I’ve been thinking a lot about the connection between the jaw and the pelvis and often bringing attention to my jaw and noticing what’s happening. Seeing if its tightened and if so noticing my tongue has tightened too.
In working with the Voice, one of the large resonators is the jaw but it can also be a place of enormous holding. All the words not said, all the emotions not expressed, all the frustration and anger. It’s a huge place where ‘control’ can show up.
Many people sing or sound largely with their jaw but that can also make for a ‘tight’ sound. When we’re able to step more into trust with the body and bring the sound lower, there’s a whole new palette of colour and sounds and tones that can emerge.
The connection between the two actually starts in the womb !!
The connection begins at around day fifteen of embryologic development. In this stage, called gastrulation, two depressions form on the dorsal side of the embryo which become the oropharyngeal membrane (goes on to form the mouth) and the cloacal membrane (goes on to form the openings of the urinary, reproductive and digestive tracts).
The spine grows between them and the two remain connected from their early beginnings as one being in the embryo. Amazing !!
• Anatomically similar shapes: If you visualize the structure of the pelvic ‘bowl’ topped with hips on either side that move and reproductive and urolgical openings at the base and then visualize the jaw, it is quite similar in structure with your jaw joints at the top and the large opening of the mouth at the base.
• Fascial Connections: Fascia is the connective tissue that supports and connects every cell, muscle fiber, nerve, blood vessel, and organ. It provides support and mobility for our entire body. A fascial line can be traced from the jaw down into the pelvis.
• The Cranial Sacral Connection: Another notable connection between the jaw and pelvis is concerned with the biomechanics of the cranial bones and the dural tube, which is a dense sheath of connective tissue that houses the brain, spinal cord, and cerebrospinal fluid. Tensions and imbalances in the jaw can have an effect on the membranes connecting the dura to the skull and affect where it is tethered below in the sacrum.
• Emotions, Our Avenue of Expression: Both the jaw and pelvis are known to be our avenues of expression – on physical and verbal levels. Think about what happens to your jaw when you are holding back from expressing yourself. Suppressed anger, fear, and negative emotions can cause you to clench and grind your teeth, or build stress in the jaw.
Similarly, think about what happens to your body when you are in a stressful situation, can you feel your abdomen and pelvic floor muscles tense up, or your buttocks clench? Years of sexual repression and unspoken feelings can be held in the body as tightness and pain.
Action Steps - what to do if you have jaw tension especially if connected to pelvic tension?
1. Sounding or singing. I really encourage my clients to move their jaw from side to side and notice how difficult that is. The jaw can often want to hold on for dear life. I see it almost like a trap-door that wants to snap shut. Open mouth/ relaxed jaw means that you can be ‘unhinged’ and that can be a little scary as a whole torrent of emotions can be unleashed.
2. Yawning can help you to open the mouth and notice the tension holding in that strong masseter muscle
3. Tongue positioning – rest your tongue lightly behind your front upper teeth. Now that you have done that, try and clench your jaw at the same time – it becomes almost impossible
4. Massage the jaw and also inside the mouth, particularly the large muscles at the back of the mouth that are responsible for opening and closing the jaw. You will be amazed how hard these muscles can feel, almost like bones. Simply holding gentle pressure there can start to release some of the muscle tension.
5. Yoga poses that can integrate both the jaw and pelvis include squatting poses, cat cow pose (with tongue out) & any poses that stretch the neck.
6. Deep breathing will always bring you greater body awareness and remind you to open your jaw and breath more into your belly which then connects down to the pelvic floor.
7. Set a timer (perhaps every hour or so) and make sure to check in to see if your jaw is relaxed and get up and move your body particularly your pelvis.
8. Consider seeing a trained Professional like an osteopath, cranial sacral therapist or pelvic floor physiotherapist for further support.
The state of relaxation of the mouth and jaw is directly correlated to the ability of the cervix, vagina and the anus to open to full capacity. A relaxed and open mouth favours a more open vagina and cervix.
Could be useful to remember next time you make love, go to the toilet, eat food, or whatever else you wanna do with these sphincters.
Never forgetting the body is sacred geometry. As above, so below. It’s all connected. #staycurious