There are 43 muscles in your face. 43. And contrary to popular belief no one knows how many are firing when we smile or frown or anything else.

Here is what we know. They can be isolated for expression, to a certain extent, but they are most certainly interconnected.

I talk about gurning a lot — Those funny faces that can help release tension in the muscles of the face. Today, I invite you to really get into isolating and stretching those muscles.

Put your hands on your face and feel what muscle is working as you close your jaw, or open it (two different muscle groups), pucker your lips, or purse them, raise your eyebrows or furrow them, smile, or frown, and any other expressions you can think of. Notice the muscles and notice whether they move smoothly, whether they feel fluid, or not — When they are responsive to your isolations or not. Then massage those muscle groups, even the ones that go into your scalp. Do so gently with care to your muscular realities.

Responsive face muscles aren’t just a matter of vanity, they are the building blocks of both clear connection and articulation in the room.

Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.