My recent discovery is mewing. How through tongue posture re-training one can correct facial asymmetry, which is strongly correlated to the development of scoliosis.
Idiopathic scoliosis is a complex three-dimensional deformity of the spine. It begins from the eyes (ocular armoring) with a cascading effect on the other parts of the body. Thus, I got down to correcting the misalignment in my eyes. Through wearing an eye-patch, I tried to get my lazy right eye to start focusing.
However, it felt quite stressful physically forcing my eye to get active. After years of looking surreptitiously sideways in shame and fear, the habit was difficult to shake. I felt some force within my psyche continue pulling my eye and ME downwards.
Mewing is the process of using the tongue to change the facial asymmetry
After some extensive research, I discovered how our tongue affects our mind and body. The tongue is the rudder for the human body when it comes to posture, breathing, and facial development. When it is out of alignment other parts of the body go out of whack and cause issues that may seem unrelated.
Mewing – Be Aware Where You Place Your Tongue
The mewing trend was started by British orthodontist, Dr. Mike Mew. According to him, tongue placement affects so many aspects of our body beginning with our face. It is a do-it-yourself facial restructuring technique involving tongue re-training. His talks on Youtube are eye-opening.
Mewing involves flattening out the tongue against underneath the maxilla (the roof of the mouth). This re-positioning of the tongue helps to activate good nasal breathing and improves our head posture. This in turn positively affects our strength, movement, and vision.
I can personally, vouch that my vision has improved substantially since I began mewing. I have been using my tongue to push up my right eye and miraculously that internal pull I struggled with has diminished. The act of pushing the tongue upwards kind of emotionally pushes our mind to feel more upbeat. The body affects the mind and vice versa.
Over time, the movement is said to help realign your teeth and define your jawline. This I still have to experience but then it’s only a month since I’ve begun.
Of course, like any new habit, repositioning of the tongue may feel odd and difficult. But with gradual practice, we can slowly increase the time we can keep our tongue in that position. It is akin to practicing tongue mindfulness. Being aware and positioning our tongue back to the roof of our mouth. Though, the tongue is supposed to lie cupped against the palate, which is, in fact, its rest position. You could begin by letting the tip of the tongue flicker against the palate.
How The Tongue Controls Your Mind-Body
The muscles of the tongue, are controlled by the hypoglossal nerve also known as the twelfth cranial nerve. It arises from the medulla oblongata, which is a part of the brain stem that connects to the spinal cord., The medulla oblongata is responsible for a number of autonomic (involuntary) functions like breathing, heart, and blood vessel function, digestion, sneezing and swallowing.
According to research. placing the tongue on the roof of your mouth when in a resting position, rather than letting it lie passively at the bottom stimulates your vagus nerve. Thus activating our parasympathetic nervous system to bring on the relaxation response. Moreover, this tongue position also forces us to breathe nasally which helps our body relax.
Thus it makes sense that keeping the tongue in a relaxed position which is on top of the palate will have a calming effect on our body and mind.
Strange how we fail to understand how our tongue can affect so many aspects of our personality. Metaphorically, our tongue is closely connected to our state of mind. We all know the feeling of being tongue-tied when we feel inadequate. Or the times we have to hold our tongue to avoid unpleasantness.
The tongue musculature is intricately connected to our jaw and the throat. Poor tongue position can affect neck stability balance and muscle strength. Keeping your tongue in the correct position improves the neck position which means better body posture.
Mewing To Heal Scoliosis
This information was picked up from the great-work forum and have tried to incorporate it into my healing protocol.
If your left shoulder is the lower one, your left side of the face is possibly more developed than your right side. Your skull will also be leaning towards the more developed side of the face. Mew toward the less developed side. The upper arch on your less developed side may also seem higher than than the more developed side of the arch – this is because scoliosis can cause the impacted side to be compressed into the skull. As you use your tongue to push the weaker side of the face outward, it will not only expand but unwind and assume its proper position and shape.
Ideally, you will eventually reach a posture and facial structure where the tongue can exert a balanced force on the palate. If you are scoliotic, facially asymmetric, and not particularly in tune with your body, it’s likely that what at the moment seems to you like symmetric tongue engagement, is actually not. Thus it can be very insightful to deliberately fight against the scoliotic distortion of the skull until you are sure that the previously slacking neck musculature on the facially weaker side is under your full conscious control and has good muscle tone. This will ensure that the musculature is able to keep the skull in alignment with the spine and the hips, allowing spinal scoliosis to resolve relatively easily with light postural work.
The Flexibility of Cranial Bones
The development of the facial bones is not fixed. The bones of the skull are held together by fibrous joints called sutures. The maxilla, the bone of the mouth is connected to the cranium and face by several sutures. The interesting part is that these sutures are not fused together.
New bone can still be made at the sutures, even in adults. According to recent research, certain sutures do not begin to fuse right up to the ripe age of 68-72 years of age. The potential for maxilla-facial redevelopment is alive even late in adult life. The tongue is a relatively big and strong muscle and can exert plenty of force on the maxilla.
That got me thinking, are there other ways to exercise the tongue. And so I discovered quite a few yogic practices that stretch and massage the tongue.
Tongue Stretch – Simhasana (Lion Pose)
Besides, practicing mewing, I have begun doing the lion’s pose. It is simple and can be done in almost any pose seated, cross-legged position, lying down, or even standing.
You stretch the tongue out as far as possible while opening your eyes wide as possible looking upwards. Check out the video below.
The lion’s pose stretches your entire face, from your eyes, tongue, neck and right down to your entire body You can actually feel the release within the core of your being. This is one yogic pose that is so easy and really found it so very effective
On the psychological level, the act of sticking out one’s tongue/mocking is a primal reflex we adopted as kids when we were angry. Of course, we were admonished for being bad and disrespectful. Over time we learn to repress our emotions which needs to be released if we are to heal.
The lion’s pose effectively liberates the pent-up emotional energy. When you do this pose, think of all those times when you had to bite your tongue, swallow your pride, gag yourself, and feel those suppressed feelings being pushed out
Now, whenever I feel pissed off I stretch out my tongue, the rage and accompanying tension lessens substantially.
Simhasana (Lion Pose)
Tongue – A Powerful Muscle
After practicing mewing and the lion’s pose I have felt so much better emotionally. My vision in my right eye has definitely improved. Developing proper tongue posture and swallow function will help the body to find balance and I believe improves the mind-body connection.
I feel like kicking myself for not discovering the versatility of my tongue – how important it is to the face and posture.
Idiopathic scoliosis is due to the repressing of negative emotions. Our emotional right side is holding on to the pain and the hurt while the analytical left side to trying its best to survive this leads to facial asymmetry. Emotional asymmetry eventually becomes hardened into our psyches and subsequently into our bodies. And the best way to release these ingrained asymmetrical patterns is by using powerful tongue muscle. It works from inside out.