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Smile and Homoeopathy

© Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma M.D. (Homoeopathy)

Dr. Swati Vishnoi B.H.M.S.

for well formatted and illustrated  article, please see attached pdf file.

smile and Homoeopathy.pdf


Introduction. 1

Definition. 1

Anatomy of Smile. 1

Zygomaticus major. 2

Obicularis occuli 2

Pathophysiology of Smile. 3

The cerebral cortex. 3

Deep Primitive brain structure. 3

Release of endorphins and facial feedback hypothesis. 3

Reduction in cortisol 3

Types of Smiles. 3

Drop-Jaw Smile. 3

Turn-Away Smile. 3

Closed-Lip Smile. 4

Tight-Lipped Smile. 4

Lopsided Smile. 4

Forced Smile. 5

Genuine Smile. 5

Sneer. 5

Functions of smile. 6

Repertory of Smile. 6

Bibliography. 7


Smiling, like most facial expressions, communicates to those around us what we are feeling. In fact, individuals with relatively little contact with the industrialized world were able to accurately identify at least four (happiness, sadness, anger and disgust) facial expressions made by those from other cultures.


A smile is a pleased, kind, or amused facial expression formed by flexing the muscles of the sides of the mouth turned up and front teeth exposed. The muscles around eyes crease and crinkle as the teeth are displayed, with the sides of lips stretching towards the tip of ears. The full-blown smile signifies happiness from the bottom of the heart.

It can be defined as a pleasing positioning activity of muscles of facial expression which radiates pleasant sensory stimuli thus creating a feeling of wellbeing to the wearer and the spectator.

Anatomy of Smile

Six pairs of muscles directly involved in smiling-

  1. Levator anguli oris
  2. Levator labii superioris
  3. Orbicularis oculi
  4. Risorius
  5. Zygomaticus major
  6. Zygomaticus minor

During smile, two potential muscles are activated-

Zygomaticus major

It controls the corners of mouth. When this muscle only is activated, it is not actually a genuine smile as in social smile. During 4-6 weeks of life, infants show social smile only.

Obicularis occuli

It encircles the eye socket and involves eyes making true smile or Duchenne smile.

Pathophysiology of Smile

Charles Darwin suggested that facial expressions indicate the intention of animals and by extension, humans.

The brain has two circuits for controlling smiles–

The cerebral cortex

It controls the conscious smile.

Deep Primitive brain structure

It handles the expression of emotions.

On looking at pleasant things i.e. positive situation, neuronal signals travel from cortex to brain stem and through cranial nerves to facial muscles involved in smiling. Once the smiling muscles in face contract, there is a positive feedback loop that goes back to the brain and reinforces the feeling of joy. In this way, the brain feels good and orders to smile, the smile tells the brain to feel good and so forth.

Release of endorphins and facial feedback hypothesis

During smile, neurotransmitters called endorphins are released. These are triggered by the movements of the muscles of face, which is interpreted by the brain. It in turn, releases these chemicals. Endorphins are responsible for feeling happy, and they also help lowering stress levels. Faking a smile or laugh works as well as the real thing—the brain doesn’t differentiate between real or fake as it interprets the positioning of the facial muscles in the same way. This is known as the facial feedback hypothesis. The more the brain is stimulated, the more is the release of this chemical and the more often feeling of happier and relaxed is there.

Endorphins also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management.

Reduction in cortisol

While the release of endorphins is increased, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is more active during stress or anxiety and it contributes to the unpleasant feelings. By lowering it, these negative feelings can be reduced.

Types of Smiles

There may be several types of smile based on facial expressions.

Drop-Jaw Smile

This type of smile is commonly seen in politician and celebrities often during speeches or at press conferences. With such an expression, they try to draw positive impulses from the audience as letting the jaw drop gives the impression of playfulness and amusement. By applying the drop-jaw smile, it is easy to eliminate the first-line protective barrier between individuals.

Turn-Away Smile

This technique is also a good way to win over people quickly is the turn-away smile. In the smile, the individual seems as juvenile, playful and creative. It is a hybrid expression where the smile signals welcome, whereas the motion of turning away gives the signal of avoidance.

Some actresses are quite adept at using this technique to fascinate the hearts of fans. The turn-away smile makes seem younger and attractively secretive. Charles Darwin had noted how well the turn-away smile invokes similar reactions in animals.

Closed-Lip Smile

When the teeth are not displayed, this is called as the closed lip smile. Playful children and politicians always show this gesture, which shows person is hiding something.

If some intimate friend gives the closed-lip smile, the clear message is that although this friend is happy in chatting, he is not telling everything. He reserves some information that he does not feel comfortable sharing.

Tight-Lipped Smile 

When the tips of the lips are stretched without the teeth exposed, such a smile shows the harbouring of a secret, concealment of thoughts and the restraining of attitudes. While women interpret the tight-lipped smile as a sign of rejection, it also happens to be a favourite expression among females.

The tight-lipped smile is often shown by women who do not want to reveal any information and would rather remain silent instead. For example, if someone asks for her age, a lot of women would simply respond with a tight-lipped smile without giving any answer. This type of smile also evokes mystery and can be often seen in magazine pictures of successful businessmen. The picture clearly reveals they are not disclosing any of their key secrets, sharing in the interview only the broad principles for success.

Lopsided Smile

It is also known as the twisted smile as it appears when one side of the lip moves upwards and the other side slants down, causing the mouth to move in opposite directions and ending up in what seems to be a twist.


This smile is interpreted as communicating mixed emotions. The side of mouth distorted downwards shows a person with negative emotions such as sadness and anxiety, analogised by the upward slope which says that person is non-threatening nor angry.

This smile also gives the explanation of yes to a definite degree while also carrying the message of better not. In short, the lopsided smile hints various messages that can range from sarcasm or embarrassment to irony.

Forced Smile

A forced smile looks artificial and unnatural. We need more than pulled-back lips, through the use of risorius muscle to show the teeth, to convince someone happiness and displaying a positive emotion.

This can be detected especially when eyes are not engaged with mouth, resulting in the eyes looking dull or listless. The fake smile gives the false impression and it evokes a response of dislike or may damage social bonding.

Genuine Smile

Genuine smile encourages others to smile back and convey an honest emotion. When one is smiling, he and also others feel happier.

The smile is unconscious because the orbicularis oculi creases up. A real smile appears primarily because of the action of two muscles – the zygomaticus major, which stretches from the corner of the mouth to the cheekbone, and the orbicularis oculi.


The action for the sneer is caused when the buccinators muscles contract to draw the lip corners sideward toward the ears and produce a sneering dimple in the cheek. The expression is obvious and gives strong sarcastic signals.

The sneer is an act of dislike, it shows someone being disrespectful and mirrors the lack of caring and empathy on the part of the person doing the sneering. For example, during crime interrogations, the suspect would sneer upon realising the inspectors did not know the full details of the crime.

Functions of smile

Smiling reduces stress of body and mind feel, almost similar to getting good sleep. It helps to generate more positive emotions, explaining why we often feel happier around children as they smile more. Smiling decreases the stress-hormones which negatively affect physical and mental health. We can summarise benefits of smile as below-

  1. Smiling makes people confident.
  2. Smiling makes one attractive.
  3. Smiling relieves stress.
  4. Smiling changes the mood.
  5. Smiling is contagious. When someone is smiling they lighten up the room, change the moods of others, and make things happier. A smiling person brings happiness with them.  Smiling boosts the immune system.
  6. Smiling lowers the blood pressure.
  7. Smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers and serotonin.
  8. Smiling lifts the face and makes one look younger.
  9. Smiling makes one seem successful.
  10. Smiling helps to stay positive.
  11. Laughing expands the lungs, stretches the muscles in the body and stimulates homeostasis. This exercises the body, replenishing the cells from a lungful of oxygen and gaining all the benefits of exercising the body.
  12. A good laugh can be an effective way to release emotions.
  13. Smiling makes one appear more approachable. Interaction with others is easier and more enjoyable when smiles and laughs are shared, and these behaviours are contagious, making others feel better too.
  14. Smile relaxes the persona and indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations. This is particularly true for challenging situations such as job interviews.

Repertory of Smile

Face - TWITCHING, face - mouth, one-sided, when speaking or smiling cub.

Face - TWITCHING, face - mouth, one-sided, when speaking or smiling - upper molars am-m. Glon. phos.

Mind - CHEERFUL, feelings - chorea, before, with crying - smiling, with continuous, in sumb.

Mind - COMPANY, general - smiling, faces Ambr.

Mind - SMILING, general - alone, when bar-c.

Mind - SMILING, general - convulsions, before bell.

Mind - SMILING, general - everything, for alum.

Mind - SMILING, general – foolish bell. hyos. Merc. verat.

Mind - SMILING, general - happy, disposition, with, in chorea sumb.

Mind - SMILING, general - involuntarily - speaking, when aur.

Mind - SMILING, general – involuntarily aur. bell. lyc.

Mind - SMILING, general - never, smiles alum. ambr. AUR. nit-ac. verat.

Mind - SMILING, general – sardonic bell.

Mind - SMILING, general - sleep, in cadm-s. croc. ferr-ma. galv. hyos. ph-ac. verat.

Mind - SMILING, general alco. alum. am-c. ambr. anan. arn. ars-s-r. ars. atro. aur. bar-c. bell. cadm-s. carc. chlol. cocc. croc. ferr-ma. galv. hep. HYOS. lyc. merc. nux-v. op. oxyg. ph-ac. plat. stry. sumb. Verat.

Mind - TALKING, talks, general - excessive, loquacity - half smiling zinc.

Smile - does not alum. ambr.

Smile – foolishly bell.

Smile - sleep, in cadm-s.

Speech/Voice - INCOHERENT, speech - smiling, half zinc.


 Encyclopedia Homoeopathica

Radar 10

 Chapter 48. Diseases of Muscle > Bifacial Palsy Presenting as an Inability to Smile, to Expose the Teeth, and to Close the Eyes Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology, 10e

 The Nervous System > Asymmetrical face or smile DeGowin’s Diagnostic Examination, 10e

 Chapter 23. Maxillofacial & Neck Trauma > Buccal Branch CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine, 7e

 Chapter 44. Early Childhood Caries > Provider Resources The Color Atlas of Family Medicine, 2e

 Empathy > The Neurobiology of Empathy Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice, 4e

 Chapter 71. Reanimation of the Paralyzed Face > Essentials of Diagnosis CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, 3e

 Chapter 367. Approach to the Patient with Neurologic Disease > Cn VII (Facial) Harrison's Online

 Chapter 5. Diagnostic Encounter for Children and Adolescents > Regulation of Need States CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry, 2e

 Chapter 23. ECG Abnormalities > ECG Findings The Atlas of Emergency Medicine, 3e

 Chapter 9. Motor Disorders > Clinical Findings Clinical Neurology, 8e

 Chapter 11. Movement Disorders > Hypokinesia Clinical Neurology, 8e

 Motor Disorders > Clinical Findings Clinical Neurology, 9e

 Movement Disorders > Hypokinesia Clinical Neurology, 9e

 Oral Diseases & Disorders > Useful Websites Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Geriatrics

 Chapter e109.1. Assessment of the Child in the Emergency Department: A Practical Application of Normal Child Development > Age-Specific Approach Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine

 Chapter 7. Adapting the Interview to Different Situations and Other Practical Issues > Patients with Communication Challenges Smith's Patient-Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method, 3e

 Depression > Exercise & Physical Activity Behavioral Medicine: A Guide for Clinical Practice, 4e

 Chapter e109.1. Assessment of the Child in the Emergency Department: A Practical Application of Normal Child Development > Neurologic Aspects Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine

 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery > Facial Reanimation Schwartz's Principles of Surgery

 Chapter 8. The Clinician–Patient Relationship > Leading Smith's Patient-Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method, 3e

 Chapter 13. Muscle Weakness > Key Terms The Patient History: An Evidence-Based Approach to Differential Diagnosis

 Chapter 3. The Beginning of the Interview: Patient-Centered Interviewing > Welcome the Patient Smith's Patient-Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method, 3e


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Comment by Kapil Sethi on May 23, 2015 at 10:24am

Thanks Dr Rajneesh. I appreciate your reply.

Comment by Dr Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD(Hom) on May 22, 2015 at 10:32pm

Thanks so much Dr. Sethi. Genetics, environmental effects and age all affect smile, but the fundamental pattern is not altered as this is the characteristic of his personality. Pattern of smile shows his inner self and is not entirely changed, but modified with time and causes.

Pets and other animals also have this feature. In fact Charls Darwin was the firs one to research on smile and other facial expressions of animals and he correlated them with human beings.


Comment by Kapil Sethi on May 22, 2015 at 3:23pm

The action' Smile ' though looks simple but the way you have elaborated various aspects of smile in the article is worth enhancing knowledge. The analysis done looks superb and realistic too. This makes me curious to know further on the subject and and I have the following queries in mind:
1 What in your opinion is type of smile a genetics phenomena. Does it develop changes with the environment in which one has been brought up or working. Does the age plays a role in type of smile.
2 Do the pets also have any such smile types which  are expressive and meaningful like the human smiles as explained in the article.
Once again I appreciate the contents of the article and thank you for sharing.

Comment by Dr Rajneesh Kumar Sharma MD(Hom) on May 21, 2015 at 11:33am
Thank a lot sir.
Need your blessings and guidance.
Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on May 21, 2015 at 11:27am

As usual you have again given us an article which will help us to understand "smile" aspect of humans.The insight shows that smile means a lot with its mirroring of emotions with its various facets.Thank you sir.

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