Myofunctional therapy is something that most people have never heard of or know little about. Due to this lack of knowledge on the topic, most therapists disregard it as a useful form of therapy and continue with conventional methods. Lucky for you, I'm here to educate you on myofunctional therapy and how it can make a HUGE impact on your patients and your practice!
What is Myofunctional Therapy?
Let's start from the beginning. What is myofunctional therapy?
It's a series of therapeutic techniques to re-pattern and optimize oral and facial functions. In short, it is neurologic re-education! It isn't something new either, it's been around since the early 1900s, so there's plenty of research to back up how effective it is at fixing myofunctional disorders.
Myofunctional therapy includes....
- Eliminating oral habits
- Teaching people how to breathe nasally
- Establish correct oral rest posture
- Instruction on how to chew and swallow correctly
- Habituate good habits
- Correct speech sound errors.
This type of therapy can be used for a patient of any age; however, I have found it to be quite effective with children. At a young age, the body is developing, and if certain disorders persist they could cause life-long issues. Eliminating these disorders early is essential to allow a child's muscles and bones to finish growing properly.
As a myofunctional therapist, your goal is to...
- Correct excessive dysfunctional habits
- Attain a lip seal/normalize freeway space
- Create palatal tongue rest position
- Posterior tooth together swallow
- Proper chewing and correct drinking
- Establish proper nasal hygiene and nasal breathing as primary function
- Develop a coordinated and harmonious facial muscle pattern
How Can Myofunctional Therapy Help You?
If you are a speech therapist, myofunctional therapy is perfect for you. Here's why... we know facial and lingual muscles, we know swallowing, and we know articulation!
I've spent nine years developing two successful, research-driven programs, Thumbs Up! and Tongue Tips, to help children who struggle with thumb sucking and tongue thrusts. I want to teach you how to incorporate these two programs into your practice to help both you and your patients. The best part is that this niche market allows you to set your own schedule and be your own boss!
Thumbs Up! is a thumb sucking elimination program developed here at Simon Says. It has proven to be effective for hundreds of kids over the years. We encourage behavioral modification using positive reinforcement (stickers, prizes, etc.). It is a 30-day program, and upon successful completion, we have a celebration at the end of the month!
Tongue Tips is a 3-4 month tongue thrust remediation program where we work to retain the muscles of the face and tongue for proper posture within the mouth and to correct the swallowing motion. The program is comprised of exercises to address oral-facial muscles necessary for good speech, swallowing and resting posture. It is essentially a cookbook of 12 therapeutic sessions to use with your clients.