No, I don’t mean mewing or meowing like a cat—although please do try that anyway for your own entertainment—but I mean mewing, as in the technique of flattening your tongue to the roof of your mouth for beauty benefits, if there are any. Would you like to know? Because we looked into it for you.
Basically, the act of mewing is said to, over time, help realign your teeth and define your jawline. You supposedly can achieve this by first of all relaxing your whole tongue (tip to back) and making sure it is up against the roof of your mouth. Usually though, our tongues will reflexively relax away from the roof of our mouths, but apparently, reflexes aren’t always right.
Mewing is also not that new of a trend—it’s actually been around for quite some time and especially gained traction back in 2019. Like many beauty trends, this is one that is made popular by a mass of insecurities and a promised ‘quick fix’ by the internet. That being said, here’s everything we know about mewing, and then more on what all of it actually means.
There are five simple steps to mewing: keep your mouth closed and your teeth gently touching, move your tongue to the roof of your mouth and lightly press it, you should feel a little pressure throughout your jaw, be sure to not block your airway as you breathe and maintain this whenever you possibly can. But, does it work?
According to Cam Jones from YouTube’s Goal Guys, who spoke to Men’s Health and spent 30 days mewing, “The main technique for mewing is to have your lips closed with your front bottom teeth just behind the back of your front upper teeth, without them touching,” Jones explains. “Next, use your tongue to cover the entire upper palate of your mouth. Place the tip of the tongue right behind, but not touching, your front upper teeth. A good exercise is to try and make the ‘ng’ sound while thinking about covering the roof of your mouth with your tongue.”
Jones also added that to make sure that the hind end of your tongue is engaged and pushing up onto the back palate, you should tuck your chin in, which will push your neck back into an alignment with your spine. What Jones found he did in the 30 day experiment was add ‘harder’ foods into his diet and also started to chew gum more regularly (gum contains something called sorbitol, which it is a sugar alcohol that is poorly absorbed by the small intestine and effectively, acts like a laxative).
So, does harder foods also mean extra fibre? By pooping probably more than he should have been naturally due to his newly found love of gum, Jones presented higher chances of weight loss, and therefore a stronger jawline.
On the other hand, all of the above new habits created a subconscious awareness of what his body was doing, and therefore a habit, which has the potential to be a good thing in the long term. Still though, at the end of Jones’ experiment, his day one photographs actually outperformed his day 30 progress photos with an average of 75 per cent saying he looked better in the first photos. Essentially, Jones debunked mewing through his failed attempt.
However, there is much more to this, because Jones admitted to seeing other types of improvements. “My nasal breathing, for one, has improved drastically… I’m also more aware of my posture, and I’m working to keep my neck more in line with my spine.” Subconscious awareness, remember? More on this later.
What I do want to mention here is that according to Medical News Today, “The majority of mewing advocates are adolescents, whose faces and jawlines are likely to change during the course of puberty.” There is absolutely no scientific evidence that this mewing technique works, and by that I mean none whatsoever. That being said, the act of creating a conscious habit may positively affect your health in turn.
Kari from @faceyogabykari is a TikToker who undeniably has great bone structure—that would be an underlying truth no matter what she physically looked like from the surface—but now that fact is out the way, her videos consist of different techniques to exercise your face that result (or maybe not) in a benefit of some kind. What I would like to argue here is that, whether her tips and tricks do actually show some changes in those who follow them, it’s probably what surrounds those newly picked up habits that fundamentally make the difference noticeable.
What I personally get from the video above is ‘take smaller bites, be mindful of how you are eating, and eat happy’, not how to improve my cheekbones, although it probably will through those three actions. At the end of the day, there are 42 individual facial muscles in the face, and yes, we control them, but you will still look like you even after 10 years of eye twitching and tongue tensing.
What you’re actually doing though is turning your attention to smaller things in your body, and therefore it becomes like a meditation practice in a sense, but to take it further—if you are expressing the dedication to ‘improve’ what you are setting out to, this simple act is more likely than not creating a domino effect in other areas of your life, such as making a conscious effort to eat healthier, or do other exercises.
What Kari teaches in essence is awareness of one’s body, and habit training. Giving your brow line a massage will undoubtedly be a good thing for you to do, it’s relaxing, and it is fundamentally an act of self care. This is what we need to remember, the reasons why you do things. The real challenge through all of this is to not become even more self obsessed than we already are by taking part in all or any of these routines or internet trends.
Chances are you’ve used a home remedy at some point, even the questionable ones like a ketchup hair mask to combat chlorine tinted hair (also known as green), or the less whacky, lavender essential oil dropped on a pillow for sleep and ginger honey tea for your throat itch. As more of us start leaning towards a ‘cleaner’ way of living, one without the pills and syrups filled with ingredients we can’t pronounce, we also look for home remedies to replace the former.
Whatever your ailment, there is an alternative remedy that has been traditionally used for generations. Plants had life figured out before we tried to after all, but most importantly to mention, just because they’re plants doesn’t mean they’re any less powerful—be aware of allergies, and run your experiments past your GP first.
When our bodies or minds are in pain, it’s usually down to inflammation. Like anything, if you stub your toe, it will become inflamed. The same thing happens on the inside of your body, if you eat something you shouldn’t have, your bowels will become inflamed too. Inflammations can result in common issues like acid reflux, gas or cramps to name a few. Of course, all of us react differently to everything, no body is exactly the same. There is also a lot of nonsense out there, so we will outline only the tried and tested home remedies, and what we use ourselves, which may or may not work for you.
No supplements are listed, just real, whole food.
Turmeric is a rhizome, a member of the ginger family. This golden nib of glory has been used for over 4000 years and is known for its bright orange colour and for containing the bioactive compounds curcuminoids.
Curcumin is one of these curcuminoid compounds, which is what you’re trying to get out of turmeric. While turmeric contains only 2 to 9 per cent curcuminoids, 75 per cent of these active curcuminoids are curcumin, which is why curcumin is the ‘star’ of turmeric. Turmeric is an antioxidant powerhouse and a key player when it comes to lessening existing inflammation and dampening future inflammatory pathways.
However, the spice has low bioavailability, meaning that it isn’t easily absorbed or processed by our bodies. Plants work together though, and studies show that black pepper increases the bioavailability of both turmeric and curcumin due to its active compound piperine. So if you’re cooking it or adding it to your carrot soup, don’t forget the pepper. An extra note, turmeric stains, so don’t forget the apron either.
These come from Omega 3s. These three are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Our bodies can’t manufacture these fatty acids, so it’s important to get them from your diet. We primarily get these fatty acids through eating fatty fish like salmon or anchovies. If you don’t eat fish, you can still get your ALA from plants, like nuts or flaxseeds. Think of it like oil for your car, to keep the engine running smoothly you’ll have to grease it up. Our bodies are the same.
We all poop. Sometimes, we have off days, and that’s normal. But regular bowel movements are the goal here. First, try to eat more fibre, drink more water. What enters your body must exit, so what you put in drastically affects what comes out. Move, go for that walk, make sure you’re moving your body on the inside too. If this doesn’t work:
This delicious fruit contains an incredible amount of health benefits but more specific to constipation, it contains an enzyme called papain that aids digestion. Enzymes break down food. In other words, it’ll soften your problem. In fact, it is often used as a meat tenderiser. If you can’t find the fresh fruit, find the seeds. Just one or two seeds should do the trick. A word of warning, the seeds aren’t as tasty as the fruit. You can also use the papaya skin for sunburn, just plop it on there and let it work its magic.
These are for emergencies only. Psyllium is a form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It works as a laxative by increasing the bulk of your stools, which encourages your bowels to move them through your digestive system and this in turn relieves constipation. It also soaks up water, so it can help with diarrhea too. Because of the way it soaks up liquid it can be used as an egg replacement in baking or to thicken up soups. However, this is not an everyday form of fibre, so don’t treat it as such.
Anxiety is something many of us are struggling with at the moment, understandably. Sleep is one of if not the most important pillar of our health and wellbeing. The two are a tough pair. Our guts are frequently being called our second brains by doctors and researchers alike, and we aren’t ignoring it.
Kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, miso, yogurts and tempeh, just to name a few, have been around for thousands of years and there is no doubt about why. We have bacteria all the way through our digestive tracts, and on our bodies.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria and by consuming them you are adding beneficial bacteria and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, which increases the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system as well as enhances your immune system. Prebiotics are what feeds the probiotics, such as cruciferous vegetables like cabbage or broccoli. Like pepper and curcumin, they go hand in hand. These beneficial gut microbes dominate and suppress the growth of harmful microbes, the ones that contribute to ill health, including neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety.
Valerian root is a flowering plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. Valerian is commonly used as a sleep aid for insomnia, which can often be caused by anxiety. This is a powerful herb, and should not be used in conjunction with antidepressants or if you are pregnant or nursing. The Valerenic acid increases levels of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that reduces brain cell activity, and therefore aids in sleep.
What we eat affects our daily life, how we function, think and feel. Medicine of course has helped humankind in such amazing ways it’s difficult to fathom but simply igniting an interest towards what we put into our bodies will help us too.