With nothing but time on our hands while we self-isolate, it’s unsurprising that so many people have stepped up their home workouts and are on track to be swole as hell when they eventually leave quarantine. But have you ever thought about getting a hench face?
Cam Jones from YouTube’s Goal Guys just spent 30 days practicing “mewing,” a form of facial exercise which has become increasingly popular online. Propounded by Dr. John Mew, a British orthodontist, and his son Dr. Mike Mew, it supposedly reshapes and defines your jaw muscles.
“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.
It’s also important, he adds, to make sure the posterior third of the tongue is engaged, pushing upwards on the back palate. To do this, you do the “chin tuck,” a move which pushes your neck backwards, into alignment with your spine (if you look like you just grew three extra chins, you’re doing it right).
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After just one day of trying the mewing exercises, Jones says he feels like his mouth has “got a good pump on.” In order to maximize his chances of emerging from the experiment looking like a matinee idol, he also adds harder foods to his diet and starts chewing gum regularly to work his jaw muscles more.
“My first week and a half of mewing goes by pretty painlessly as I try to mew through my daily activities,” he says. “However, one area pops up that could cause problems with my results: I keep forgetting to mew. I will go great for two hours, and then I will get distracted and forget.” As with any other exercise, he learns, it’s all about building habits and maintaining that consistency.
“After three weeks of practicing mewing, I’m not sure there’s any difference in my looks,” he says, “but I am seeing 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.”
Once the 30 days were up, Jones took his “before” and “after” photos and set up a survey to determine whether his jawline was more noticeably attractive. However, more people responded positively to his day 1 photo than day 30, and nearly 20 percent saw no difference whatsoever.
“I think mewing is a good example of the power of a story,” says Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy. “This is one of those areas where there really isn’t a lot of evidence, good clinical evidence, to support it. It’s based almost entirely on that intuitive appeal and anecdotes and testimonials.”
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