Facial Tics: Manifestation And Treatment
By Alan B. Densky, CH
Facial tics are characterized by sudden, seemingly involuntary muscle contractions of entire muscle groups in the face. These contractions are often repetitive in nature, and appear to have no real purpose.
Common tics are exaggerated eye
blinking, squinting, nose wrinkling, facial grimacing or
even vocalizations such as throat clearing or grunting. Tics
often manifest themselves during childhood, and often
resolve as a child ages. This is not always the case,
though, and many people continue to suffer from tics as they
Tics often increase in frequency as an individual feels tension or discomfort. People who suffer from tics report they are able to sense a tic as it approaches. Often being described as an overwhelming feeling of tension and the wish to perform the tic to break the tension; somewhat akin to the approaching urge to yawn or sneeze which relieves the sufferer. Controlling a tic can cause tension, which can lead to the onset of another tic. Tics are often described as being involuntary, but research and reports from sufferers indicates they are indeed voluntary motions that can be controlled by the sufferer.
A tic can manifest as a simple tic, as in facial grimaces, mouth twitches, or grunting or can be more complex such as is often seen in Tourette syndrome. Simple tics are more common than complex tics, but can be just as devastating to the individual; while a facial tic does not cause physical pain to the sufferer, it can often cause social problems or mental distress.
Children, in particular, can have a difficult time dealing with a tic due to mocking from other students, or teachers that don't fully understand the difficult situation the child is in. While tics are often described as not being totally involuntary, control of a tic is difficult to establish, especially in children. Children often do not establish the skills to recognize a tic onset as well as an adult.
Adults can also face grave difficulty in their lives when dealing with a tic. Social problems are commonly experienced, and even when tics are generally controlled the adult can become quite exhausted by the continual need to identify the onset of and control the tic impulse. Adults and children alike may suffer from self-worth or self-esteem issues due to their constant suffering from a disease that often causes them to become social outcasts.
Relieving an individual from the distress of a facial tic can be a life-changing experience. Self-esteem often improves, and social anxiety is no longer a force holding an individual back from experiencing a full life. In children, relieving a tic may allow the child to develop with less stress and have a happier childhood.
Over the years, many treatments for tics have been applied with varying degrees of success. Counseling or psychotherapy can help uncover emotional causes of a tic, and may help an individual understand better how to combat the urge to perform their tic. Mild sedatives and other forms of medication are sometimes successful in cases of simple tics. These medications often come saddled with unwanted side effects, so many people seek alternative treatments.
Hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) methods have been developed expressly for the purpose of dealing with facial tics. Since facial tics are not strictly involuntary in nature, these treatments aim to change the sufferer's unconscious response to the onset of a tic episode such as facial grimacing or throat clearing. In most cases this can be accomplished by allowing the subconscious mind to avert the onset of the tic. In some extreme cases, however, the sufferer's response will be redirected to some innocuous portion of the body such as twitching a toe instead of facial muscles.
Facial tics can be an embarrassing life-affecting malady. Children and adults alike can suffer greatly from the presence of a facial tic such as eye blinking, squinting, mouth twitches, facial grimaces, nose wrinkling, or grunting. Eliminating a facial tic can prove very beneficial to the sufferer.
Although many treatments have been developed to combat facial tics, Hypnosis and NLP aim to utilize natural unconscious methods of redirecting the tic response. This type of treatment has great benefit over other methods such as psychotherapy, which may not treat the tic behavior at all, or attempt to modify the conscious response to tic behavior.
Hypnosis and NLP also do not suffer from the unwanted side effects of drugs. This beneficial method of treatment can also reduce stress and anxiety in the sufferer's life, thereby both reducing the impulse to form a tic and proving a benefit in everyday life. Due to these factors, Hypnosis and NLP are often the safest, most preferred methods of treatment for tic sufferers.
©2007 By Alan B. Densky, CH.
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