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5 Bell's Palsy Facial Exercises You Can Do at Home and Tips

Medically reviewed by Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD · General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Feb 15, 2021

    5 Bell's Palsy Facial Exercises You Can Do at Home and Tips

    Bell’s Palsy is a condition that causes paralysis of a person’s face. For the most part, the causes of Bell’s Palsy are unknown. But thankfully, people can recover even without treatment just by following some simple Bell Palsy exercises and recovery tips.

    One of the most effective and simplest ways to do it would be to do facial exercises.

    Bell’s Palsy: What You Should Know

    Bell’s Palsy Exercises for the Face

    When it comes to Bell’s Palsy exercises, doing therapy on the face is a safe, effective, and simple way of recovering from this condition. Before you start, make sure that you are comfortable, and seated in front of a mirror. This helps you observe which muscles are having difficulty with movement so that you can focus on those muscles for your exercise.

    Another good tip before you get started would be to familiarize yourself with the muscles of your face. You could even look at a photo of the facial muscles on your smartphone, or print out a photo of it as a reference when you are exercising. Knowing which muscle groups are affected can help you target those specific muscle groups and helps improve your chances of recovery.

    Moving your muscles is very important since muscles tend to atrophy or waste away if they are unused. This means that if you suffer from the condition and do not undergo therapy using Bell’s Palsy exercises, you may not be able to fully recover from your condition.

    Move the different parts of your face

    In order to do this exercise, you need be in front of a mirror. You can choose to do this exercise either sitting down or standing up, so long as you are comfortable. Start by moving the different parts of your face one by one. You can start with moving your forehead, and then your eyes, then try and move your nose and cheeks, and then your mouth.

    You might notice that one side of your face tends to move more than the other. That is fine. Try to use your fingers to slowly move the affected muscles, and get them to budge. Do this exercise a few minutes at a time, and about two to three times throughout the day.

    Whenever you do these Bell’s Palsy exercises, try to focus on the muscle groups that are difficult to move, as well as the sensation of trying to move those muscles. This should help you keep those muscles in good working condition so that you can recover from Bell’s Palsy.

    Scrunch up your face

    Scrunching up your face is the second in our list of the most effective Bell’s Palsy exercises. This exercise involves moving your cheeks along with your nose and scrunching up your face. Again, you may notice that one side is not moving as much as the other. You can use your fingers to move the muscles so it matches the movement of the other side. Doing this helps keep the muscles moving and prevents them from becoming weaker due to lack of use.

    This area of your face is especially important since any stiffness that affects the muscles here can affect your entire face. So be sure to spend extra time when doing this exercise. Quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to Bell’s Palsy exercises for the face.

    Inhaling through your nose

    This exercise may seem strange at first, but if you try inhaling through your nose, you will notice that your nostrils start to flare up. This exercise helps keep the muscles that control your nostrils in good condition and helps prevent them from wasting away.

    You should try inhaling slow and fast, and try alternating combinations of both when doing Bell’s Palsy exercises such as this. If you experience any difficulty breathing, be sure to stop because this exercise should not affect your breathing whatsoever.

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    Smile exercises

    To do this Bell’s Palsy exercise, first, close your mouth, and then try to smile. You should feel the muscles on the sides of your face, especially your cheek muscles, move up. Use your fingers to move your muscles and make sure that both sides of your face stay even when doing this exercise. Afterward, go back to your initial position. Try to do this a few times, making sure to be mindful of the movement of your muscles each time.

    Another variation would be to do the exercise, and then take away your fingers and try to hold your smile in the same position for as long as you can. This helps stimulate the muscles even further.

    Afterward, try to repeat the same steps, but this time focus on one side of your face. Then proceed to focus on the other side.

    Exercise the affected eye

    Lastly, it is important to exercise your eyes if you have Bell’s Palsy. In particular, you need to focus on the eye that has been affected by paralysis. Some do not give enough emphasis on the eyes, but it is one of the very important Bell’s Palsy exercises for the face. Being unable to close your eye can lead to irritation and other problems.

    In order to do this exercise, you need to look down using the affected eye, close your eyelid, and gently stretch the area above the eyebrow and massage the eyelid. This prevents the eyelid from becoming stiff, which can be a problem for most people with Bell’s Palsy. Afterward, try and see if you can move the eyelid better.

    If you are having trouble closing your eyelid, you can try squinting instead. Take note that of all the Bell’s Palsy exercises, this is one of the hardest to do. So do not lose heart if you cannot do it perfectly the first time. The important thing is to keep doing it every day to help keep your eye muscles in good shape.

    Key Takeaways

    Hopefully, these tips should help you on your road to recovery. Be sure to do these Bell’s Palsy exercises every day, and do not forget to be mindful of the muscle movements you make. This helps improve the quality of exercise and boosts your chances of a full recovery.

    Learn more about the conditions of the Brain & Nervous System here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mike Kenneth Go Doratan, MD

    General Surgery · The Medical City Ortigas

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Feb 15, 2021

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