The Ugly Truth of Botox: And A Surprising Solution

 
It all started with a visit to my hair stylist.
When I told her the title of my article, she asked, “hmmm… raising the scourge of Botox lovers everywhere?” My response, “maybe, but it is a message that I need to share because if one person hears it that is one person I have helped”. This all stems from yet another billboard that sits in front of a local day spa. Tired of looking tired? Look rested with Botox.
Each time I walk by, I shake my head thinking, “don’t people realize that this is only symptom management? That they are embarking on a slippery slope?” A lot of people don’t realize what happens with injections. By blocking the signals from the nerve to the muscle, injections paralyze muscle and stops the skin from moving. While this does lead to shallower or fewer wrinkles, what isn’t blocked are the habitual patterns that led to the muscular tension which contributed to the wrinkles in the first place. Those patterns are still being expressed. They simply find other muscles to compensate. Those other muscles may include around the eyes or cheeks, or even into the neck or upper shoulders. This can lead to other patterns of tension, less active muscles, and more. Over time the injected muscles become less active. There is less circulation to that area of the face. This can lead to sagging skin, requiring more intervention.
A Quick Fix That Leads To More Tension?
While someone may have been hoping for a “quick fix”, they may actually be creating more tension. What started as a way to look more rested, could create more problems. And more problems can create more fatigue. And onward we go. The never ending slide into dissatisfaction. A slide which could stop by addressing the signals of tiredness. Which leads to my next question. Why not address the underlying cause of the tiredness and actually feel good? Before you say “I don’t have time”. Hold on. I am not about to become all preachy. I do want to show you something important. I get that Life can get chaotic. I am a mom with twin toddlers. I understand sleepless nights. I run a successful yoga training and personal client yoga coaching practice. I know the strains that sometimes come with building a meaningful and successful business. I also know the deep grief that came with the tragic death of my twin sister and I’ve experienced the rollercoaster of another family member’s addiction and their recovery. I get it. I also know the power that comes with rest and rejuvenation. I know deep healing. I know the distinction between “calm busy” and “chaotic busy.” And, for the past 20 years, I have helped my clients recover from burnout. I recognize the frustrations when it feels like your physiology is being non-cooperative. Especially when there is a list to get done and goals to achieve. And they get well again. Every week, I see my clients come to a place that is more connected to spirit, to soul. To a place and pace that is more vital, more free.  They, too, understand the distinction between “chaotic busy” and “calm busy”. Here is the thing. No one wants to “look tired”. Heck, no one wants to “be tired” except when it is time to sleep. Yet is also easy to get sucked into the “well…tiredness is normal”. This belief has been stealth-like in its infusion into our society and culture. Surreptitious and downright sneaky. So much so, it makes it easy to understand why using injections to look less tired has become so normal for so many. It also makes sense that for many people, ignoring the tiredness and carrying on is a positive skillset. “Get ‘er done despite the fatigue”. “It is all in your mind”. “Suck it up princess!” Sure, there can be a time and a place for digging in and grunting through. But day after day, the depletion is real. And this can make matters worse. And not just for your skin. So what to do? How to stop the slide? 1. Pay Attention.   One of the key concepts I teach my clients is something called “Yellow Lights”. This is a concept that helps you uncover what is correlated to your feeling tired and other symptoms you are experiencing. When you can address what is really going on, you have a much better chance at choosing an intervention more accurately.  Here is a video about yellow lights as they relate to headaches and migraines.

2. Become Aware of Your Tension Holding Pattern

It can be really powerful to recognize how you are holding the muscles of your face. The image below gives some ideas of the relationships between emotion, muscle tension, and wrinkles.
Many people have no idea the underlying tension they are carrying. They don’t know how much they are bracing or gripping. Whether it is the muscles of their face, their jaw, their shoulders, their back or breath. The simple action of gaining awareness opens the door to an understanding to how they use their body. And if they are using it in a supportive or depleting way. 3. Breathe Take some breaths. Begin by inhaling and exhaling focusing on gentle breathing through your nose.  Keep it easy.
  As you practice, you will gain more and more awareness about your body and its patterns of holding tension. You will also gain  new insights about what you need. Act on those new insights and you will notice that your ability to pay attention and your level of awareness becomes more fine tuned. Your tension dissipates, you’ll feel more rested, more clear minded, and more satisfied. Your skin will also look more vibrant.  
If this resonates: Learning to reduce tension and getting more rest is fast becoming a key characteristic for success. You can read more about my private 1:1 sessions here, and my Intensive training retreats for health professionals here. For downloadable yoga and breathing sequences click this link. Here’s to up-leveling your skill and really enjoying your life. You can also connect with me directly with this link.