I hear of people searching online for videos and lists of orofacial myofunctional therapy exercises, so they can treat their own orofacial myofunctional disorders (like tongue thrusting) at home, without the help of a professional.
I understand the importance of scrimping and saving, but I would highly advise against attempting to do orofacial myofunctional therapy exercises and activities without the guidance of a professional.
DIY myofunctional therapy might be do you more harm than good.
First of all, one of the biggest issues with trying to treat yourself is that there’s no myofunctional screening to see why you might have that problem in the first place. Unless potential causative factors are identified and addressed, no one will be successful in correcting your orofacial myofunctional disorder.
Also, orofacial myofunctional therapy is not just a standard list of exercises that are given all patients. At least it shouldn’t be. All exercises and activities an orofacial myofunctional therapist provides should be purposeful, systematically assigned, and specific to a patient’s needs.
You might find some basic exercises online, but be advised:
- You’re probably wasting your time. You:
- Might not need the exercises that you’re doing.
- Are probably missing activities that you actually need to address your unique deficits.
- Most likely are doing things in an illogical order.
- Might be doing exercises and activities that are contraindicated in someone like you.
- You might find random exercises for the tongue, lips, and jaw online, but do you understand why you are doing them? Do you know if you’re doing them correctly? Can you break them down further if you’re struggling?
- The orofacial myofunctional therapy program that I provide is often exercise-intensive in the beginning but always culminates in teaching chewing/swallowing mechanics and habituation. You might find basic exercise videos, but you’re not going to learn how to chew, form a bolus, suction/trap food and drink, and swallow by watching a YouTube video. Plus, how are you going to ensure that what you’ve learned has been habituated?
- There will be no one to hold you accountable except yourself.
Save yourself time and frustration.
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