Facial tics are characterized by rapid, apparently reflex muscle contractions of muscle groups in the face. These contractions are regularly recurring in nature, and appear to have no actual purpose. Common tics are exaggerated eye blinking, squinting, nose wrinkling, facial grimacing or even vocalizations such as grunting or throat clearing. Tics often show up during childhood, and usually resolve as the child ages. This is not always the situation, though, and many people continue to exhibit tics as they enter adulthood.

Tics often increase in rate as a sufferer feels anxiety or discomfort. Victims who suffer from tics report they are often aware of an impending tic. It's often described as an overwhelming feeling of tension and the urge to engage the tic to eliminate the tension; somewhat akin to the approaching urge to yawn or sneeze which relieves the person. Controlling a tic can trigger anxiety, which can lead to the trigger of another tic. Tics are often described as being uncontrolled but research and reports from sufferers indicates they are indeed voluntary motions that can be controlled by the sufferer.

A tic can manifest as a simple tic, as in facial grimaces, mouth twitches or grunting or it can be more complex such as is often seen in Tourette syndrome. Simple tics are more usual than complex tics, but they can be just as upsetting to the individual; while a facial tic does not cause physical pain to the sufferer, it often causes social problems or mental distress.

Especially children, can have a hard time living with a tic because of mocking from other students, or teachers that don't fully recognize the thorny situation the child is in. While tics are often described as not being totally involuntary, control of a tic is difficult to establish, especially in children. Children often do not establish the skills to become aware of a starting tic as well as an adult.

Adults often face crucial trouble in their lives when living with a facial tic. Social problems are quite common, and even when tics are generally controlled the adult can become quite tired by the persistent need to identify the onset of and control the tic impulse. Adults and children alike may suffer from self-esteem or self-worth issues due to their continual suffering from a disease that often causes them to become social outcasts.

Relieving a person of the distress of a facial tic can be a life-changing experience. Self-worth usually improves, and social anxiety is no longer an issue holding a person back from experiencing a full life. In children, relieving a tic may let the child develop with less tension while he/she has a happier childhood.

Over the years, many treatments for tics have been used with varying degrees of achievement. Counseling or psychotherapy can help discover the emotional causes of a tic, and may help an individual understand better how to fight the urge to perform their tic. Sedatives and other forms of medication sometimes do well in cases of simple tics. These meds often come saddled with negative side effects, so many people search for alternative treatments.

Self-hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) methods have been developed specifically for the purpose of overcoming facial tics. Since facial tics are not firmly involuntary in nature, these treatments aim to change the sufferer's unconscious response to the onset of a tic episode such as throat clearing or facial grimacing. In a large number of cases this can be done by allowing the unconscious mind to avoid the tic's onset. In some extreme cases, however, the victim's response will be redirected to some innocuous portion of the body such as twitching a toe instead of facial muscles.

Facial tics can be an awkward life-affecting problem. Children and adults alike can suffer a lot from the presence of a facial tic such as squinting, eye blinking, facial grimaces, mouth twitches, grunting or nose wrinkling. Eliminating a facial tic can prove very advantageous to the sufferer on an emotional level.

Although many treatments have been developed to combat facial tics, Hypnosis and NLP aim to utilize natural unconscious methods of redirecting the tic response. This type of help has great benefit over other methods such as psychotherapy, which may not treat the tic behavior at all, or attempt to change the conscious response to tic behavior.

Hypnosis and NLP also do not experience the unwanted side effects of drugs. This beneficial method of treatment can also cut tension and worry in the victim's life, thereby both reducing the impulse to form a tic and proving a benefit in everyday life. Due to these factors, Hypnosis and NLP are often the safest, most preferred methods of treatment for tic sufferers.

Author's Bio: 

Alan B. Densky, CH offers facial tics hypnotherapy CD's as well as a wide array of popular titles for all stress related symptoms. For pleasure and learning visit his Free hypnotherapy video library at his Neuro-VISION NLP website.