Close Your Mouth And Swallow (CYMAS)
I have written many times about tongue, jaw and face configuration with regard to meditation, posture, anxiety, and other areas covered by this site. These posts have spawned myriad questions from readers over the years, and this post provides the only answer you need to all of those questions.
If you are ever in doubt regarding your facial posture, whether during meditation, out walking, doing daily activities, or getting ready to go to sleep, simply close your mouth and swallow.
Close Your Mouth And Swallow (CYMAS) is the “reset switch” for the face. You should find that CYMAS:
- Brings the top row of teeth into contact with the bottom row.
- Automatically places the tip of the tongue in contact with the front of the roof of the mouth, with an adequate upward pressure which does not require further effort.
- Restores an emotionally neutral face shape.
- Reduces verbal thought intensity by inactivating the verbal apparatus of the tongue, throat and mouth.
- Holds the whole configuration together automatically via gentle suction from the throat.
If you experience odd tension or discomfort in the face, jaw, throat or related areas following CYMAS, this is due to “residue” of past emotional states (e.g. jaw clenching) being “stored” in the connective tissue of the face. (These stored tension patterns are partly responsible for “resting bitch face” and other baked-in signs of emotional distress/dissatisfaction.)
To remedy this tension, sit down, close your eyes, CYMAS, breathe and meditate, bringing gentle awareness to areas of tension as they “highlight” themselves. Over time, awareness permeates these tissues and causes tension to dissipate. CYMAS provides the best neutral facial configuration to allow this dissipation to occur.
Any body tremors which occur following CYMAS are a sign that tension dissipation is taking place, and those tremors should be allowed to play out. Tremors do eventually exhaust themselves, leading to a sense of freedom and flexibility in the body.