Face Yoga

Does mewing work or is it just another trend?

Written by Maria NeverovichUpdated on 02 May 2024
Face Yoga

Does mewing work or is it just another trend?

Written by Maria Neverovich.Updated at 02 May 2024
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen the videos on TikTok and YouTube of influencers praising the mewing technique. Celebrities, too, recognize the benefits of mewing, hailing the technique as the antidote to bad angles in photos and the key to a sharp jawline. Its creator, Dr. John Mew, an orthodontist, calls it “orthotropics” and claims that mewing helps alter the jawline and re-align the face. But is mewing as good as the internet makes it sound? Let’s explore the ins and outs of how mewing works.

What is mewing, and how does it work?

If you’ve heard the term “mewing” and are wondering, “What’s the actual mewing definition?” You’re in the right place. Mewing is simply the practice of maintaining tongue positioning at the top of the mouth, giving a more defined jawline, and breathing through your nose. It may also involve some additional techniques known as mewing exercises. Mewing works on the premise that holding a proper tongue positioning can align the jaw and improve facial structure. By placing the entire tongue against the roof of the mouth, the jaw moves into its proper position. The theory behind this is that this consistent pressure from the tongue’s positioning helps to stimulate changes in the jaw and facial bones. This may be true for younger people whose skeletons are still developing as opposed to older adults. Additionally, mewing draws on nasal breathing. This helps to develop a sense of calm and helps oxygen get into the body, supporting lung health. It’s suggested that this combination helps to reduce strain on the neck and leads to less pain and headaches in the long term. When considering mewing, it’s always important to have realistic expectations and remember that there are few to no studies about the technique. This means that while mewing may not be harmful and can help you get some great pictures, it may not be a long-term solution.

Mewing how-to: proper mewing technique and exercises

Now that you know the theory, let’s explore the practice. To get the correct mewing posture, it’s essential that you focus on tongue positioning, breathing, and the exercises themselves. According to the theory, using mewing in this way helps to align facial structure, improves breathing, and gives a more attractive physical appearance.

Start with tongue positioning

Make sure to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, rolling the back of the tongue up to the top of your mouth. This should increase muscle strength, although it may be slightly uncomfortable.

Breathe in through your nose

Now that your tongue is in position, breathe in deeply through your nose while keeping your tongue in place.

Add in some exercises

Mewing exercises are supposed to strengthen the muscles of your tongue, jaw, and neck, making the technique more effective. First, start off with some chin tucks. To do this, pull your chin back to form a double chin, hold, and let go. Next, try a smiling swallow. This involves giving your biggest smile while mewing and engaging those all-important facial muscles.

Check your alignment

Positioning is crucial in mewing. That’s why when you’re doing the mewing exercises, make sure to keep your position so that your molars are slightly together, but your mouth is closed. Try to avoid over-clenching your jaw as this can over-activate your masseter muscles.

Stay consistent

Although technique is important, the key factor cited by many is consistency. Doing this exercise a few times a day, every day, is said to be most effective.

What are the benefits of mewing?

For fans of the technique, the effects of mewing are not limited to great pictures for Instagram. Instead, they suggest the exercises have several benefits, including:
  • Better overall facial shape: Mewers suggest that mewing helps define the jawline and enhance the appearance of cheekbones over time.
  • Improved breathing: By practicing nasal breathing rather than mouth breathing, fans of the technique can allegedly improve their oxygen intake and their breathing practices overall.
  • Reduced pain in neck and jaw: Mewing is a workout for the face and can help relieve tension in the jaw and neck areas.

How long does it take for mewing to work?

At the moment, the benefits of mewing and how long it takes for it to work is under debate. Many suggest the changes are largely anecdotal, subtle, and gradual. For example:
  • Short-term: Instant results for photos when practicing. Some breathing improvement is most likely due to active practicing of breathing techniques.
  • Long-term: Changes, if they occur, can take years. Younger people may see more results because of their malleability, but the results are not well understood for the most part.
It's important to note that no thorough study has proven the benefits of mewing, and the topic of how effective it might actually be is much debated.

Is mewing safe?

When practiced correctly and safely, mewing is generally thought to be safe for most people. However, like any technique, it’s important to have realistic expectations of its effects and ensure you don’t overstrain or cause injury trying to get better results. As with any exercise routine, facial or otherwise, it’s best to consult a professional before getting started. This is especially important if you have any existing dental or orthodontic issues, as exercise could potentially exacerbate any pre-existing conditions.

Is mewing supposed to hurt?

Like any exercise, mewing is supposed to be safe, and you should only feel a stretch in the muscles of the tongue and face. However, mewing is not supposed to hurt. If you find yourself in pain during a mewing exercise, it’s always best to stop and take a break.

Mewing: key takeaways and expectations

Mewing, similar to many other health and wellness trends, has its ardent supporters as well as its critics. Although the jury is out as to the long-term effectiveness of mewing, proponents are quick to highlight its immediate benefits in enhancing facial aesthetics. As the impact of mewing continues to be debated in the scientific community, the internet interest in the technique remains high. When deciding whether to try mewing or any other technique, always consider your individual needs and health, and choose the right practice for you.