Q: I wanted to tell you that I am really enjoying using your Orofacial Myology manual. It seems so much more organized that what I have received from other trainings. It seems to make so much more sense than other information I may have learned.
I have a question re: the Narrow Tongue At Will. I’m not sure how to narrow the tongue. What should that look like? I am trying to do it myself (I don’t have a tongue thrust – I think!), and I can get the tip of my tongue pointed, but it bowls in the center of my tongue- the entire tongue is not narrow. Also, I cannot really get the tip pointed without the tip curling up when it is in my mouth. The same thing was also happening with the client I am working with. I am wondering if I am doing it right, or what exactly it should look like.
Also, any tips for the exercise with the elastic on the tip of the tongue and it elevated slightly above the lower teeth? I can do it, but my clients curl their tongues up high, almost to the spot. It is hard for them to only raise it slightly above the lower teeth.
Thank you so much for your support!
A: Thank you for your compliments about the Myo Manual. We are pleased to help therapists and parents with a variety of questions and answers. Sometimes a few of the exercises are not perfectly clear without having attended the course, but I think I can help you out with these pretty well.
The narrow tongue should not be made outside of the mouth. With the mouth open, the tongue should first be completely still and resting: then the sides are drawn inward, resulting in narrowing of the tongue. There should not be a dip or indention in the middle of the tongue, nor should there be curling of the sides of the tongue. It is rather straight, perhaps slightly exiting the mouth as it lengthens, and held in a steady manner. There should be an absence of “overflow” such as lips rounding, jaw jutting, etc.
Since tongues differ, lingual frena differ, so you can select from our different exercises to achieve the main goal. For example, my favorite for that purpose is the Football Hold since it results in a skinny, pointed tongue right up towards the “spot.”
The other exercise you mentioned is with the elastic mid tongue and it is occasionally used to get some control in the tongue but is not needed for every patient. Find more exercises in your orofacial myology manual and let me know if you have any other questions.