Connecting Your Tongue to Your Toes
By Liz Sargent, ATC, LMBT
Connecting the Body from Head to Toe
The “Deep Front Line” connects the underside of your feet, behind your lower leg, inside of your thigh, through the hips, pelvis, lower back, diaphragm, rib cage, through the upper back and ending on the underside of your mouth. When there is a disconnection or poor support from any of these connections, this is when the body starts to compensate leading to injury and dysfunction. Have you ever thought about treating your headache with a new pair of shoes? Or, decreasing acid reflux with postural corrections and breathing exercises?
Reasons to Treat the Whole Body
Our breathing muscle is called the diaphragm, it is located in our ribcage and is connected to our lumbar spine (low back). Without the proper contraction of this muscle, our breathing patterns change causing high blood pressure, poor sleep, headaches, poor posture, and pelvic floor dysfunction (along with many other symptoms).
We have multiple arches throughout the body that require support, starting at our feet and going up to our mouth! When there is a collapse in any of these arches, there will be dysfunction and compensations. The arches are in the feet, pelvic floor, diaphragm, and our hard palate. Because of this, looking at just the area being treated we sometimes will miss the origin of the injury.
3. Decreased mobility
When a muscle is tight we have limited range of motion in a joint, so why not treat the fascia too? Thinking about the facial connection from the feet to the tongue, if one area of the fascia is tight from an injury or surgery, why not treat the rest of the facial chain to improve mobility? We splint above and below an injury, so let’s treat above and below!
Treating Asymmetries with Props
A silicone toe spacer improves the alignment of the big toe, therefore it allows the neurological connection and facial connection all the way up to the tongue! This is not a cure for pain, injury, or post surgical patients. It can be a tool that we use to assist patients in their recovery.
Arch cookies, aka arch supports, allow for the body to sense and feel the arches of the feet which leads to improved function and posture. When a patient is unable to “feel” the arch, a temporary arch cookie can improve posture, gait, and function.
More information about Anatomy Trains by Tom Myers
“The Anatomy Trains lays out fascial and myofascial ‘anatomy of connection’ throughout the body, giving you the ability to map the pattern and shape the change – no matter what your manual therapy or movement modality.
The 12 ‘myofascial meridians’ in the Anatomy Trains system join the individual muscles you learned into functional complexes within the fascial fabric – each with a defined anatomy and ‘meaning’ in human posture and movement.
Anatomy Trains leads to practical new holistic strategies to improve stability, coordination, and resolve long-standing compensations in postural and movement patterns – whether you are a manual therapist, movement professional, or using self-myofascial release (SMR)”
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