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Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 07:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I may be finally exercising my occipitalis muscles. The thing is this - I don't feel my scalp going back.

For instance - after I raise my eyebrows and my scalp goes forward, I then relax the frontalis muscles and squeeze the occip. muscles, but all I see is my scalp returning to start (the original resting position of the scalp). It does not go back any further than this.

And if I try to flex just the occip. muscles without first doing the frontalis muscles, I don't see my scalp move back at all from the resting position.

Could it be I still do not have control of the occip. musles (although it feels like it from the pillow test)? Or is the scalp not supposed to move back at all when flexing this muscle?

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


When you flex only the occipitalis muscles you feel no movement of the scalp? If you place you fingers firmly on the crown of your head or even in the occipital area, you will feel no movement of the scalp even though you are flexing your occipitalis muscles with world-class strength. But if you place your fingers toward the front of the head (between the frontal hair line and the crown) you will feel about a 1/4 inch of movement if the occipitalis muscles are really contracting.

When you alternately contract the frontalis muscles and the occipitalis muscles, though, the scalp over the crown and occipital area (the area in back of the crown) will move quite a bit.

If you passed the pillow test, you are probably doing the exercise right. I'll send you a gold star.

Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I guess I should clarify.

If I put my fingers on my scalp when I flex only the occip. muscles, yes, I might feel something moving (ever so slightly). But what I meant by noticing the scalp move is when I am looking in the mirror, and I flex the occip. muscles, I do not notice any scalp movement BACKWARDS - visually. And if I do the scalp exercises, when I flex the frontalis muscles I most definitely see the scalp go forward. When I then relax these muscles and flex the occip. muscles, all I see is the scalp, from the frontalis muscles being relaxed, return to start (ie. the initial resting position of the scalp before startring the exercises). I don't see the scalp move backwards beyond this point at all (hence, the occip. muscles are not moving the scalp backwards at all).

The way I see it is it can be either one of two things: 1) I am not really contracting the occip. muscles, or 2) the occip. muscles are being contracted but they are not strong enough yet to move the scalp backwards.

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 06:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Anthony , 2 seems more plausible, though i cant be certain if its still early days for you - perhaps they are not as strong, however don't expect to see the same sort of movement of your scalp going back. I;m into my 9th month. My scalp defintely moves a whole lot more now compared to when i started. I could give a smurf a roller coaster ride on my scalp, however from what i know they don;t exist.


Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 01:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Iím experiencing the same problem as Anthony. That is when contracting the occipitals muscles i can feel a slight down movement if i put my hands on my head. But i do not see the scalp move backwards visually. Also my forehead wrinkles slightly on instinct (due to trying to push back the earsÖis that possible??). The result of this has meant Iím now getting two horizontal lines across my forehead. Iím guessing i either don't have control of the occp muscles or these muscles are not strong enough in order to smooth out the emerging lines on my forehead. Although I can feel the contractions behind the ears is there a possibility that another muscle group is at play and not the occp muscles? If thatís the case I still donít have control of the occip muscles! What do you think?? (Hope Iím making sense)

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 01:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Naqi, thanks for the reply. Yeah, you may very well be right. Perhpas they are not strong enough yet. I have been practicing the exercises for a little over a month. Maybe I just need more time.

On the other hand, maybe I don't have control of the correct muscles yet......I hope that isn't the case.

Ash, I hear what you're saying. Sound slike you and I are in the same boat.

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 02:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

hi, i'm new to all this and have only come across the site today. i've tried to do the exercise as it's described in 'my approach' and when i raise my eyebrows i can feel my scalp moving around the temple area, the crown and the back of my head. is this a good sign or am i doing it wrong?

Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Yup, the raising of the eyebrows is the first out of the two motions you need to perform the exercise. You now need to try and move your ears back - by doing this your occip. muscles come into play. This done, you should notice a movement in your scalp forwards and then back. Use a mirror.


Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Anthony and Ash, Just read a few of your posts, and one thing i am not clear on is this.

When you contract you occ. muscles, your ears move slightly dont they? Becasue if they do, your scalps have to move back. The movement is involuntary. One thing I can say is, do not compare the movement of the scalp as you raise your eyebrows, to when you contract the occ. You wont notice anythign that drastic. The movement will be slight. However depending on how strong the muscles are, some people should have a more noticeable movement.


Posted on Tuesday, July 01, 2003 - 08:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I feel something going on in the back of my head, but as of right now I do not see any movement of my ears when I contract (if I indeed am contracting them) the occipitalis muscles.

When I contract JUST the occip. musles (without first doing the frontalis muscles), I notice no scalp or ear movement.

Hang on...I just checked on something...

Yes, I do see some ear movement, IF I have my mouth slightly open. And every time I contract the occip muscles, my lower lip/jaw moves slightly up. Now if I just move only my lip/jaw up and down slightly, this will indeed cause my ears to move. So maybe I think I'm moving the ears with the occip. muscles, but I am in fact moving them via the mouth and jaw. Give it a try and see if you can move your ears contracting the occip muscles, WITHOUT moving your lower lip and jaw.

I put my 2 hands on the back of my head and when I copntract I do feel some kind of m,uscle contraction happening in the back of my head. But, like I said, unless my lower jaw and lip move with the contraction, there is no ear movement.

Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2003 - 03:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


i'm sure my ears don't move. When i contract the occip muscles i can feel a very slight backward movement (only when i place my hands on my head)..Could this mean i'm targeting the correct muscles??

Anthony, i've been trying to learn this SE for ages! so i'm kinda gettin fed up..do u find your forehead wrinkles slightly when trying to push the ears back?

Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 03:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Ash,

No, I don't see any part of my forehead wrinkling when I try to flex the occip. muscles.

Don't forget, use mineral oil on your forehead before doing the scalp exercises to prevent permanent wrinkles.

Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 09:30 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I can move my ears whilst contracting my occ. muscle with and without the mouth open - kinda goldfishy. On the jaw business - to be honest i'm a bit confused on that myself. See i dont think my jaw moves up or down whilst doing the exercise, I can verify this by looking in a mirror. However if i am not it certainly does appear that my jaw moves up and down slightly. I think what this actually is, is the skin being pulled. See, if i place my fingertips below the ears at the side of my jaw and do the exercise i do feel my skin in that area getting pulled back aswell - there is a definite movement. There is no movement of the jaw as such, placing the fingertips in that area should confirm this, it is not the jaw i feel move but actually the skin over it - hope that makes sense.

On the ears - I cant say that their movement is a 100 percent requirement for the exercies to be done correctly. To me the fact that if you, both, place your hands at the back (where the occ. muscle is) and feel the muscle bunch up/move does mean you are working that muscle.


Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Naqi.....good explanation. I've printed out your reply and am going to check in the mirror later when I do the exercise.

Thanks so much for the reply!

Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2003 - 01:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Initially i thought this was the jaw myself. I posted a thread on this to clarify my suspicions. Tom, from what I rememebred tried this and he too experienced the skin movement. I've concentrated hard on that area, and i'm sure that it isnt the jaw that is moving (in my case), as Tom indicated. If i place my fingertips on the jaw bone whilst doing the exercise, it doesnt move at all. This is why i am sure it has to be the skin. Try placing your fingertips, at various areas on the jaw (while doing the exercise, it may feel like it moves, put i'm sure the fingertips tell a different story. Another thing, place your fingertips, (using both your right and left hand) on both sides of your jaw. Now grit your teeth. You'll feel what is the jaw move (you should notice your hands move outwards slightly aswell), this movement is quite different to the movement experienced when i do the exercise. Although they do to some extent seem quite similar.


Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 06:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I tried your suggestions, Naqi, and you are indeed right. My jaw does not move when I do the exercise, but it does move if I clench/grit my teeth.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 08:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

anyone having a problem with contracting the occipitalis muscles and then not being able to release them for quite sometime? odd.....

Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 08:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

that seems a bit odd, indeed. How much is sometime? so on contraction you're saying they stayed bunched up?


Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 02:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


they dont "stay up" but they dont fully loosen back to there starting position. The reason I can tell is that my scalp doesnt move on the second contraction.

its no biggie though, when i do the full exercise, contracting the frontalis muscles loosen the occipitalis completely. Its just when I'm working the occipitalis that i notice it.

Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 - 02:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

yup, i think i know what you mean, it doesnt happen too often. But i guess once or twice i do recall something like that.


Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 06:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

when the occip mucles contract how do they feel or how can you tell that they are working? i don't understand what is meant bu 'bunch up'.

when i try to contract the occip i feel something move sliglthy back then when i realese it moves back into place. this is when i place my fingers above the ears as well as behind my ears.

is this right?


Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 08:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


that sounds about right. Don't look at though as "bunching up". It helped me to look at it as if i were flexing the muscles, much like when you flex your biceps.

When i contract my occipitalis muscles correctly, I feel my ears being pulled back, to the point where it feels like I'm stretching the ear canal. With my scalp, its pulled back when i do it correctly and I get a sensation in the frontal area of the galea.

I hope this helps.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Saturday, July 05, 2003 - 09:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


That's a good point you made - "it feels like I'm stretching the ear canal." I remember having that same feeling in the ear canal when I learned the scalp exercise. In fact my ear canal began to hurt. I went to an ear doctor because of the pain. He removed a chunk of hardened wax from both ears and I never had any more pain.

I'm amazed at how much I learn from people posting on this forum. That link that was just posted yesterday about zinc supplements and their relationship to prostate cancer, and that link posted several weeks ago about insulin resistance - these articles really gave important information that I was not aware of.

Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 05:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I missed the link for the insulin resistance. Can someone provide a link to it?

Thank you.

Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 08:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

do a search of the forums for unsulin resistance. there are several posts regarding this.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 08:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


The best article that was linked to in the thread is Insulin Resistance. It's a long article by Dr. Rodier. I don't like his "treatment options" at the end of the article though - he's selling herbs and supplements. Dr. Rodier cites an article about the relation of hair loss and insulin resistance in the medical journal Lancet. I tried to access that yesterday but Lancet wants $30 to read it. I'm going to the University of Ohio library tomorrow and read it for free. If I see anything interesting in the article, I'll post it.

Posted on Sunday, July 06, 2003 - 08:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Great. Thanks, Tom!

And certainly, if you find anything interesting from the library, please let us know.

Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That article contradicts itself. His advice is to eat more complex carbohydrates but most complex carbohydrates also increase insulin production because they are turned into sugar when broken down. He calls for supplementing certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids but says we shouldn't eat as much animal products which are some of the best sources of these nutrients in their most absorbable form. I think we should look to get more naturally raised meats but to avoid them would be a mistake. He also cites a article that milk increases insulin resistance but raw milk not processed milk (pasteurized and homogenized) has been used to treat diabetes. In fact many groups of people have used milk products and have lived long lives including the Hunzas of Pakistan which were known to live regularly into their 100's.


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 05:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


When you read a long, intricate article you often run into contradictions. One of the contradiction you mentioned, though, I don't think is a contradiction - "His advice is to eat more complex carbohydrates but most carbohydrates also increase insulin production because they are turned into sugar when they are broken down."

All carbohydrates are turned into sugar when they are broken down. The refined carbohydrates (white bread) are turned into sugar fast; the complex carbohydrates (brown rice) are turned into sugar slowly. I think Dr. Rodier thinks the slower conversion is better because then there would not be a rapid rise in insulin levels.

I agree with you about meat and milk though. I would much prefer to get vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, and complete protein from these real foods rather than from supplements that are often hard to assimilate. But then Dr. Rodier's Web site sells supplements and herbs so I guess you can expect him to push these products.

The article I thought was helpful, though, in describing the process of insulin resistance, and in trying to encourage people to eat more nutritious foods.

Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 07:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I interpret the scalp exercise to be alternate contractions between the forehead (frontalis) & back of head (occipitals). When contracting the back of the head I feel the occipitals muscles move towards each other, (like the middle part is being squeezed) then back in place when itís relaxed. Is this correct? Or should we be concentrating on a downward movement?

Also when trying to learn the exercise should we be concentrating on contracting the occipitals muscles or focus on trying to move the ears back?


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2003 - 09:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


The occipitalis muscles are two muscular slips divided in the middle by a tendonous membrane (the galea). I don't think these muscles move toward each other when you contract them. I feel them bunch up and then relax as I do the exercise. There is no squeezing of the middle part because there is no middle part. The muscles are only an inch and a half long with the galea bisecting them.

Do anything that helps you to gain control of these muscles - try to pull the ears back, flex the occipitalis muscles, chench your jaws. Everyone uses a specific strategy to learn to do the exercise correctly. After you gain control of the muscles, then you can drop the strategies and just focus on the alternating contractions. It becomes easy eventually.

Posted on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 07:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

tom my description wasn't very clear. what i meant was when i contract the occipitalis muscles i can feel these muscles move slightly back then return back to place when relaxed. i feel the same movement above my ears. is this correct?? the muscle contractions above the ears feel stronger then the back muscles.


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2003 - 07:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I don't know what you mean by the "back muscles."
The occipitalis muscles are above the ears and slightly to the rear. These two muscular slips divided by the galea are the only muscles that contract when you are pulling back your ears. My feeling from your description is that you are doing the exercise right.

Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 07:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Iíve been doing the scalp exercise for over 2 months and Iím getting lines across my forehead. When I contract the occip and I place my hands on my head I can feel the scalp being slightly pulled back. But I cannot see the scalp or my forehead being pulled back. Could this be because my occip muscles are still weak??

Iím sure Iím doing the exercise right cos I can feel the occip muscles contract.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, September 04, 2003 - 09:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


You are probably doing the scalp exercise right because you can feel the occipitalis muscles contract. But maybe these muscles are not sufficiently developed yet so as to pull the skin tight over your forehead, thus getting rid of horizontal lines. Your frontalis muscles are probably very well developed.

I've seen bodybuilders work hard on the abdominal muscles so as to get definition of these muscles. Often they neglect the muscles of the lower back which straighten the body up. The consequence of this is poor posture. The highly developed abs pull the body forward into a crunched position because there is only slight pull coming from the lower back.

The frontalis and occipitalis muscles are antagonistic muscles similar to the antagonistic muscles at the front and back of a person's midsection. They should be developed symmetrically. Since you already have strong frontalis muscles, try concentrating on your occipitalis muscles for a while. Just contract them without contracting the frontalis muscles for a few minutes before resuming the alternating contraction of both.

Posted on Saturday, September 06, 2003 - 06:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


As the occip muscles become stronger will the lines that are forming across the forehead fade. Iíve noticed i have 2 horizontal lines that are becoming deeper. Iím worried they're going be a permanent feature. After doing the SE I have been trying to work on the occip muscles by contracting them on its own. (Iíve realised Iím one of the unlucky few that makes very slow progress!!...everthing seems to take twice as long with me)

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Sunday, September 07, 2003 - 10:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


Someone else suggested contracting only the occipitalis muscles thus avoiding any possible lines forming on the forehead. I've been trying this and am getting some movement in the scalp. My occipitalis muscles are well-developed and can generate power. The muscles fibers of people who are just starting the exercise will be almost atrophic.

I don't know what to say about those two horizontal lines that are forming on your forehead. Most people who are doing the exercise right report that forehead lines are erased or at least made less noticeable.

You wrote, "Everything seems to take twice as long with me." From the way you write, I get the impression that you are fast with words and ideas. It's just that hair thing that bothers you. Remember what President Clinton was fond of saying - "I can feel your pain."

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