Monday, November 19, 2007

Facial Yoga vs. Botox

This morning, a patient of mine asked me if I had heard of facial yoga as a replacement for Botox.
It turns out that a story about yoga for the face had come out last week in Time magazine.

The story tells of a New York yoga instructor who noticed that a lot of her patients received Botox during their lunch breaks. She came up with several "poses" for the face that would tighten facial muscles and reduce wrinkles- an "all natural" Botox!

The article also talked about how some of these exercises have helped people increase facial muscle tone- especially a few people with facial palsy or motion deficits.

It's a nice article- one thing that they pointed out was that the class was full of laughter and that afterwards, women said that they felt much more relaxed and at ease. Some even notice fewer lines in their face! It sounds like the class is a GREAT way to let off steam and afterwards people feel much more relaxed and at ease. I think that this is the reason they feel and "look" better.

Facial muscle exercises couldn't hurt and may help people relax- but they won't replace Botox any time soon. Botox relaxes muscles and helps prevent the lines in the skin that are caused by these muscles. These yoga exercises STRENGTHEN muscles and could in theory, make these lines more obvious.

My patient agreed that she would try the exercises for fun and as a stress reliever- AND use Botox to help erase the wrinkles she already has.

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