Facial Exercise: FlexEffect® Board Archive Re: Comparing training techniques



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Facial Muscle Diagram

Muscle Contraction. 

Skeletal muscles can contract either isometrically or isotonically.  

Isometric contraction:  Muscle contracts but does not shorten (when pushing against an unmovable object)
Isotonic contraction:    Muscle contracts and shortens

Example:   When walking, certain  leg muscles will contract isometrically keeping the leg stiff as it touches the ground, while other muscles contract isotonically, bending the knee and lifting the leg upward.

Four (4)  facial training techniques taught today:

Starting with the least aggressive:   

Electrical Stimulator: ... electrical pulse generated contraction...(Isotonic w/o resistance)
produces slight increases in size and strength of muscle.

Isotonic:   voluntary contraction / without resistance. Produces slight increases in size and strength of muscle.
Programs: Face Exercises That Prevent Premature Aging -

Isometric:    muscle fiber's contract but the muscle does not shorten or lengthen.  
The term (Isometrics) is wrongfully used when describing the majority of today's facial training programs, if these training programs were true isometrics there would virtually be no visual movement in the muscle.  

So called Isometric programs:  facial muscle is held in place (anchored for resistance) during contraction. this form of training produces slightly more increase in size and strength.

As of today (2008) programs claiming to be all or in part isomertics:  Facial Magic - Facercise /Face Building for Men - Carolyn's Facial Fitness - Facelifting by Exercise

Isotonic with resistance:  muscle is elongated before contraction. This form of training induces muscular hypertrophy (build)

Program:  FlexEffect Facial Resistance Training / Facialbuilding


Three Types of Muscle Contraction

First you need to know that facial muscles like all skeletal muscles are made up of bundles of cylindrical fibers   A single facial muscle may have as few as three or as many as 165.  Each fiber works independently… only when one fiber is completely contracted (shortened) will the next fiber be called upon to contract. This way, you are able to contract (shorten) just a portion of the muscle i.e. (curl a dumbbell only half way)

This contraction (shortening) of a muscle is called a Concentric contraction.


When the load (resistance applied) is greater than the strength of the muscle contraction i.e. object is just too heavy, the fibers are contracted for all their worth but the muscle will actually lengthen rather than shorten. Think of trying to lift/carry a very heavy bucket of sand hanging down at your side.

This contraction (lengthening) of a muscle is called a Eccentric contraction. This particular contraction is what we strive for in Facialbuilding.

The very reason I say PULL (lengthen) and hold the muscle before the contraction whenever possible.  When you release this contraction while continuing to hold (pull), you will then slowly release the tension in the muscle (not just let go) this is called the NEGATIVE phase of the contraction. Again, what we want in facialbuilding.


The third type of muscle contraction involves a high intensity contraction in the individual muscle fibers …but… the muscle neither shortens or lengthens i.e. push against an immovable object such as a wall.  The fibers are giving their all, but the muscle length remains the same.NO VISUAL MOVEMENT in the muscle

This contraction is called Isometric contraction.

How does electrical devices compare to all the other forms of training?


Hi Pattie

I’ve not tried any of the electrical training devices, but I do know they are used in PT and have shown  much success.

Here is some food for thought:

There is a lag time (latent period) between the time the stimulus is applied and the time that the muscle responds.  In a frog it’s about 0.01seconds, (I only mention the frog to sound more scientific)  and even shorter in a human muscle.

This lag time is followed by  a period of contract (shortening of the muscle) and then a period of  relaxation (lengthening of the muscle)

Lets say a muscle Is exposed to two stimuli in quick succession, it may respond to the first stimulus but not to the second.  The   muscle has not been given the time to reestablish itself (refractory period)    A rapid series of stimuli can cause a muscle to produce a series of contractions that become partially or completely fused together.  

Bottom line:   If the resulting sustained contraction lacks even partial relaxation, you’ve accomplished  ZIP... :0)

Great Q. thanks


There haven't been any scientific studies that I've found comparing the two. The paucity of scientific studies on facial exercising to begin with is shameful. We do KNOW that for the body, you may help to maintain some tone with electrical stimulation but you will NOT build muscle. Naturally, if this were the case, we wouldn't have gyms. Only electric shock clinics. The best means for building muscle and tone is resistance, and that's where FlexEffect excels. Because it's a program that uses resistance NOT isometrics and not electrical stimulation, the muscles of the face actually grow, providing better lift and a more youthful face.



Mirco Facelift machine  Jul 23, 2001  

Hello everyone,

Is anyone familiar with Bella Vita's Micro facelift machines and treatments? It is supposedly more powerful than dermal tone. And it is a Chuck Norris company. He's used it - but then who knows
what that means. If anyone has tried it or has info on it and how it might compare to dermal tone, I'd love to hear.


Hi Jane

No, I don't know anything about the Micro Face device. You're the first I've heard mention it.



Re: Book/other systems Jun 5, 2001     

Hi, I also have Juliette Kando's book, and I think it's very effective. It isn't as good as Deb's program, but it is better than plain isometrics, because she does use some resistance, just not as much or as completely as Deb does.

The ironing out wrinkles technique also works to some degree. I think what makes it work is that by pressing on the wrinkle, when you remove the pressure, the area is flooded with blood -- which provides plumpness. Also the ironing technique has some similar effects to massage -- which moves the tissue around, releases toxins, gets fresh nutrients via blood into the skin,

I've read at least four different books about face exercises in addition to Deb's, and I've watched two other videos. One on acupressure, with Meredith MacRae, is very good. All of them have some good material, but none of them are as complete or as beneficial, IMHO, as Deb's program. And I've only been doing Deb's program a few weeks, but I can see major changes happening in muscle, tone and skin quality.

Since I'm getting so interested in the subject, I will probably continue to read other books and incorporate other people's tips, but I really think we have the best of the best right here at FlexEffect.com. And if there is anyone who reads or posts here who hasn't yet bought Deb's system, I really think when you buy the book and the video, you will wish you had bought it sooner.

Just my 2 cents. Or... seeing how long this is, maybe it's 2 bucks.


and well spent !  Thanks David.



Face Massage/ Rub out wrinkles Jun 1, 2001     

Has anyone heard of Sanford Bennetts's book 'Old Age - It's Cause and Prevention'. I came across it by accident, as it was mentioned in an aromatherapy book I was reading. It's a very old book, but I think there may be something in what he says. He shows how he looked like an old man at the age of 50, but how he then reversed this by massage and exercise, so that at the age of 72 he looked less than half his age. He shows photographs of how he looked at 50 and then 72, and the difference is remarkable. I always thought that massage was just a silly afterthought if you have the time, and that maybe it just helped your circulation a little, but now I'm wondering if it's more or less the whole story! He claims that by using deep massage whilst contracting the muscles, you can build up the muscles of the cheeks and jaw line, so that after some months they will be restored to the roundness of youth. He also claims that by using friction massage on any other part of the face, you can eventually eliminate lines and wrinkles, like smoothing out a piece of leather.It's a fascinating book, and I'm going to give it a try. I just wondered if anyone else has heard of it, and what they think of it. Deb advocates massage too, so maybe there's a lot more to it than many think. He does also mention some exercises that are necessary to do for the throat and neck, which are not dissimilar to Deb's. Any comments would be appreciated.


Hi Kathy

This book sounds really interesting.  I love the massage in Deb's book.  There is also a wonderful massage (similar) in the Take Charge Beauty Book (Aubrey Organics).  These are only two I have utilized and find them both to be a lot of benefit.  I would love to read some other books instructing facial massage also...thx for your info.


Hi Kathy,

Sounds interesting and I did a quick research to find the book but came up with nothing. Any ideas how to find it.


Hi Elaine

I found it on Amazon.com. It under independent dealers of used books....just type in Sanford Bennett and use all products.  The prices range from $15 to $74!


Hi There

Try Barnes & Noble site for the book.  Massage IS definitely great..I discovered this fact early on in flexing.  Some of the ex I do...under eye and lip area ones, I massage the area directly after...i.e. patting the area in rapid succession.  No idea why this works so very well, but it absolutely does.  So there IS much to be said for massage. It is as much a part of my regimen as flexing is...often when you have not the time to flex, massage is great to do.  Also great to do after flexing.


Hi Everyone

Read it last year.  If you want to borrow it, you can order it from the library on the World Cat. 
I tried the friction for wrinkles, but as it caused so much redness and irritation I gave it up rather quickly.  If you give it a try, let us know how well it works.   Another book similar to Bennett's is Face Culture by Frederick Rossiter.  He focuses more on the facial exercises, but does have a chapter on massage which is similar to Bennet's.  I learned about both these books through another called Face Improvement Through Exercise and Nutrition by Linda Clark (1973).  Some of the exercises & theories are so similar to Deb's that I think she must have read them when she started exercising back in the 70's.

I don't have Deb's book, so I am not familiar with her massage other than what Ive read on various posts.  I think the three books above seem very similar to the massage techniques referred to on the posts Ive read. 

If you try the friction rub, let us know if you really can rub out wrinkles--and how you did it without becoming irritated! I find the concept quite fascinating too!  


Hi Terri

Since the subject came up, I also have a book called "Natural Facelift," by Juliette Kando, which includes some instructions on how to "iron out" wrinkles. (I think I tried it for about a day, before I found Flex Effect and decided that Flex Effect made a lot more sense than any of the things I read in this book.) However, here is the description on how to do it, for anyone who is interested. I think I will experiment with one of the tiny little lines I have on my forehead. I'll just do the one so that
I can tell if it's working...  Here's the technique from my book: First, make sure the skin is clean and cover with one of the following: glycerin, Vaseline, a base oil, Nivea, raw egg or cream. Work with two index fingers in opposition to each other across the whole length of the wrinkle. (i.e. for a horizontal wrinkle, place your fingers vertically--one up and one down--and rub across entire length of wrinkle moving across the skin in a horizontal direction.) Move the fingers up and down in an alternating fashion without pulling or stretching the skin. Do 15 or 20 repetitions of this until you
see the skin becoming a little red from blood flow. Then, hold two fingers on either side of the wrinkle (one over it, one under it--this time in a horizontal placement), opening out the wrinkle with one finger from the other hand. Now, literally rub out the wrinkle as if you were using the rubber on the top of a pencil. (You can also use your knuckle for this.) The color of the skin under the line should change from white to dark red. Don't rub for more than three or four times on each wrinkle in the beginning until your skin gets accustomed to being handled in this way.

That's it! That's the technique. I suppose it works (if it does) simply by encouraging blood flow to the area. Perhaps, over time, it does encourage new cell growth in the area. Wouldn't that be amazing?? Since it has come up in several books on the subject, perhaps there is SOMETHING to it. I don't think it could hurt to try it...


Hi Lynne

Sounds nice.  Be mindful you don't bust any tiny capillaries! lol. Have you tried facial massage?  Try massage for just one month!


Hi Lynn

The method you gave sounds similar to Frederick Rossiter's Face Culture.  However, he makes it very clear when you do any rubbing or friction on the face/neck to smooth out wrinkles, the area should be held in muscle contraction, otherwise you're wasting you time.  He recommends doing a "smile up" exercise which basically is smiling as broadly as you can with intensity  (keep the mouth slightly opened), then proceed with the "rub". Stop rubbing when you relax your smile, then repeat the procedure, with the face contracted, as many times as you wish--but start slowly at first until you build a tolerance to the friction.  He does not recommend any type of cream or oil unless
you are very sensitive.  The friction is what smoothes out the wrinkle, and the creams lessen the friction factor.  If you're rubbing the neck do the "smile up" ex. while contracting the
neck muscles too. He says the skin will not be stretched or loosened while you rub if you have the muscles in contraction--the same applies for any type of massage you do to the face or neck.  He says a massage without contraction is beneficial for relaxation and circulation but not to eliminate wrinkles. He was very emphatic about keeping the muscles in contraction. He sounds very convincing because he began to use this method himself in his 60's with great results. Because he was a professor of anatomy, he seems to speaks with knowledge & authority on the subject.  His book is extremely fascinating as he explains the facial muscles, facial features and the benefits of exercising the face.   Did you know that contrary to popular belief, its not the eyes that one notices first about an individual?  Subconsciously, there's another portion of the face that give us our first impression of someone's looks.  And without this important feature, he doubts whether you can even
win a beauty contest.  I'll let you guess what that feature is.  Now I really try to emphasize mine(lol)! The book is filled with all kind of little insights about the face.

I can't remember the author or title for another method of rubbing out wrinkles; but basically the procedure went something like this--Items need: Facial cream, teaspoons, a glass container, warm water.  Procedure: Cream your face, immerse the teaspoons in the glass container filled with warm water (as hot as possible without burning your skin), when the spoons heat, take one and begin to rub out the wrinkle with the back of the spoon, as the spoon cools use the next warm one & return
the "used" one into the water.  That's as much as I can remember.  I don't recall how the rubbing was done or how many times to do it.  Maybe you can try the warm spoon method incorporated with Kando's & Rossiter's???  I think the friction of the spoon would be a lot less irritating than your finger.   I remember trying it once a long time ago and it did make the wrinkle seem to disappear temporarily (I hardly had any then, so I didn't pursue it further).  Maybe with flexing & continued
daily rubbing it might work.  If you try it I'm sure everyone would be most interested in the results.

I really don't think you can rub out wrinkles without flexing and here's my reasoning.   Did you ever have a pair of old leather shoes that became creased? And did you   ever try to rub it smooth with mink oil?  The oil may make the area soft, but the creases won't go away because the leather is so slack.  However, if you stuff the shoe with paper to make it firm the crease lessens.  Then when you rub the leather, it smoothes that crease out. If you remove the paper though, the crease is back
because the leather returns to its slack state.  I think flexing is like the paper stuffing.  Flexing firms the area up.  Then I think it might be possible to rub out the wrinkles.  Perhaps this is the same reason Rossiter insists on muscle contraction while rubbing.  Does this make sense???   


Hi Terri

Yes, this makes absolute sense to me. But, I wonder too, if this does work, HOW does it work? Is it like compounding out a scratch in the surface of a car where the top layers are removed?? I don't think so. That would be exfoliating. I think somehow that if this method works, there's more to it than that. I think it would have something to do with the blood flow to the area and then the cracks filling in somehow from the inside out. At least, that is how I would HOPE it works. Seems like a more permanent way to get rid of wrinkles to me... As for my experiment with this, now I'm not sure how I can do the lines on my forehead. If I contract the muscles there, then what I'm doing is not pushing out the wrinkles, but creating deeper valleys.... Does he have any specific info on how to use this method with the forehead??


Hi Lynne

He says for the forehead in the Massage Chapter:

Wrinkles on the forehead can be prevented, delayed, or reduced by friction and kneading, and by application of pressure.  Use the base of the palms of the hand, or the finger tips, in a rotary
movement, with very firm pressure.   Close one eye at a time, as this smoothes out the forehead. (I guess that sentence answers your question).

Kneading of the forehead may be accomplished by using thumb and fingers of one hand.   With firm pressure, with one end just above the other, push the fingers together, or just passing each other.  Begin at the lower border of the forehead and work up.   In this fashion the pressure exerted on the skin is at right angles to the wrinkles.  If your skin is sensitive, proceed with caution.  Stop short of irritation.  Friction with your hand will not make your skin shine.

Under benefits of massage/friction:  increased & improved circulation of the blood and lymph in the true skin; and to structural changes in the fat deposits.   Wrinkles that are stubbornly set, incident to years, and the senile wrkles of skin wasting, seem to be almost rooted and cannot be totally effaced. 
Such wrinkles represent a definite microscopic change in the tissues under them.   Elastic fibers are absorbed, tiny skin muscles are absorbed, fat is absorbed at that point, and so the wrinkle actually is a scar in the skin.  This is the reason why massage will not remove it.  But anyone having a fair degree of health and some determination can improve sagging tissues of the face by exercise...and massage...The old saying that a machine will rust out sooner than it can be worn out, also applies to the human body.  CONTINUED activity of physical functions keeps them in constant repair, hence promotes their longevity.  The skin is no exception to the rule.  As an estimation of age is largely
based upon facial appearances, special attention should be given to it to keep its healthy appearance. Hence the exercises...and massage for preventing, delaying and minimizing wrinkles.


Hi There 

I think increasing muscle size is only way to 'smooth out' wrinkles.  Put your tongue in your cheek and watch all the lines disappear.  Of course, other measures may work equally well, but
this seems to be only route that has worked for me.  Keep us


Hi Jean

I know you massage too.  The book emphasizes exercise, exercise, exercise as your first line of action for wrinkles.  The friction rub is simply one, but not the only, form of massage the book
advocates in conjunction with exercise.  The guy said he got rid of all his lines around his mouth by exercise, not the rubbing. 


Fascinating! Who's going to do the first book report for us?? :-)


Ha, Ha. On which book? The books convinced me of the value of facial exercise--not rubbing out wrinkles.   The rub is just part of the massage technique to use in conjunction with exercise.   When I found Deb's program, I was already sold on the value of exercise because of these books... 

Besides, don't you know "READERS ARE LEADERS" [:-}


Hi Terri

Can you tell me where I might be able to get hold of Frederick Rossiters book online. I tried Amazon, but they don't seem to stock it.


Hi Janet

I couldn't find one to purchase since its out of print.  Your public library probably won't have it either, but through searching the library's World Catalog you can probably get a copy.