Did you know that humans have many cues imbedded in our social engagement system that communicate with others non-verbally? Head tilting and eye crinkling are a few of the cues from our social engagement system that ripple through our whole body by way of the fascial system.
Want to feel it for yourself?
Try this little experiment in a mirror: Imagine that your best friend is walking toward you and you are saying “oh hi!” does your head tilt to the side when you say these words? Give it a try again a bit slower and see if you can prevent yourself from tilting. Do it one more time even more slowly and study the subtle responses in your head and neck musculature. Do you notice any tension? Does it feel weird to stop yourself from tilting as you say hi?
Did you know that the muscles that tilt your head are fascially continuous down the side of your body all the way to the bottom of your foot? Even cooler is that this lateral fascial line is highly linked to the ability of the rib cage to open well in everyday breathing. Even cooler is that engaging and strengthening this tissue can help your breathing capacity all day long, and even help to regulate your nervous system!
Here is another experiment: Imagine you are sitting across the table from a loved one sharing a funny memory with each other. Can you feel your eye muscles engage as you smile? Repeat the experiment one more time seeing if you can keep your eyes from smiling with your mouth. Try doing it with your eyes open wide while you smile. What do you notice in the rest of your body as you do this? Do you notice any tension in your throat, mouth, or jaw?
Did you know that the muscles we use to manage these subtle jaw and throat motions are fascially continuous to your feet as well. Even cooler is that your tongue is fascially continuous to the lining of your heart! So when we say ‘speaking from the heart,’ it’s pretty literal!
These two examples are just a few of many ways your nervous system and your fascial system are intimately woven with, and in constant communication with, each other.
Want to learn even more? This topic is covered in many of my online classes and trainings, and I’d love to share them with you! Click here for more ways you can learn about fascia and your nervous system.