Improve your Jawline Without Spending a Dime?
Mewing, What Is It and Does It Work?
By: Fredrick Little
If your anything like me, self-improvement is a major factor in your life. We run to strengthen our heart and lungs, we squat to strengthen our legs and we do push-ups to strengthen our arms; but for some reason, we never think about strengthening our faces. Most don't think it's possible and dismiss it without a second thought. Well, what if I told you that there's a school of thought that believes that it is. As a matter of fact, they believe doing so can benefit your health.
Looks are extremely important in society. Throughout time we have adapted to make quick subconscious decisions about people based on the way they look. Quoting the academic journal Facial attractiveness: evolutionary based research "In evolutionary terms, there is a large and obvious selective advantage in detecting healthy partners both for social exchange and mate choice. Indeed, while the role of health in mate preferences is clear (see below), recent work has demonstrated that participants are more willing to reciprocate trust from healthy-looking social partners than from social partners who are relatively unhealthy-looking ." This probably doesn't come as a surprise. Beautiful people are celebrated by society, and facial symmetry is the key to that beauty.
Humans are hard-wired to love symmetry. I mean, look at some of our most treasured art. The symmetry of the face is just as important to good aesthetics. "those that have less asymmetry and imperfections, are perceived as having better and stronger immune systems to withstand the infections and parasites that occur naturally. So, symmetry is a good indicator of a person having good genes to pass on their offspring". FACIAL SYMMETRY AND ATTRACTIVENESS, Lee Bader from Penn state.
So, what can we do About it? Well, the truth may have been overlooked for years. According to Mike Mew, The secret to improving the structure of our faces and reaching our genetic potential is a practice he calls mewing
What is mewing?
To put it simply, mewing is maintaining proper tongue posture. The theory suggests that when we flattening the tongue against the roof of the mouth it helps shape and correct the imperfections in our face. Another quote from FACIAL SYMMETRY AND ATTRACTIVENESS "Everyone's genes are designed to develop a face perfectly symmetrical, but as we grow, develop, and then age, disease, infections, and parasites cause imperfection in our appearance (asymmetry)."
We never stop growing, the rate of change just slows down as we age. Being intentional about our action we can influence the way that we grow. In this case, our posture is the prime candidate for correction.
Founders of Mewing
The original founder of mewing is John Rc Mew, MD. However, His son, Mike Mew, MD is responsible for the recent resurgence of the practice. Michael has posted several YouTube videos about the subject, and as a result, received a decent following. However, he also has received a decent amount of criticism.
Does it work?
Dr. Mew has been expelled from the British Orthodontic Society for "misleading the public." Mew addresses it in this video. In science, it's important that one move's slowly and carefully. The risk posed by misinformation is multiplied in concerns to the medical field.
It is important that practices are vetted over long periods of time and that they are cross-examined by different medical professionals. People could lose their lives or suffer serious injury otherwise. Unfortunately, Dr. Mew shared his hypothesis with the public before it was adequately vetted and approved by his peers. However, this is only one perspective.
The common belief among mews followers if the orthodontic society is trying to silence mew because his theories can significantly impact the industry. I can neither confirm or deny that this is true.
Dr. Mew claims that he has achieved results in guiding the facial development of at least 30 children at his orthopedic clinic. In addition to his own results, people from across the world are reporting signs of progress.
Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels
Mewing is placing one's tongue on the soft palate(roof of the mouth), in hopes of expansion. This expansion remodels the maxilla. The maxilla is the bone that forms the upper jaw. It has the potential to heavily influence one's appearance because it makes up most of the face. Having a well-developed maxilla provides prominent cheekbones, a wide smile, a chiseled jaw, better eye support, and even symmetrical teeth.
Mew suggest that developing the maxilla has shown the ability to correct and prevent both underbite as well as an overbite. This is fortunate because both have the potential to lead to mandible temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to the side of your head. Problems with the joint and muscles around it have the potential to cause cause:
Pain that travels through the face, jaw, or neck
Stiff jaw muscles
Limited movement or locking of the jaw
Painful clicking or popping in the jaw
A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together
Breathing and swallowing complications
Swallowing seems like something we should know how to do instinctually. After all, one of the basic survival is eating and drinking. The truth is that there is a right and a wrong way to do just about everything. Swallowing is no exception, and performing it incorrectly could lead to problems with speech.
Tongue thrusting habit is a condition in wich tongue makes contact with any teeth when swallowing. " higher number of children with tongue thrusting showed lip incompetency (86% vs. 14%), mouth-breathing habit (38% vs. none), hyperactive mentalis muscle activity (24% vs. none), Open-bite (52% vs. none) and lisping (86% vs. none) when compared to children without tongue thrust."Quote from an academic journal, Comparison of soft-tissue, dental, and skeletal characteristics in children with and without tongue-thrusting habit.
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Mewing teaches the correct method to swallow, and therefore, should eliminate speech disorders and breathing malfunctions. Two of the most prominent among these are sinus infection and sleep apnea.
Pros vs cons
Let's start by ripping off the band-aid.
Mewing is reported to be more effective as a preventative method for children and young adults.
It could take years to see results.
There is no concrete evidence.
There have been studies that contribute credibility to tongue posturings effects.
Although there are no clinical trials there are people claiming that mewing yielded positive results for them.
If done correctly, there are no negative health effects associated with the practice.
Mewing 101( How to Mew )
Pronounce the word "sing". Don't worry too much about the "si" focus on the "ng" sound.
Use the n to locate the Incisive canals. It's that small bump on the roof of your mouth behind your teeth. This is where the tip of your tongue should be.
Use the g to place the rest of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. The entire tongue should be on the roof, the back especially because it supports the expansion.
Allow your teeth to Gently rest on each other. They should barely be touching. If your doing it correctly there should be a suction effect. When you open your moth you should hear a pop. If you don't, you either are pressing too hard or not hard enough.
Hold this position all the time, even while sleeping! The only times your tongue should leave this position is during a speech, while chewing and maybe during exercise.
To properly swallow while mewing, chew the food properly. Doctors recommend 35 bites. After the food is chewed scoop it with your tongue and use the same motion you used to achieve the mewing posture, to initiate swallowing. Do not let your tongue push on your teeth or suck the food down with your cheeks.