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Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 06:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

And still...the best I can do is barely move the scalp back by contracting the occipitalis muscle. I must have a seriously atrophied occip muscle for it to take so long to get it to build up muscle and move the scalp backwards.

I've done the SE religiously for the last 6 months or so, twice a day 10 minues each. I've tried the many recommendations from people on this forum as well as come up with a few myself...all to no avail. My occip muscle feels no stronger than what it was a year ago.

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 07:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I can't help you. Usually people who get just a small amount of control over the occipitalis muscle are able to move their scalps between a quarter to a half inch within a very short time period. You evidently are able to contract you occipitalis muscles but have not been able to achieve scalp mobility.

Perhaps a "seriously atrophied" occipitalis muscle is not your problem. A few people have naturally inflexible scalps. How much movement do you get? Can you give me a good estimate? I think I may have a suggestion that will help you.

Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004 - 11:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi Tom,

The scalp doesn't move at all (it move just fine forward if I contract the frontalis muscles).

If I put my hands on the back of my head and contract the occip muscles, I do feel something happening though not much. It just feels like the back of the head is quenching up and then un-quenching. The ears don't move at all usually...although at times if I look real close in the mirror it does appear like the ears might move up a little bit....definitely not back though.

Any help you can provide would be very much appreciated. I so badly want to get this and I feel I have put the time and dedication in...only to not be able to get anything out of it.....not even the ability to do it well enough to get the scalp to move backward.

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 04:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Waiting on your suggestion, Tom.

Also, what's a muscular "slip" (in reference to the occipitalis muscle)?

Posted on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 09:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


What suggestions have you tried? In the meantime, try this manual experiment:

Place one palm flat on top of head with base of palm near the hairline area & fingers pointed toward back of head. Place the other palm flat (horizontally) on the back of your head across the occipitalis area. Raise your brows and "aid" the scalp moving forward by pushing both palms toward the brows. Then as you begin to release the brow contract your occipitalis & "aid" the movement by pushing both of your palms backward in the direction toward the back of your neck. Continue alternating these two forward & backward movements with the aid of your hands. Try alternating the contractions slowly at first, then begin to pick up the tempo. Hopefully you'll get a rocking rhythm going with your scalp.

If this doesn't get the scalp moving, try the same experiment again but clench the hair in between your fingers instead of using flat palms.

Let us know what happens.


Tom Hagerty
Posted on Saturday, May 01, 2004 - 07:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I shouldn't have used the word slip in my description of the occipitalis. It's a little confusing. Anatomy books use this term to refer to a small muscular band that attaches muscle to bone or tendon. The galea, by the way, is a tendon even though it is thin and flat.

Work with Terri's suggestion and see what happens. Her technique might loosen up your scalp so that you can gain movement of the area.

Posted on Sunday, May 02, 2004 - 04:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Ok, thanks for the explanation, Tom.

Terri, I tried your suggestion initially with the two hands.....I have no problem with the scalp moving forward, so I then went to using one hand to help move the scalp backward (since this is where my problem is). When using my hands (for example, I give my scalp a massage for 10 minutes aday), I have no problem getting the scalp to move all over...forward, backwards, etc.... Where the problem is is when I try to contract the occipitalis must be a really weak muscle or something because no matter what I do, the scalp and ears just won't move at all when I contract the occip. muscle.

Posted on Tuesday, May 04, 2004 - 07:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


Hmmm! Are you sure your contracting the occipitalis?

What about your temporalis muscles? Can you feel anything in that area when you contract the occipitals?

Even though you know your scalp moves forward when you lift the brows, I would still perform the exercise as I described with one hand on the frontalis while the other is on the occipitalis until you know for sure that your scalp moves backward. It will gives you a better sense of what's happening.


Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 07:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


I think my occipitalis must be extremely weak because I do feel "something" happeniung when I contract it...albeit, very little movement/contracting. And when I do contract the occip. musle, there surely is not any scalp movement backward.

Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 09:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Anonymous, Exactly what "something" do you feel??? Its impossible for me to figure out what's happening with that description!

When you contract the occip you should feel a pull behind the ears if you place your fingers there. Also a pull toward the back of your head can be felt on the temporalis muscles and in front of ears. The forhead & brows feels like they're being stretched away from the center portion of your face.

I think since you have been exercising faitfully you should be able to see ear movement by now. I can't imagine your occip's remaining weak with all that practice. A muscle that is worked has to increase in strength! If I were you, I'd go back to square one & learn how to contract the occip.

My only other though would be that perhaps you are contracting the occip, but performing the SE too quickly so that the they are not contracting fully. I found that to be true in my own case when I was first learning. Try slowing down especially during the contraction of your occip. so you can feel a full strong contraction back there. Don't try to perfom it as quickly as Tom does on his video. I think its too fast when muscles are weak, IMHO.

Also, practice just contracting the occip at odd moments throughout the day to help increase their strength. Contract and count to 6 or more before releasing. Repeat as much & as often as you can to build them up.

If Tom doesn't agree with my suggestion, Im sure he'll set me straight!


Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 09:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Terri, thanks so much for the helpful advice. The "something" I was referring to was this: if I place my fingertips on the back of my head where the occip muscles are, then contract, I do feel some movement happening with my fingertips. But it is very little movement at best.

I have tried one of your sugggestions of periodically throughout the day contracting just the occip. muscles. I'll continue to do so.

Your suggestion of contracting slowly sounds like a good idea and will do that. You're right...I was trying to go as fast as Tom in the video and this may be perhaps where I have erred.

Again, than you for your advice. I have printed out your replies and will keep at it. I do have a persevering spirit and I know eventually I will be a pro like Tom in doing these scalp exercises. Like I said, it's been over a year and still I persist!

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 02:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Contracting the occipitalis throughout the day and holding the contraction for a short time is a good idea. That should strengthen the muscle. A strong occipitalis will probably enable you to gain more scalp mobility.

Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I will do both suggestions. Thanks Terri and Tom.

Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post


I certainly sense you have a persevering spirit! It will pay off in the end, Im sure. Let us know how it goes. Good luck!


Posted on Thursday, May 06, 2004 - 07:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Will do...thanks again, Terri.

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