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Apollo
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I had been searching for professional treatment for my airway and sleep issues, but that’s all on hold since the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. I'm considering MSE/MARPE, but I have struggled to find an experienced provider in my area. In the meantime, I've decided to recommit to a home routine to be best prepared for professional treatment when access returns. I still make an effort to correctly posture my tongue, but I've gotten out of the habit of doing any consistent exercises. I have a tendency to abandon practices when I'm tight on time and not seeing desired results, so I've started this progress record to hold myself accountable. I struggle to maintain too many methods at once. While I am home, I am still busy with work and other responsibilities, so I am trying to decide what is worth including in my routine. Do you have any recommendations?

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Posted : 03/04/2020 4:41 pm
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Apollo
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My first consideration was any nutritional changes I should make. I've been on a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet with intermittent fasting for about a year. My body fat percentage initially dropped rapidly and has leveled off for several months. I still have some slight obstinate belly fat, but I'm otherwise very slim. I think this has brought a little more definition to my facial features. I suspect the osteoblastic effects of supplements like D3, K2, and magnesium could actually be counterproductive to achieving disarticulation of my sutures when/if I start bone-anchored expansion. I want to do everything I can to avoid implant failure. I'm unsure if anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin, fish oil, sulforaphane, etc. would help or hurt the process. So I am considering stopping all supplements until I reach the retention phase of treatment. I used to take beef liver daily and I might try to resume that practice for its vitamin A. It is time-consuming to prepare, but might be helpful to promote osteoclastic activity. I'm open to any other suggestions. Do you think the supplements would help or hurt my preparation for bone-anchored expansion? 

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Posted : 04/04/2020 12:42 pm
PolHolmes
Eminent Member

MK677, it's a growth hormone secretagogue and will be much more powerful than probably any other supplement for bone remodeling apart from GH. I used it for 6 weeks, to be honest, I didn't see any changes. However, I suspect that to see changes, you must take it for months at a time. I couldn't afford this financially as I'm a student. But hey, if you have the expendable income, go for it. Science.bio would be my source of choice. Look into it anyway, it could be beneficial for you, improved sleep is also a big plus.

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Posted : 05/04/2020 10:06 am
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Apollo
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Posted by: @polholmes

MK677, it's a growth hormone secretagogue and will be much more powerful than probably any other supplement for bone remodeling apart from GH. 

I know @varbrah used MK677 during his MSE treatment, but I really don't know anything about it. I always figured it was a little more advanced than I wanted to dabble with, but maybe I need to do more research. I'm not sure if it would be best to start taking before or during expansion. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Posted : 05/04/2020 1:14 pm
Greensmoothies
Estimable Member
Posted by: @apollo
Posted by: @polholmes

MK677, it's a growth hormone secretagogue and will be much more powerful than probably any other supplement for bone remodeling apart from GH. 

I know @varbrah used MK677 during his MSE treatment, but I really don't know anything about it. I always figured it was a little more advanced than I wanted to dabble with, but maybe I need to do more research. I'm not sure if it would be best to start taking before or during expansion. Thanks for the recommendation!

I've seen some claims on other forums that some feel scammed going this route...

Anyway, some considerations off the top of my head:

check and treat oral and bodily infections, sleep hygiene and ideally no light at night for optimal circadian rhythm, breathing technique eg buteyko, wim hof, help nervous system optimise with tVNS or at least with the breathing.

Vitamin C microdosing for immune system, mitochondria, bone. If you want to read science behind this, there's Doris Loh's work.

Osteopathy to fix sphenoid position.

Remember this pain... and let it activate you.

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Posted : 06/04/2020 5:27 pm
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Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @greensmoothies

Anyway, some considerations off the top of my head:

check and treat oral and bodily infections, sleep hygiene and ideally no light at night for optimal circadian rhythm, breathing technique eg buteyko, wim hof, help nervous system optimise with tVNS or at least with the breathing.

Vitamin C microdosing for immune system, mitochondria, bone. If you want to read science behind this, there's Doris Loh's work.

Osteopathy to fix sphenoid position.

Thank you for the input! When you recommend osteopathy, do you mean from an osteopathic physician or some other kind of practitioner? I've never known where to start with all of the different types of manual cranial manipulation. I have tried self endonasal balloon treatment to adjust the sphenoid without remarkable results, but I've debated trying it again. I'm pretty sure I want to do some kind of breathing exercises and might start using my Frolov device again. I've also gotten out of the habit of using my tVNS, but it might be worth resuming since it is a relatively passive undertaking. I have night shift activated on my phone and computer, and I try to use lights without the blue spectrum at least a couple hours before bed, but I could do better with my sleep hygiene, avoiding screen time before bed altogether and setting a more consistent bedtime. I really should get some blackout shades to block the light outside my windows and I've been meaning to purchase some quality tinted glasses to wear before bed when I have the extra money. I think I want to focus on just a couple of disciplines, at least initially, to improve the likelihood that I persevere, but you've given me some good options to consider. 

 

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Posted : 07/04/2020 11:18 pm
Greensmoothies
Estimable Member
Posted by: @apollo
Posted by: @greensmoothies

Anyway, some considerations off the top of my head:

check and treat oral and bodily infections, sleep hygiene and ideally no light at night for optimal circadian rhythm, breathing technique eg buteyko, wim hof, help nervous system optimise with tVNS or at least with the breathing.

Vitamin C microdosing for immune system, mitochondria, bone. If you want to read science behind this, there's Doris Loh's work.

Osteopathy to fix sphenoid position.

Thank you for the input! When you recommend osteopathy, do you mean from an osteopathic physician or some other kind of practitioner? I've never known where to start with all of the different types of manual cranial manipulation. I have tried self endonasal balloon treatment to adjust the sphenoid without remarkable results, but I've debated trying it again. I'm pretty sure I want to do some kind of breathing exercises and might start using my Frolov device again. I've also gotten out of the habit of using my tVNS, but it might be worth resuming since it is a relatively passive undertaking. I have night shift activated on my phone and computer, and I try to use lights without the blue spectrum at least a couple hours before bed, but I could do better with my sleep hygiene, avoiding screen time before bed altogether and setting a more consistent bedtime. I really should get some blackout shades to block the light outside my windows and I've been meaning to purchase some quality tinted glasses to wear before bed when I have the extra money. I think I want to focus on just a couple of disciplines, at least initially, to improve the likelihood that I persevere, but you've given me some good options to consider. 

 

The passive things to do that are aimed at circadian rhythm optimisation can be such game changers and easy enough to implement over time. For the sphenoid adjustment, you can ask them if they can adjust your sphenoid if it's mispositioned. Mine was sublaxed to the right I believe is how it was put, and after it was fixed my nervous system health improved. I had a detox pathway opened too which was rough dealing with, but I improved after the initial rough patch. tVNS I believe helps permit cranial bone movement, helps sleep, and if you get an infection with cytokine Storm you will pull out much faster using it.

Remember this pain... and let it activate you.

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Posted : 07/04/2020 11:43 pm
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Apollo
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Posted by: @greensmoothies

For the sphenoid adjustment, you can ask them if they can adjust your sphenoid if it's mispositioned. Mine was sublaxed to the right I believe is how it was put, and after it was fixed my nervous system health improved.

What kind of a practitioner treated you? Should I be searching for an osteopathic physician (DO) or some kind of other bodywork provider? Is there any special language I should look for on their website? I doubt there are a lot of good options in my area.

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Posted : 08/04/2020 11:32 am
Greensmoothies
Estimable Member
Posted by: @apollo
Posted by: @greensmoothies

For the sphenoid adjustment, you can ask them if they can adjust your sphenoid if it's mispositioned. Mine was sublaxed to the right I believe is how it was put, and after it was fixed my nervous system health improved.

What kind of a practitioner treated you? Should I be searching for an osteopathic physician (DO) or some kind of other bodywork provider? Is there any special language I should look for on their website? I doubt there are a lot of good options in my area.

She called herself an osteopath, and she seemed to have some knowledge of craniosacral therapy. Another thing she did is an adjustment to my hips, which stopped this pulling feeling to one side that I had. I chose her because of good reviews and being within walking distance.

I can't really make much more sense of this work beyond that, though. She grabbed my feet at one point and somehow deduced the state of my nervous system. Talk of healing frequencies, chakras, etc. I guess don't be surprised if your bones get adjusted with a heaping spoonful of woo. There's also lots of touching.

Remember this pain... and let it activate you.

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Posted : 08/04/2020 12:47 pm
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Apollo
Reputable Member

In addition to nutritional changes, body stretching and strengthening exercises seem like another obvious consideration. If I could improve my body posture, it might augment the effects of any future maxillary expansion treatment. I'm also starting to look a little gaunt since I've lost weight with my diet. Of course I'm limited to what I can do at home, so I think I might try some body weight resistance exercises like push ups, pull ups, planks, squats, etc. 2 or 3 days a week and alternate with stretching or walking on off days. 

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Posted : 08/04/2020 9:01 pm
Robbie343
Trusted Member

I start cranial osteopathy towards the end of this month. PM me if you have any questions @apollo. I’m starting upper and lower ALFs soon as well. 

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Posted : 08/04/2020 10:01 pm
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Apollo
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Posted by: @robbie343

I start cranial osteopathy towards the end of this month. PM me if you have any questions @apollo. I’m starting upper and lower ALFs soon as well. 

Thanks! I'll PM you if I decide to pursue it. I guess I would time it to coincide with the start of my anticipated expansion treatment like you're doing. Is your provider a DO? It looks like the Osteopathic Cranial Academy has a locator to find someone certified in cranial osteopathy and most in my area are DOs. I wonder how expensive it would be.

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Posted : 08/04/2020 10:29 pm
Robbie343
Trusted Member
@apollo

yes she’s a DO.

 

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Posted : 08/04/2020 11:09 pm
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Rockyp33
Reputable Member

try a different tongue position instead of holding it in the back try to hold it more on the front. I have airway issues but i breathe fine when i focus on the front

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Posted : 09/04/2020 10:04 am
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @rockyp33

try a different tongue position instead of holding it in the back try to hold it more on the front. I have airway issues but i breathe fine when i focus on the front

Are you suggesting to move the tip of the tongue off of the incisive papilla and position it behind the incisors? Sometimes I do this because it allows me to engage the posterior tongue against the soft palate while in a chin tuck without blocking my airway.

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Posted : 09/04/2020 11:53 am
mr.mewing
Estimable Member

apollo what is your stretching routine I have some tight back muscles and an underdeveloped right tricep because of a injury

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Posted : 09/04/2020 5:38 pm
Rockyp33
Reputable Member

@apollo No i mean ill swallow corretly right ? I believe most do this and when you first do this you feel a good amount of pressure on the front of the pallete. Eventually i noticed i would get this posture but then i would focus on the back 3rd because you know that what everyone says. I would end up with a a better suction but by doing that i lost a good amount of pressure that was on the front of the pallete. I just think if all the pressure is on the back then yeah your IMW might be better but you wont have a lot of forward growth. I feel like the natural swallow keeps it balanced but our desire to get the back third perfect messes it up! I like to not try to copy someone elses concept of perfect tongue posture because its gonna be different. Just swallow correctly then once you have that position keep it. I breathe much better this way then when i force my third up.

 

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Posted : 09/04/2020 7:56 pm
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Apollo
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Posted by: @mr-mewing

apollo what is your stretching routine I have some tight back muscles and an underdeveloped right tricep because of a injury

That's a good question! I've been giving it some thought, but I'm definitely open to suggestions for improved flexibility and posture. I'd especially like to counteract my forward head posture, and tight hamstrings. I'm experimenting with some neck, pec, back, hip felxor, piriformis, hamstring, calf, and foot stretches. For my back, I have a foam roller that I use on the thoracic spine and I do some cobra, cat/cow, and child's poses. I'm also trying to do garland pose both during my sequence and randomly throughout the day, while focusing on tucking my chin and lengthening my spine. I was happy with the series of stretches I selected, but it might be more time consuming than I can maintain regularly. I'll write up a more detailed list when I've got the sequence established.

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Posted : 09/04/2020 8:43 pm
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Apollo
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In many ways the effects of modern habits on the structure of the feet is a good analogy for the effects on the structure of the face. In both cases, years of incorrect posture hold bones out of alignment during functional movements resulting in gradual deformity. My feet are no exception. My big toes and little toes have turned in from shoes with narrow toe boxes. My extensor tendons have shortened from shoes with heals elevated above the ball of the feet and toe spring, resulting in curled fifth toes and hammer toe especially in the second toes. I have a few misshapen toenails. Over the past few months I've really gotten serious about correcting these issues, and I've seen improvement from using minimalist footwear, toe spacers, metatarsal pads, and barefoot exercises. The little toe of my right foot especially is uncurling and increasing mobility to an extent that seems to go beyond just realignment, stretching tight tendons, or strengthening weak muscles, such that there might be some bone remodeling around the interphalangeal joint. The principle seems to be trying to do the opposite of what caused the problem in the first place by posturing the feet as close to physiological form as possible and then applying weight-bearing activities. The toe separators have more effect during active hours than during sleep, but I've recently gotten comfortable enough to wear them through the night. The preliminary success I've seen with my feet gives me some hope that this strategy is transferable to cranial structure, but obviously it is easier to reposition the bones of the feet, which aren't connected by fibrous joints like the cranial sutures. The closest analogous interventions I can think of are headweighting ( https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/headweighting/ ) and chewing gum or hard mewing while tucking the chin and elongating the neck. These are both exercises I have experimented with in the past, but haven't tried consistently. Do you think they are worth incorporating in my routine, or do you have any other ideas for ways to introduce strain while focusing on head posture?

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Posted : 11/04/2020 9:06 pm
mr.mewing
Estimable Member

@apollo in my past my left foot went inwards for some reason my dad and mum send mine to a podiatrist who gave my some different soles which I needed to where to a whole day for like a few months.

when I walk now my feet are straight so you may look into it.

and I think that the things you mentioned are very important to add to your routine especially the chin tucks.

but I was thinking about maybe you can add sleeping on a harder surface to your routine maybe not for a full week but maybe for a few days in the week?

I am by the way now working for school the whole week but I am sitting home I noticed that my neck and trapezium tightness got worse by this so I also think that maybe some walking or being more active during the day will work.

I also noticed that I sleep in a forward head posture during the night I usually sleep on my side like ronaldead  made a video about  I also sleep with my bed being inclined: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO500L4W0r8

maybe you have also some tips for my?

 

 

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Posted : 12/04/2020 6:48 pm
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Apollo
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Posted by: @mr-mewing

@apollo in my past my left foot went inwards for some reason my dad and mum send mine to a podiatrist who gave my some different soles which I needed to where to a whole day for like a few months.

when I walk now my feet are straight so you may look into it.

and I think that the things you mentioned are very important to add to your routine especially the chin tucks.

but I was thinking about maybe you can add sleeping on a harder surface to your routine maybe not for a full week but maybe for a few days in the week?

I am by the way now working for school the whole week but I am sitting home I noticed that my neck and trapezium tightness got worse by this so I also think that maybe some walking or being more active during the day will work.

I also noticed that I sleep in a forward head posture during the night I usually sleep on my side like ronaldead  made a video about  I also sleep with my bed being inclined: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO500L4W0r8

maybe you have also some tips for my?

Here's a thread about a gokhale method to elongate the neck and tuck the chin while side sleeping:

https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/new-gokhale-blog-post-on-elongating-the-neck-in-side-lying-position/

I find it hard to apply, and often have bad neck posture in bed. I typically sleep on my side to avoid airway issues, but I sometimes lie on my back, and there's often an hour in the morning, a couple hours before waking up, when I want to lie on my stomach to alleviate a pain in my back. If I'm conscious enough, I try to avoid the stomach sleeping. The inclined bed idea is intriguing. I've done some research about it, but haven't tried it yet because my bed isn't suited to raising the head. Do you find it to be helpful with breathing? I suppose there would be less gravity pulling the tongue to the back of the throat.

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Posted : 12/04/2020 7:56 pm
mr.mewing
Estimable Member

@apollo sleeping with my bed inclined help for me in the cold days because my nose doesn't get blocked that often when I sleep incline

 

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Posted : 13/04/2020 3:35 am
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Apollo
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If there was one discipline that would have the most impact if I could master it before starting my expansion treatment, it might be Khechari Mudra ( https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/nasopharyngeal-manipulation-techniques/#post-12744 ). I've been dabbling in stage 1 Khechari with some regularity for over a year ( https://the-great-work.org/community/case-discussions/my-routine/paged/5/#post-11414 ), which involves pressing the tip of the tongue against the soft palate on the back edge of the hard palate. I can use my finger to assist with touching my tongue against my uvula, but I can't go any farther on either side. If I was able to advance to stage 2 and could regularly place my tongue up into the nasopharynx during expansion treatment, the forward force might be even more effective than adding a facemask for extra-oral protraction. This is no easy undertaking. Many committed yogis take years to advance from stage 1 to stage 2 Khechari, if they ever do. My retruded maxilla certainly makes it harder. In the past, I've always thought of my lingual frenulum as the limiting factor. Some people use frenectomy to facilitate Khechari, while others rely on practices like Talabya Kriya, tongue stretching, and tongue milking. However, recently I've read about how the soft palate is another, perhaps secondary, limiting factor. The soft palate can be loosened by the tongue once stage 2 is achieved, but manually stretching it can expedite progress. Theos Bernard writes in "Hatha Yoga" about using the bent handle of a spoon to loosen the soft palate. He says that he repeatedly pulled the soft palate forward for ten minutes per day. Another method is Sutra Neti, which involves stringing a rubber tube into the nose and out the mouth and then flossing it back and forth to clear mucus, but can be used to stretch the soft palate by pulling both ends forward. I've done Sutra Neti in the past without much difficulty, and I didn't have an appropriate spoon on hand, so I tried the Sutra Neti method last night. Pulling forward against the soft palate rather than just flossing, like I'm accustomed to, triggered a pretty violent gagging reaction, and it felt like I had a head cold for a couple hours afterward. Hopefully the spoon strategy won't be as uncomfortable. I want to experiment with Talabya Kriya, tongue stretching, and soft palate stretching once or twice per day for the next month and see what happens. If I don't notice much progress, I might consider frenectomy options. I know these ideas might sound foolish to some people, but I'm writing it down here to hold myself to the commitment and to keep track of the start date.

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Posted : 13/04/2020 9:30 pm
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mr.mewing
Estimable Member

@apollo sounds interesting but why is the tongue able to do that? and does that method work exactly the same as like a facemask?

and I assume that not everyone can do that like not everyone is as flexible as some yoga coach who is maybe gifted to be more flexible as someone else for an example if you have a big tendon which is connected to your tongue.

but your end goal is to reach more expansion with the device MSE/MARPE + face pulling for forwards grow I assume you have some sleep issues.

I am currently thinking about getting a hyrax expander instead of MARPE I heard about recent guys who used it including ronaldead and they got the results but its sounds so horrible lots of pain in the first two weeks.

I live by the way in the Netherlands and Hyrax expander is one of the only things to get here, I am trying to fix my high palate so my sleep is better.

 

 

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Posted : 15/04/2020 12:47 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @mr-mewing

@apollo sounds interesting but why is the tongue able to do that? and does that method work exactly the same as like a facemask?

and I assume that not everyone can do that like not everyone is as flexible as some yoga coach who is maybe gifted to be more flexible as someone else for an example if you have a big tendon which is connected to your tongue.

but your end goal is to reach more expansion with the device MSE/MARPE + face pulling for forwards grow I assume you have some sleep issues.

I am currently thinking about getting a hyrax expander instead of MARPE I heard about recent guys who used it including ronaldead and they got the results but its sounds so horrible lots of pain in the first two weeks.

I live by the way in the Netherlands and Hyrax expander is one of the only things to get here, I am trying to fix my high palate so my sleep is better.

Yes, I hope that creating more tongue space in both the transverse and sagittal directions would improve my sleep disordered breathing. I hope to incorporate facemask traction with my expansion to facilitate sagittal changes. The facemask pulls the maxilla forward to encourage sagittal growth at the perimaxillary sutures after they are loosened by transverse expansion, but there isn't much evidence about how effective this is in adults. Most people seem to agree that maximizing the hours of facemask use per day maximizes results, but this isn't discrete in public and interferes with eating, bathing, etc. I imagine that the tongue pushing the maxilla forward from behind could facilitate that same process, especially if it could be postured there for extended periods. However, this is difficult to achieve and isn't something to be rushed. While I've dabbled with stage 1 for over a year, I haven't been systematic about trying to advance farther. I've experimented with the tongue stretches, but stretching the soft palate is new to me. I also wonder if stretching the soft palate forward could help prevent obstruction of my airway during sleep on its own.

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Posted : 16/04/2020 1:57 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

I attempted the spoon method for the soft palate stretch last night. It wasn't as bad as the sutra neti method, but I still got quite the gag reflex and couldn't keep stretching for 10 minutes like Theos Bernard recommends. I'm trying the left thumb squeeze trick to suppress gagging, but it doesn't seem to help much. It was easier to stretch without gagging toward the sides away from the uvula. I suspect that the spoon handle I selected might be broader than ideal. My logic was that a wider handle would spread out the stretch, but I think a narrower contact might actually be less likely to trigger gagging. I found another source that recommends an L-shaped rod with a ball tip to hook and stretch the soft palate. I ordered an inexpensive probe that could be bent into the desired shape, but the shipping will probably take several weeks. In the meantime, I might try to find a suitable spoon with a narrower handle. Hopefully my gag reflex will get less reactive the more I practice. I've decided to incorporate a few more tongue stretching and strengthening exercises. In addition to Talabya Kriya, Khechari stage 1, and pulling the tongue while holding with a piece of cloth, I've added a few myofunctional and pre/post frenectomy techniques. The whole series took me about a half hour last night. I'd like to practice this twice a day.

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Posted : 17/04/2020 12:45 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

OK, twice a day might have been overly ambitious. For now, I'll try to hold myself to completing the sequence consecutively at least once per day and then disperse exercises throughout the day as time permits. Maybe I'm imagining, but it feels like my tongue is able to reach just slightly closer to my uvula without assistance from my finger this morning. I think I'm touching the spot where the uvula connects to the soft palate. You can see from this MRI scan of Shailendra Sharma that, once you get into the nasopharynx, the soft palate should stretch forward such that the tongue itself doesn't have to reach back much farther than Khechari stage 1 to achieve stage 2. This is why I believe loosening the soft palate in addition to the lingual frenulum will help me progress. 

 

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Posted : 18/04/2020 12:11 pm
Apollo
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Trying to stretch the soft palate with my bent spoon handle, I've realized that I'm able to hook around the palatoglossal arch and pull forward, but if I try to hook around the palatopharyngeal arch I get a gag reflex. I think the palatopharyngeal arch is the tight "tendon" that most of the khechari texts refer to. The narrower probe that I ordered has shipped, but will take a couple weeks to arrive. For the past couple days, I've been focusing on tongue stretching and strengthening exercises, and then attempting the soft palate stretch the best I can. It does seem like my gag reflex has gotten a little less reactive. 

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Posted : 20/04/2020 11:24 am
Apollo
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Tomorrow will mark a week of my tongue and soft palate routine. My gag reflex seems to get incrementally less reactive each day. For the first time today, I was able to hook the palatopharyngeal arch behind the uvula and pull forward for a couple seconds before gagging. I was also able to briefly stretch on either side of the arch. I guess the best way to suppress the reflex is to keep triggering it. This is easiest to do standing over the sink where I can spit. Tomorrow I am going to experiment with using my tVNS during my soft palate stretching. Do you think increasing parasympathetic tone reduces pharyngeal sensitivity? I should get back in the habit of using my tVNS consistently even outside of my soft palate exercises. I'd also like to resume practicing meditation, breathwork, and general body stretching and strengthening, but I need to avoid getting too many ball s in the air all at once. Maybe I'm trying to put the cart before the horse by focusing on khechari before my nervous system is prepared through more fundamental disciplines, but my main goal is reaching my tongue into my nasopharynx before my expansion treatment begins for mechanical force purposes even if it doesn't elicit the ecstatic conductivity described in yoga resources.

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Posted : 22/04/2020 9:44 pm
Apollo
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I tried using my tVNS during my soft palate stretches. It didn't really seem to help. If anything my gag reflex might have been a little more reactive than the day before. Maybe uncoupling them and trying to get the recommended 4 hours of tVNS separately will work better. The vagus nerve supplies the efferent/motor limb of the gag reflex arc, and the tVNS is supposed to be stimulating the auricular branch of the vagus. Maybe using it at the same time is bringing the nerve closer to the threshold for action potential, but using it separately could help promote desensitization. That's my theory anyway.

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Posted : 24/04/2020 4:14 pm
Apollo
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Yesterday I was able to push my tongue back with my fingers beyond the uvula so that the uvula rested on the underside of the tip of my tongue, just short of the back of my throat. The resources I've read say it's easier to finger assist the tongue around the soft palate on one side or the other and then press forward with the tongue toward the nasal septum to bring it to the center. I'll keep trying. My tongue mobility seems to be improving, but my gag reflex is still keeping me from making much progress with the soft palate. I haven't been very consistent about using my tVNS. I want to habituate that practice before adding another.

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Posted : 26/04/2020 12:01 pm
Apollo
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It looks like I have a small tear in my lingual frenulum. This could be from stretching or scraping against my teeth during exercises. It's not so pretty right now, but hopefully it will give me some improved tongue mobility. I want to make as much progress as possible during the lockdown, and it sounds like some businesses will start reopening soon. I've been diligent with my tongue exercises. My gag reflex is still keeping me from effectively stretching my soft palate. I've completed 2 hours of tVNS for the past few days. I might try adding another discipline. Probably I should prioritize body stretching and strengthening exercises to improve my posture. Maybe meditation is more fundamental, but my living situation makes it challenging to find adequate privacy during the stay-at-home orders. I also want to resume some kind of breathwork, but that should probably build on consistent meditation.

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Posted : 29/04/2020 5:29 pm
Apollo
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It seems like I'm able to reach farther with my tongue when I stick it out and touch my chin, when I try to touch my nose, and when I curl it back and touch my uvula. With finger assistance, I'm able to touch the tip of my tongue to the tip of my nose and I'm now able to get the tip of my tongue beyond the edge of my soft palate, especially on the left side, but I'm still not able to push it up and around into the nasopharynx. My tongue also looks skinnier when I stick it straight out as far as I can, especially the tip. My gag reflex is less sensitive but still prevents me from stretching the soft palate for more than a few seconds at a time. Hopefully the narrower probe that I ordered will arrive soon and will work better than my spoon handle. The edge of my lingual frenulum is starting to look whiter, like maybe it is getting callused from these exercises.

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Posted : 02/05/2020 9:35 pm
Apollo
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Another step I'm taking to prepare for expansion treatment is gathering any supplies I might need beyond what the orthodontist would provide. I expect to use a conventional facemask from the orthodontist for extra-oral traction, but especially during sleep I might want something that doesn't push back on the mandible. Ronald Ead's recent video talks about using the crane system. However, when I experimented with DIY headgear in the past, I found using a neck brace to be unstable. There was too much play between my head and the fixation point. I'd also like the option to add posterior elastics like the MewVector system to allow for 3D fine-tuning of my maxilla's pitch, roll, and yaw and reduce asymmetries. I have some design ideas that should be more comfortable and effective than my previous attempts. I need to purchase some of the materials from retail stores, which haven't yet reopened in my area. I've been searching online, but it is hard to tell if certain pieces will work without seeing and measuring them in person.

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Posted : 04/05/2020 5:50 pm
Apollo
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For the past couple days, when I attempt finger-assisted khechari mudra, my tongue keeps getting held up in what I think is called the supratonsilar fossa between the palatoglossal and palatopharyngeal arches. I still can't get around the palatopharyngeal arch and into the nasopharyx, but this is progress since I wasn't reaching there before. The burst of exhaled air that Progress suggested doesn't seem to be helping me get around the uvula. A dentist once told me that my "elongated soft palate" impinges my airway. This probably also makes khechari more challenging. My efforts to stretch the soft palate forward, could essentially dilate the opening into my nasopharynx, potentially making it easier to achieve khechari and to breathe with less resistance. Practicing khechari would only continue to stretch that soft tissue, which might be helpful regardless of any skeletal improvements.

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Posted : 06/05/2020 4:32 pm
Apollo
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With finger assistance, I'm now able to touch the back of my throat with the tip of my tongue. I can push the tongue up into the nasopharynx and feel the soft palate constrict around the tongue, but I still can't extend the tongue forward above the soft palate. I've read reports of a tight cord-like edge to the soft palate when attempting to advance to stage 2 khechari mudra, and I think I felt this a couple times squeezing against my tongue tip and fingers. I think I'm going to go back and reread some of those descriptions to see if I can find any advice. I keep feeling like I'm getting so close and then somehow get farther without getting there.

 

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Posted : 08/05/2020 4:34 pm
Anchilles
Active Member

@apollo Hello apollo, i really want to talk to you in private how can i contact you?

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Posted : 08/05/2020 9:33 pm
Apollo
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Posted by: @ico123

@apollo Hello apollo, i really want to talk to you in private how can i contact you?

We can talk by PM here on the forum.

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Posted : 08/05/2020 10:00 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

I just achieved stage 2 khechari mudra with finger assistance for the first time! The tip of my tongue slipped past that tight tendon-like edge of the soft palate and rested against the upper surface of the soft palate for a few seconds. I looked in the mirror and opened my mouth and could see the soft palate bulging down. I could only hold it there for a few seconds and I don't think I got the tongue as far forward as the vomer or posterior nasal spine of the palatine bone on this first time, but I'm pretty excited because I feel like I've crossed the threshold. Now I know that I can do it and it's just a matter of improving my technique!

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Posted : 08/05/2020 10:02 pm
Apollo
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It took me just shy of one month to achieve khechari mudra stage 2 with finger assistance after I really committed to my tongue and soft palate exercises. This is honestly faster than I expected, but I had been dabbling with it for about a year and a half. I've been able to get my tongue up into the nasopharynx again several times, but I'm not successful on every attempt yet. Often my uvula goes up with the tongue but it has come back down a couple times. I need to practice holding my tongue in position longer and reaching farther forward, but I'm also going to continue my other exercises. Some of the sources I've read say that adding Dohan (milking the tongue) is helpful for advancing beyond stage 2. I still don't want to start this because I'm worried lengthening the tongue muscle itself (rather than just stretching the frenulum as I've been doing) will only make it harder to fit my tongue on my palate and could exacerbate my airway issues.

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Posted : 09/05/2020 5:32 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

I'm now able to enter the nasopharynx every time I try, but my tongue doesn't always stay up there. Often it comes back down after a couple seconds, but I've been able to keep it up there for a few minutes at a time. Saliva tends to pool in my mouth. Supposedly this should reduce in the coming days or weeks. I haven't really noticed the taste of the saliva or mucus that some people observe. I think I'm going to resume tongue scraping to improve my taste and clean away bacteria. I stopped doing it while I was performing intensive tongue stretches and exercises because it was getting a little raw. My uvula usually goes up with the tongue still but it is now often coming back down on its own while I hold the tongue up there. I've also been able to reach farther forward with the tip of my tongue so that it touches the vomer/nasal septum. I'm still far from being able to hold my tongue in position for hours or from being able to enter without finger assistance, but I'm encouraged by the progress! I can't say that I've experienced the ecstatic conductivity or arousal that some people have reported from their "first time" (at least not yet), I also haven't had the gagging or sneezing or discomfort some people experience. I have felt some excited energy that might just be the sense of accomplishment, but maybe it really is from "completing the circuit" of prana/chi/life force flow. My experience might have been more climactic if I had been more committed to circulating my energy with meditation and pranayama. It makes me want to get serious about those disciplines. I read one yoga forum post that described the sensation like living in a house your whole life and then suddenly discovering a secret passage or trap door to a new room. That's a good metaphor. I still haven't discovered all the surprises this new space holds, but the fact I'm inside it is remarkable on its own.

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Posted : 10/05/2020 11:35 am
Apollo
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The "lingual exploration" site linked on my Khechari Mudra summary post ( https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/nasopharyngeal-manipulation-techniques/#post-12744 ) has a diagram of landmarks in the nasopharynx. My tongue rests on the velum of the palate and I've definitely felt the choana and vomer. I think I've found the soft tissue folds or maybe the eustachian tubes. I haven't been able to reach higher up yet so I haven't found what the author identifies as "facial sinus grains" (a and b) or the pharyngeal tonsil at the top of the nasopharynx. These are more Khechari Mudra stage 3 positions. For now I'm most interested in increasing the duration of time I can rest my tongue on the superior surface of the palate with the tip touching the vomer or nasal septum. The "lingual exploration" site reports both sagittal and transverse decompression from this practice. I imagine the effects would only be more pronounced if paired with bone-anchored expansion. I have noticed some shifting sounds when I press forward with my tongue on the soft palate, but this might just be the eustachian tubes. I think I need to get my tongue farther forward and hold it there much longer to see any discernible structural effects. I'd like to be able to remain in Khechari Mudra for hours before I start expansion treatment.

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Posted : 11/05/2020 11:29 am
Apollo
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Here's a more detailed posterior view of the pharynx. Right now my tongue only touches the soft palate and if I reach forward it finds the lower part of the septum, choanae, and some turbinates inside them. If I try to reach up higher it just feels like empty space. If I move side to side I feel soft tissue folds. I find it easier to hold my tongue in position with my head tilted back and my mouth open, but tucking my chin and closing my teeth together creates a satisfying stretch against the soft palate. My saliva and mucus production still seems to be the limiting variable that keeps me to just a few minutes maximum. If I stand over the sink and let the saliva run out of my mouth, I can hold on a little longer, but if I get triggered to swallow my tongue comes back down. I'm able to nasal breathe freely with my tongue in the nasopharynx. I have to admit that practicing khechari mudra stage 2 has taken time away from my talabya kriya and other tongue exercises. Holding khechari seems to be most effective for stretching my soft palate forward, but the other exercises I've been doing probably target the lingual frenulum better. So if I want to advance farther and eventually reach up to the pharyngeal tonsil, I think that I need to continue those exercises. Reading the VoiceGym articles has me thinking about adding some exercises to develop my zygomaticus major and minor, levator labii superioris, and levator labii superioris alaeque nasi. I don't know what activities their program recommends, but I think I've identified some exercises targeting these muscles and I might add them to my routine.

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Posted : 12/05/2020 11:53 am
Apollo
Reputable Member

The only advice I've read about saliva pooling during khechari mudra stage 2 just says to keep practicing and it will reduce within days to weeks. Some texts describe the flavor transitioning from salty to sweet, but maybe the tongue has to reach higher up to stimulate this secretion? They recommend spitting out the salty and drinking the sweet, attributing benefits to this nectar-like "soma" or "amrita." I haven't really noticed a particular taste, but I guess people develop the ability to swallow without removing the tongue from the nasopharynx once the flow slows down. I completed all of my tongue exercises today, replacing stage 1 with stage 2 in the rotation, and skipping the manual soft palate stretch. I also added in some face muscle exercises. I have been very inconsistent with my body exercises, and haven't gotten around to them yet today. I probably should focus on habituating those exercises to improve my body and neck posture for my expansion treatment. I also feel drawn to take a more spiritual approach. I've mostly focused on the mechanical aspect of khechari, but experiencing it makes me want to explore how it could compliment spiritual development. I think this would mean committing to daily meditation first, then adding pranayama, and incorporating khechari into both of those practices (practically, I would need to get my tongue into position without finger assistance). Body stretching and strengthening or yoga asanas might become easier with my nervous system primed by these other disciplines, but this seems like a very indirect path to my posture goals. Since businesses are starting to reopen, I guess I'll work on adding body exercises for now.

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Posted : 13/05/2020 5:24 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

For the past couple days, during khechari mudra, if my tongue has found one of the inferior turbinates inside the choanae, it has been on the right side, but not the left. I thought this might be because my right side generally seems to be more constricted and the septum might deviate in that direction. However, today I feel the turbinate in my left choana. So I suspect this actually relates to the nasal cycle of alternating congestion and decongestion. The inferior turbinate on either side probably protrudes more when it becomes turgid during the nasal cycle. Since I've found it hard to habituate body exercises into my routine, I think I'm going to focus on adding just the hamstring stretches first. This is probably my biggest flexibility issue, and focusing on just that area is less of a time commitment. I've read articles saying that anterior pelvic tilt puts tension on the hamstrings, and the way to correct tight hamstrings is to fix the APT rather than stretching the hamstrings themselves. I have a hard time assessing if my pelvis in anteriorly rotated, but my hamstrings are so tight that I don't think this could be the only issue. So I've got a hamstring myofascial release, a dynamic leg swing stretch, and a supine hamstring stretch that I'm going to add on to my tongue and face exercises for now. I'm also still passively using my toe separators, but I haven't done any foot exercises since I started focusing on khechari. I might add foot exercises back in once I've got my hamstring routine dialed in since foot posture is foundational to the rest of my body alignment. Then I'll incorporate other muscle groups impacting the balance of my pelvis in addition to the hamstrings, then I'll move up to my back, shoulders, and neck. Does this seem like a good approach to improve my overall posture and flexibility?

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Posted : 14/05/2020 11:52 am
Progress
Member Moderator
Posted by: @apollo

For the past couple days, during khechari mudra, if my tongue has found one of the inferior turbinates inside the choanae, it has been on the right side, but not the left. I thought this might be because my right side generally seems to be more constricted and the septum might deviate in that direction. However, today I feel the turbinate in my left choana. So I suspect this actually relates to the nasal cycle of alternating congestion and decongestion. The inferior turbinate on either side probably protrudes more when it becomes turgid during the nasal cycle. Since I've found it hard to habituate body exercises into my routine, I think I'm going to focus on adding just the hamstring stretches first. This is probably my biggest flexibility issue, and focusing on just that area is less of a time commitment. I've read articles saying that anterior pelvic tilt puts tension on the hamstrings, and the way to correct tight hamstrings is to fix the APT rather than stretching the hamstrings themselves. I have a hard time assessing if my pelvis in anteriorly rotated, but my hamstrings are so tight that I don't think this could be the only issue. So I've got a hamstring myofascial release, a dynamic leg swing stretch, and a supine hamstring stretch that I'm going to add on to my tongue and face exercises for now. I'm also still passively using my toe separators, but I haven't done any foot exercises since I started focusing on khechari. I might add foot exercises back in once I've got my hamstring routine dialed in since foot posture is foundational to the rest of my body alignment. Then I'll incorporate other muscle groups impacting the balance of my pelvis in addition to the hamstrings, then I'll move up to my back, shoulders, and neck. Does this seem like a good approach to improve my overall posture and flexibility?

For what it's worth, my hamstrings are just as tight now as they were when I still had ATP. The largest difference between then and now is that the weight that was previously loaded on hamstrings is now evenly distributed between hamstrings, thighs and buttocks. Especially the sides of your hips have to learn to work harder in order to prevent the tilt from occurring. Standing with your feet forward and pushing your legs to the sides as if you were trying to separate the ground you are standing on hits these areas quite well.

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Posted : 14/05/2020 12:12 pm
Apollo liked
mr.mewing
Estimable Member

@progress what is the cause of your tight hamstrings and what do you do to stretch them? 

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Posted : 14/05/2020 12:31 pm
Progress
Member Moderator
Posted by: @mr-mewing

@progress what is the cause of your tight hamstrings and what do you do to stretch them? 

In case I wasn't being clear, I don't stretch my hamstrings. My point was that ATP can be fixed without having to stretch the hamstrings. The main problem is not that the hamstrings are tight, but that the other complementary muscles are weak, which then shifts all the burden on the hamstrings.

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Posted : 14/05/2020 12:55 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member
Posted by: @progress

For what it's worth, my hamstrings are just as tight now as they were when I still had ATP. The largest difference between then and now is that the weight that was previously loaded on hamstrings is now evenly distributed between hamstrings, thighs and buttocks. Especially the sides of your hips have to learn to work harder in order to prevent the tilt from occurring. Standing with your feet forward and pushing your legs to the sides as if you were trying to separate the ground you are standing on hits these areas quite well.

I don't have an obvious anterior pelvic tilt. A couple years ago my pelvis was actually posteriorly tilted to the point that I had decreased lordosis/flat back for some time after I herniated a disk and had to stay in flexion to relieve sciatic pain. Now I think my pelvis is pretty neutral. Although I'm sure my glutes and abs are weak. So I'm working on my tight hamstrings because I want the flexibility to proficiently touch my toes and perform various yoga asanas. The angle of my pelvis might be contributing some tension to my hamstrings, but I think they are mostly just tight from spending too much time sitting. My left leg that had the sciatic pain is especially tight, so there might still be a nerve entrapment component to my tightness.

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Posted : 14/05/2020 1:37 pm
auxiliary
Estimable Member

Sorry to burst you bubble, Apollo, but there are no "spiritual energies" in the body. The only way to stimulate a spiritual experience without doing the hard work is to temporarily die. Anything that messes up the communication of your brain should do the trick. If you're serious about this, I suggest trying Salvia, then DMT, then 5-MeO-DMT. Trust me, you won't be disappointed spiritually. The "things" you "see" are beyond words or anything else I've ever experienced. There's no concepts in them, they are beyond everything that can be possibly imagined. All of those drugs prevent proper communication between neurons, your brain stops working properly for some time. Of course there are also mushrooms/LSD, but these are somewhat weak in nature, they just lead to weird thought-patterns, nothing is reached with them beyond the thought-patterns except at very high dosages, but then you wouldn't really want to be "there" for 6-12 hours long.

 

As for your airway, tensing the palatoglossus muscle should open it up, training that muscle should give good benefits. The muscle is also innervated by a vagus nerve, just like tensing the muscles in your legs tenses the sympathetic system and increases heart rate, perhaps tensing the palatoglossus muscle can tense the parasympathetic nervous system, indirectly improving sleep. If you have glucose/insulin problems, keto is your friend. If you have overly active adrenals then Ashwagandha and Sodium are your friends. Ashwagandha lowers cortisol and maybe aldosterone, Sodium intake lowers aldosterone, though you'd have to supplement Potassium with it to prevent heart issues.

 

Also the sympathetic and parasympathetic system work together, a bad stimulation of one will prevent the rise of the other. Meditation, exercise, you probably heard it a lot of times already, if your heart rate isn't slowing it's not a good meditation, there's no vagus nerve stimulation going on. If your heart-rate isn't crazy during a work-out, it's not a good work-out, there's not enough adrenal stimulation going on, or alternatively a moderate increase in heart-rate for a moderate amount of time.

 

Magnesium have been shown to have extreme effects on sleep in the elderly, doubling-to-tripling sleep efficiency. Eye tension is bad for sleep and melatonin production. Blue light is bad for melatonin production. Eating is preferred in the morning, most calories should be consumed in the morning, late-night eating associated with poor sleep and obesity. Visceral fat should be minimized to prevent production of inflammatory cytokines, the way to do this is by stimulating the sympathetic system during a negative caloric balance, as the visceral fat especially has a lot of adrenergic beta receptors in it. Ions in the air have important effects on sleep, when possible fresh air is preferred and bare-feet contact to earth is preferred. Electronics produce positive ions, increasing tension in the body.

 

Exercise of the legs should be preferred to any other, brings the tension downwards, warm legs and cold forehead is good for sleep. Thoughts are just a form of tension, minimizing useless thoughts should be practiced, when possible a shift of awareness from the brain area to the stomach should be preferred, maximizing parasympathetic tension through the vagus nerve, this nerve runs through front of the body, not the back. This is done just by feeling the stomach area on the front, a little bit deeper than skin though.

The rhythmic activity of the brain is usually very high, in the gamma range, feeling too many thoughts causes tension in the whole body, aligning with the stomach, which has a much slower rhythm of just once per 10 seconds is preferred. The root chakra is the slowest, with the lowest frequency color in Yoga, it's the most preferable for sleep.

Unluckily for us humans, our daily life is all about being in the head, it's unbalancing and makes us weak physically, it's one of the trade-offs of having superior intelligence. No matter how hard you train there will always be an average 450 pound tiger being able to jump 4 times your vertical jump height if you're a good athlete, 10 times if you're an average Joe.

 

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Posted : 14/05/2020 3:48 pm
mr.mewing and Apollo liked
Apollo
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My big-picture goal is to correct autonomic dysregulation. Airway resistance seems to be one of the major root causes. Emotional stress is probably another. Ketosis, fasting, omega-3 and omega-9 fatty acids, prebiotic fiber, curcumin, ashwagandha, magnesium, sleep hygiene, exercise, cold showers, meditation, breathwork, and tVNS are just some of the interventions I've tried to reduce inflammation and improve parasympathetic tone, which seem to have had a noticeable but limited effect. The sympathetic drive from sleep disordered breathing keeps fueling the fire despite my best efforts to extinguish it. This is why I've made the decision to pursue expansion treatment. The modest improvements I've felt give me the sense that spiritual growth is to be found along the path to neurological rebalancing. Khechari has only reinforced this ideal, and given me momentum to recommit to other so-called spiritual practices as part of my multidisciplinary approach. Some advanced Khechari practitioners describe ecstatic hallucinogenic drug-like trips and some people attribute this to the release of DMT in the brain. I don't know about that, and my experiences so far haven't been anything mystical. I just want to feel more alive, less fatigued, and more clear-headed.

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Posted : 15/05/2020 12:33 pm
Apollo
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Saliva secretion results from parasympathetic stimulation of the salivary glands. So hopefully the copious flow of saliva I'm experiencing during khechari reflects an increase in parasympathetic tone. Cholinergic parasympathetic nerves release acetylcholine that binds to muscarinic receptors, evoking the secretion of saliva by acinar cells at the end of the salivary gland ducts. I suspect that my receptors are hypersensitive to this parasympathetic stimulus because I'm chronically in that sympathetic fight-or-flight mode, due to stress from sleep disordered breathing and general life anxiety. As khechari triggers my parasympathetic nervous system into that rest-and-digest mode, the salivary gland receptors are primed to receive that acetylcholine and trigger saliva secretion. The acclimation that I'm already starting to experience probably reflects a recalibration as the threshold to trigger the receptors adjust to more consistent parasympathetic stimulation. So I hope that all of this drooling reflects a broader rebalancing of my autonomic nervous system. I wish that I had a monitor to measure my heart rate variability with and without khechari. I can't say that I've noticed any significant digestive improvements yet, but that is something people sometimes report. So far I'm only in khechari for a couple minutes at a time, maybe a couple dozen times per day. When I'm able to maintain it for extended periods, I might experience more systemic effects. I guess pupil constriction, watering eyes, reduced sweat, increased urinary urge, and genital arousal, might be other immediate signs to watch for parasympathetic responses.

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Posted : 16/05/2020 12:59 pm
Apollo
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Both Richard Wheeler's "lingual exploration" and Kevin Curtis's "accidental yogi" sites (linked in my nasopharyngeal manipulation thread: https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/nasopharyngeal-manipulation-techniques/#post-12744 ) talk about changes to the craniofacial structure/posture from Khechari Mudra. Curtis writes:

When the tongue is curled back in the mouth and stretched up towards the uvula, and beyond into the nasopharyngeal cavity, a number of muscles are engaged. As these muscles contract they generate a cascade of subtle adjustments within the body.

postural changes caused by khechari:

The jaw moves back.
The sternum pulls up, to slightly concave the chest.
The thyroid gland also pulls upward (and is stimulated into activity).
The head rotates ever so slightly forward and the spine elongates and aligns. This also causes the pelvis to rotate forward and the knees to bend slightly.
The scapula rotate forward.

So what makes all of these postural effects so interesting? To keep it simple, the body opens up and relaxes, becomes powerful in its movements and gains poise, hormones become balanced and the mind settles. There’s a definite strengthening of the connection between mind and body, which leads to enhanced balance and refined mind body coordination.

Wheeler writes:

Figure 7

Some effects of this work that I have experienced include changes in the shape of my head.

- The top of my head settled (Fig 8) with accompanying movement at the spheno-basilar joint.

- My facial bones, the maxillae, have moved forward and away from the base of my occiput and atlas (Fig. 7, B). They have also shifted laterally resulting in a wider palate.

- Decompressed the mid-section of my face.

...

Figure 8

- I found that with my tongue parallel to the anterior surface of my cervical spine I was able to flex my head (chin in, back of neck long) and shift my upper cervicals and occiput back while the mass of my tongue held the palate and maxillae forward (Fig. 7, B). This move also changed the axis of rotation of my upper neck and head. In this position, the tongue may be thought of as the 'psoas of the neck'. 

Currently, my tongue in Khechari mostly rests on the superior surface of the soft palate with the tip touching the nasal septum, roughly like figure 7D from the "Lingual Exploration" site. This essentially equates to what the "Advanced Yoga Practices" site refers to as Khechari Mudra stage 2. If I really reach, the tip of my tongue can move up the nasal septum, and on one attempt got to the top of it, but I haven't been able to reach any higher into the ceiling of the nasopharyx around the adenoid, below the sphenoid sinus. That position is what "Advanced Yoga Practices" calls Khechari Mudra stage 3. For some people the transition from 2 to 3 takes a long time and for some people it happens relatively quickly. It's less of a sea change than stage 1 to 2 but still significant because the tongue is pressing against the sphenoid below the optic chiasm and the pituitary gland. Stage 3 roughly matches figure 7 B and C. What's interesting is that this position seems to be what both of these writers attribute their structural changes to. So while I can push forward with my tongue in my current position against the vomer, palatine bone, and pterygoid process of the sphenoid bone, the decompression I'm really after might be better achieved by advancing to stage 3 Khechari Mudra, especially if the tongue can expand both forward and backward in that position like the arrows in figure 7 B show. To accomplish this, I think I need to continue my tongue exercises to stretch the lingual frenulum. I'm also considering adding the Dohan tongue milking exercise, but I'd like to avoid increasing the size of the tongue muscle itself since it already can't fit well inside my oral cavity. So I'm going to wait and see how progress goes focusing on the frenulum in the next couple weeks with Talabya Kriya and the other exercises that got me this far. However, I think the mobility of my soft palate has increased more than the mobility of my tongue and is probably responsible for most of my progress. My tongue's position isn't that different in stage 2 than it was in stage 1, it's just that I can now stretch the soft palate forward to get the tongue up into the nasal cavity.

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Posted : 17/05/2020 12:13 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

Jared Reser at the Observed Impulse site ( referenced in my nasopharyngeal manipulation thread: https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/nasopharyngeal-manipulation-techniques/#post-12742 ) focuses on release of muscle tension rather than activation of muscles in his nasopharyngeal manipulation. He takes a manual approach, using his fingers and thumbs to massage muscles in the nasopharynx, but in my experience, using the tongue has had effects similar to what he describes. What he calls the "nasopharyngeal sphincter" is that tight edge of the soft palate that was such a challenge to get the tip of my tongue around. Releasing some of the tension in this muscle with my fingers and my spoon handle helped me advance to Khechari stage 2. However, my gag reflex really kept me from doing the deep massage that Reser describes. It was only after I was able to get my tongue up into my nasopharynx that the painful, reactive tension in my soft palate really released. Sometimes I'll press forward against the superior surface of the soft palate with my tongue and then apply counter pressure against the inferior surface of the soft palate with my fingers in little circular motions. It does feel physically and emotionally liberating to work out the tension in that muscle. In certain positions I can still feel a little tension at the edges of the soft palate, but it has quickly and drastically improved. I've noticed that the back wall of my nasopharynx, where my tongue can't apply as much pressure, still feels tight and achy when I push on it, especially over the anterior tubercle of my atlas C1 vertebrae.

 

I don't know if this reflects on my forward head posture and is related to the dull pain I often have in the occipital area of my neck. It feels good to massage the base of my skull and top of my neck, but maybe massaging from the opposite side (within the nasopharynx) could help to work out some of those occipital neuralgia symptoms. Now that my gag reflex isn't so reactive, I might do a little more manual myofascial release of areas my tongue currently has trouble touching. I've also debated trying self endonasal balloon therapy again to see if it could be more effective with my gag reflex now accustomed to pressure in that area. So far I just haven't had much time to experiment with these other techniques in addition to my daily routine.

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Posted : 18/05/2020 12:58 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

I made it past 10 minutes in khechari mudra stage 2 this morning. I can only last a little more than one minute without drooling, but if I let the saliva run out into the sink, I'm able to resist the urge to swallow. I found it helps to keep my mind distracted reading or watching something else rather than focusing on the timer. I don't know how useful it is to practice holding for longer periods, or if it's better to just let my tongue come back down to swallow and then put it back up there repeatedly.

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Posted : 21/05/2020 1:21 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

The stainless steel probe that I ordered to replace my spoon handle for stretching my soft palate finally arrived today, 2 weeks after I already advanced to stage 2 Khechari Mudra. I don't think there's much point using it to stretch the soft palate now that my tongue can do a better job. I might play around with it anyway. I have to add a bend using pliers to create the L-shaped rod I read about. One of the sources I found says the bend should be about 1 inch from the end but the other source says about a 1/2 inch. It would probably be easier to make the bend farther from the end, but it might be harder to use if the hook part is too long. I'm also worried that this inexpensive probe might not actually be stainless steel as advertised and the shiny coating might flake off when I bend it.

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Posted : 22/05/2020 3:58 pm
Apollo
Reputable Member

I bent my new probe into an L shape. I made the end hook section a little too long, but it works alright. It seems like it would have been less gag-inducing than my spoon handle when I was working to advance to stage 2. It might still be helpful for training to voluntarily relax my soft palate. I find if I hook the rod around the back of my soft palate and pull forward, the muscle wants to resist, but if I concentrate, I'm able to relax the muscle and then pull it farther forward with the probe. Maybe this will help me move beyond needing finger assistance to get my tongue into position. I'm almost able to pull the soft palate forward with the probe and then insert the tongue up into the nasopharynx without finger assistance, but I still need a little boost from a finger to get there. I have to confess it's harder to keep up the motivation to do the exercises every day after I've already transitioned from stage 1 to 2. I have the desire to advance to stage 3, but there just isn't as much impetus to force myself to fit it into my schedule. The past couple days have been especially intense. Last night I woke myself up several times while grinding and clenching my teeth, maybe from stress. I'll try to get back on track this weekend. 

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Posted : 23/05/2020 12:40 pm
Apollo
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The relief I've felt from releasing and mobilizing the muscles in my soft palate through khechari mudra, especially the tight edge of my palatopharyngeus muscle, has me more interested in trying myofascial release of other muscles that could be similarly strained. I use a tennis ball for myofascial release on my hamstrings with questionable benefit, but I know the tenderness that I feel when I compress my weight down on the ball in the piriformis and gluteal area. 

For years I've used a special tool to compress my occipitalis muscle, especially when I get an occipital neuralgia headache. Maybe I should start adding this to my routine as preventative maintenance rather than just treatment when I get a headache. I have these tender, palpable cord-like structures in those muscles that I thought were arteries but might actually be trigger points. My headaches often radiate from the back of my head to the area behind my eyes.

I've read that the corrugator supercilii muscle, below the eyebrows and involved in frowning expressions, can undergo repetitive strain and contribute to headaches. Compressing this area is definitely painful for me, which probably means I should keep working on it. I also mentioned earlier how I can't really reach the back of my throat with my tongue without finger assistance, but that area is tender to finger palpation, especially around the anterior tubercle of the C1 vertebra. This is the point of insertion for the superior oblique portion of the longus colli muscle.

This muscle is involved in neck flexion. Intraoral manual compression and massage of this area might help improve my cervical posture. It would probably also be advantageous to massage muscles of mastication and smile expressions, but I'm going to start with these especially tender muscles first. There are a variety of facial massage modalities and tools to research, but are they worth adding to my routine?

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Posted : 24/05/2020 1:38 pm
Apollo
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I've been experimenting with applying short bursts of maximum force with my tongue in my nasopharynx. I can press the tip of my tongue against the posterior nasal spine of the palatine bone, the vomer, and the pterygoid processes of the sphenoid bone on either side, but I can't push very hard if I try to do both sides at the same time because I have to flatten out my tongue. Pressing hard against the posterior nasal spine of the palatine bone and the pterygoid processes of the sphenoid bone gives me the typical shifting sound that I can also hear in khechari stage 1 or by pulling with my thumbs. I think this is some kind of suture mobility, but I guess it could just be pressure changes in my eustachian tubes. If I press hard with the tip of my tongue against my vomer, I get a tingling feeling like I need to sneeze. Maybe this is a little hint of the "ecstatic conductivity" that Advanced Yoga Practices describes from resting the tongue at what they call the "altar of bliss." It does seem to stimulate the nerves in that sensitive area. Touching the nasal conchae inside the choanae has a similar effect. I haven't decided if there's any utility in pressing hard or if it's better to just get used to resting my tongue in the nasopharynx.

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Posted : 25/05/2020 3:23 pm
Apollo
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Last night I experimented with using just the minimum amount of finger assistance required to get my tongue up into my nasopharynx. When I first advanced to stage 2 a couple weeks ago, I really had to push the tip of my tongue up and back to get around the soft palate. Now, I don't really have to push the tongue beyond where it can reach, but just support it there while it pushes up and forward. I think I'm getting close to doing it without my fingers, and maybe repeatedly entering the nasopharynx with the minimum degree of finger assistance will help me get past needing it. I'm going to concentrate my efforts on getting into position rather than increasing the duration of time in position. Once I'm able to get my tongue up there without my fingers, I'll be able to practice much easier in public and other situations.

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Posted : 26/05/2020 12:24 pm
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