The Benefits of Neuromuscular Re-Education in Myofunctional Therapy
Believe it or not, your tongue can have a great impact on your overall health. While our tongue can help us to properly chew our food and pronounce our words, it can also cause crooked teeth, migraines, and poor breathing habits. Here at Muscles in Harmony, our goal is to help get all of your muscles working together in harmony, and that includes the muscles in your jaw and tongue. Small changes can have large impacts on the scale of our lives and overall health. Fortunately, myofunctional therapy exists to correct many of these issues through a process called neuromuscular re-education.
What is Neuromuscular Re-Education?
Neuromuscular re-education is a process that helps to re-educate and train the facial structures, such as the jaw and tongue, to perform in a more natural way in an effort to prevent bad habits that lead to negative health effects. Oftentimes these problems occur subconsciously, such as when we are sleeping, so as opposed to learning new conscious habits, we need to train our brains to perform properly subconsciously. Our book, Please Release Me – The Tethered Oral Tissue (TOT) Puzzle is a great resource for anyone with a tongue looking to learn more about Myofunctional Therapy, providing them with helpful information and exercises to try to alleviate their issues.
What Does Myofunctional Therapy Treat?
Myofunctional therapy helps treat a variety of conditions, and it can even help to diagnose them. Tongue thrust and muscle imbalances in the face are the main causes of these issues, which include:
- Crooked teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Pain in the face, neck, and shoulders
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Stomach aches
- Thumb sucking
- Tongue and lip ties (TOTs)
Three of the most common disorders that Myofunctional therapy helps to treat are speech problems, dental issues, and sleep apnea.
Disorders of the face and mouth, also known as orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMD), can cause speech problems such as lisps. Myofunctional therapy can help to re-educate the way the jaw, lips, and tongue articulate sound.
OMDs can cause crooked teeth, abnormal bite patterns, and other dental issues. Myofunctional therapy helps to reposition the tongue and re-educate the jaw to move in a healthier, more natural pattern that will prevent these dental issues from occurring.
Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing suddenly stops and starts repeatedly during sleep and it can be very serious and result in further health issues. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, which Myofunctional therapy can help reduce the symptoms of by retraining the muscles in the throat and the tongue to reduce airway obstructions while the body is laying down.
Who can benefit from Myofunctional Therapy?
The process of neuromuscular re-education is a safe option for patients of all ages, including children. In fact, many of these OMDs are developed when we are children and so it is better to treat them earlier in life to prevent the subsequent health problems that can occur if these issues go untreated. Anyone suffering from any of the listed issues and disorders are a great fit for this type of therapy. Treatment simply involves exercises to strengthen the muscles and awareness practices to change unhealthy habits. Contact us here at Muscles in Harmony if you’d like to learn more.
Register Today to Discover the Myofunctional Therapy Puzzle!
Are you a current licensed Rdh, SLP, DDS, DO, PT, or OT ready to Discover the Myofunctional Therapy Puzzle? Register here to claim your spot in our hands-on 4-day Myofunctional Therapy Course. Not only will you broaden the scope of your own knowledge, but you can help to diagnose and treat the issues that your patients are suffering from and help them to live healthier lives. There is limited seating available, so sign up today to claim your spot in one of our many course dates with both online and in-person classes available!