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What is Myofunctional Therapy?

Myofunctional Therapy, also known as Orofacial Myology or just ‘Myo’ is a Specialist Treatment that can only be provided by a specially trained Dental or Speech and Language Therapist.

Myo uses a series of exercises to reactivate, strengthen, and retrain the muscles of the tongue and face in order to treat orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). The therapy also includes habit elimination, and aspects of psychology to raise patients’ self awareness, supporting  habituation of new patterns which will last a lifetime.

The goals of therapy are to create proper tongue and mouth posture, nasal breathing, and a proper swallowing pattern.

Why do I need Myofunctional Therapy?

If you or your child have OMDs (orofacial myofunctional disorders) such as open mouth posture, mouth breathing, low tongue posture, dribbling, tongue-tie, tongue thrust, or an improper swallow, it can affect many other aspects of your body including improper growth and development. For children, it can cause feeding and digestive issues, sleep-disordered breathing (snoring or sleep apnea), delayed or difficulty with speech, and orthodontic concerns. If not treated early in life it can cause many more unwanted symptoms such as TMJ issues (including clenching and grinding), neck and shoulder pain, digestive issues, headaches, sleep apnea, orthodontic relapse, and other health conditions. Myofunctional therapy corrects function and encourages proper growth patterns in children, alleviate symptoms, prevent further complications and improve your quality of life.

What is required between sessions?

You will be given a small bag of tools to use in therapy- keep these safe as you will need them daily.

Myofunctional Therapy works on the principles of neuroplasticity (retraining neural pathways) which requires very regular practise.

Each session, you will be given a set of exercises to complete 2 to 3 times daily. The exercises are usually fun and take no more than 10 minutes to complete, in total.

You will be asked to fill out a sheet to demonstrate your compliance. The more you put into this therapy, the faster the you will achieve results.

What does a Myofunctional Therapy session look like?

Each session, whether online or in clinic will last 35-40 minutes.

During this time we will discuss progress and any concerns. We will also evaluate your sleep and any symptoms.

The Therapist will demonstrate the exercises for each session, one by one, guiding you to copy. There will typically be 3-6 exercises given, per session.

The therapist will observe your technique and guide on how to improve function or reduce other muscle compensations that might be present.

For children, the sessions will be engaging and fun, including games and sometimes movement. For children who cannot directly engage, we can work through Parents or Carers, with videos sent between sessions.

How long does therapy take?

Myofunctional Therapy is an individualised programme based on your unique OMDs and your own goals and concerns. Due to the need to work on different bodily systems, and through phases of therapy, it can take 6-12 months (sometimes longer in SEN cases) to achieve all goals and fully habituate normal function.

At Breathe First, we will work at your pace, and regularly review progress towards your goals.

What makes Breathe First different?

Breathe First is Manchester’s first Myofunctional Therapy Practice. We can offer Breathing Re-education, Speech and Language Therapy and Myofunctional Therapy, separately, or blended into a package to suit your specific needs.

At Breathe First, we put you at the centre of the treatment. We understand that therapy is a contract between patient and Therapist, and trust is at the forefront of this relationship. 

We will work with other professionals involved in your care, and we will give candid recommendations regarding onward referrals, or if/when we feel that this therapy/therapist is not suitable for you.

Do I need a frenectomy/tongue tie release?

If it is determined that you have a tongue-tie (where the tongue frenulum is too short or tight to allow for proper function) then you will likely need a frenectomy to release the tissue in order to gain full movement and proper tongue function. Myofunctional therapy will help prepare you for a successful frenectomy and will be critical in the healing and development of proper habits and function after the procedure.

The need for a frenectomy is not always known at the first assessment, and sometimes depends on how an individual responds to therapy..

Where is the clinic, and what are your facilities?

Each Wednesday, our face-to-face clinic is held in the beautiful Clinical Consultation room at High Speed Pharmacy (72 Wood Lane, Timperley, WA15 7PL). 

There is parking directly outside. Entry to the clinic is via a telecom buzzer. The clinic is on ground level and includes a small waiting area, a toilet, and a lovely environment within the clinic room. We have ample space for consultations, and a little play area and table and chairs for small children.