Facial Retraining

Facial neuromuscular retraining (FNMR) is a treatment approach for those who have experienced facial nerve paresis that can result from conditions such as:

  • Bell’s Palsy

  • Ramsay-Hunt Syndrome

  • Acoustic Neuroma

  • Lyme Disease

  • Post-surgical Trauma

  • Congenital Facial Palsy

Facial retraining does not typically help those who may have facial palsy resulting from strokes or head injuries.

Synkinesis and weakness can be disturbing results of facial nerve paresis. Synkinesis is involuntary muscle contractions that join in with intended movement (e.g., intention is to smile or pucker and the eye closes). 

Facial nerve dysfunction can lead to problems such as:

  • Excessive tearing of the affected eye

  • Drooling

  • Speech difficulties

  • Eating, drinking difficulties

  • Facial expressions

  • Emotional effects

FNMR is based on comprehensive assessment of the patient’s facial nerve function and is conducted by Speech-Language Pathologists or Physiotherapists specifically trained in this approach.  The goals of this approach:

  • Improve symmetry (evenness) of facial expression

  • Inhibit involuntary muscle contractions (synkinesis)

This approach for the rehabilitation of abnormal facial movements is in alignment with the theory of neuroplasticity, wherein the central nervous system learns to use the recovered facial nerve more appropriately.

It involves isolated muscle work, equalizing tone on both sides of the face, mirror, and therapist feedback. It is effective at minimizing dissymmetry while awaiting nerve regeneration and maximizing facial control of those muscles which are re-innervated. Any facial palsy which results from damage to the peripheral facial nerve can benefit from treatment. 

Contact us today to find out if Facial Retraining is right for you!


This therapy can potentially be used to treat the following:

Acoustic Neuroma

Pressure from the neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear, balance problems, facial numbness or muscle weakness. 

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