It has been almost two years since I started myofunctional therapy or working with the muscles of my mouth and face to improve function and health.
During this time, I have changed certain habits:
- I have trained my tongue to assume a new resting posture (also known as “mewing” in popular literature). Instead of lying at the bottom of my mouth or retracted back into my throat, today, it comfortably rests on my hard palate.
- As part of my tongue training, I have been practicing different tongue and mouth exercises, including stretching and massaging it (many of these exercises I have taught as part of the course).
- I no longer breathe through my mouth when I sleep. I started the practice of mouth taping to ensure the seal of the lips when I am sleeping. I used to tear off the tape midway through my sleep, but now I wake up with the tape still on. I largely attribute this ability to close my mouth shut during sleep and to breathe through my nose to the myofunctional therapy exercises.
- I developed an awareness of how the other parts of my body feel and noticed the strain patterns and worked on them through self-massages, breathing practices, and postural adjustments.
As a result of implementing these changes, my face and skull have changed in some respects, and relationship of my head to my neck has also improved.
Just as attention to the body, through exercising, massaging and stretching your muscles, can make changes to how one looks – from tense, flabby and/or skinny – to strong, supple and muscular, so can attention to myofunctional exercises and oral-postural habits lead to changes of the tissues of the face and structure of the skull.
I hope to use this to encourage you to explore your oral function, think about your posture, and practice the exercises and massages that can improve your equalization potential in this course. With regular practice, the orofacial muscles will strengthen and become more supple and flexible. You will gain awareness of your resting posture and start to address habits that lead to tense oral and facial muscles, like excessive chewing on one side, being in a constant sympathetic state that causes you to clench, or having a weak tongue and poor resting tongue posture that causes you to mouth breathe, leading to poor sleep at night.
It is not always quickly or easily visible, but a change of function will eventually change form. When the musculature of your mouth, face, and neck are improved, it will not only show in improved function, but also in improved form. The exercises are not always easy and do take time to practice, but the results are worth it. You will not only perform better, you will also look and feel better. You will feel more confident in exploring your body’s capability and learning new techniques. It comes as a package, so don’t hold back and begin your myofunctional exploration today!