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Pictures Reveal Lack of Progress But I Don't Want to Give Up  

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Elwynn
Active Member

I was initially going to make a post sharing pictures of what I believed was legitimate progress, but after taking more accurate photos, I have realized this was most likely due to camera distortion. Here's a GIF of what I believed was progress:

...and here's a GIF of where this "progress" is negligible-to-nonexistent:

Both sets of photos are exactly 6 months apart, and just to be clear, the pictures of me with longer hair are supposed to be the "afters." In case anyone's wondering, I am 23.

This is very disheartening, since I have believed that I've been making aesthetic progress over the past several months. This belief was further reinforced by observing more-prominent cheekbones and deeper-set eyes in the mirror. I am questioning now whether this was confirmation bias on my part, or the result of muscular / soft-tissue improvements that are not easily recognizable in the photos.

So what's up? Well, as another user of this forum notes, the available conclusions are that 1) mewing is ineffective at improving craniofacial dystrophy (CFD) in adults, 2) it takes a very long time for changes to become visible, or 3) there is something wrong with my technique.

To my mind, #3 is very likely, since:

  • I cannot put my tongue against the soft palate while maintaining the ability to breathe. I can raise my tongue to my second molars (my third molars / wisdom teeth have been removed), but that's as far as it'll go. If I try to go further, I either choke, or require so much effort doing so that I can't maintain it.
  • I have woken up with an open mouth numerous times (life-long habit), which leads me to believe that I probably don't practice good oral posture while sleeping at all (or only occasionally).
  • As far as I can tell, aside from teeth-tipping, my IMW has not expanded. If I were mewing correctly, it would be reasonable to assume that I would have achieved some expansion. Now that I'm thinking about it, it's very likely that I have been focusing too much on pushing upwards with my tongue, without pressing laterally against my molars.
    • On a side note, my IMW is fairly good for someone with CFD: about 40-42mm (depending on the tipping of my molars). Despite this, I have teeth crowding, forward-tipping of the incisors, and feel a lot of tightness when attempting to fit my tongue between my teeth. I also have a vaulted palate. Perhaps under proper environmental conditions, my IMW was meant to be wider than average.
  • I haven't practiced a tongue suction-hold or proper lip seal until about two weeks ago.
  • I sometimes let my tongue and jaw slack when reading or otherwise concentrating on something.
  • I only recently started feeling sensations in my cheeks and other regions of the skull. This came after I began practicing a better suction hold.
  • I do not practice hard chewing (I used mastic gum before, but it became too expensive).

I would be grateful for any sort of feedback, really, but I would be foremost interested in any personal experience or advice that could help me address the points above. I'm also curious if anyone here has initially struggled to achieve progress, but eventually achieved progress upon improving their technique. I have a suspicion that many of those who get into mewing only perform a fraction of what constitutes a good oral posture, and that this in part accounts for the limited evidence of mewing improving CFD.

My next step is to get a palate expander (I have already purchased one, but I have yet to make and send in a teeth mold). I suspect that it may be my vaulted palate that is causing a "bottleneck" in achieving visible progress. In the meantime, I will work to improve my oral posture further.

EDIT: I would disregard the difference in the lip area, since I was most likely curling my lips upward a bit in the first photo.

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Posted : 12/10/2019 2:17 pm
max iller
Active Member

The lip seal and suction hold is really important imo, and It should feel somewhat natural, with your tongue position you should be able to open and close your mouth and have your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, you feel it. A lot of this is going by feel, try to organise your mouth into something that doesnt need to be forced, allow your whole palate to be covered and let it touch your teeth if it wants to, afterall if you dont have enough space then obviously your tongue will want to push the teeth out the way, and I believe the palate will follow. On being choked, I have a similar problem, when I push my head back it sounds like a im snoring, but more space is opened up when I pull my adams apple down, like yawning.

Just remember that everybody is different, and imagining your tongue as a sorta mold for your palate can give you a pretty good idea of where you'll be if you reach 'peak' development. some people have thin long tongues, others have big fatties. Also remember that this is 6 months of somewhat correct posture out of your whole life, thats a fraction, man.

Personally I think you look good to begin with, so you can only ascend further, longer hair suits you too.

your lips area is showing noticeable changes, and your jaw, and chin, Also some stuff going on around the top of your nose. and as you explain you probably havent had the correct posture for 6 months, yet there's still a difference. Stay motivated, you're doin well.

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Posted : 13/10/2019 6:36 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@maxiller

Thank you for your words of encouragement, and for your advice. I will work to be more cognisant of my oral posture, and improve upon the things that I still can't do very well. I will stick to my method of taking pictures, and will try to post an update in the future, should I notice any changes.

...your tongue position you should be able to open and close your mouth and have your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, you feel it.

At the moment, my tongue covers about 70% of the palatal area that I believe it should be covering. It sticks to the roof of my mouth through a combination of suction and pushing. It does not yet feel natural, but definitely feels more comfortable than it used to. After all, I didn't use suction at all until recently. When I open my mouth however, I lose the suction hold and the mid section of my tongue falls down. Do you think that this should not be the case in a person with correct oral posture? On a related note, do you think that when speaking, a person's whole tongue should drop down, or should only the front / mid region be removed from the palate, while the back portion stays put?

Also remember that this is 6 months of somewhat correct posture out of your whole life, thats a fraction, man.

Good point. I actually started practicing a better oral posture a little over a year ago. Since my earliest photos go back to only 6 months ago, I do not have any visual records of any earlier progress that I might have achieved, but since when starting out, holding up just the front of my tongue felt awkward, I at the very least must have made some progress in terms of tongue strength, posture technique, and possibly soft-tissue.

By the way, I recall you mentioning in the other thread that you have seen only a few pictures suggesting actual aesthetic progress. Do you remember which pictures you were talking about?

Thanks again.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 13/10/2019 7:24 pm
thebeetle
New Member

Outstanding photos and post. This ought to be the standard on the forum.

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Posted : 14/10/2019 10:16 am
printfactory
Active Member

Can´t offer much advice but I have to say those before/after photos are very well done. I recommend to take up chewing again (you can use a piece of mastic gum multiple times, put it in a plastic bag and wash it before you use it again or in a glass of water and put it in the fridge).

 
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Posted : 14/10/2019 1:13 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@thebeetle

Thank you.

I explained this in another thread, but just for reference, my method of taking pictures is as follows:

I place a camera on a shelf, which has pencil markings for where the device should be set. This ensures that I always put the camera in the same exact spot. After that, I take several steps back and align myself with tape markings on the floor, which ensure that I always stand in the same spot. I then adopt a familiar posture (it's important to remember it), stare at the same spot outside my window (laundry pole) and allow the timer to take a photo. I usually take several pictures at a time, open them in Photoshop, select the picture that matches the original most accurately (the difference is usually incredibly small), and align them at the ear. Drawing guidance points over the original photo helps with this process.

One aspect that I haven't gotten right yet is lighting. This is because I have taken the first picture in natural light, and since this changes throughout the day and season, and depends on the weather, it's difficult to copy. Ideally, the original photo should have been taken under high-quality artificial light that remains the same. I didn't do this because my camera takes blurry photos under my current dim ceiling light. I'll see what I can do to minimize the difference in lighting for future pictures.

There's also the fact that my camera is of somewhat low quality. However, should any substantial changes occur, I assume that they would be recognizable in the pictures despite not being in HD. So, I'm not worried about camera quality at the present moment, though maybe I'll look into getting a better one in the future. We'll see.

Originally, I wasn't as obsessive about accuracy of the photos, but that's because I was underestimating the effect that a minor change in angle can have. I found that in the case of profile pictures, a discrepancy of just 2 pixels at the ear, can translate into something like 5 pixels of difference at the front of the face. I think that's the biggest takeaway.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 14/10/2019 1:32 pm
Kyte liked
Daltira
Active Member

Forwards growth is achieved by the teeth pressing down against one another while awake AND asleep. It pushes the maxilla up, the tongue does not do this which is the most common belief. Its actually the teeth. And no, don’t listen to anyone who thinks that damages teeth. It doesn’t. Tape your mouth shut at night, make sure your teeth are pressing against one another at all times, and try chin tucking... open mouth posture at night will ruin pretty much everything. Even wrap a headband around your head to make sure those teeth are in contact at night if you can’t sleep in chin tuck posture on your back which does this naturally. 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/10/2019 3:58 am
max iller
Active Member

@elwynn

Posted by: @elwynn

When I open my mouth however, I lose the suction hold and the mid section of my tongue falls down. Do you think that this should not be the case in a person with correct oral posture?

I can open and close my mouth maintaining my tongue on the roof of my mouth. After my mouth/tongue is finished talking/eating/whatever, I put my tongue up to the palate, and usually there will be some air bubbles right around the mid section, push them out, usually by like 'swallowing' them, but the air just rises up out my nose anyway. After doing this I am in my neutral tongue position, and can relax without anything falling down. 
Needless to say it's difficult to explain, but if you're doing it right, when you open your mouth you'll feel an added suction.

Posted by: @elwynn

do you think that when speaking, a person's whole tongue should drop down, or should only the front / mid region be removed from the palate, while the back portion stays put?

I speak normally, my tongue drops down but that's anatomically required so that air can pass out my mouth. If the back portion stays put, air will only come out my nose. It can be difficult to speak fluently when your tongue is too big for your palate though, when I'm trying to pronounce "L" for Lingerie I usually have an asymmetry where air only passes out one side of my mouth, this is part of the reason I personally want to expand my palate, I believe speech will improve a lot once your tongue has a good surface for pronunciation. As well as resonating nicely.
Don't worry too much about speaking, there's only one or two ways to make sounds, let your tongue drop when you talk i reckon 🙂

Posted by: @elwynn

you have seen only a few pictures suggesting actual aesthetic progress. Do you remember which pictures you were talking about?

Progress has some very interesting results, I would recommend this one above all, Look up "Progress of Progress" in adult case discussion.
Jamo too but, yaknow, he dogged the forum way back, even deleted 'progress' pictures.
Helmutstrebl I think is his name, people accused him of getting chin implants, lol. 

John/Mike mews own lectures show progress, but I prefer John, he has an inkling of humour

Vancouver/November 2016
"How best to achieve forward facial growth by prof. John Mew"
"Effect of extra-oral anchorage on craniofacial development by Dr. Mike Mew"

I found these fascinating and helpful in my understanding and intuition for how the jaws function, as well as showing examples of success stories with patients.

If anyone else knows of good results please let us know

Hope I have helped you elwynn 🙂
Sorry for taking this long to reply

 

 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 18/10/2019 6:59 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@maxiller

Thank you for your explanation.

I can open and close my mouth maintaining my tongue on the roof of my mouth. After my mouth/tongue is finished talking/eating/whatever, I put my tongue up to the palate, and usually there will be some air bubbles right around the mid section, push them out, usually by like 'swallowing' them, but the air just rises up out my nose anyway. After doing this I am in my neutral tongue position, and can relax without anything falling down. 
Needless to say it's difficult to explain, but if you're doing it right, when you open your mouth you'll feel an added suction.

That's very interesting. I also feel a sort of "air bubble" around the mid-section of my palate as I raise my tongue. However, unlike you, when I swallow this pocket of air, my tongue rises only to cover the hard palate (at worst), or the hard palate and a little bit of the soft palate (at best). The throat is left out of my equation; I feel no suction there. When I open my mouth, even slightly, I lose the suction in the mid-section so that only the front of the tongue remains up. Since you feel that you suction increases when you open your mouth, I likely still do not place my tongue up far enough. This is likely because my palate is still too narrow. After all, it was only once I was able to fit my tongue between my teeth without extreme tightness that I began feeling any suction whatsoever.

Progress has some very interesting results, I would recommend this one above all, Look up "Progress of Progress" in adult case discussion.

Right. I'm familiar with his thread. Though the pictures aren't perfectly accurate, they are definitely suggestive of progress. The fact that he was able to achieve significant IMW increase using just the tongue is also impressive. I've also heard of Jamo, but I will check out the other sources that you've listed. If he still plans to do so, I look forward to TGW posting pictures of his progress.

Thanks again, and yes, you've definitely helped by clarifying some things for me.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 19/10/2019 6:00 pm
max iller liked
darby_jones
Active Member

Am I crazy? I see forward growth of your maxilla. Trace a line in Photoshop over your nose and lips and jawline in the first photo then overlay it on the second one. 

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Posted : 24/10/2019 4:16 am
gubbbb
Active Member

Thanks for doing great before and afters I hope you'll update in a year or two

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Posted : 11/11/2019 5:26 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@gubbbb

Yes, I plan to keep this thread updated with any signs of progress.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 11/11/2019 6:31 pm
oatmeal
Eminent Member

@elwynn

Hey, these are probably some of the best pictures on the forum!

I can relate to you a lot in these pictures. I have the same range of IMW, and have been (properly i hope) mewing for 5 months I believe, and I have nothing to show for.

I have a habit when mewing where I feel uncomfortable and break my lip seal to lick my lips or whatever. I feel this has harmed me a lot! Continuous lip seal is gonna be one of my goals from now on.

Also I have trouble with breathing and mewing simultaneously. Speaks for itself really.

I haven't woken up with a open mouth I think, but maybe it's cause I don't check or remember.

I have never really felt sensations.

I don't think you necessarily have to push against your molars, but you do have to at least fit in. To me it feels like it fits but I don't know for sure.

I might be doing the suction hold wrong. Whenever I stop doing it, I hear a little sound that sounds like I broke the suction hold. Is this correct?

Thanks again for this post.

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Posted : 12/11/2019 12:03 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@oatmeal

Hey, these are probably some of the best pictures on the forum!

Thanks!

I have a habit when mewing where I feel uncomfortable and break my lip seal to lick my lips or whatever. I feel this has harmed me a lot! Continuous lip seal is gonna be one of my goals from now on.

I think this depends on how long you break your lip seal for. If you break it only to lick your lips and soon after, resume correct lip seal, then I wouldn't worry about it. Everyone - including those with well-developed faces - has to break good oral posture at some point during the day in order to eat, talk, brush teeth, etc. The point is not to be a mewing-machine, but to train yourself so that you mew naturally when at rest.

Also I have trouble with breathing and mewing simultaneously. Speaks for itself really.

You obviously have a better view of your situation than I do, but if I were you, I would explore this further. I think that in order for mewing to be effective, you should be able to do it unconsciously; when there's a lot of mental effort required to maintain a good oral posture, then as soon as your mind directs its undivided attention towards a task at hand, you risk losing your good posture. Again, mewing should be your default when in a relaxed state.

I have never really felt sensations.

I haven't either, until quite recently when I started to engage more of my posterior tongue. If you're doing this already, then maybe there's a different element of mewing that you're missing?

While we have a basic idea of what good oral posture should be, we still lack a comprehensive understanding of all the processes at play. This is likely the reason why most people who pick up mewing do not seem to make any definitive progress that couldn't be chalked up to varied conditions between comparison pictures and personal delusion. Nonetheless, there's a sizable minority on this forum who are experiencing changes. Mewing is an unfinished project, and I think that @admin had the right idea when he said that he wouldn't be surprised if the "breakthrough" came from members of this forum. Now, whether the pioneer will actually prove to be one of us or a professional doctor isn't hugely important in the grand scheme of things, but the key takeaway from admin's statement is that we are in still in search of a better understanding. Since we're on the right track, I think that this breakthrough isn't far away.

In line with this reasoning, I found that what has helped me the most in my personal case is constantly learning and re-evaluating my oral posture. It seems that every few months, I notice something new that I ought to focus on.

I might be doing the suction hold wrong. Whenever I stop doing it, I hear a little sound that sounds like I broke the suction hold. Is this correct?

I hear this sound as well, but I'm probably not the best person to ask, since my suction hold is still in need of much improvement.

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Posted : 12/11/2019 2:56 pm
oatmeal liked
oatmeal
Eminent Member

@elwynn

Hey! Thanks for the response.

What do we mean by sensations anyway? Like a pressure in or around our cheekbones or something like that? Always confused me. It could be that I have felt these sensations and never knew the cause?

Anyway I checked up and I think I engage my posterior third and mew while doing other tasks. I'm gonna try to keep track of if I mew at sleep though, since while I am confident I don't have an open mouth while sleeping (no stuffy nose, don't feel tired, mouth is not dry, not snoring) I cannot be 100% sure.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 12/11/2019 7:16 pm
Elwynn
Active Member

@oatmeal

What do we mean by sensations anyway? Like a pressure in or around our cheekbones or something like that? Always confused me. It could be that I have felt these sensations and never knew the cause?

I felt pressure around my cheekbones and cracks within the sphenoid region, and occasionally other parts of the skull as well. My ears also pop sometimes when I swallow hard, but I think that's the case with a lot of people, so I wouldn't consider that a "sensation" suggestive of progress.

Anyway I checked up and I think I engage my posterior third and mew while doing other tasks. I'm gonna try to keep track of if I mew at sleep though, since while I am confident I don't have an open mouth while sleeping (no stuffy nose, don't feel tired, mouth is not dry, not snoring) I cannot be 100% sure.

Unfortunately, I don't know what to recommend because in my case, the situation is simple: I frequently wake up with my mouth ajar and drool on the bed-sheet, so I know that I mouth-breathe during sleep. But, I'm almost certain that it's caused by my poor sleeping position (arms under my belly, lying with my face pressing down into the mattress). If I can re-train myself to sleep a different way, maybe I'll fix my mouth-breathing problem too.

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Posted : 12/11/2019 9:08 pm
oatmeal
Eminent Member

@elwynn

Yeah, try to sleep on your back with you arms at your sides. Some people like to leave their head in a chin tuck position doing it. One thing I can recommend is to buy a really flat pillow, so your neck doesn't feel extended.

Other than that I don't know what else to do for myself. I guess it's to just examine if I'm mewing correctly every once in a while, and just to maybe stop thinking about it so much.

Cheers, and hope you progress. 

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Posted : 13/11/2019 8:23 am
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As you undergo correction in the near future, please consider keeping records for your own sake and for others. Pictures of dental impressions, scans, medical reports reports can be very helpful even with all personally identifying information blocked out.

Your input could help many, many people

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