No matter what they may tell you, quick fix for synkinesis does not exist. Botox does not count, because it is not a fix, but a symptomatic and temporary measure.
Plastic surgery can balance your face only when it is in the neutral condition (without movements). However, the moment you begin to speak or show some emotions, your face will be off-balance again.
The reason for that is that during the long recovery period your facial muscles have developed a “wrong” mimetic pattern. Your brain every time sends imbalanced contraction signals to the facial muscles. And this cannot be corrected by any surgical intervention.
Periodic injections of Botox (botulinum toxin) may offer some temporary relief and make synkinesis less pronounced. However after 3-5 months, when the effect of the toxin wears off, your synkinesis will return. The reason of their return is that Botox will temporarily switch off only the facial muscles, but the synkinetic signals arriving to the muscles from the brain will remain unchanged. Besides, as every invasive intervention, injections of Botox carry certain risks.
You can compare synkinesis to the flashing disco-lights. No matter which bulbs you put into the light installation, no matter how tightly you wrap them in various garments – the bulbs will flash anyway instead of producing a continuous light. It is because the SIGNALS that arrive to the bulbs are intermittent, and therefore make the bulbs flash.
Facial exercises and mime-therapy will “teach” your volitional mimetic center to suppress – first consciously, and then subconsciously the unwanted synkinetic movements. As a side-effect of that, your facial expressions may become “one-sided” as you will learn to disengage the affected side of your face. You may reduce synkinesis, but at the same time you will also reduce the involvement of your affected side in the daily facial expressions. Result: facial movements will still remain asymmetric.
The only way to balance your facial movements effectively is to replace the “wrong” mimetic pattern with the natural one. This can only be achieved by one’s continuous and well-guided efforts. You will need to re-learn again the natural way to produce your facial movements and make it your habit. This process may take anything from 5 to 12 months, depending on your persistence and motivation. There is no other way, unfortunately.
If one really wants to get rid of synkinesis for good, he or she must be prepared to work persistently every day for several months, maybe up to a year. Besides, it should not be just a wish, but a burning desire – to improve the quality of facial movements. Motivation is crucial, so one does not to get easily discouraged by the slow progress.
– Alex Pashov
Crystal Touch Bell’s palsy clinic