The Functions of The Tongue Muscle
The tongue muscle has some obvious functions like chewing and speech, but did you know that it is also designed to help support the weight of the head? On the average person, the head weighs 8-10 pounds when it is properly aligned. Yet the head can put up to 100 pounds of pressure on the muscles of the upper back and neck when it falls forward out of alignment. Unfortunately, all you need to do is look around and see the common posture that is prevalent in society today.
Most people rest their tongue against the teeth, and often to one side. For me, when I am not conscious of its position, my tongue is always jutting forward and to the right. I clench more on the left side of my teeth, and this is, in part, the reason why.
The Proper Position For The Tongue Muscle
Notice at the roof of the mouth there is a ridge, about one centimeter from the teeth. Also notice how the tongue perfectly fits into this space. It is like a dock for the tongue. With the tongue in this alignment, it helps to support the weight of the head, and pulls the head back to a more correct alignment, relieving stress from the muscles in the area. Also notice that when the tongue is in this position, you can’t breathe through the mouth.
The Importance Of Breathing Through The Nose
It is important to breathe through the nose for a number of reasons. There are sensors in the nostrils, nose breathing warms and cleans the air as it is entering the lungs, and the life force receptors, (receptors for prana), live in the nostrils. The only time we should be breathing through the mouth is when we are talking, and in this case the tongue is active for that purpose.
Take The Time To Play Around With Your Tongue Muscle
Sit as you normally do and place your hand behind your neck. Notice how there is a collapse from our forward head posture. Now, place the tongue into the correct alignment and notice how that lengthens the back of the neck, creating more space for movement. This is such an important postural activity that I devoted an entire week in my 90-day program ’90 Days To A Whole New You’ to this powerful muscle, as it can be a benefit to our life, or a hindrance, adding more pain and tension to the neck and upper back.
Make it a habit to become aware of the function of your tongue muscle and you will be adding health, healing and rejuvenation to your cells and your life!
Breathe & Believe
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