Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tongue Wagging! Keeping your speech function healthy.

noun: aphasia
  1. 1.
    loss of ability to understand or express speech, caused by brain damage.
mid 19th cent.: from Greek, from aphatos ‘speechless,’ from a- ‘not’ + phanai‘speak.’
Translate aphasia to
Use over time for: aphasia
(See above taken from the  GoogleSearch on January 18, 2014)

This week's blog is dedicated to the 'root' of our tongue, where the hypoglossal nerve is attached. Some people fail to recognize the multitude of functions that are managed by the tongue. In concert with nerves that stimulate and translate the data flow through our tongue's sensory tissue is a primary entry to our body. How amazing!

Our tongue translates chemistry into physics based on colors and flavors of foods. By a touch on the papilia (bumpy velvet like surface area) this valuable information is transferred into actions. According to principles of Food Physics & Body Dynamics, each flavor and color will target a specific area in our body; to cool, warm, moisten or dry.

This means in addition to the calories and energy to use for physical actions, we also receive internal signals and energy to each organ system.

What happens with the brain stops sending and receiving signals from the tongue? People are social creatures and not only is the function of the tongue to taste and translate nervous signal, it is also essential to communicate with others.

We learned in oriental medicine, there is an area at the back of the tongue where the hypoglossal nerve is attached that is primary in speech and in proper swallowing of food. It serves to keep the chewed foods from going into the lungs, keeping it on a track down the esophagus into our stomach.

So here is this week's Tip-O-The-Tongue! Taken from "The Complete System of Self-Healing, Internal Exercises, by Dr. Stephen T. Chang,  In a section on exercises for the mouth he writes, "To keep the heart healthy and insure the continuing strength of the salivary glands into old age, Taoists devised the Tone and Saliva Exercise. The literal English translation of this exercise is: 'The Red Dragon dances over the ocean to make the wind, rain and clouds.' (The Red Dragon is the tongue and the ocean is the saliva.) This one sentence captures the exercise's ability to wash out and clean the mouth and teeth and stimulate the heart." Dr. Chang did not include other sources who have used this exercise to stimulate the root of the tongue and improve the signal exchange from the nerve, calling it the Golden Elixir. There is yet another reason to use this exercise. It has been claimed to assist in the efficient digestion of foods when practiced just before sitting down to a meal. This assures the proper amount of quality saliva is available to surround the food particles before traveling on to the stomach.

Here are the steps:
  1. Roll your tongue around the inside of your mouth and across your gums and teeth. Use your tongue as you would a toothbrush.
  2. As you roll your tongue around your mouth, saliva will be secreted by the salivary glands. Do not swallow it, but allow it to collect until you have a mouthful of saliva.
  3. Swish the saliva around as if you were using a mouthwash. Wash the entire inside of your mouth including the gums and in between the teeth.
  4. Divide the saliva into three equal parts and swallow each part separately and slowly until your mouth is clear. As you swallow it feel it descend to your stomach. You may begin to feel the energy which the "Heavenly Water" brings to your stomach. 
Drop me a note if you have been using this as a post-stroke therapy and share your stories of success. 

May you and yours...Be In Good Health.
Laura L Dawson, Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Diplomate of Acupuncture