Postural Foundation #3 – The Tongue

Another postural action I have spent years developing is strengthening the tongue. I never really thought much about this muscle in past, except that as a kid I heard it was the strongest muscle in the body, which never made sense to me -- I couldn’t lift a chair with my tongue.

Then one summer, doing yoga at the lake, I made a discovery.

I suffered at that time from chronic neck pain, which was exacerbated by my work. Leaning over a massage table always put my neck in a vulnerable position.

I had rented a cabin for two weeks, the first break I had taken in years. I was practicing forward bends on the deck, enjoying the sound of the loons, when the pain I knew so well said hello. For some reason, I contracted my tongue. To my amazement, the pain disappeared. This was noteworthy because the pain always kicked in when I bent forward. I relaxed my tongue and felt the pain; contracted it again and instantly felt relief. And so I found a new obsessive action to integrate.

I became aware of my tongue’s habitual bearing: forward and to the right. I clenched the left side of my jaw more and had issues with a molar there. I realized that there is a ridge at the roof of the mouth, about a pinky nail distance from the teeth, that perfectly fits the tongue -- a docking station. Whenever I could, I would move my tongue to that alignment.

This brought a whole new insight into neck pain. I had heard Dr. Oz once say that the neck weighs about ten pounds, but when incorrectly aligned can be up to a hundred pound force on the muscles of the upper back, neck and jaw. I had no trouble believing this because I personally had issues with all of those areas.

I started connect tongue alignment to vertebral alignment as so many of my patients suffered from arthritis of the neck. The forward head posture common all of us means that our vertebrae are not properly supported.

In fact, most people have such misaligned necks that there is considerable wear and tear in the joints. This is arthritis in a nutshell: inflammation of the joints due to incorrect alignment. Measures taken to remedy it will be temporary unless the neck is put back in place.

The tongue muscle is unique in that it is the only muscle in the body with only one attachment. Every other muscle has an origin and an insertion. When the tongue is properly placed, the head is repositioned and supported, maintaining proper alignment of the vertebrae. This allows the neck incredible range of motion and freedom.

This alignment is also crucial to all the structures in the area. For example, the carotid arteries, which are positioned at the front of the neck, are the main roadways supplying blood and oxygen to everything in the head: the brain, the eyes, the skin, the hair, the thyroid, the ears, etc. Using the tongue to keep the head and neck properly aligned allows optimal space for these tissues to be healthy and function with ease.

Improper postural alignment of the head contributes to health conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, thyroid disease, and the aging and function of the eyeballs. Proper neck and tongue alignment provide proper nutrition to the brain, eyes, mouth, teeth, and thyroid.  With proper alignment, the eyeballs have less opportunity to adhere to the sockets, accelerating aging and decreasing vision.

Decompressing the tissue, improving the breath and aligning the cells keep everything in the body healthy and functioning.
For life.

Learn how to dock your tongue and realign your neck to improve your posture through the head, neck and shoulders in this video. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you are there. Turn on your notification bell so you don’t miss any of the great videos we have planned for you!  We greatly appreciate your support.

Breathe and Believe

Next Week:  Fascia Dysfunction and Energy Cysts

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