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Combatting Cheek Hollows and Lower Face Thinness

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cm5597
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Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:10 pm      Reply with quote
Lotusesther wrote:
Jackie284 wrote:
cm5597 wrote:
Certainly focusing on the upper portion of the platysma has helped me with that lower cheek/jawline area.


Hi cm,

when you say concentrate on the upper part of platysma, would that be by targeting the triangularis and other muscles near the mouth?

many thanks!

Jackie xx


This is interesting, because this would mean the lower face would benefit a lot from exercising the upper platysma if I read you right.



Hey Jackie and Lotusesther,

I'm going to answer your questions in a new thread by modifying a previous post on a different forum.

If you want to help fill out thinness in the "cheek hollow" region and/or along the jawline, here are some visuals that might be helpful to consider, in figuring out where the problem lies. Then you can target the problem area either via facial exercises (my preference) or fillers. But in either case, the key is understanding where the issue is.

Okay, so here we go...

Quote:
...I never considered it [an exercise for the upper platysma] an exercise that could fill in gauntness though. Could you explain this? I always thought it would just firm the jaw line and pull out folds around the mouth. I think of the platysma lift as an exercise that firms the jaw line as well but, not as an exercise to fill in the lower face. The lower face guantness is an issue for me as well, due to my buccinators curving in...



I think it depends what your hollows are like. If your cheek hollows are more like this,

Image

then there is a big dip basically right in the center of the lower cheek region (buccinators), while the jawline looks pretty good for the most part. In this case, the issue is probably more with the buccinator and/or risorius, so this is where the fullness needs to go.

But if your check hollows are more like this,

Image

like mine were, then the dip is distributed from the top of the buccinators down to the jawline. In this case, the upper platysma fibers (which rise up a bit above the jawline) will likely make a significant difference to your hollows. I hope the pictures are clear enough to see the difference. It was hard to find good pictures to describe what I mean.

As you can see here,

Image

the upper platsyma fibers can lift out the bottom couple or more centimeters along the jaw line, so if your hollows extend down to near the jawline, it could help.

So YES, the platysma is important both for the neck region AND for the lower face. It's especially important for keeping that look of feminine softness along the jawline. As people age, the fullness over the jawline decreases giving a more masculine look, so exercising the upper portion of the platsyma is helpful for combatting this. So yes, it's key for the lower face (along with of course, other more obvious muscles).

HTH Smile

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:10 am      Reply with quote
cm5597 wrote:
So YES, the platysma is important both for the neck region AND for the lower face. It's especially important for keeping that look of feminine softness along the jawline.


It isn't actually the platysma that's responsible for a nicely plumped jawline. You're referring to the layer of adipose tissue in younger people's skin that gradually diminishes, creating a sharper, more defined jawline in some people. When we talk about soft, youthful faces, we're talking about fatty tissue.

Pumping up the platysma through resistance exercise *is* an excellent way to compensate for fat loss. Plus, a toned platysma has the added benefit of holding everything up and in, since an atrophied one will cause sagging and bagging.

I've seen my entire lower face fill out (did NOT want Shock) from platysma exercises with high resistance. I can state with confidence that this a muscle you shouldn't nelgect if you want a plumper lower face. Totally with you on that!

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Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:50 am      Reply with quote
This was very informative post cm! And the photos make it so much easier to understand! Thanks for this!
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Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:09 am      Reply with quote
Thank you CM! I have the same kind of hollows, and fat loss due to age has made them really worse. I'll give that platysma a workout programme it's going to remember!
cm5597
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Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:26 am      Reply with quote
Yes, I totally agree, Nanella, that the fat over the jawline is the primary determinant of feminine softness along the jawline. I wasn't meaning to imply that muscle is more important than fat here, but rather (1) muscle can add some volume, and (2) exercising that muscle, I suspect, slows and combat the age-related decline in softness/fullness along the jawline. My experience, FWIW, it is that it can't give you any jawline you desire, but it definitely helps significantly Smile And those who want more than what exercise can provide will need fillers to restore the fullness. I hope this better clarifies my meaning. And thanks for chiming in to make this clearer!

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Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:44 am      Reply with quote
Hi cm,

that is a very informative reply - thank you!

Do you have a specific way of isolating the upper part of the platysma, maybe using more resistance or something?

thanks again

Jackie xx
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Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:17 am      Reply with quote
Jackie284 wrote:
Hi cm,

that is a very informative reply - thank you!

Do you have a specific way of isolating the upper part of the platysma, maybe using more resistance or something?

thanks again

Jackie xx


I use a modification of one of the FlexEffect exercises, plus another exercise. Can you tell me first which facial exercise programs you have? Then I can try to point you to some things to do Smile

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cm5597
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Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:19 am      Reply with quote
BTW, the risorius and masseter can also help reduce hollows, so don't forget those muscles, too Smile

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cm5597
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Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:29 am      Reply with quote
If you own FlexEffect, then the exercise that best targets this region is exercise #24, which hits the risorius and upper bands of the platysma. You can slightly vary the angle of this exercise to target the upper bands of the platysma even more or you can even target subsections of the facial portion of the platysma once you develop enough control.

If you own a different program (e.g., Ageless), when you do the exercise for the platysma, imagine tensing and do tense your muscle along the line from the corner of your mouth to the corner hinge of your jaw. It's like a frown (which tends to active the triangularis), but a little less downwards and more outwards (to activate the platysma). Make sure that you don't activate your triangularis muscle. Then do the platysma exercise but try to really feel it in the fibers that wrap over the jawline and cover the lower portion of your face.


HTH Smile

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Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:02 am      Reply with quote
thank you cm!

I have several of the programs, and like alot of us, mix and match.

I will definitely try this, as the jaw line is a problem area for me, but sometimes when I exercise the neck, it can start to look a little thick,

thank you again,

Jackie xx
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Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:51 am      Reply with quote
HI CM...

I have a question on doing Exercise #24 in helping with the lower face. Did you increase the reps or the length in time holding the rep?

Thanks
Very Happy
Tina
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Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:52 pm      Reply with quote
microcurrent (along with facial excercise) is very helpful for this ... find somebody using the beautiful imaage machine
hth
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Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:33 pm      Reply with quote
uneekstuf wrote:
HI CM...

I have a question on doing Exercise #24 in helping with the lower face. Did you increase the reps or the length in time holding the rep?

Thanks
Very Happy
Tina


Hi Tina Smile,

So I'm a little different in that I don't train the same facial muscles every time I workout. I follow more of a bodybuilding schedule and train each muscle twice a week (typically) for 1-4 sets, depending on whether I'm going for growth or maintenance.

For that exercise, for a long-time, I did it twice a week for 3-4 sets each time. For each set, I would slightly vary the angle to hit different fibers in the muscle. And for each set, I would do typically between 6-12 reps, depending on how I felt. Finally, I use a grip where I "lock on" with the same hand, i.e., trap the muscle between my thumb (inside my mouth) and kunckle of my forefinger. I don't think the exact technique you use for getting a good grip is all that critical (hence my modification of the FlexEffect grip), but the important thing is that you have an excellent grip and get good quality muscle contractions.

I hope this helps! Smile

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Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:26 am      Reply with quote
Just wondering, would similar exercises help with the descent of the malar fat pad?... I'm trying to reverse or at least prevent further sagging if possible...
This would be the mid-face though, not the lower face. Thank you!

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Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:49 pm      Reply with quote
First time poster, instead of starting a new thread, I am just going to put this in here as it is a fairly similar issue.

I am a 40 something male, and there a couple of major issues that I want to tackle. The first one is the tear trough. I have a very deep pronounced tear trough. What is the best way to handle this? I would prefer to stay away from fillers. I tried putting up a picture, but I am unable to do so at the moment.

The second issue relates to acne scars and large pores. I am exploring the Dermaroller as a possible solution.

Thanks in advance!
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Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:35 am      Reply with quote
AdrianP wrote:
First time poster, instead of starting a new thread, I am just going to put this in here as it is a fairly similar issue.

I am a 40 something male, and there a couple of major issues that I want to tackle. The first one is the tear trough. I have a very deep pronounced tear trough. What is the best way to handle this? I would prefer to stay away from fillers. I tried putting up a picture, but I am unable to do so at the moment.

The second issue relates to acne scars and large pores. I am exploring the Dermaroller as a possible solution.

Thanks in advance!


If you want a non-invasive way to tackle under eye problems, I'd recommend eye exercises. Most facial exercise programs have a good exercise or two for this area. For example, you can just your fingers on your tear trough area and squint upwards with your eyes. The key is to engage the area under your fingers. In the beginning, it's normal not to be able to engage that muscle well...but keep going, do it in front of the mirror (to make sure other muscles aren't jumping in), and really focus on ONLY engaging that one muscle. HTH Smile

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Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:15 am      Reply with quote
cm5597 wrote:

If you want a non-invasive way to tackle under eye problems, I'd recommend eye exercises. Most facial exercise programs have a good exercise or two for this area. For example, you can just your fingers on your tear trough area and squint upwards with your eyes. The key is to engage the area under your fingers. In the beginning, it's normal not to be able to engage that muscle well...but keep going, do it in front of the mirror (to make sure other muscles aren't jumping in), and really focus on ONLY engaging that one muscle. HTH Smile


Thanks, I think I will start with facial exercise and see how far it gets me. However, when I looked at the Ageless if you Dare website, the presenter, seems to have fairly pronounced under eye hollows. But, from a theoretical standpoint what you are saying does make sense.
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Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:22 pm      Reply with quote
AdrianP wrote:
cm5597 wrote:

If you want a non-invasive way to tackle under eye problems, I'd recommend eye exercises. Most facial exercise programs have a good exercise or two for this area. For example, you can just your fingers on your tear trough area and squint upwards with your eyes. The key is to engage the area under your fingers. In the beginning, it's normal not to be able to engage that muscle well...but keep going, do it in front of the mirror (to make sure other muscles aren't jumping in), and really focus on ONLY engaging that one muscle. HTH Smile


Thanks, I think I will start with facial exercise and see how far it gets me. However, when I looked at the Ageless if you Dare website, the presenter, seems to have fairly pronounced under eye hollows. But, from a theoretical standpoint what you are saying does make sense.


I did notice that too and it concerns me...

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:10 am      Reply with quote
AdrianP wrote:
Thanks, I think I will start with facial exercise and see how far it gets me. However, when I looked at the Ageless if you Dare website, the presenter, seems to have fairly pronounced under eye hollows. But, from a theoretical standpoint what you are saying does make sense.


Fitgineer wrote:
I did notice that too and it concerns me...


Yes, I have noticed that too in the past. I will give a little bit of background on that, sprinkled with my personal opinion, which you can take with a grain of salt as you wish.

Before she developed her Ageless program, Loulou did FlexEffect for a couple of years and posted lots on the FlexEffect forum. On the forum, she indicated that she got great results from FlexEffect for all areas of her face except her undereye area. If you find and read her posts, after a while of slow progress on her undereye area, Loulou concluded that the undereye area is less responsive for people and she got temporarily fillers for that area, which have since dissipated. Fastforward a bit, and after Loulou developed Ageless, someone challenged her on her forum (which is now closed) saying that it looked like she had under-eye hollows, to which she responded that she didn't have hollows but rather it's just that she has dark pigment in her undereye area that gives the illusion of hollows.

My personal opinions are the following: from photos, Loulou does appear have a bit of a dip / slight hollow in her under-eye area, but the pigment does indeed make it look worse in some areas. For what it's worth, I see (at least) two contributing factors here at play. One, Loulou has beautiful large cheeks. And the larger one's cheeks are, the deeper a dip in the undereye area will appear. In fact, greatly overbuilding one's cheeks can give the appearance of eye hollows.

Second, Loulou says that in building the eye area, that the placement of your fingers does not matter, as you equally work all fibers in the muscle. That has definitely NOT been my experience. I'm a highly experimental type of person and used to be really into bodybuilding in the past and so I apply that approach to doing facial exercises. When I do say 3-4 sets (like I would if I were bodybuilding) and place my fingers on my eye muscle, the part of my eye area that is sore the next day (again, bodybuilder's soreness; I only sometimes aim for soreness the next day) is the area that was beneath and immediately next to my fingers...not the whole eye muscle...not even half the eye muscle. And I've repeated this dozens of times with the same results. This tells me that areas that are really getting worked are the areas under and near my fingers and all other areas are getting worked much less. In other words, finger placement matters hugely. So in my experience, you can't effectively work your undereye hollows near the inside corner of your eyes by doing a single exercise where you place you fingers at the outside corner of your eyes, as Loulou says. This is where I personally think Loulou is wrong and suspect Loulou could be getting even better results personally if she put the resistance on the actual eye hollows themselves.

Hence, what I personally do (modify this, as is helpful for you) is that I have about 5-6 different positions/zones along my eye area where I place my fingers (two finger next to each other). I typically pick 3-4 different placements each training session but I rotate through finger placements.

I hope this perspective helps Smile

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cm5597
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Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:20 am      Reply with quote
Hey AdrianP and Fitgineer,

You both might want to try the following "massage test" for 2-4 weeks, to get your feet wet and to get a sense of whether massage might also help improve the look of your undereye area:



http://flexeffect.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=435

Deb wrote:
My earlier post:

"Here is a test… I would like every Flexer here to pick the one area that is giving them the most trouble. Take from the book the massage technique used for that area and perform that massage approx 3 min. twice a day for one week. Next week report your findings."

Those of you that gave it a try... What was your experience?

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FlexEffect Facial Massage:

The FlexEffect Facial Massage is method I developed that would be considered Petrissage Massage in bodywork.

Petrissage, is a very old and proven practice of lifting the skin up and away from underlying layers and then rolling it with gentle pressure. It deals exclusively with the health and appearance of the skin.

The benefit of this massage includes the stimulation of vascular and lymphatic responses, cellular functions, and regeneration and texture of the skin.

Dissolves scars and discoloration.

Breaks-down adipose tissue i.e. loose connective tissue in which the fat cells accumulate, such as the under eye area.

Gradually erodes dense, thick and tough tissue (scars and discoloration) thus restoring the skins resilience, elastin and collagen balance.

Revs-up the elimination of waste products from tissues.
--------------

more in-depth :

This type of massage tones muscle and affects fat cells... not to the point of weight loss... but it seriously affects the type of fat that is caused by impaired blood circulation and poor muscle tone underneath the skin. When there is impaired blood flow (caused by excess fat) to the fat-storage area, (under eye, under chin etc.) collagen fibers are damaged due to lack of oxygen and accumulation of toxic wastes. The fibers shrink and thicken, resulting in the bulging appearance of the fat chambers. In addition, because oxygen is needed to burn fat for energy, fat in these poorly oxygenated areas is the last to be used. If the lymph system is impaired, toxic products accumulate and inflate these fat cells even more. This is why increased fatty deposits are so difficult to eliminate...taking a lot more than just dieting.

Your choice...take care of it through surgery, or take care of it yourself.

Is this method scientifically proven? A few case studies have found such massage effective, but how much of an effect is still up for debate.

FlexEffect’s stand on this... it is extremely effective.

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cm5597
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Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:23 am      Reply with quote
To add, you can always take Loulou's base eye exercise and simply modify your finger placement...similarly, you can modify the eye exercises from other programs to make them more effective for your own needs. For example, you can use Carole Maggio's exercise for the undereye area but increase the resistance and decrease the reps.

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Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:38 pm      Reply with quote
cm5597 wrote:
So in my experience, you can't effectively work your undereye hollows near the inside corner of your eyes by doing a single exercise where you place you fingers at the outside corner of your eyes, as Loulou says. This is where I personally think Loulou is wrong and suspect Loulou could be getting even better results personally if she put the resistance on the actual eye hollows themselves.


I have to chime in and say I disagree with cm5597 on this point and agree totally with Loulou on the placement of fingers. Why? Because for anyone who understands resistance training, the shortening of the muscle should be pulling AGAINST the resistance. Not parallel to it. When you work your biceps, you don't put on ankle weights on your shoulders or on your upper arm. You hold dumbbells in your hands and you shorten the bicep muscle by lifting that weight. The shortening of the bicep is against the resistance created by gravity's pull on the weight you're holding.

The contraction of the eye muscle, which is a ring that goes around the eye, is in the direction of the arrows below:

Image

Placing fingers under the eye would not be providing good resistance against this contraction. Placing fingers at the inside of the eye would not be providing resistance against this contraction. The only way you can provide resistance against this contraction is by placing fingers on the outside of the eyes.

When I didn't know this and did the lower eyelid exercise the way it was suggested in the program I was doing where the placement of fingers (resistance) was right below the eyes, my eyes went from being flawless and smooth at the age of 35 as seen in these two pics (I'm smiling in the second image):

Image

...to being not only lined as seen in the following image when I wasn't smiling (second image below) but also puffy when I smiled (first image below) and that happened in only 4 months of doing the same exercise I was doing before only with the awkward (and clearly incorrect) resistance application--ie, placing fingers below the center of the eyes:

Image

Prior to that^^, I had placed my "resistance" on the outer corners of the eyes because that's what the program I was doing said to do. A program I had done for 15 years and which, as the first images of my eyes above show, gave me fantastic results.

I now do two programs (www.shapeyourface.com and www.carolynsfacialfitness.com) and both apply resistance on the outer edges of the eyes just like Loulou says to do and as my results show (http://www.carolynsfacialfitness.com/nonie-eyes), my eyes have been smoothed out and don't puff up when I smile. And when I'm not smiling, I don't have lines like I did after 4 months of placing resistance under the eyes instead of on outer corners where you're supposed to:
Image

So *I* know that just because you feel a soreness doesn't mean you worked your muscle correctly. People feel soreness when they do exercises wrong too. Results should be the deciding factor and I think mine and those of the authors of the programs I do speak volumes. But even without knowing what results one will get, just understanding the direction of contraction can help you logically figure out where placement would give the best effect. Placing resistance under the eyes, IMO, is why many people end up with lots of loose skin. It's like you're pulling apart the sinews of the muscle. *shudder* No wonder *I* ended up with looser muscles/skin under my eyes. Now that I apply resistance correctly, I've gotten back the firmness I used to have. And I do think it's deliberate that Loulou moved from placing fingers under the eyes to placing them on the outside. She too must've come to the same conclusion I and all who do the same have.
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Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:10 pm      Reply with quote
I do Ageless, and place resistance at the outer corner. I can only recommend it, my under eye area has become firm and filled.
My impression is that the muscle around the eye is quite thin really and you should treat it with care and respect.
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Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:23 am      Reply with quote
Thank you all for your input. It can be rather scary starting a program when there are so many theories that can give you so many different results... the face is a sensitive area which when not trained properly cannot be covered with clothes, like you would be able to do in most cases of body muscular imbalance... *sigh*

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:43 pm      Reply with quote
Nonie, I disagree with you, and so do people with PhDs in muscle physiology.

I don't want this to get too technical, but in considering skeletal muscle, there are a few general types of muscles (can be classified by shape and/or force-generation axis):

(1) Longitudinally arranged muscle: Muscles for which the force is generated parallel to the muscle fiber. You are claiming that all muscles fall into this category, which is just completely wrong.

(2) Unipennate muscles: muscles for which the force is generated not parallel to the muscle fiber

(3) Multipennate muscles: muscles that don't have a single axis or direction, in that all fibers are not aligned.

(4) Circular or sphincter muscles: muscles generate force by squeezing, and hence the applied force is perpendicular to the muscle rings.


http://muscle.ucsd.edu/musintro/arch.shtml

http://faculty.etsu.edu/forsman/Histologyofmuscleforweb.htm


The eyes are sphincter muscles, and hence resistance should be applied roughly perpendicular to the fibers. As another example of a sphincter muscle where the force is applied perpendicular to the fibers is the mouth muscle.

Can you imagine applying the force parallel to your mouth muscle fibers? It would be like pushing the middle of your upper lips to the left with your fingers and thinking that would provide resistance for your upper lip; that would be ridiculous and it wouldn't work. Instead, we all push our lips against our fingers, and the pushing inwards is in the direction perpendicular to the mouth muscle fibers. I hope that example illustrates things well.

Hence for all SPHINCTER muscles in my body (including my eyes), I apply the resistance PERPENDICULAR (or roughly so) relative to the muscle fibers AT THE SPECIFIC POSITION that I apply the resistance.

Regardless, intuitively, you want to resist the contraction so whatever angle works best for you in doing that is what I recommend.

And finally, in terms of placement (not direction), you can place your fingers whereever you want along the eye muscle. Loli (of FlexEffect), herself, also alternates the position of her fingers along her eye muscles, and Carole Maggio of Facercise also agrees and has exercises that put resistance at different places along the eye muscle, including under the eyes in the inner corner. Just make you you have the direction right (including right for your anatomy).

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34 y.o. FlexEffect and massage. Love experimenting with DIY and botanical skin care products. Appreciate both hard science and natural approaches. Eat green smoothies + lots of raw fruit and veggies.
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Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:19 pm
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