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Face pulling - my experience  

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Euclid
(@phi)
New Member

I'd like to begin by saying how highly informative this forum has been, especially having read and learned from everyone's experience in their progress to towards cranial, facial, postural, nasal and respiratory improvements - inspirational indeed. I  tend to browse and spectate applying certain methods, but thought it best I share my experiences.

I'm 33 and began mewing back on-off since March, I would say with certainty that  my mewing progress was very minor, and I attribute that to poor posture and form. Around June, I then decided to switch up and supplement it with thumb-based face pulling and even belt pulling - I believe the former concept was first introduced by Keengo? In my case I didn't expect much, but was I surprised to see the result. First I measured my inter-molar dental width which using dental calipers I purchased on Amazon, initial reading were 34.8mm - 3 weeks into routing face pulling and the occasional mewing and this jumped up to close to 37mm, and it definitely showed physically (definitely not placebo). The previously flat cheek bones now began revealing initially light and then more prominent lift and outward appearance, the face appears wider and the ogee-curve (I believe it's called) when viewed from an angle seemed slightly more pronounced. My lips which were uneven due to a slight projection in the upper left of my lip (believe it's called the upper vermillion border) also began to appear more even or symmetrical (better but not perfect). I believe the lift is possibly caused by dental unevenness or too much zygo muscle tightness on the left side of the face

Unfortunately because of heavy time constraints (work demands) and, possibly because I started an course of Invisalign treatment 2 months ago to tackle my class II malocclusion, all that progress completely receded, which was almost crippling to see when you consider the results. The Invisalign treatment however is going to contribute to another 3mm of width growth, according to simulations.

I recently picked up the face pulling technique again, and low and behold despite the Invisalign I have began to see results again - all be it at a slower rates I believe, probably due to the inverse force from the Invisalign.

At the time I was supplementing everything with as much correct spinal posture as possible (even purchased a should and back strap designed to condition better posture), chin tucking and mewing (not frequent however - still trying to make this a round the clock routine!). I strongly believe correct posture and form is key. 

 

 

 

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Posted : 07/12/2018 11:39 am Apollo liked
Greensmoothies
(@greensmoothies)
Estimable Member

That's an interesting result. Mew has said bringing the maxilla up and forwards will help resolve asymmetry, I wonder if you accomplished this due to your report of resolving asymmetry. Also I suspect to keep all of the thumb pulling results after a break you need a retainer, I took a break too and despite being a religious mewer, the maxilla progress I gained from thumb pulling reduced back by about 25%, I've slowly regained it over several months doing far fewer sessions per day because the hourly sessions caused fatigue for me after 3 weeks which isn't compatible with my life style. Thanks for your report.

This post was modified 3 days ago by Greensmoothies
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Posted : 07/12/2018 11:51 am
Euclid
(@phi)
New Member

I can attest to the fatigue - that certainly kicked in, and caused bit of a downer - I think because of all the cortisol my body was releasing due to fatigue. Increasing your calorific intake with good food and decent sleep (7hrs of rest per night) helps combat that, I think that I was hitting the Gym 3 times a week contributed too - you just need to balance it with good rest as you've suggested.

I've certainly seen improvements to symmetry largely from the thumb pulling - Selfee's I've taken in the same light look aesthetically pleasing - this was only after 3-4 weeks just to add. Thanks to the widening I've actually managed to get my thumbs in the hard area behind the maxilla and started pushing forward, up at an angle and outwards - I can hold this for 1 min before full cranial tension (and the gag reflex!) kicks in. This is something I've been able to do recently so I'm yet to asses any progress from it, however I wasn't even close to being able to get my thumbs that far back, let alone behind the palate - I can feel the increased width inside my mouth.

Unfortunately retention by way of retainer in my case will be difficult due to the Invisalign trays having to remain attached for 22hrs per day - still I dont see it harming my progress thus far. Once the treatment is over I will ensure that the retainers the clinic issue are the removal type -  I've heard about the permanent wire strips, which concerns me as it will stunt any potential for growth. 

This post was modified 3 days ago 5 times by Euclid
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Posted : 07/12/2018 12:11 pm
Greensmoothies
(@greensmoothies)
Estimable Member

It's a tough call because the removable retainer may hinder further expansion if it's a hawley type. Then if you ditch it for a while and mew and/or thumb pull, it might not fit again. Here's Mew's video where he recommends the permanent strips and reviews types of retainers

To retain results after stopping, I was thinking one of those removable expanders that can be purchased at braces shop or somewhere similar could be useful. That way you can set it where need be as you expand and hopefully it could also help serve to retain all results. But I haven't tried this and it's only something I think could help during breaks.

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Posted : 07/12/2018 4:02 pm
Greensmoothies
(@greensmoothies)
Estimable Member

I will add something I neglected to mention before, which is how you had success expanding a few mm with this method in a 3 week time period, just like I and at least one other person reported in the thumb pulling thread @allixa started, but the key difference being your starting point was the mid 30s and mine and the other person was early 40s. I wasn't quite sure if my expansion result could be explained away since my palate was already wide, and mewing expansion can happen quickly when the palate is wide (there are several reports here of people expanding from 39mm to 45mm in 6 months). So your report of expansion results is very interesting.

I also wanted to ask about your new technique @phi am I understanding correctly, you are pulling from behind the soft palate? If so that's very brave. I have been meaning to try a myofascial release there but I keep chickening out. There is also a user here @ramonT iirc, describing a technique of pushing the tongue backwards and past the uvula, I guess if it's accomplished the tongue could be used to push against the maxilla in this manner as well.

https://the-great-work.org/community/case-discussions/a-better-anchor-for-the-whole-tongue-for-mewing-imho-it-will-cut-by-half-or-less-the-time-it-takes-to-seeing-result/

http://www.observedimpulse.com/2015/05/intraoral-myofacial-release-for.html

This post was modified 2 days ago 4 times by Greensmoothies
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Posted : 08/12/2018 2:52 pm
Euclid
(@phi)
New Member

That is very interesting. Regarding the retainer options, I'm surprised to hear that Dr Mew encourages the permanent metal strip behind the upper 4 incisors - although he does  recommend neither option if you're diligent enough in mewing. It seems a bit conflicting. The word permanent registers to me something that resists movement, I'm curious to know how a metal strip holding the teeth in place can respond to outward force? I'd anticipate that with the upper incisors held in place that any mewing force will be forward only and not outward? - we want to combine forces in the upwards, latitudinal and longitudinal directions. Unless the wires are flexible enough to move with the force I'm curious to see how mewing can achieve the same result - it's interesting, I'll need to apply a bit more thought to it.

This post was modified 22 hours ago 2 times by Euclid
This post was modified 21 hours ago by Euclid
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Posted : 09/12/2018 5:54 pm
Euclid
(@phi)
New Member

I happened to adapt my thumb pulling technique ('tpt' for short) through a combination of my own techniques alongside suggestions provided in the tpt forums that mentioned using the thumbs as a contact point, providing the actual force against the palate and the remaining fingers pressed, in my case near or above the temples acting as stabilisers.

Originally my technique involved pressing both thumbs (the tips) against the middle of the palate, pushing upwards and then outwards until the thumbs reached the ridge and then pulling with force - refraining from touching the teeth as much as possible. However I started to switch up and add another routine to this, which involved massaging (actually pushing) the palate in the direction of the arch going outwards using the thumb. I press the base of my thumb (not the tip) against the middle of the palate right at the back near the soft tissue, push up and while holding that force move the thumbs left and right until you hit the ridges holding and even increasing the forces at the ridge - in order to force expansion. I then move down the palate mid-way, applying this technique again and keep going until the whole arch has been massaged. I then do this in reverse apply the force backwards up the arch. Since this technique involves using one thumb at a time it make sense to switch thumbs after each set if they get sore. I may also apply extra pressure by pressing my other thumb on top of the other applying the additional force - think of it as rubbing the palate in a controlled manner with the thumb. The technique is effective as I have heard my sutures pop doing this.
I'd do this with as many sets (usually 5-6) as I can in the time I allow. I also attempt to perform all of this with a straight spine and a McKenzie chin tuck.

The time I spend can range anywhere from 2 to 5 mins per session. And I attempt to perform each session every 1-2hrs (setting a timer on your phones clock really helps as a reminder).

With regards to the new technique - yes this involved pressing behind the palate where the soft tissue is. it is funny you mention @ramonT as it was his original post on the yogananda technique using the tongue, which gave me the idea to apply outward force using the thumbs from behind the palate. However, I really don't think I'll be continuing with this technique - the discomfort is just beyond what I'm willing to accept and it really doesn't justify having a soar palate afterwards. I will say this - When I do press outwards this way, my air passage (near and below the nasopharynx) really opens up and breathing in feels liberating, almost like how it was meant to be, however this is only experienced whilst pushing.
The reason I did this technique is so that I was applying forward projected forces after doing the widening activity using tpt. Instead I've gone back to using the belt pull to create the forward and outward force instead. I am not sure entirely on how much progress the belt pulling has contributed towards all of this though.

One thing I must state is that while thumb pulling is an effective technique, we shouldn't allow this to override correct tongue posture. In fact mewing should hold the same priority as thumb pulling/pushing as we need to build up tongue strength to continue to hold the cranium up. Only then do I believe that your cranium and spine will accept the change your forcing using the thumbs over the longer term. However I believe this is only possible with a correctly aligned spine, which is why I openly champion correct body and neck posture when doing any expansion technique.

This post was modified 21 hours ago 13 times by Euclid
This post was modified 20 hours ago 3 times by Euclid
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Posted : 09/12/2018 6:34 pm Apollo liked
Euclid
(@phi)
New Member

Just to add, I also chew hard mastic gum 3-4 times a week (45mins-1hr) to build up the masseter. 

This post was modified 21 hours ago by Euclid
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Posted : 09/12/2018 7:11 pm
Apollo
(@apollo)
Reputable Member
Posted by: Greensmoothies

I also wanted to ask about your new technique @phi am I understanding correctly, you are pulling from behind the soft palate? If so that's very brave. I have been meaning to try a myofascial release there but I keep chickening out. There is also a user here @ramonT iirc, describing a technique of pushing the tongue backwards and past the uvula, I guess if it's accomplished the tongue could be used to push against the maxilla in this manner as well.

Hi @greensmoothies it sounds like Euclid's new technique involves pressing his thumbs up into the soft pallet and then pulling forward on the hard palate. I've tried this before but not consistently. It's more comfortable for me to use my tongue rather than my thumbs there. This is in the area of the "pocket" that RamonT describes tenting his tongue up into the soft palate. I have tried the manual myofascial release of the nasopharynx that you recommended and wrote about it here (  https://the-great-work.org/community/case-discussions/my-routine/paged/5/#post-11414 ). My gag reflex is gradually desensitizing, and I've pressed against several of the structures on the back and side walls, but I haven't reached far enough to try pushing forward. My tongue certainly isn't able to reach beyond my uvula even with assistance from my fingers, but I do like pressing my tongue up into the soft palate and then pushing forward on the back of the hard palate.

This post was modified 19 hours ago 2 times by Apollo
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Posted : 09/12/2018 8:53 pm
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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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