Brain Tool #8: The Jelly Jaw

Play with These Steps to Boost Your Brain:

1. As you initiate a deep abdominal breath, allow the jaw to open slightly, moving it slowly up & down in a gentle “chewing” motion as if you are chewing a soft piece of taffy.
2. As you gently flex the jaw, allow the back molars to touch slightly without biting down
3. As you slowly open & close the jaw,  massage the cheeks (along the jaw joint) very gently in a clockwise direction with the finger tips
4. Now, place three fingers tips (the pinky will naturally rest away from the cheek) of either the left or right hand (palm facing inward), flat against the jaw joint. Rest the thumb on the chin
5. Gently move the jaw up & down, only slightly opening the jaw. As you do so, feel the jaw joint as flat (NOT bulging in any way) and the chin dropping slightly downwards towards the chest, NOT forward
6. Using the proper jaw opening as described in steps 4 & 5, flex the jaw quickly up & down without touching the molars. The tip of the tongue rests against the bottom front teeth.

Jelly Jaw Variations to Develop Flexible Thinking:

1.  Flex the jaw slightly at a slow – moderate speed while massaging both sides of the cheeks, downward only, with the palms
2.  With the mouth & eyes closed, visualize a small space between the back molars. As you breath deeply, move the finger tips in a clockwise motion at the jaw joint. Imagine the finger tips gently applying different degrees of warmth or coolness to the joint area and between the back molars.
3. With the mouth & eyes closed, imagine the finger tips applying different hues of color to the joint/back molar area.
4. Combine the elements of temperature and color in your imagery and apply to the joint/back molar area
5. Gently hum while you do step #5 of the variations

What’s Unique About This Brain Tool:

1. The Jelly Jaw supports the proper release of the jaw, a joint area commonly associated with unconsciously held tension
2. A relaxed jaw, that flexes easily, also helps to relax the trigeminal nerve which is connected to the “hammer” listening muscle. Consequently, clenching the jaw inhibits our hearing while relaxing the jaw  allows for improved listening. (Source: Erik Borg and S. Allen Counter “The Middle Ear Muscles,” Scientific American, August 1989, 74-80)
3. A relaxed jaw improves mental clarity, energy level, and alleviates fatigue
4. A relaxed jaw improves oral articulation
5. A relaxed jaw supports vocal health and stamina