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Exercise to fix asymmetries  

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ShaktiOm
Trusted Member

I have asymmetries in my palate, jaw, and a little bit in my eyes. The right side of my upper palate is lower down than the left. My head also tilts a little bit to the right. I have not tried to push harder with my tongue on the right side of my palate, but it tends to naturally do it when I swallow, and try and hold correct tongue posture in a balanced manner.

Lately I have been doing an exercise where I tilt my head in various directions and then swallow, and/or do tongue presses. For instance, I will tilt my head to the left, my left ear towards my left shoulder, and then swallow. Tilt my head to the right, and swallow. Looking straight ahead, I will look to the left, and swallow. Look to the right and swallow. I will also look up and slightly to the right, and swallow. Then look up and slightly to the left, and swallow.

What I observed when doing this, is that when swallowing in these various directions, it is working slightly different muscle groups, activating the weaker aspects of my swallowing structure. My tongue posture becomes much more balanced, and the left side of my palate, which is vaulted, comes down and is more even with the right side. In theory I believe this exercise could help to fix the imbalance of the musculature, and eventually fix structural asymmetries.

In many threads it is suggested that to fix asymmetries in the face, we should push harder on the side of the face that is lower down, and chew more on that side. I’m not sure if that is the best idea. My personal opinion, is that we should focus on creating a balance of the musculature, not only in the facial structure and swallowing structures, but throughout the body. By pushing harder on the lower side, it may seem like we are creating that balance, but it also could be making the asymmetries worse.

It is also my opinion that too much attention is focused on how to press the tongue instead of how to swallow correctly. Improper facial growth began with an incorrect swallow, so it make sense to me that it will be fixed with a correct swallow.

Lastly, when embracing the mewing lifestyle, I think it is important to embrace all aspects. That includes tongue posture, chewing, and postural exercises. Intense gum chewing may be especially important to fix facial asymmetries, so that the outer U of the face is strengthened and working in concert with the inner U.

A consistent complaint that I see from people on the forum, is that mewing is making their asymmetries worse. If this is truly happening on a consistent basis, it is important that it is understood. Hopefully Dr. Mew can address this issue in the near future.

I am open to any opinions and disagreements on the matter. I am learning along with everyone else.

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Posted : 21/02/2019 9:04 am
Odys
 Odys
Trusted Member

I have used exercises similar to those you have described, not specifically with the idea of fixing asymmetry but rather with the idea of finding new opportunities for movement that would not be available to a static or pulsing tongue in a normal balanced head, neck and body posture. 

The work of removing asymmetries in the jaw and face is in large part work in removing asymmetries in the neck and body below. It is certainly my view that they must be done together or the asymmetries below will continually be asking the asymmetries in the jaw and face to return.

Swallowing is probably the best motion of the tongue for reforming the mouth but it is not the only one and you may find similar sliding or pulsing moves that favour one side are more helpful to fixing  a particular imbalance.

While I would at all times have said that the left side of my jaw has been higher and narrower than the right, it has not been the case that it has always felt right to push up on the right and out on the left of my jaw. The route out appears to be more complicated and snaking than that. I find that describing how this is so is beyond me. I just feel my way.

I found that with my asymmetries and tipped in teeth chewing hard gum was counterproductive. I do use a Jawzrcize device which seems to avoid the problems of reinforcing asymmetries. I hope it is also helpful in proclining my incisors.

I have found maintaining proper tongue posture when practising yoga to be helpful in achieving movement as well as what I recognise as being like what you are doing. This is the setting up of improvised yoga postures, particularly from the shoulders upwards, and then pulsing in some way with the tongue. I have always seen this as been something akin to what osteopath does when he sets the patient up in some contortion on his bench and then pulses with force at a particular point.

Part of the route to correct a tilt of your head will be in releasing the muscles of your neck and shoulders, largely the scalenes. I suggest you can do this by self administered massage of a Rolfing type, which will likely be painful. Yoga exercises may help in this too but too slowly. Sufi grind is an exercise that can help. There is a yoga teacher called Forrest who places great emphasis on the release of the neck who may have some helpful exercises.

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Posted : 21/02/2019 7:25 pm
ShaktiOm
Trusted Member

@Odys Thank you for the reply and your insight. I’ll be sure to check out the references you gave to release tightness in the neck and shoulders.

For the most part, it sounds like you and I are on the same page. It definitely seems like yoga would be an ideal exercise for creating balance in the body, thus providing a solid framework to work in tandem with mewing, and hammer out asymmetries. I have been doing neck yoga for the past few weeks, and I can feel it helping to loosen up the tension in my neck. But honestly, the swallowing exercise I described above is helping more than anything lately.

The range of motion in my neck has significantly increased the past couple of days. It makes sense considering the close relationship that the muscles in the neck have with the tongue and swallowing. If someone like me has a tendency to tilt their head in one direction, the force of the swallow will be focused on that side, reinforcing an unbalanced swallow and unbalanced tongue posture. This in turn can create tension in the neck, that could extend to other places in the body. The myofascial network ensures that tension in one area, can create tension in an entirely different area. Like you said, the cause of that tension or asymmetry, can be found anywhere the body. But it might also be true that the tongue is the epicenter of myofascial release. I don’t know.

It is interesting that you do not find chewing gum very helpful. I cannot remember which one, but I remember a video where Dr. Mew said that chewing gum actually helps to straighten out the teeth. I do feel that it is helping to straighten out the interior tipping of my molars.

I can understand what you mean when you talk about feeling your way. The mewing journey does not go in a straight line, and whenever I hit a roadblock, I find myself adjusting to slightly different techniques to continue moving forward. This latest exercise I’ve come up with is my latest adjustment. But what works today, will not necessarily work tomorrow. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to fine-tune correctly all the time, including myself, and this lack of a solid blueprint to follow can make things difficult. But perhaps if everyone just followed the basic principals of mewing and myofunctional therapy, than everything would turn out alright at the end.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 22/02/2019 9:08 am
zmaj111
New Member
Posted by: @shakti_om

I have asymmetries in my palate, jaw, and a little bit in my eyes. The right side of my upper palate is lower down than the left. My head also tilts a little bit to the right. I have not tried to push harder with my tongue on the right side of my palate, but it tends to naturally do it when I swallow, and try and hold correct tongue posture in a balanced manner.

Lately I have been doing an exercise where I tilt my head in various directions and then swallow, and/or do tongue presses. For instance, I will tilt my head to the left, my left ear towards my left shoulder, and then swallow. Tilt my head to the right, and swallow. Looking straight ahead, I will look to the left, and swallow. Look to the right and swallow. I will also look up and slightly to the right, and swallow. Then look up and slightly to the left, and swallow.

What I observed when doing this, is that when swallowing in these various directions, it is working slightly different muscle groups, activating the weaker aspects of my swallowing structure. My tongue posture becomes much more balanced, and the left side of my palate, which is vaulted, comes down and is more even with the right side. In theory I believe this exercise could help to fix the imbalance of the musculature, and eventually fix structural asymmetries.

In many threads it is suggested that to fix asymmetries in the face, we should push harder on the side of the face that is lower down, and chew more on that side. I’m not sure if that is the best idea. My personal opinion, is that we should focus on creating a balance of the musculature, not only in the facial structure and swallowing structures, but throughout the body. By pushing harder on the lower side, it may seem like we are creating that balance, but it also could be making the asymmetries worse.

It is also my opinion that too much attention is focused on how to press the tongue instead of how to swallow correctly. Improper facial growth began with an incorrect swallow, so it make sense to me that it will be fixed with a correct swallow.

Lastly, when embracing the mewing lifestyle, I think it is important to embrace all aspects. That includes tongue posture, chewing, and postural exercises. Intense gum chewing may be especially important to fix facial asymmetries, so that the outer U of the face is strengthened and working in concert with the inner U.

A consistent complaint that I see from people on the forum, is that mewing is making their asymmetries worse. If this is truly happening on a consistent basis, it is important that it is understood. Hopefully Dr. Mew can address this issue in the near future.

I am open to any opinions and disagreements on the matter. I am learning along with everyone else.

I'm in same position, I'v been mewing for like 6 months now and I'v noticed some effects of it - but I noticed it more on my left side. My left side is stronger, sharper and more developed, instead of both sides same. I got one question, how much per day you recommend doing this exercise and how much time took you to see results from it? 

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Posted : 15/01/2020 7:04 pm
ShaktiOm
Trusted Member

@zmaj111

I used to do this exercise several times a day but now I do it once or twice a day. The feeling of balance in my tongue and swallow function was immediate after starting the exercise. The asymmetries in my palate began to improve in about a month, and I saw more improvement month to month.   The asymmetries in my face have improved but it is still a work in progress  along with the asymmetries in my palate.  

Everyone is different, and progress will be dependent on age along with overall body strength and balance. As discussed in the above thread, mewing is best approached from a whole body perspective.

These days I also focus a lot on expanding my tongue like a balloon while practicing proper tongue posture and while swallowing. Sometimes I will also purposely swallow using just the muscles in the right side of my tongue and throat with my head in a neutral position. I personally do this because my swallow tends to slide towards the left side of my mouth and throat. Still my overall goal is to create as balanced a tongue posture and swallow as possible. Recently I started using a myobrace mouthpiece which is helping me tremendously to create this balance.  At the moment it is helping me more than any technique or exercise I have a tried. I just wrote about my experiences in this post if you are interested...

https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/myobrace-sizing-and-use/#post-27665

 A video about the Myobrace https://youtu.be/qKHXU-tWjoQ

ReplyQuote
Posted : 15/01/2020 9:32 pm
zmaj111
New Member
Posted by: @shakti_om

@zmaj111

I used to do this exercise several times a day but now I do it once or twice a day. The feeling of balance in my tongue and swallow function was immediate after starting the exercise. The asymmetries in my palate began to improve in about a month, and I saw more improvement month to month.   The asymmetries in my face have improved but it is still a work in progress  along with the asymmetries in my palate.  

Everyone is different, and progress will be dependent on age along with overall body strength and balance. As discussed in the above thread, mewing is best approached from a whole body perspective.

These days I also focus a lot on expanding my tongue like a balloon while practicing proper tongue posture and while swallowing. Sometimes I will also purposely swallow using just the muscles in the right side of my tongue and throat with my head in a neutral position. I personally do this because my swallow tends to slide towards the left side of my mouth and throat. Still my overall goal is to create as balanced a tongue posture and swallow as possible. Recently I started using a myobrace mouthpiece which is helping me tremendously to create this balance.  At the moment it is helping me more than any technique or exercise I have a tried. I just wrote about my experiences in this post if you are interested...

https://the-great-work.org/community/main-forum/myobrace-sizing-and-use/#post-27665

 A video about the Myobrace https://youtu.be/qKHXU-tWjoQ

Thank you buddy for sharing this information, appreciate it. I will definitely give it a shot and will respond to this If I see some positive effects from it.

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Posted : 16/01/2020 8:00 am
ShaktiOm liked
aeonaton
New Member

@shakti_om

interesting: you mention Myobrace.

i have been using an adapted gumshield as an adhoc aid to Mewing practice: gumshield is re-moldable can be easily cut and designed for purpose can be chewn upon as are designed to protect teeth in impact situations: early days yet, will have to 'suck it and see' how things progress. initially saw Myobrace video, linked above, which spurred me on to try traditional sports gumshield because of visual similarities between them.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 20/01/2020 5:25 am
ShaktiOm
Trusted Member

@aeonaton

The gum shield you are using, does it cover your top and bottom teeth? I can see how something that just covers your top teeth could cause some problems especially if you have jaw deviation and asymmetry. One would also have to be careful not to develop or encourage an incorrect swallowing pattern such as the one demonstrated at the 3:02 mark in this video.

https://youtu.be/hWZt7TANrtY?t=181

I came across these devices recently made by the Myo Research Company, the same people who make the myobrace...

http://myoresearch.com/appliances/the_tmj_system/59

I think the TMJ appliance and the Bruxogard could be especially useful for people who want something that encourages proper tongue function and creates a balanced jaw, without the remodeling and dental correction that the myobrace encourages. Like you were saying, something that simply aids in the mewing process. I'm also wondering if it could work for people who's jaw is actually too big to wear the myobrace.

After reading your post I did a little research on different kinds of gum shields and found some that cover the top and bottom teeth…

http://www.toothytoucan.com/products/Gum_Shields

https://www.shockdoctor.com/search?q=double%20mouthguard

Is this the kind of thing you were talking about?

As many have noted on this site, mewing with asymmetries can be a difficult process. It's hard to know if we are truly achieving balanced tongue posture when the asymmetry keeps getting in the way.  I find comfort now in knowing that the myobrace is providing me with a level of balanced tongue posture and jaw alignment that I would not have been able to achieve on my own. I recognize however that it is important to not completely rely on it, and continue to work in other ways as well, such as the exercise above, chin tucking, overall body exercise etc.

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Posted : 20/01/2020 9:11 am