Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Interesting feeling

It is not just the left tongue but how I use the left eye, face, lips, tongue, and throat. I am right side dominant and left side subservient . Feeling the left side of my head as 'independent' is a strange but interesting feeling.

There is a gap in my explanation or something I unable to articulate at this time. If I go back into my normal mode I can still access the left side of my face but when I switch back to the 'left mode' I actually have less control. It feels more 'left' but like the tongue more spastic almost bound down moving against resistance.

I think it is tied to communication and the muscular habits that developed with facial expression is the only half assed explanation I can come up with at this point.

Sounds pretty wacky

Monday, April 29, 2013

Holding my hand

If I  grab my right wrist with my left hand and try to write something I relax the musculature of the left arm and shoulder  (excluding the finger flexors) almost reflexively. If I grab the left wrist with the right hand and try to write I still engage the musculature of the right arm in an effort to help the left hand to write. It is more efficient to disengage the right shoulder musculature but that is not my tendency.

I believe my left tongue has been disengaged most of my life in learning to speak. I can use the musculature of the left tongue in a different context to move food, swallow, and touch the teeth on my left all the way to the back but I think it assists the right in getting there.

I now experience the left tongue as a separate structure that can move on it's own. I would have assumed that it would have no real influence on my posture of the neck and head but it feels to have a tremendous input. Form following function

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Why do I keep on posting about this? It does not seem possible for it to go anywhere. I do not seem to have the ability to present it in a way that attracts other people to consider it.   At this time I have no plans to return to working with patients in rehab. Going back to school and advancing the idea through academics does not seem plausible. There is a serious possibility that I am using it for an avoidance technique instead of moving on with my life.  I am not making any allies, probably making more people in my small circle of  acquaintances uncomfortable with me.

I am not sure why. I think it is a more correct view. I do not want to say 'right' as that almost seems to be the problem. It feels that I am 'right' when I am in the 'right tongue mode'. The 'left tongue mode' almost seems to demand the feeling that I am 'left'.

I believe it would benefit others if I am more 'left' in certain specific situations. I think it could have applications in stroke , brain injury , idiopathic scoliosis, common back and neck pain. It also may have contributions on a much more general level. But that is not the 'why'.

In a sense am I just being a stubborn ass? Like a man clinging to a life ring in 3 feet deep water.  I really need it "I do, I do!"  Very few things are going well for me. My ego is wrapped up in it. What has my life amounted too. Not very much but if I put forward and idea that is a radical change on how we view ourselves that is correct it would be a tremendous self validation.

Is that the 'why' I don't know. Some of it to be certain.

(After doing the 20 minute ponder in the shower) There is a sense I need it to be 'whole'.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Left and Right Tongue Images

I think the image that I had one tongue is wrong. How could I go through my whole life and not know I had a 'left tongue'? I could feel the left side of the tongue in the 'normal right tongue mode' and use it normally. However this is different. There is a conscious control and picture of the left tongue that is developing. Even though it pertains to the left side of the tongue it is not the left side of the tongue. It is the 'left tongue' and it is has only a very hazy picture of the right side of the 'left tongue'. The left side of the left tongue is not complete either but the image of it is different than 6 months ago. A sense that it is wider and the surface of the left tongue is becoming clearer. The musculature under the surface of the tongue is becoming easier to access and play with though the control is still very poor. I know what I want it to do but unable to pull it off

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Logical inconsistency

Just eating a egg sandwich in my normal 'right tongue mode'. I use both sides of the tongue to move the food around without difficulty. So how could I have a 'left tongue'?

I do not know. But when I switch to the 'left tongue mode' the whole of my left tongue, jaw, face and throat a different feel emerges. How little I understand how to move it.  Switching back to the 'right tongue mode' and I can whip the tongue around without any problem. The 'left tongue mode' feels like there is much strength and muscle there but tremendous resistance and very little control. There is a strong tie in to the cervical spine and how the skull is seated. Switching back to the 'right tongue mode' and it all disappears and I am left with the usual sense of myself.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Self delusions

I feel that I talk from my right side to another's right side and receive communication that way.  For most of my life this has been below my level of awareness.  Even now it is hard for me to accept.  Watching interviews on TV or the computer and trying to switch between what I normally do which is right eye to right eye and then to the unfamiliar left eye to left eye I am becoming more aware of my discrepancy.

It feels the same with my left tongue.  The normal right tongue is what my body image felt to have a right and left side and I could use it eat, swallow,  move my tongue in either direction, talk and breath without difficulty  but seems to be a self illusory delusion.  I now can feel a left tongue which has trouble with all of the above but is separate as my left hand is from my right hand in terms of directing movement.

Or I am self deluded in another way.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Body Image and function

I have always had the image I have one tongue with two sides. I now feel I have two tongues a left and right co-joined.  The left tongue did not exist as something independent of the right. Which image is more correct? There are two separate areas of control for the tongue, two sets of nerves, two sets of muscles. What confuses me is that I can move my tongue left and right easily in the right tongue dominated mode and I can barely do anything with it in what I describe as my left tongue mode.

Why would I not know about the left tongue? The most obvious answer is that it does not exist and I am not in my right mind.  But now I have a sense of it and I am left with the thought that I am in my right mind even though that is the least obvious choice. What is showing up for me more and more is that my left side operates in speech, communication and daily function in a subservient role. It appears that I have learned to be 'right' as most of society is that way. I think my right eye's ability to cross the body midline and connect with someone other's right eye is mirrored in my right tongue. The incomplete connection that I am making with my left eye to someone else's left eye is mirrored in my left tongues 's ability. However the image of my left tongue is growing and it is improving slowly.

It feels like my normal body image of one tongue is reflected in the basis for my right handedness tied to the use of my right eye but it is something I can affect and change.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Function and Structure

My thinking on my 'left tongue' is derived from my limited understanding of the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. Not having studied personally under him I only have second hand knowledge of what he said. I have read several of his books, watched him on several videos. The programs I attended was four years long but only a couple of months each year. I must admit I did not understand him far more than I understood him. He had a book called The Potent Self which I read several times. I am much more the poster boy for 'The Impotent Self'.

However his work in my mind is verified by the finding of my left tongue.  He did not address a 'left tongue' but by changing one's perception of body image one changes how the body is used.

Ruthy Alon Movement Nature Meant

This young gal demos and says it much more beautifully than I do. My only quibble would be is that I have two backs a left and a right as I do in the tongues. I feel my left side plays a subordinate role to my right side.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fourth Book

Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain.  Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body.  In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left halves of her brain.  Having lost the categorizing, organizing, describing, judging and critically analyzing skills of her left brain, along with its language centers and thus ego center, Jill’s consciousness shifted away from normal reality.  In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.” 

Good book to read. She does not talk about a 'Left tongue'.

I do not feel one with the universe so I am not sure that I am on the same page as Dr Jill. I can be very judgmental and not very in the moment. I suspect the left tongue (right hemisphere) can be organized to talk and function the same way the right tongue (left hemisphere) can. I feel it is a matter how I learned to interact with others and that it is culturally advantageous to be right sided. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three Books

The Case of Nora

I have never heard Moshe Feldenkrais talk or any of his students teachers of his method talk about a left tongue.  However this is a good book if someone is interested in his thinking. It has been many years since I read it but there was one part where he was trying to have Nora differentiate between the left and right. It is amazing that we can lose that ability.

In a sense though my left tongue has been lost for most of my life. There was no need for it to be independent of my right tongue. There still isn't. However if I had a left hand and did not know it could function independent of the right hand I think I would like to know about it.

Moshe as far as I know did not discuss Wigan's theory about The Duality of the Mind. Most of his exercises however are taught with that concept embedded in them. First you do the exercise on one side then the other. One becomes aware of the discrepancies of the sides by attention during movement. There is a story about Moshe when he injured his knee playing football (soccer). He needed to get something done and though the muscle was severely wasted on the opposite leg from the injury by being bedbound he was surprised by it's ability to function.

 The story resonates with me in Dr. Oliver Sachs book.  A Leg to Stand On  I have worked with several severely injured lower extremity patients and at times I have recommended this book to read during their recovery.

In A Leg to Stand On, it is Sacks himself who is the patient: an encounter with a bull on a desolate mountain in Norway has left him with a severely damaged leg. But what should be a routine recuperation is actually the beginning of a strange medical journey when he finds that his leg uncannily no longer feels part of his body. Sacks's brilliant description of his crisis and eventual recovery is not only an illuminating examination of the experience of patienthood and the inner nature of illness and health but also a fascinating exploration of the physical basis of identity.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Learning to be Left

I do not know if I can use the 'left' tongue ever in a way that is comparable to my normal 'right' tongue.  My tongue is perfectly normal in most aspects besides never have been able to roll my tongue sides up or extrude it out very far.  The more I play with it however the more it feels that I have areas that I do not control well.  My tongue has always been the relatively small piece that tastes and hurts if I happen to bite it.

The image in my mind has always been that I have one tongue with a left and right side. I now feel that was an illusion created by the dominance of the right tongue in the mechanics of speech. It is not just the tongue that was not activated, it was the use of my left eye ,face, tongue, and throat. There is probably an audio component as well.   I learned to communicate to another person's right side with my right side.  It is how I relate to to other people. My left side is underdeveloped, not currently capable, bound by the habits that I have acquired over a lifetime.

However, I think there was an organic process that I used to learn the mechanics of speech with the right tongue. I believe it was acquired through mimicking and feedback. That process may be available for my left tongue but in a sense I have to learn to be 'left' instead of 'right'.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Learning to be right

I think I learned to be right handed.

I do not think I use the musculature of my face, eyes, tongue and throat symmetrically. I think I learned to make a connection right eye to right eye. By mimicking with feedback I learned to use the right side of my face to a greater extent than my left side.  Fairly recently, I became aware that I do not even really see a persons left side of the face. Of course if my attention is brought to it I see it but that is not how I relate to others.  The more I play with using my left eye to see another's left eye and side of face the more I become aware of my normal discrepancy. Using my left eye to see another's left eye changes my normal sense of the use of my head and neck.

There may be a cultural advantage for the individual and society for most to be right handed.

Cooperation favors same-handedness -- for sharing the same tools, for example. Physical competition, on the other hand, favors the unusual. In a fight, a left-hander in a right-handed world would have an advantage.
Abrams and Panaggio turned to the world of sports for data to support their balance of cooperation and competition theory. Their model accurately predicted the number of elite left-handed athletes in baseball, boxing, hockey, fencing and table tennis -- more than 50 percent among top baseball players and well above 
10 percent (the general population rate) for the other sports.,,,

Identical twins, who share exactly the same genes, don’t always share the same handedness.

How could identical twins be opposite handed? If one of the twins did not make the connection that the other did. It would probably be a fairly rare occurrence. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Looser tip

The phrase 'pro tip' means a pro is giving someone a tip how things really work. The 'pro tip' in this case would be that I am full of bunk.  A 'looser" of the first order. Playing with the tip of my 'left tongue' is somewhat easy inside my mouth when I do not touch anything and keep my mouth slightly open. But when I come into contact with anything I tend to switch to the 'right tongue'. I have been trying to keep in the 'left tongue mode as I gently contact my left teeth and lips as I extend  and retract the tongues. The left eye feels to  is affected when I move the tongues left and right while in the 'left tongue' mode. There are no muscular connections so I do not understand exactly what is the process.

Friday, April 12, 2013


I had the feeling that once I found the left tongue that it would be fairly rapid in getting control of it. It has not been that way. I play with it one day and several days later it is slightly different than it was before. Most of what happens is below my level of awareness. I do try everyday to play with it frequently. Most of my current effort seems to be if I can see another person left eye with my left eye and try to use the left tongue to talk. The left eye to left eye seems bring on more subtle changes than I would imagine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back of the tongue awareness

The least accessible area of my tongues in terms of awareness is the back of the left tongue.

back of tongue

sagittal view of tongue

It has been the feeling in most of my life that  my tongue is that little piece that I move around on top. My perception now is that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. I think somewhere back in my past I developed patterns of use that favored the right tongue especially in the mechanics of speech. That huge mass of muscle that is the left tongue only developed a certain amount of control in the mechanics of swallowing and breathing. When I try to have the back of my left tongue come forward and the back of my right tongue go backward it is difficult. There is a tremendous asymmetry in the use of my tongues favoring the right. That asymmetry feels to extend to how I use the whole left and right side of my head.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Left facial recogniton

I would bet if I had to recognize just the left half of many celebrities faces with my left eye only I would score fairly low. Using the right eye I think I would do slightly better. However the scores would be much higher if I saw the right side of their faces.

When I use my  left eye to see the left side of faces on TV it is hard to know what to look for to identify the face. I don't know where to look and what to commit to memory. My impulse is always to look for the right side of the face first even when I am trying not to.  I cheat by identifying  the person first and then look for the left side. In the mirror my left eye is my familiar eye to look at. It would be the right eye on someone else

Incomplete left image

There always seems to be another piece that I am not getting. It feels like by playing with the left tongue it has evoked a different perception of how I use my left head and neck but I do not get full cooperation. I still use pieces in the old way and that is when I am using my full attention on it. Normally I can not even do that in day to day activities. It feels like the risk of injury goes up as I continue with my 'play'.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deep Left Throat

Warning Playing with this stuff can hurt you very easily

My normal image is that I have one throat with two sides like my tongue.  Trying to move the hyoid with the left side coming forward while right side of the hyoid moves back and then right forward left back has created a different image. I have a left throat cojoined with a right throat.  The controls are separate. The left side as independent did not exist for me. I suspect the left to have be dominated by the right side for the use of speech. To feel the left side have the ability to move lengthen and relax has an immediate strong influence on my cervical posture. I can now feel for the first time the area under the chin extending down to the sternum and clavicle as two sides. It feels more correct but I also am more vulnerable in that there is confusion between the normal and new image. I think I can hurt myself relatively easily. Neck discomfort can be a real pain in the southern orifice.

Massage of the Anterior Throat

Two thoughts watching the above video.

1) Why would there be an equality between the left and right side of the anterior throat?
2) Does the posterior neck adjust to the imbalances of the anterior throat ?

I feel I am beginning to be able to talk with the left tongue and throat. Inhibition (relaxation) of the musculature is necessary for proper functioning. I could not relax what I could not feel as independent.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday morning viewing

I am using my left eye to watch one of the Sunday morning news program. It is fairly difficult for me to keep the right eye closed and use my left eye to see the left side of the commentators face. The more natural side for my eye to be drawn to is the right  eye of the speaker.  I do not know what  each commenter is feeling or their internal process but usually there seems to be a significant difference in their eyes. I think most are relating through their right eye to each other and to the TV viewer.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Friday, April 5, 2013

Left tongue Left eye

Been watching the tube with right eye closed using my left eye to scan the commentator's face, I scan the left side then the right side. My feeling is I am sort of lost when looking at the left side. Almost like the words have less meaning. Switching my view over to the right side of the commentator's face and the words make more sense.

Inside myself the 'left' tongue is gaining more form. The movements are still spastic like they are pushing against something. Control is poor, the movements small, and the best results seem to ask for tiny gentle movements as I try to feel/imagine as much of the left tongue as I can  The left front tip of the tongue seems to becoming slowly defined. Normally it feels like I sense my tongues position based on the right front tip. While in the 'left' tongue mode any time I come into contact with something it feels like I automatically switch back to the 'right' tongue mode. There seems to be strong connection with the left front tip and the left eye. I have been working with moving the left tongue with the left eye in the same and then in the opposite direction. It is interesting the feeling of activation I get along the musculature very close to my spine on the left side.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hyoid location

Hyoid location

Fun animated gif of the hyoid location in the skeleton. The hyoid wraps around the missing airway. When I try to imagine the tongue musculature and the corresponding connecting muscles that link to the skull, sternum and scapulae it's positioning seems to increase in importance. I feel there is a significant difference in how I use the right and left musculature that connect to this small bone.

hyoid movement swallowing

Swallowing scan showing elevation of hyoid along with swallowing. Watching this it gives a different impression of what I feel. It looks like the position of the hyoid is almost unimportant and that there would be a range of places that it could be without any pull on other structures. When I try to internalize the feel and ask for a slight change in my hyoids position in a rotational movement it feels like it generates significant torque internally. I am probably recruiting more than I mean to.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A fly in the ointment

I have no idea what my vocal folds are doing. However the fact they vibrate in response to neuromuscular signals would suggest a different model than I am suggesting with my tongues. I cannot rectify two different processes at this point. It would seem to make more sense that the asymmetry that I feel in the left and right tongues should be present there also. My voice may not be that melodious but I think there is probably not a great difference in my vocal folds symmetry.

Took a walk and wandered aimlessly making crazy noises. My sense of of pitch seems to precede and is separate of vocalization of my words.   I can say a word in a high or low pitch, soundlessly or loud. I am way out of my league as there are probably millions who know more the mechanics of speech than I do. But my new perception of my left tongue still seems to be a different entity than my right 'normal' tongue feel. I do not think I will be able to resolve this disparity of my tongues and the pitch of my vocal folds to any great degree. 

Bad communication skills

I apologize for the quality of my writing if anyone is reading this.  I often edit the posts after the initial posting. I feel like if I did not post because of the lack of editing I would never get anything posted. Not that it is much of an improvement after editing but at least I threw some spaghetti on the wall.

Communication training

just for thought

Monday, April 1, 2013

Postulate 5 revisited

5) The way I use my tongue, eyes and face is the foundation for my right handedness.

I stayed away the hyoid bone and it's muscular links in my first attempt with postulate 5.

lateral view with muscles attached

sagitttal view

Hyoid shape

Skeletal location

Muscular connections.


Hyoid description wiki

It is easy to discount the hyoid because most of my life I had no idea it existed. Therefore the muscular control must not be important.  But most of the actions that I do I have no idea of what I actually do. I learned to move in response to the demands of society and my environment. If I perceived I had a very threatening environment it would make sense to me that I would adapt defensive positions in my musculature in response.

My general feeling is that I am very uptight. I believe my highly innervated small musculature in my throat would be the first link in the chain if I was under threat. The hyoid elevates and moves posteriorly to choke off the wind pipe. Nothing gets in or out. If I learned at a very young age to be quiet, stop crying while being threatened and it became habit, how could I ever learn to relax those muscles?

I remember taking tests when I went back to school in my mid thirties. I was often the first to finish but there are sometimes I wondered if I ever took a breath in the whole test. There was an anxiety that propelled me to finish that mounted as the test went on. It is very easy for one person tell  another "Relax, and Breathe.". It is usually helpful for a second. I have played with abdominal breathing for years and it helps briefly when I am doing it. No one has ever said "Relax your stylohyoid muscles." Nor would it make sense. The muscles of my upper throat are almost inaccessible due to their familiarity. In a way it is who I am.

The hyoid has a shape that reminds me of the sissy bar of a banana seat bike that I had as a kid. What if I had better inhibitory control on one side as compared to the other due to the conscious control of speech? Most refined movement is carefully controlled between inhibition(relaxation) and contraction. Muscular activation always pull in both direction as essentially the muscle just contracts. One side may be fixed by other larger muscles or structures but the pull is in two directions. In walking muscles often play two different roles depending if my lower extremity is in swing or stance. Do I do the same in the mechanics of speech?
My feeling is that I use the left tongue in a more contracted sense to give the right side more freedom of movement. I have the same feeling in the rest of my use of my muscular-skeletal system. It is not that my left is unable but that it learned in sense to be subservient to my right. Others quite possibly can incorporate both to a much higher level than me.