Modified self-training using the PNF method

The self-training proposed here is based on proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). See separate information below. Both sides are trained simultaneously, since the muscles on the non-paralysed side can facilitate and support the movement/activity of the paralysed side. This also aids facial symmetry. The goal of the training is smooth, isolated and coordinated movements of the face.

Initially, the treatment can be carried out with the help of a physiotherapist, but in the meantime, and as effective support for treatment, this app can be used.

PNF – History

PNF was developed primarily during the 1950s polio epidemics. The method is based on physiological movement patterns, which include / stimulate whole chains of muscles – not just single muscles. Subsequently, the treatment was developed for other patient groups in orthopaedics and sports medicine, for example.

PNF is the basis of stretching techniques!

The method was initially developed over a 5-year period (1946-1951) by pioneers Dr Herman Kabat and physiotherapist Margaret Knott at the Kabat Kaiser Institute in the United States with financial support from Henry Kaiser. Today, the clinic is in Vallejo, California, and trains physiotherapists from all over the world.


  1. Definition

The PNF method facilitates the response from nerves and muscles.

P = Proprioceptive: a proprioceptor is a tissue receptor that reacts to stimuli from the tissue's environment, e.g., the muscle spindle, which detects changes in the length of the muscle.

N = Neuromuscular relates to muscles and nerves and refers to the interaction between the nervous system and the muscle.

F = Facilitation

  1. Philosophy behind the method

The basic philosophy behind PNF is that each individual has underlying resources and that the most effective way to activate these is to train the whole of the neuromuscular system.

  1. Basic principles

Tactile receptors found in the skin, and receptors in the eyes, ears and muscles, can facilitate the activity in the facial muscles. The movements are generally diagonal (see The Muscles).

A brief text describes the exercise. 

  1. Techniques: See The App Face It! Bell´s Palsy-Training

The Muscles, Programme for training facial muscles and Tips: See the App.


Download Face IT

The app contains questions and answers about Bell's palsy, some background on how to do the training, and specific exercises related to the muscles that have been weakened. The Face It! app is based on long experience in the treatment of Bell's palsy and research that shows it is never too late to start training!