073 // How I Dropped Stress and Boosted My HRV by 15 Points Using my Tongue

Health with Hashimoto’s is your free weekly podcast to discover true, simple, and sustainable tips to improve your energy and health.

Life can be overwhelming, right? But what if I told you there’s a game-changer that doesn’t demand a complete lifestyle overhaul? Over the past 72 episodes, we explored the struggle many face with fatigue, brain fog, and the challenges of Hashimoto’s. Well, today, I’m giving you a simple yet profound solution – a technique that, believe it or not, involves the position of your tongue.

You will find this episode below in audio format and a written summary because I know not everyone is an audio learner. Some links may be affiliate links that will support me without increasing your price.

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Mentioned on This Episode:

Related Videos:

Why You Need to Strengthen Your Tongue

Tongue Strength Exercises

Articles/Studies:

… “a significant reduction in heart rate variability when the tongue was positioned on the palate compared with tongue position on the floor of the mouth.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19773187/

“The tongue position influences the whole body. If the tongue is positioned against the palate, the parasympathetic system will reduce its systemic activity (for example, heartbeats and respiratory rhythm increase), but if it is positioned against the soft palate, the sympathetic system will reduce its activity” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390887/

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Read the Transcript:

The Struggles with Hashimoto’s

Are you waking up each day feeling like you’re barely keeping your head above water? Do you, like many incredible women, find yourself in a constant juggling act – managing work, family, and personal commitments, all while silently battling the challenges that come with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis?

You know the struggle all too well – the exhaustion that seems insurmountable, the foggy haze that clouds your mental clarity, the mood swings disrupting your daily interactions, and the frustration of a metabolism at a standstill.

Time, or rather the lack of it, intensifies the struggle. In the midst of this chaos, you yearn for a simple, sustainable strategy that seamlessly fits into your daily routine. You’re not looking for a complex regimen but straightforward solution that empowers you to take charge of your health without adding another layer of stress.

A Game-Changer for Your Wellness

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a puzzle, and the Holistic Hashimoto’s Course is the missing piece you’ve been looking for.

The course? It’s not your typical “here’s a bunch of facts” deal. It’s your personal roadmap to kick fatigue, brain fog, mood swings – all that Hashimoto’s junk – to the curb.

The Holistic Hashimoto’s course doesn’t make you rearrange your whole life. No, it fits into your hustle seamlessly. It’s not just a bunch of theories; it’s practical, doable strategies to reclaim your energy and mental clarity. No fluff, just the real deal.

Enrolling is not signing up for extra stress—it’s a game-changer for your wellness. This isn’t about ticking off another to-do; it’s an investment in YOU. It’s your shortcut to clarity, support, and finally saying goodbye to the daily grind of Hashimoto’s challenges.

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Now, let’s finish our podcast time together with a simple yet profound solution that holds a key to your stress.

Increase Your HRV with a Simple Adjustment

I’m going to give you a subtle yet powerful technique that taps into the intricate connection between your body and mind. It’s time to shift the focus to something as small yet significant: the position of your tongue. Yes, you read that right. Your tongue, often an overlooked player in the symphony of health, has the potential to be a catalyst for change.

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you may not know that the position of your tongue can influence your well-being. Where your tongue is can activate your sympathetic stress response or it can activate your parasympathetic system, the rest-and-digest mode that allows your body to heal—which is of course our goal when we’re seeking ways to heal our Hashimoto’s. And it starts with a simple, conscious adjustment – placing your tongue in a specific position.

Does this sound crazy? Yes. Yes, it does. Or at least I thought so. Does it sound more magical-woo than scientific physiology? Again, yes. But is it actually grounded in science and your physiology.

A Personal Discovery: Tongue Position, My Son, and My HRV Journey

I actually discovered this quite by accident and then, curious, I went looking for the reasons why it worked. Here’s what happened.

One of my boys is a very loud breather. Over the past couple years I’ve been learning about the importance of breathing through your nose instead of your mouth and I’ve been asking/telling him to breathe better. Then I started to realize his mouth breathing and loud breathing might be rooted in the strength and position of his tongue.

I called my son over to my computer and played a couple tongue position and strengthening videos for him. I joined him in the exercises. It was so enlightening! I thought this was going to be all about him. I discovered that my tongue also needed help. I’ll explain the exercises in a moment, but let me first tell you about the roof of your mouth and how it relates to stress.

Your Tongue’s Position Can Increase Your HRV

tongue position in mouth

Feel the top of your mouth right now. In the front, you have your teeth. Just behind your teeth is a rather rigid portion called the hard pallet. Then you have a drop-off where the roof of your mouth goes up and is softer. This is called your soft pallet.

Where does your tongue rest? I’d never really thought about that before. In the video I watched, they said that your tongue should be up against your soft pallet when it’s at rest. Throughout the rest of that day I consciously noticed where my tongue was hanging out and the tip was just behind my teeth, on my hard pallet. Every time I noticed this, I moved my tongue back to the soft pallet position. It felt weird. However, I’m typically a rule-follower perfectionist and I wanted to do it “right.” So I persisted.

What happened next shocked me and led me to start researching.

I’ve been working on my heart rate variability, or HRV, since I bought my Oura ring a year and a half ago. Your HRV is a measurement of how your body is handling stress. As hard as I worked, I’ve had a very difficult time improving this metric. I am typically in the high teens or mid-20s. Occasionally I hit the 30s.

After I started moving my tongue to my soft pallet, my HRV dramatically went up. I had two days in the 30s and one in the 40s. I have never hit that before.

Why did this happen?

Science Backs It: Your Tongue Position’s Can Increase Your HRV

One study found that placing the tongue on the hard pallet results in a significant reduction in heart rate variability vs. placing it where it is supposed to go which is on the soft pallet.

Another article states if the tongue is positioned against the hard palate, the sympathetic system is activated, but if the tongue is positioned against the soft palate, the parasympathetic system will improve.

I’ll note here that your tongue placement does not seem to override other things you can do to activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest part) but it is one simple thing you can do in addition to others we’ve talked about here on the podcast.

The tongue plays a fundamental role in several body functions such as swallowing, breathing, speaking, and chewing. Its action is not confined to the oral cavity, but it affects lower limb muscle strength and posture.

Changing where you keep your tongue at rest isn’t about adding another task to your busy day. Instead, it’s an effortless integration, a subtle yet impactful shift that can be seamlessly woven into your routine. By noticing and adjusting the position of your tongue, you unlock a gateway to a calmer, more balanced state of being.

PS – Go sign up for the Holistic Hashimoto’s course ASAP to get the best price!

Images used in this post by Don Hassan and Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash. Anatomy diagram used under a Creative Commons Attribution License; access for free at https://openstax.org/books/anatomy-and-physiology-2e/pages/1-introduction

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