Articles - Your Health Magazine, June 2008
Women, Breathing, Sleep Apnea, Menopause, Posture and More – Part III
Part Three of Three
Our genetics and environment not only:
- influence our body’s need for compensating to manage an appropriate supply of oxygen to our cells from micro-second to micro-second,
- they also determine what combination of the three compensations is being used
- when and to what degree
- also determine the impact of these compensations upon our body, mind and spirit. For example posture compensations most directly impact our musculoskeletal system from the top of our head to the end of our toes.
The compensations begin with keeping our airway open, then managing breathing and circulation create secondary imbalances and further compensating for this. It goes on and on in a chain reaction to regain an equilibrium and maintain homeostasis.
This wear and tear upon the body becomes visible in numerous symptoms and combinations of symptoms given names of various diseases and syndromes. I believe that it is merely a description of various compensation pathways and their effects. Aside from physical injury, I believe that to the degree we decrease the body’s need to compensate, giving first priority to the airway that is mostly controlled by the tongue, we decrease the chains of compensations and symptoms of disease.
I believe that the mouth and the jaws, as the primary influence of the tongue posture, position and muscle tone, sit on the top of the pyramid for health and well being. Although nutrition and a non-toxic environment play important roles, they are supporting roles. How long can the body go without food or water before it is in a state of crisis? How long can it go without air?
The tongue lies in a zone that falls between medicine and dentistry, essentially a “no-man’s zone”. Dentistry pays some attention to its influence upon the position of teeth. Medicine sees it as a breathing influence, but treats it like a hunk of meat rather than one of the most remarkable muscles in the body. The tongue is closer in design to heart muscle than any other muscle and has more innervations to it than other muscles by far. Its primary functions, as stressed by Farrand C. Robson, DDS of Tacoma, Washington, are speaking, swallowing and breathing.
Everything a dentist does affects the housing of the tongue; beginning with the shape, contour and position of the teeth, and the size and shape of the jaw. Through oral appliance therapy dentists can treat breathing 24/7.