How to Hold Your Tongue
Apr 10, 2023
In Original Strength, we believe that there are three pillars of human movement. If we do these three things throughout our lives, these things we are designed to do daily if not “momently,” then we will optimize our ability to move and navigate through life with health and resiliency.
In the chance you’ve never seen these three pillars, here they are:
1) Breathe properly
- Breathe through your nose
- Use your diaphragm to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top
- Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth with breathing and being
2) Activate your Vestibular System
- Move your body often
- Control the movements of your head
- Move your eyes
- Move your head
- Keep your tongue where it belongs, on the roof of your mouth
3) Engage in your gait pattern
- Move opposing limbs together
- Crawl, walk, run, skip, march, etc
If you look at the three pillars, you may notice that I’ve listed “Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth” under pillars (1) and (2). In truth, I could have listed this under pillar (3) as well. Where you keep your tongue matters, it affects all three pillars. It could even be the foundation that all three pillars stand on.
Your tongue is connected to everything, or it affects everything about you. It affects how you breathe, your balance, your posture, your movements, everything. When your tongue rests on the roof of your mouth, where it belongs, it is easier to breathe, move and balance yourself.
The tongue is not just for speaking and eating; it’s also for being.
This is easily testable. Remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth and take a big breath through your nose. Notice how it felt. Also, check the full range of motion of your neck and notice how it feels and what its limits are. NOW, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth (swallow and feel where it goes, then keep it there) and take a big breath in through your nose. Notice how this felt. Also, with the tongue where it belongs, now check the full range of motion in your neck. Notice how it feels and what its limits are now. Which breath felt better? How did your neck’s range of motion feel with the tongue on the roof of the mouth as opposed to being off the roof of the mouth? More than likely, you breathed better and moved your neck better when your tongue was on the roof of your mouth.
Holding the tongue where it belongs helps optimize everything about the body.
But so does how you use your tongue.
Holding your tongue, or using your tongue and being aware of the words you say, also affects everything about the body. When you speak words, your ears hear them, and your nervous system processes them. The words you speak are information that your nervous system catalogs as “safe or not safe.” If you speak unsafe, negative words, those words are heard and held in your body, and it greatly affects how you move, how you feel, and how you think in a negative way. Conversely, if you speak safe, positive words, those words are also heard and held in your body, and they will positively affect how you move, feel, and think.
This, too, is easily testable. You can say something negative and mean about yourself or someone else and note how big you can breathe or how far you can move your neck. Now say something positive and nice about yourself or someone else and note how big you can breathe or how far you can move your neck. If you did this, you likely noticed it was easier to breathe and move with the positive words you spoke.
But this gets really big because your tongue doesn’t just affect everything about you; it also affects those to whom you speak. When you speak, positively or negatively, to someone else, those words are heard and stored in their bodies as well. They are determined to be “safe or not safe,” and they will affect how that person moves, feels, and thinks.
This is why it is so important to be aware of how you hold, keep, and use your tongue. It is the ultimate information generator in your body, for you and those around you. It affects every cell in your body, and it can also affect every cell in another’s body. It is one of your most powerful members.
So, practice keeping your tongue where it belongs and be mindful of how you use it when you speak. I know this seems so silly, but it really does matter, and it is way more powerful than you might think because “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”