Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Twisted tongue

I think I have been twisted my whole life. My right side has grabbed more 'space' from a movement perspective than the left side.  No where was this more evident than in the tongue. It did not exist as a separate entity until relatively recently. I always had the image of one tongue with a right and left side instead of a left tongue and right tongue co joined. I still have very poor control over the left tongue but it now exists as something separate from the right tongue. Neurologically speaking (from a very admittedly poor reference frame) that makes more sense. There are two separate areas of control. Two separate innervation's of the muscles. What it says to me I had the illusion of one tongue due to the right side's (left brain) dominance.

The only reason I can conclude that this exists (besides me being totally a whack job) is that it comes from my learning to communicate. I do not know what others are doing, but I feel this dominance of the right tongue extends throughout the way I move. It feels like I am untwisting myself the more I play with it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Hyoid posture

The complexity of learning to use this bone and tongue has got to be immense yet somehow I learned it along with 99.9% of the population. I have spent a great deal of time playing with the minutiae of these muscular movements and I have probably just scratched the surface of what I do by habit. What I do feel is the left muscular control is no where near the right side control in the mechanics of speech. Swallowing also feels to be somewhat more 'understood' on the right side.

What it feels to me the preference in the tiny sets my preference in the large.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Left it be

 Left it be

I am beginning to the see and connect with other people's left eye a little more naturally. There feels to be a difference between telling myself to do it and looking for it to read the emotions and understand the emotions there. It still is not as spontaneous as looking at someone's right eye. There is a slight change in the posture of my head when looking at someone's left eye. I feel I am trying to make the connection with my left eye to their left eye.

I am also feeling like I am somewhat less reactive to things in general in a good way. I think my buttons get pushed fairly easily so it is a nice change of pace for me. I am sure it could change quickly if enough stimuli were present.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Long drive

Went for a long drive yesterday. Gave me a lot of time to play with things. I have had some back and neck pain over the years and it has always felt like the posterior musculature was the problem. Since discovering the left tongue I am beginning to think not. I am not symmetric in my anterior throat and tongue musculature. I imagine it is due to speech and communication, My right anterior and throat feels like it wants more space and length as compared to the left. My posterior musculature seems to be a reflection of the needs of the anterior neck and throat.  The large supports the small in a way.  There feels to be the same preference in the eyes. I am not clear whether the eyes dictate to the tongue or vice a versa. Playing with them they seem to have a great influence on each other.

Being in the left tongue mode seems easier and easier. Any movements where the tongue crosses midline or gets sensory input from touching the teeth it feels like I switch back to right tongue mode. However I feel I am able to talk using the left tongue. Not as clear in pronunciation but in a way it is no different than using the left hand.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What is essential is invisible to the eye OT quotes

 Goodbye, said the fox. And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince 

It may be that if I lead the life I've planned for myself it may affect others; the effect may be no greater than the ripple caused by a stone thrown in a pond, but one ripple causes another.
The Razor's Edge (1943)
W. Somerset Maugham      1943  Source

Relaxing and improved use of my left side

It is easy to tell people to relax but often difficult for people to achieve. With myself I am finding that the left side is not the same as the right side. There is an asymmetry and not being aware of the difference feels to me to contribute to the problem. It feels to be an illusion that I am of one mind. As I play with the left tongue the more relaxed I feel overall. It seems to be tied to improved use of the tongue.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A slap from right to left

One half may dominate the other in order to reduce the traumatized hemisphere's exposure. In essence, the person has two minds.


My Dad had a violent temper that he managed to control most of the time. His dad abandoned his family when he was born. His mom died when he was nine. He was almost abused in an orphanage and his older brother pulled a great escape caper to get them out of there. He then lived with the step dad who his mom remarried before she died of TB. The step dad had a violent temper.

It was very rare that my dad hit me but often threatened with the right hand while yelling. His right hand would be raised threatening my left side of my head. As a kid having done something I could not run away from the threat. There was no where to run to. I stood there and cowered especially on the left side. I have the distinct memory of seeing the left side of his jaw contract and bulge when he was angry. I wonder if it may be tied to why I don't tend to see the left side of other peoples faces. He wound up having to eat in the other room during dinner so we there would be some peace during the meal.  

I was in trouble as a kid often. I think I was the favorite of three brothers but I was also in the most trouble for doing stupid stuff. There was something in my attitude that pissed him off. He said later in his life he often got the feeling that I thought he was wrong. My feeling was I was always trying to understand the 'why'.  I never entertained the thought that he might not be right until later in life.  He was also very affectionate when not angry and sincerely loved us. I remember as a kid being worried that he would not come home but scared when he did.

If there is a duality of the mind my right and left sides may perceive threats differently. However I do not think this is an abnormal response but a more accurate description of who I am.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A slap from left to right

Dual brain theory

(As noted link lacks expert author)

Post corpus callosum  separation

 A post-operative patient reported that one morning she was awaked by her own hand. Her left hand (right brain) slapped her across the face. Her alarm clock had failed to go off; she had over slept for an appointment that she needed to keep. She could not understand why she had hit her own face. However, because she had awakened herself, she was able to get to her appointment on time.[5]

Not personally having heard this person's voice but from what I have read the person's speech does not seem to be affected even though the left tongue has different innervation than the right tongue. It would seem to argue either that the left brain either controls or influences the left tongue or the left tongue is not particularly active in the mechanics of speech. (The right brain would control the left tongue normally)

Split brain

 Although VP showed no evidence for transfer of color, shape or size, there was evidence for transfer of word information.

What I feel to have is a left tongue that is separate from the right tongue and that I previously had no sense of it as independent. It is as if  it did not exist for me.  The left tongue/throat seems to influence how I use the whole left side and therefore both sides of my body. The left tongue seems to influences my left jaw and hyoid which appears to impacts the skull and it's position on the axis and atlas of the spine which feels to involve the musculature of the neck etc

I imagine most people are on a continuum with many more naturally symmetric or in a way having a better sense of their right and left 'needs' than I do. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Besides the right tongue

In Stardust there is the line "Beside the garden wall." When I am in left tongue mode and say 'beside" it seems to pull into more clarity the left tongue beside the right tongue.

I am trying to view the poem in the mirror image in my mind as I say all the words.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Aequanimitas Off topic


A famous speech in Medicine by William Osler. I am not a MD but the speech impresses the heck out of me.  It is a concept/ideal that is not talked about much any more. Something that I am lacking but can aspire to.

I get a kick out of the ending quote having read the story of Roland as a kid

And, if the fight is for principle and justice, even when failure seems certain, where many have failed before, cling to your ideal, and, like Childe Roland


["Aequanimitas," Aequanimitas, p. 9]


before the dark tower, set the slug-horn to your lips, blow the challenge, and calmly await the conflict.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Left tongue and eye right tongue and eye

I am still unable in left tongue mode to get the tongue to cross midline. I feel I switch over to the right tongue mode where I can move the tongue freely in both direction. There seems to be a strong connection with each respective eye. I have been playing with one eye closed and coordinating the the other eye with it's respective tongue in the same direction and then opposite direction. And then opposite eye and tongue. It is easy for me to create strain on the eye musculature if I am not gentle.

My right eye and right tongue feel to dominate the conversation.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lack of symmetry

When I try to activate the musculature of my left under chin where I assuming is from my hyoid bone to the mandible there is a resonance down my abs and my back close to the spine just left of my midline. By trying to contract and relax it with more attention on the relax phase I get a sense that the distal musculature is more contracted than needs to be. The right under chin musculature doing the same contract relax gives me the opposite feel. That the musculature is not engaged enough. Like it is letting the left side of the spine and abs do too much of the work.


What is interesting is the tiny musculature seems to set the tone and large musculature is more a reflection of the small. It took a long time for me to be able to differentiate between the right and left musculature under the chin. Any feeling of anxiety,  nervousness, and or trying to hard makes it more difficult for me to access.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Where to?

I don't know where I am going with the whole left tongue thing.  The more I play with it the more 'left' I feel I am. However it took years and years of work to get here. I have introduced the concept to others in both the medical model and the body awareness field and at the best I get is a blank stare. More often the feeling that they think I am a stark raving loon.

The Dark Tower

My first thought was, he lied in every word

           That hoary cripple, with malicious eye

           Askance to watch the working of his lie

        On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford

        Suppression of the glee that pursed and scored

           Its edge at one more victim gained thereby....
Not hear? when noise was everywhere!  it tolled

           Increasing like a bell.  Names in my ears,

           Of all the lost adventurers my peers, -

        How such a one was strong, and such was bold,

        And such was fortunate, yet each of old

           Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years.


        There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met

           To view the last of me, a living frame

           For one more picture!  in a sheet of flame

        I saw them and I knew them all.  And yet

        Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,

           And blew. "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came." 

Friday, January 11, 2013


Posted the other day on abs, back muscles and psoas.

I got keg

I have been doing body awareness exercises for over 20 years and my feeling is that I basically am twisted. It feels like my right (left cerebral hemisphere) side has claimed more territory than it should own and my body image on my left side (right cerebral hemisphere) is smaller and relegated to an inferior subordinate position. In a way the harder I work the more I twist myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Visualizing words to right and left at the same time

I can split my writing to right and left in script at same time. It is much easier than I would expect.  Been trying it with the Stardust in my minds as I mouth the words . Not sure it is doing anything but I am trying to see the left and right words going in opposite directions (to the left in mirror orientation). It feels like it defines the left tongue slightly more..

Not sure. It is slightly humorous in the fact that I can barely talk or write in one direction

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The heck with a 6 Pack I got a Keg

I am overweight. Morbidly obese would be the current term. I still harbor the illusion that I just need to shed a few pounds. But there was a time I was very skinny. I never had a 6 pack but I could whip out a few hundred "situps". I think instead of using the abdominals I was using the hip flexors in more of a closed chain action. All muscles can work in two directions depending on which side is fixed. In the old days a person would squat by your feet and grab you ankles pressing them down making your legs fixed and the trunk free.

(drawing shows one side only there are two)

I bring the psoas up because I don't think I had a clear delineation between my left and right side in my use of my body. Playing with the left tongue has given me more of a sense that I have two groups of muscles close to the center line on my anterior and posterior surfaces(Stomach and spine).

Rectus abdominus

Erector spinae

I am not sure why. I imagine there are many people who have had this sense all their lives. It was not just the exercise that I needed to get a different sense of myself because that just repeated what I had already habituated in my movement patterns. In fact effort was probably counterproductive in some ways. Even now if I tried I would switch rapidly back into my older more familiar sense in any sustained effort. It would probably be much more healthy for me to be exercising but there was always a sense of doing something not correct.

Hope springs eternal

 maybe If I get off this couch...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My left face on the short bus

I have a great deal of difficulty getting the left side of my face to express emotion independent of the right side. Normally I mirror the right side with the left somewhat poorly. It feels less expressive when I pay attention to it. Keeping the right eye closed while paying attention to Nat's left side of face while watching him sing Unforgettable it did not feel as friendly as watching the left side of his face with both eyes. Almost like I was lost in where to look. It is not easy for me to keep the right eye closed throughout the song.


Monday, January 7, 2013


Playing with the left tongue while reading a book. In the back of my mind sort of wondering why I would be more relaxed and calmer than usual after playing with it.  

In order to use the left tongue effectively it would have to be relaxed is the only thing I could think of. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pirate practice

Been writing the last two days right to left with the right eye closed left handed. It feels like being lost slightly. My writing slows down and is not as flowing. It is harder to see the letters than I would have thought.  If I scan the wall in front of me with the right eye closed I seemed to have a habit of movement that is not as complete as the right eye. Both eyes are moving even though one is shut. It feels like I do not allow the end range to the right as easy to the left. It has a slight feel like I am not processing the visual input or I am afraid that I will be wrong so I jump over what I am seeing.

I thing it greatly affects my habitual moving of my head, neck, eyes, and tongue.There is a subtle sense of muscular strain or over effort as I move the left eye that appears to be magnified in my movement picture farther afield from the eye itself. (In my spine)

I can always play a pirate on Halloween if nothing else.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Just doing the exercises with Unforgettable and Stardust Melody. It is hard to get everything coordinated where it feels like I am using the left tongue. But when I do there is a nice sense of 'quietness' from the whole left side of the body

Friday, January 4, 2013


My tongue does not deviate from the middle when I open my mouth.  I can easily access the back left of my teeth without switching to what I call the  'left tongue mode' which argues very strongly and logically against the idea of a 'left tongue'.  Deviation of the tongue can happen with stroke and brain injury. I also swallow, chew, talk , and breathe without biting my tongue constantly. Nor does it feel like after getting numbed by needle for a cavity filling . That sense of the tongue being a huge mess of something. Logically on the surface I cannot be 'right'

However when I switch to 'left tongue' mode I can barely move the tongue. There are two separate images of motor control of the tongue in the brain for each side of the tongue. Are there two separate contextual uses of the tongue in the brain? Or does the dominance of the right tongue take over the left tongues use in language but not in eating and positioning?
I don't know.Maybe it's me who is the deviate.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Have I left my right mind?

Why have I gone through life with the idea that I have one tongue with a left and right side instead of two tongues co-joined?  The more I play with the concept it feels like the origin comes from trying to communicate.  The question now for me "is can I communicate with the left tongue?" I feel I am doing something different in activating the left tongue now but I cannot say I know I am doing what I think I am doing.  Perceiving words to the left in my mind, reading right to left and writing right to left seems to enhance my feeling that I am using  the left tongue. However I quite possibly may be selecting an idea without any basis in reality.  I definitely feel a connection with the use of the left tongue and how I use the whole left side. As posted before it feels like I have gone through life with my left tongue tied behind my back

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wonder board

Wonder board

This is not medical advice. You should see a MD before any exercise program. It is quite easy to hurt yourself on this board. The board is extremely buoyant and can pop up quickly hitting yourself or others. It is covered with a thin layer of slightly soft foam but will hurt if you hit yourself in the face. It was easy for me to wrench my back, shoulders, neck and hips trying to get situated on the board. If drowning is not your thing you need to be able to swim when you lose control of the board which you will. Wearing a vest or floats distorts use of the the board.

I like this board. I have played with this board a great deal. It feels like it teaches symmetry between the left and right side. I sit, tall kneel, (video shows low kneel sitting on haunches) and stand while swimming with crawl stroke bringing each arm clear of water. While sitting I can bring my arms overhead with up to ten pounds of weight which sends my whole body and head under water while trying to stay balanced. (it is useful to have swimmers goggles. Much more weight and I am completely under water for the whole time which makes it tough to breathe.) Instead of trying to stabilize consciously with the abdominal muscles I feel in trying to stay balanced on the board a more natural stabilization takes place. There are all sorts of upper and lower exercises I can do with the board. The core work seems to happen naturally in response to balancing. I can get a decent aerobic workout by sitting doing a crawl with legs and arms forward and sitting backstroke with legs and arms backward. It just depends on how hard I am willing to work. It feels more enjoyable than normal swimming because my head usually is clear of the water without keeping my neck extended. Most exercise can be done without much load at first then increased as I need. The main problem I found is getting competent on the board without hurting myself. Having a pool with shallow and deep water is necessary to get full benefit.