How to do the scalp exercise correctly

Discussions on how to do facial exercises and what these exercises might accomplish.
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S711
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Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:44 am

How to do the scalp exercise correctly

Post by S711 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:58 am

The scalp: I can contract a little bit the occipitals. I feel the contractions with my hands

If I understood it correctly, I should, in order to do the scalp exercise correctly:
a) raise the eyebrows. this moves the scalp forward
b) relax the eyebrows-
c) contract the occipitals and move the scalp backwards

The sequence is very difficult for me to do- is this is the correct sequence

If my eyebrows are raised I can’t contract the occipitals.
If my eyebrows are relaxed I can move my ears and feel the contraction on the occipitals but I don’t see my scalp moving

So am getting it wrong

To be complete, my right eye is dominant. I raise the right eyebrow unconsciously all the time ( I am working on this ) and I cannot raise my left eyebrow. I am not able to make the “small” contraction you make on the video. To make a small contraction like you do I mainly activate my right eyebrow, especially the muscle that makes you form the frown line

I practice face exercise and there is one exercise I do to relax the forehead. I put my hands interlaced on TOP of my head (more towards the front than centered) and move the scalp with the aid of the hands sideways (left/right) and front/backwards.

If I move the scalp with the hands forward, if I contract the occipitalis the scalp moves back to the original position. But I am not able to make an alternate contraction. My ears wiggle but it seems that my occipitalis goes on strike if I involve a contraction of the forehead.

I am an Italian woman so please excuse my grammar.

Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
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Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: How to do the scalp exercise correctly

Post by Tom Hagerty » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:01 am

The two major scalp muscles, the frontalis and the occipitalis, are antagonistic muscles. When one contracts the other one relaxes automatically. So there is no need to consciously relax the eyebrows. My suggestion is to contract the frontalis muscles at the front of the head quickly (a flash contraction); then do a more sustained contraction of the occipitalis muscles at the back of the head. The reason for this suggestion is that you want to tone up and strengthen that powerful muscle at the back of your head. This is the muscle that when toned up keeps horizontal and vertical lines from forming on the skin of the forehead. It does this in two ways: 1. A strong occipitalis exerts a slight pressure that pulls up and back on the skin of the forehead, smoothing out any lines. And 2, an active occipitalis keeps the frontalis muscle mobile. It's an immobile, stagnant frontalis that contributes to a lined forehead. A strong, active occipitalis also powers greater scalp movement when it is alternately contracted with the frontalis muscle.

Anatomical chart
Anatomical chart
Occipitalis Muscle.gif (10.42 KiB) Viewed 1005 times


"If my eyebrows are relaxed I can move my ears and feel the contraction on the occipitals but I don’t see my scalp moving..."

If you keep practicing the contraction of the occipitalis - that is moving the ears - you will eventually see your scalp moving. It takes time to gain control of the scalp, to get it moving. Be a little patient. This exercise will benefit your hair and your whole upper face.

"I cannot raise my left eyebrow."

Stand in front of a mirror and work on this. Eventually you'll be able to get a synchronized movement of your eyebrows. I don't think that this will be a big problem. Gaining full control of the occipitalis muscles at the back of your head will be a big problem though. They are always threatening to go out "on strike."

"I put my hands interlaced on TOP of my head (more towards the front than centered) and move the scalp with the aid of the hands sideways (left/right) and front/backwards."

When you eventually gain control of the occipitalis and are able to do the scalp exercise correctly, you will not need the hand movement. There is nothing wrong with that hand movement though.

S711
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:44 am

Re: How to do the scalp exercise correctly

Post by S711 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 12:55 am

Hello from Italy again. Thank you for the explanation.

I wanted to practice a little more before getting back to you again.

The scalp exercise is indeed difficult, but it is the one that makes the most sense to me among all the facial exercise I've come through.

My problem is this: I raise my eyebrows and my scalp does move forward. The problem is that when I release the eyebrows the scalp moves back..naturally. It is so difficult for me to pull it back contracting the occipitalis.

BUT, if I move the scalp forward using my hands (no contraction of the eyebrows) I can move it backward using the occipitalis.
So what I am doing at the moment is practicing in the contractions of the occipitalis only, 5 minutes a day, which is tough work, and then I'll update you

I am also having difficulties with EXERCISE n. 6

Firstly, I don't understand what it means to keep the cheeks flexed. Does it mean "in working mode"? (sorry for my English)

You say "let fall the chin to the lowest position possible": possible in relation to what? I stop before the ATM joint "opens" (you can feel it placing the fingers on the ATM.. by opens I mean the position the ATM joint moves to, and then reaches, when you open your mouth wide like when you are at the dentist).

After completing the exercise my jaw muscles hurt (burn, like an after work), and this makes me think I am getting it wrong :roll:

Thank you for your patience.
s.

Tom Hagerty
Site Admin
Posts: 286
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:04 pm

Re: How to do the scalp exercise correctly

Post by Tom Hagerty » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:13 am

The scalp exercise:
When you contract the frontalis muscle, don't contract the procerus muscle (the frowning muscle). You do not want to knit your eyebrows when you do the scalp exercise. Just do a quick contraction of the frontalis and then a longer and stronger contraction of the occipitalis. Don't overthink or overcomplexify (not an English word) this exercise. Keep it simple. Eventually you'll be able to do it easily. "Easily" is the operative word.
Exercise Six:
The more I do this exercise, the more I like it. When I wrote let the chin fall to the lowest position, I meant contract the chin muscle, the mentalis. Keep this muscle contracted while doing exercise six. In other words, keep your face looking long. There is no need to open your mouth wide so as to bring into play the temporal mandibular joint. This is an easy exercise and the more you do it, the easier it gets. I wish I could give you a personal demonstration but that ocean between us is too expansive to swim.

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