Wellness Notes

Exercises for a great smile

Whether you are smiling for photos, cracking up laughing or putting on a good face for the relatives it is your jaw that is holding onto all the emotions both good and bad. It is hard to share a beautiful smile if you are just keeping ahead of too much stress. Sure, yoga will be a great help. But a precious secret to a good practice is keeping the jaw loose.

Here is an exercise that is known by many dentists who specialize in relieving TMJ (Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome), the problem that manifests as grinding your teeth at night and for some chronic neck pain. The exercises are very simple. The power is in the regularity and frequency with which they are done. We called them SIX by SIXES because you repeat each of the three exercises six times and do the exercise six times a day. Don’t worry they take just a minute or two and can be done anywhere.

1. Start by simply saying the word CHUCK out loud to yourself six times. While you are doing this notice where your tongue touches the top of your mouth it will be just behind your front teeth.
2. Press your tongue to the point just behind your front teeth, keeping your tongue there open and close your mouth as wide as you can six times.
3. Interlock your fingers and clasp them behind your neck so you are stabilizing your neck bones as much as possible. Tilt your head as far down as you can go bringing you chin toward your chest and as far back as you can go without straining six times.

Repeat these three exercises six times a day for a more relaxed jaw and a happy smile. You can also try a little warm sesame or almond oil in the ears (avoid if you have ear pain) and a gentle massage on the little bumpy bone just behind your ear lobe at the karma marma point.

Stay well.

SUNDĂRI

Philosophy

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