Social media has given attention to beauty and self-care. People seek ways beyond traditional makeup methods, procedures, and supplements to achieve this. This paved the way for an alternative method called mewing. It refers to exercises of proper tongue posture aimed at reshaping the jawline and facial structure. This technique became so interesting in facial aesthetics, offering a natural alternative to complex procedures.
With its easy technique and excellent results, the question is: does mewing work? Answering the question requires studying the practice. That is why this article aims to be a guide in understanding the practice. It explores where it came from, the methods used, and the benefits and science behind it, providing insights for those who want to achieve improved facial conditions naturally.
What is Mewing? Understanding the Basics
This trend is straightforward: correct tongue posture. Mewing has evolved from a dental insight to a popular facial exercise. It's a technique originating from orthotropic, a field focusing on the influence of muscular activity on facial growth. It was developed by orthodontist Dr. Mike Mew and emphasizes the placement of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, aligning the jaws and leading to gradual aesthetic changes, especially when practiced from a young age.
Does Mewing Work? Analyzing the Effectiveness
In the digital age, where before-and-after photos can go viral overnight, the effectiveness of mewing has been a hot topic. But is mewing real in its claims, or merely a social media fad?
The Hypothesized Mechanism
Mewing aims to achieve a more defined jawline. It's believed that the forces exerted by maintaining the tongue in a specific position can alter jaw alignment and shape over time. This technique, seemingly simple, promises significant changes with consistent practice.
Functional Matrix Hypothesis
According to Columbia anatomy professor Melvin Moss’ study, “the origin, development, and maintenance of all skeletal units are secondary, compensatory and mechanically obligatory responses to temporally and operationally prior demands of related functional matrices." This means that bone structure growth is affected by epigenetic (non-genetic) factors and not by genetics, as how pre-conceived understanding is.
This theory proposes that bone growth and development are guided by mechanical forces from muscle use and posture, where the mewing technique originated.
The Main Goals of Mewing
Mewing has two main goals: to experience aesthetic and health benefits without invasive procedures. Individuals embarking on this journey often aim to achieve facial aesthetics and improved physiological functions. However, aside from a better-defined facial structure, some also seek mewing for improved dental alignment, better breathing, and sleep quality.
Benefits of Mewing
Improved Facial Aesthetics
Trying mewing enhances facial aesthetics, which is the main benefit of why many try the practice. Here are some facial benefits associated with mewing:
- Development of a more defined jawline
- More defined chin and prominent cheekbones
- Balanced development of facial muscles and bones
- Enhanced facial harmony
Beyond the cosmetic benefits, mewing is also proposed to offer a range of therapeutic effects, contributing to improved overall health.
- Open the airway more effectively
- Improving breathing during both day and night, leading to better oxygenation
- Reduce the prevalence of sleep apnea and snoring
- Restful sleep and reduced health risks associated with sleep disorders
Mewing may also contribute to improved mechanics of swallowing and speech.
- More precise articulation and more accessible swallowing
- Enhanced communication and digestion
For those suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders:
- Reduce pain and discomfort
- Relieve the stress and strain on the TMJ
Expert Insights on Mewing
Now, we turn to Koko Hayashi, certified face yoga coach and founder of Koko Face Yoga. Being in practice for years and having worked with several celebrities and appeared on TV shows such as Shark Tank, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and Magic for Humans on Netflix, her insights on facial exercises and their benefits deepen the understanding of practices like mewing.
As an experienced face yoga instructor, Hayashi advocates proper entire-tongue-to-palate position as pivotal for sculpting facial features. Her comprehensive facial training programs blend mewing with targeted exercises to tone the whole face, not just the jawline.
Through online guidance, she unpacks mewing’s capacity to theoretically remodel musculature and bone structure over time via sustained correct tongue posture. However, Hayashi warns beginners not to rush advanced techniques, instead advising gradual acclimation to avoid strain.
While some mewing sources depict radical makeovers, Hayashi notes results hinge on age, anatomy, and long-term consistency. Still, her functional expertise around oral posture compels many to experiment with this basic technique.
How to Start Mewing: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now, how do you start mewing? As simple as it is, mewing just needs two essential steps. These steps help to master the correct mewing technique.
- Correct Tongue Positioning: The heart of mewing is the correct tongue position. Now, how do it? The entire tongue should be pressed against the roof of the mouth, with the tip just behind the front teeth.
- Consistency: The answer lies in consistency for how long one should mew a day. Ideally, posture should be maintained as consistently throughout the day. However, this can entirely be adjusted depending on the individual’s preference and the factors that affect mewing.
But the truth is, the more time spent each day with the tongue in the correct position, the more likely one is to see potential results. But one thing to remember here is this practice should be approached with realistic expectations and patience.
Addressing Common Concerns and Questions
With any new trend, questions and concerns naturally arise. Here are some frequently asked questions related to mewing.
Is Mewing Safe?
The safety of mewing largely depends on its practice. When done correctly, it's a low-risk exercise. However, incorrect tongue positioning or excessive force can lead to discomfort or even dental issues.
Does Mewing Hurt?
Correctly practicing mewing should not cause pain. Discomfort typically signals improper technique, overexertion, or anatomical misalignment.
It’s normal to experience mild fatigue or muscle soreness at first, as with building any new habit. But sharp, lasting pain suggests something is wrong. Cease mewing and consult an expert if it persists.
What Risks or Downsides Are There?
Mewing results depend heavily on the individual. Those with orthodontic appliances, jaw issues, or unique facial structures won’t necessarily see changes, nor will it be a quick fix.
Additionally, poor practice can lead to dental misalignment, TMJ disorders, or even tooth loss over time if excessive pressure is exerted. Attempting overly ambitious or rapid changes may also risk muscle overuse injuries.
It’s critical to adopt reasonable expectations before undertaking mewing. Be wary of dramatic online transformations—approach incrementally, seeking guidance if discomfort arises. And remember - facial profile is not definitive of self-worth.
Finding the Right Approach to Mewing
As mewing continues to be mainstream, led by experts and leaders like Hayashi, its journey calls for a more profound study, inviting many beauty enthusiasts to improve and evolve. By studying more, this practice can be improved for broader and more complex facial conditions. It opens opportunities for new discovery and the practice’s improvement.
However, for those with beauty concerns and looking for an alternative, this calls to give mewing a chance. Trying the practice and experiencing the changing effects it brings, whether in beauty or health aspects, are encouraged to improve the discussion and learn from one another continuously.
As mewing isn’t a quick fix, individuals should take this practice with caution, realistic expectations, and professional guidance for optimal outcomes. High patience and consistency should be taken to achieve targeted and aimed results.