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Think for yourself, don't be dogmatic for your own good
These are some of my thoughts and opinions about my experiences with mewing these last 4 months.
When I first started mewing I had no idea how I was previously chewing and swallowing on my own. I wish I had. But that's what happens when you become dogmatic, and never question what you are told. I take full responsibility.
So eventually I started to question closed mouth chewing when I saw that the muscles in between the masseter and the temporalis started to atrophy. I not only saw that in my reflection, but I felt it when I put my hand in that area. It was like it vanished. I know I never had this before. I also noticed my jaw kind of hinge in a wierd way especially when I lay down, but most noticeably, I could not put my lips together anymore with ease, but instead it was a concerted effort that began with them pursing tightly together in an unattractive manner. It just did not seem natural or right to me. I think there is A LOT to be said for that and I think it is important to not ignore our own innate intuitions
I decided to do an experiment where I put both of my hands on each side of my face while I was eating, and I did first open mouth chewing, and then closed mouth. After experimenting for a while I came to the personal conclusion that closed lip seal while chewing only worked the masseter and nothing else, while open mouth chewing worked all the muscles from the masseter up to the temporalis. I felt quite sure that the masseter was not being worked any less with open mouth chewing.
I then proceeded to get quiet and I reflected on what I HAD been doing all my life before mewing, and with a little bit of help of chewing on some food and letting my natural instincts come forth instead of contrived with rules, I realized that I chewed both with open AND closed mouth. It all depended on the food. Was it cold, was it hot, was it crunchy, was it juicy, was it so soft like mush? All of these things were to be considered factors. I also thought about how I eat when I am alone, as opposed to when I am with a friend or in a restaurant or in a public place. Naturally in presence of company, my manners sharpen up. When I am in company I tend to chew much more closed mouth and in tinier bites and chews, careful not to get any food or drink on my face.
I then decided to just drop everything, and just chew all the time like I did before. With no set of rules. Just natural. What I found and what I believe to be true is that normal is to chew with both open and close mouth. I believe the mouth adapts to the food and drink. There is no black and white in chewing. This way I believe, is what gets the face all the workout it needs, to become well developed.
Based on my own experience this led me to wonder if 100% lip seal while chewing is actually the causal agent for long nasolabial folds and gauntness in the midface which is very aging looking. I believe that was beginning to happen to me. Of course, a young person would never experience this, but in an older person perhaps past 30 years old +, it will start to show. In fact some are advising losing weight to gain that sculpted look. They don’t realize that losing fat on the face causes aging and a person to look older. Sure, it may look good on a 20 year old, but not once you reach 30 and +. Unless you are really overweight this is a demonstration of a lack of wisdom, but I would only hope that anybody old enough to know better, would not fall for this bad piece of advise.
Since I have reverted back to my normal chewing pre: mewing, my mid face and sides have thankfully come back and my masseter has NOT decreased in size. I can put my lips together again without the disability of a poor old woman with no teeth. I also look better, and that I deem is worth it’s weight in gold!
I do have respect for Mike Mew. I believe he has integrity, and I do believe his mission is honorable, however none of what he is recommending has been scientifically studied. In fact I know he has said himself that there is a lot he doesn’t know himself. I hope that his project and mission will be funded in the near future.
I also think this forum is great, as opposed to Youtube. I am so glad I found it. There is a lot of great discussion and debate here, and that is very very healthy. Whether you agree with me or not, I would heartily encourage anyone to keep thinking for yourself and questioning, and if you see a problem, don’t keep going on just because someone told you so because they are an ‘expert’. That is very dangerous. Keep learning!
I thought I should come back and mention for clarifications sake, the subject of swallowing. Since I didn’t mention it in my OP, I wanted to mention here that I do follow the tongue placed on the upper part of my palate, and I do swallow the way Mr. Mew has advised.
However, as I have seriously reflected on my past eating habits, I realized that most likely, I had been following this all along. I have known about having the tongue on the upper palate for about a decade. I had been learning breathing exercises, and no matter what method it was, it always called for the tongue to be up on the roof of the mouth. So I was aware of that and made sure that it was up, although I believed that it was already naturally up for most of the time, although I observed it did a nose dive when under stress.
Here are some musings of mine. I wonder if Mr. Mew designed chewing to be closed mouth and 100% lip seal, because of so many mouth breathers out there. That seemed to be his main focus. I can see that instruction..in order to train mouth breathers to breathe through their nose. However, I have never been a mouth breather myself and I am sure there are many more like me, and the thing is is that I have been chewing naturally with both open and closed mouth all my life. When I chew and my mouth opens (we are talking small and conservative, not ornary sizes) I am not breathing with my mouth at all. I am still breathing with my nose. I’m just trying to explain that there are many scenarios here and things are not black and white.
My personal history is that I have always had a good looking jaw and face from the very beginning. I don’t know where their tongues lay, but my parents were European, and my Dad had very high cheekbones, and my mother was very beautiful. I don’t think I became as good looking as they are/were, but I have had people randomly tell me my whole adult life, that I could have been a model. However, having said that, interestingly, I developed extremely bad posture from years of sitting too much as a child. I was such a bookworm, and pretty much read every fiction book in the library. In any case, this did not stop me from having a well developed face and jawline. I am 100% sure I chewed with a combo of open and closed mouth, however, I cannot say for sure where my tongue lay, as I can only assume it was at the majority at the top of my palate, except for periods of stress. Since habits are deeply ingrained, I would imagine I was no different as a child, than I am now.
So this is my conclusion on mewing based on my life history and experience :
1)Tongue posture does contribute and is helpful for good posture, but it is not the single cause of bad posture. The body is many parts of a whole, and they all work synergistically together. Everyone is different. Everyone is unique in their posture and the levels of bad posture. The body must been looked at as a whole. Having good tongue posture is not going to solve bad posture problems in everyone.
2) Open mouth chewing does not mean you will have to mouth breathe. You can successfully breathe properly from your nose, as you chew naturally adapting to the needs of the food in your mouth, whether that is closed mouth, or open mouthed chewing.
3) Open and closed mouth chewing create a balance and beauty in the face. Masseters do not shrink upon open mouth chewing.
4) Bone structure and facial asymmetry has strong genetic factors.
5) Bone structure also has nutritional factors.
6) 100% closed mouth chewing causes atrophy of the muscles between the masseter and the temporalis. Lips will atrophy and become thinner.
Nasolabial lines will develop and become more pronounced.
7)Since I have stopped 100% closed mouth chewing and lip seal, my lips have gotten fuller again, and my orbicularis oris and rishoris and nasiolabial lines have moved upwards, giving me a younger look. In fact it is one of the main things that makes someone look younger. (and just perhaps .. this is the reason why you guys are saying you are looking more manlier (older)).
8) When I stopped 100% closed lip seal, and chewed both open and closed mouth (whatever came naturally to adapting to food) my mandible moved forward much faster.
9) I caution women especially, to be very careful what you do. It will be very difficult to restore gauntness and long creased nasiolabial folds as you get older. (**As good looking Mike Mew is, he has this and it is pronounced for his age. I know several other men his age that do not have this. In fact not even my mother nor her 90 yrs old bf has this**.). As people age we lose collagen, bone and we lose fat naturally. Sudden weight loss causes skin to sag and it may not recover depending on your age. Women as they age, need to keep at least 5 extra pounds on their body, to keep their face looking youthful and free from sagging, wrinkles and lines. Cheeks are youthful looking. Please caution that most of the mewing instructors are young males.
10) I have been regularly perplexed upon seeing others show pictures of models (they are always men) and them talking like they know how that model or actor got their strong face structure from. They talk about the tongue and make up facts of how that model or actor got such a good face structure whether it be regarding chewing gum or tongue posture. That is not fair or truthful because Mike Mew himself said in one of his videos that one cannot know where another person has his tongue. So if that is the case ..why are all these people doing analyses like they know for sure? They don't. That is highly unfair against those celebrities that they are using as examples, when they do not know them, have not had the opportunity to speak for themselves whether through conversation or interview. Poor Brad Pitt! Does anybody care about how he feels about all this? So all what is happening here is assumption. (And P.S. please have a look at a picture of Brad Pitt's father and his wide jaw line, to see that it is highly probable and likely it is genetic!)
See 2:26 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNH_O7kFCPA
His brother, Doug Pitt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-mDnV0db74
And here is Brad Pitt when he was a baby to young child. He was born with a wide and strong jawline. Surely at this age, it could clearly not be from chewing wads of gum.
I find it interesting that the person who they should be using as a model is Mike Mew, himself. Mike Mew is the face of mewing, is he not? It's not all the deceptive photos that are being shown of models and actors that have never mewed. Mike Mew's face should be the one that everyone should be using as an example of how they want to look, if any. His face should be the one that is analyzed. Both men and women should be looking at his face, and asking themselves if they want to look like him in the future- as opposed to some young model who shows no signs of a gaunt atrophied mid face and deep nasolabial folds (that unfortunately make one look sad or depressed looking, and older than their age). None of those models are mewing. Is this not deception ?
I wonder why Mike Mew does not have ordinary pictures of his patients. He should have files of all the people he has helped, he should have before and after pictures. He needs to have enough case histories and collected data to be seriously considered to embark on a scientific study. Do not misunderstand for even a second ..I have no hard feelings towards Mike Mew, at all, I like him, but I am a thinker and I am not easily led, especially when I experienced unwanted results. Mike Mew has put himself forth to the public and he is the face of mewing, and otherwise, I would not be even thinking of how he looks as a human being, because it is not what is really important on the deeper plain of humanity.
There are several muscles that close the jaw. Each engages at a different point in the mastication process. For example, I find my temporal muscles engage more when I chew gum in my front teeth or when I take a strong bite of something hard like thick crust bread.
my story: http://www.aljabri.com/blog/my-story/
Hi Abduhl. I do agree with you. I did an experiment where I put the palms of my hands on the side of my face to note the difference between open and closed mouth chewing. but I found that there was only minimal activity in the temporalis compared to open mouthed chewing I also love crunchy and crusty things like toasted bread, and I have also chewed closed mouth from the sides and front of my teeth but for me personally, it was minimal. If it wasn't minimal then the portion of my face between masseter and temporalis would not have atrophied. It also was beginning to create for me a wierd chipmunk face shape because of this. I did not like it, nor intuitively think it was natural. My lips got thinner, I had problems putting my lips together without looking like I was first going to whistle. It was unattractive looking. and I have become aware of this same problem with others, but I have questioned it.
If you like what you see in the mirror, then that's great, and I am very happy for you! I don't think that this is black and white, though. I think a lot more research needs to be done, and we need to stay away from preaching dogmatism. This seems like a very good community where good discussion and respectable conversation happens were we can each be listened to. Thank you for sharing !
I'm bumping this thread of mine in a last attempt of hoping I will still receive some more replies. While I appreciated the previous 2, I am still looking for answers to my concern over the problems that arose while mewing, primarily - the cause of my nasolabial folds increasing in length and depth (which I see in the mirror).
So my question is: Did this just happened to me .. or is this the objective of what mewing (mewing tongue posture, mewing swallowing) does ? Because without all the answers, it is hard to determine whether I still want to continue mewing at all, which I started initially for healthful reasons. At this point I am in stagnation, except that I still hold my tongue at the top of my maxilla (which I always did for the majority of the time, I believe).
I am a young looking 54- 1/2 year old woman. As I stated previously, I started mewing about 4 months ago. While I was blessed with high cheekbones and an overall very good bone and facial structure as a young woman, like everyone else, I started to age. At around age 30, I got into facial exercises, namely Deb Crowley's Flexeffect and her Bone Remodeling program. It really helped me (along with some other skin care tools) and I was pretty happy to be able to look younger than my age. So when I started seeing after starting to Mew that my nasolabial folds increased in depth and in length, and my cheeks disappear, I was very alarmed. I did not expect this!
While some believe that hollow cheeks are attractive, I'll share that in my own opinion I would say, it could only look good on a young person. Hollow cheeks, afterall, intensifies the cheekbones and jawline, and that sounds good, but it is also a biomarker of age (hollow cheeks). For a person past the age of 30-35, and more particularly in the cases of women (but man included), hollow cheeks and long nasolabial folds will not be seen as attractive anymore ( I have spent so much time on facial exercise forums), as this happens naturally with the aging process - a thinning of the face, a loss of collagen and a loss of cheek volume. I am doing everything to fight that and keep my cheeks looking young and plump naturally. I do believe you can still have very good facial structure, cheekbones, jawline and definition,and still keep the volume. I believe the benefit is a balanced face. That is what I am personally trying to do at my age.
Update: Just wanting to share another observation that I had forgotten to talk about, and that I see others talking about, which reminded me. I also noticed after Mewing that my eyes were becoming more deepset or sunken in. I was wondering about that, but my nasolabial folds were bothering me so much, and that took all my focus. If deep set eyes or hooded eyes are deemed as masculine, as a woman, I would obviously not want that happening.
My last musing. Basta.
How can Mewing be good for my oral and general health, and yet at the same time cause an imbalance of facial muscles (some of which I witnessed atrophying) leading me to age in physical appearance ? Hmm.
@Whistler Beauty and health are related. All the reasons you mention above and more are shared concerns. Keeping lips together while eating is not great.. it does lengthen the philtrum. If something isn't broken, don't fix it, right? I guess that optimization is the goal. Good sleep, good skin care... and I did get some retrusion of maxilla. Eyes are related to the dental arches... or can be. The sunken eyes can also be an illusion that's created from a shorter face. Yep... I had the same problems... almost to a T. Seriously. I'm pushing 40 and it definitely aged me. I did find a strategy on my own to advance my maxilla and am happy with it. It actually became retruded by "Mewing"...so there you go! Can you please explain what you mean by hollow cheeks? I posted an antiaging chewing post on where to chew food. I believe that chewing food out in cheeks would pronounce jowls over time. Any clenching or pressure I've been talking about from day 0 on this site. Anyway... if you shorten the face, the skin doesn't shorten... so it kind of has a more obvious verticle line for what I think you're referring to as nasolabial folds. Dr. Mike Mew mouth taped and keeps lips sealed and chews huge wads of gum. Yes... these can mess up the skin aesthetic. Not everyone is attuned to detail as you and I. The thing is... men aren't judged harshly on their looks. That's why they're blind to much of this. We women pay attention.
Dark Indigo I really like your post. I recently popped back in and was surprised someone had answered. since then.
That is wonderful to get confirmation from you. I think you are spot on. Keeping lips completely sealed was causing a lot of my problems. I hated the lengthened philitrium. UGH. It is one of the major signs of aging, when that happens! Good for you for figuring it out.
I think you are right about the shortened face. I lost my cheeks, which is what I referred to as hollow cheeks. They used to be rounded and I believe that is youthful, pretty and friendly looking. My cheek volume decreased after Mewing, and the skin sagged down to my nose & mouth lines; you're right. It was due to atrophy of the cheeks/mid face area, and philitrum area. Mewing causes an imbalance of facial muscles.
I gave up following the chewing instructions quite some time ago, and just chew naturally now describing it as adapting to the texture of the food I'm eating. I'm enjoying my food again. It was just not normal. With that said, everything got better - my cheeks, my philitrium. However, I still have sunken eye,s and I'm not sure how to fix that. They seem to have gotten smaller, too, and I have some bags and a couple lines which I am concerned about. Perhaps as you said, it could be the shorter face or even the more pronounced cheekbones which mine are very high. But I have been doing Flexeffect for so many years, and I'm sure the bone remodeling has helped there with my cheekbones, but I never had the sunken eyes and bags and lines. I have experimented with tongue posture both pressing up and pressing forward. I gathered though that one should be doing both simultaneously, but over time I have come to honestly think it doesn't feel normal to have the whole tongue up -- all the time --.
Can you send me the link to your anti aging chewing post?
You say Mewing aged you, but then in another sentence you credit it to your maxilla retruding? Can you explain?
Finally, what is your strategy that you discovered and are happy with? I would really like to know!!
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