If you follow me on social media, you will have heard me speak a lot about myomodulation. It means the change in the activity of a facial muscle when a filler is inserted next to it.
First, some background. Broadly speaking the muscles of the face may be divided into those which have a lifting action, called elevators and those which have a depressing one, referred to as depressors. The two types of muscle work in opposition to each other, as in a ‘tug of war.’
It has been observed that when, for example, a filler is placed under the elevator muscle of the cheek, then this increases the activity of these muscles to lift the corner of the mouth. At the same time this weakens its counterpart depressor muscle which would normally have the opposite effect of pulling down the corner.
When I observed this phenomenon in a number of facial areas, I started also noticing that there seems to be a more global involvement of these muscles. What I mean is that when one elevator is affected it appears that all the elevators are affected so that they exert their effects together while weakening those of all the depressors.
In such a way, for example, injecting the elevator muscle of the chin not only has a lifting effect on the lower lip, but also on the cheek and eyebrow.
The challenge for me then was to try and understand the underlying mechanism of myomodulation which up until now has been very poorly understood. A recent discovery of stretch receptors in the facial muscles offered me a clue and by joining all the dots together I came up with my Mechanoreceptor-Filler Hypothesis.
In brief, the hypothesis states that the changes described above are to do with activation of mechanoreceptors which signal a part of the brain to shift from a ‘fight or flight’ response to a ‘rest and digest’ one. The hypothesis explains how all the muscles are affected and how the process also leads to a more relaxed appearance.
My paper has been accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal and I am looking forward to presenting it next month at the World Health Care Conference in Amsterdam. Exciting times!