxing effect that this gives. The action of letting your jaw drop gently has a physiological effect that calms the nerves.
3. Contract – Now we can add in the contraction phase. For this, contract or squeeze together the centre of your face almost as though you are getting the, I’ve-just-sucked-on-a-lemon face! As you do this, contract and pull your forehead and chin in toward your face centre, and breath out through pursed lips, again to a count of 10.
After this expand-relax-contract cycle, relax again – to a count of 10. You can now repeat the cycle as may times as you feel necessary.
To boost the effect of this relaxation exercise; make the expansion and contractions stronger, with longer counts, by putting your tongue to the roof of your mouth when you breathe in, by slightly blowing your cheeks out when breathing out, and by closing your eyes.
If you take your pulse and count your heart beats before the exercise and after, you will see just how powerful this technique is in calming you down. It can be used anywhere and anytime – just be careful who sees you doing it!