To blep or not to blep

For a long time now, I have found that sticking my tongue out, helps with the giddiness I feel on a daily basis. I never really thought to investigate further into this or, indeed, share it on the forum. I considered this to be the same sort of thing a child does when it is focussing its attention on a physical activity, and I thought because I was needing to focus on the world around me as I moved that it was of the same ilk. I thought that this was merely some infantile or primordial response to straining the face while concentrating.

And then, tonight, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, I was sitting on my own in a small cafe … and I thought I would have a cursory check on the internet for the meaning of this cakehole tic. As it turns out, when the tongue is protruded, the brain stops communicating with it and has reserve power for other tasks, and I also read that placing the tongue against the upper teeth aids postural stability. This is also something I do when walking in difficult spaces, but not consciously, it seems. So, I just thought I might share this with others who have spatial-visual issues relating to the brain’s communication to the vestibular and oculomotor functions. It may just ease some of the strain of trying to regain one’s sea legs.

Oh, and the reason I titled this post blep is because, according to the World Wide Web, when an animal has its tongue protruding and its mouth closed, it is called a blep.

2 Likes

Funny a girl in a cafe in rickmansworth one Thursday had similar cause for an epiphany. She was before the end of millennium I assume your cafe incident was after the second millennium? :slight_smile:

Interesting about the intersection of the operation of brain networks and tongue position

(You do have an amazing vocabulary by the way)

Caio
Simon

2 Likes

Hi Rups,

3 episodes come to mind. In the Doidge book that we’re reading, I think it’s Mr.L that regresses to the age of 1 or 2 and sticks his tongue out as if he were a baby who suckles a mother’s breast. The other reference to sticking the tongue up against the roof of the palette comes from Iyengar Yoga, when maintaining good upright posture as in the Tree pose. Then there was a famous Backgammon player, Paul Magriel, who used to play sticking his tongue out and rolling it into a tube.

You’re a deep thinker. Any ideas on my exploding foot?
Thx for thought-provoking post, ciao, Roland

3 Likes

When i waa a kid I always used to stick my tongue out when concentrating but that didn’t survive into adulthood.

I might give it a try if it helps giddiness though…as long as I remember to turn the camera off when i’m in a work Teams meeting😁

3 Likes

To put it in a nutshell, sticking the tongue out stops the brain from talking to the mouth, thus leaving the brain with more grey matter to concentrate on the task in hand.

Unfortunately people are more inclined to fight it in adult as it can be seen as inappropriate or improper. Which is fine under normal circumstances, but stroke survivors need every tool available to them to help in their recovery. But some would rather let self image and pride get in the way for fear of ridicule.

And pushing your tongue to the bottom with your jaw open and slips barely closed is relaxation breathing technique in yoga. I tend to use it at night to help get to sleep.

3 Likes

Diolch yn fawr @SimonInEdinburgh, I wish my stroked brain would allow me more access to it (vocabulary) and fortunately, the world didn’t end before I had the chance to write my post. :grin:

It’s made me think, @pando, of what other little tricks the brain and body know when dealing with internal/external challenges. I have no idea about exploding foot, I’m still trying to ease head tension, and haven’t found any reprieve from that so far.

@Mrs5K, I assume it does aid me, to what extent, I don’t know. It was just something I picked up after stroke, and never quite knew why I was doing it.

@EmeraldEyes, I was talking to this Spanish lad in the pub a few years ago, and he kept poking his tongue out, during the conversation, and placing the tip to the corner of the mouth. I found it quite distracting, until I looked at my own reflection when opening the pub door to leave and saw my tongue hanging out. After stroke, I lost all interest in maintaining any semblance of attitudinal etiquette. What, with all the huffing and gasping I do, and wobbling about, not to mention needing to shut my eyes during social events, and the vacant “stroke stare” that I’ve had to sometimes excuse myself for.

4 Likes

I can identify with the huffing and puffing , gives me some relief and learnt to limit it when out and about in company and in garden as surrounded by eight neighbours but enjoy a good huffing and puffing out walking or alone at home. Interesting about tongue sort of explains the All Blacks Haka.

5 Likes