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  • Writer's pictureDr. Melissa Adams

Your Tongue's Connections to Your Body (Part 3)

Girl holding a few books while standing primarily on her left leg with her right leg bent and toes on the ground, her left eye is winking, and her tongue is sticking out

Your tongue in its proper resting place - firmly against the roof of our mouth (your whole tongue, not just the tip of your tongue) can influence many areas of your body and even some of your body's movements.

One of many influences your tongue has, is on the muscles around your knee (specifically your thigh). Not only does it just influence it, but proper tongue posture can help to IMPROVE your knee function by upwards of 30%.

Something we have seen on several occasions has been the improvement of a patient's balance simply by having them put their tongue in its proper resting place. Many of our patients with poor balance have a low-resting-tongue, their tongue is resting on the bottom of their mouth as opposed to pressing firmly against the roof of their mouth.

Additionally, we have also used various devices to stimulate a patient's tongue, depending on what is going on and their goals, but in this process we often see an improvement in their balance.

If you think of your nervous system like balls of yarn, the ball itself is a "nuclei" and where nerves are starting/ending (trying to keep this simple!). In the human body, if a nerve goes to a location and there's another nerve (even if not directly related) very closeby, the stimulation/activation of one can sometimes strongly influence the other.

It is thought this may be what's happening when we provide an electrical stimulation to someone's tongue and it improves their balance. The nuclei (the ball where the yarn string stop/starts) for the tongue is close to the nuclei for the vestibular system, so stimulating one may be influencing another. Either way ... we know it works and we've had several patients who have experienced it themselves.

Ultimately, you have your tongue with you 24/7 and you can be working on your tongue strength and posture at any time, without others knowing. By working on your tongue posture you may be able to influence many body systems and improve your health and wellbeing. It sounds super simple but definitely worth a try! If you find yourself struggling with this, you can look up an myofunctional therapist in your area (some are working via zoom as well), this is their speciality.

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