If I told you that doing Gua Sha on your jaw could open your pelvis and get you deeper into hip stretches, would you believe me?
Recently we came across a video of famous Olympic athletic trainer, Charles Poloquin, using Gua Sha on the jaw to do exactly that: open the pelvis and increase range of hip mobility in an Olympian athlete. It's one of the best visuals demonstrating the direct relationship between jaw and pelvis I've seen.
Many of the comments on our post ranged from disbelief to sharing stories of how they were encouraged to relax and slack their jaw during labor to encourage the childbirth process.
This might be news to you, but in the fields of bodywork the pelvis and jaw connection is well known and used to rehabilitate or relax these areas. Releasing and opening the jaw, will open and release the pelvis...immediately. And, vice versa.
USING GUA SHA TO RELEASE THE JAW, PELVIS AND HIPS
Charles Poloquin used quite an aggressive Gua Sha technique on his subject, Dimitri Kolokov. However, I do not recommend using such force on the face, especially if you are using facial Gua Sha regularly to improve your skin health.
There are many facial Gua Sha techniques you can apply to the jaw to not only release these tense, often painful muscles - but also support a healthy, relaxed pelvis!
Watch our recommendations for working with the jaw on our Instagram feed.
BUT HOW EXACTLY ARE THE JAW + PELVIS CONNECTED?
- The Sinew (Muscle + Tendon) Channels Connection
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) there is a system of energy conduction that runs through the muscles and tendons - called the sinew channels (also referred to as "Tendinomuscular channels." These channels run through muscle, tendons, ligaments and skin (and is different but connected to the main acupuncture meridians you may be familiar with). If you look at the sinew channels of the Stomach meridian and Gall Bladder meridian you will see how they connect the jaw to the pelvis. Notice that these channels also string together relationships of many other regions of the body.
From: Navigating the Channels by Yitian Ni, OMD
- The Myofascial Anatomy Train Connection
In Western anatomy and physiology we know that the body is covered in a network of fibrous tissues called fascia. This fascinating web of tissue connects muscles in your leg to muscles in your abdomen. It wraps around organs and connects to your skin.
In short, your entire body and all its parts are wrapped in fascia, which ultimately serves as a communication system for one part of the body to receive and transmit information to another. It's kind of like a fiber-optics network, but for your body.
If you study this, there are groupings of fascia that work together like a train.
Here is the fascial train - the Deep Fascial Line - that connects jaw to pelvis:
From: Anatomy Trains by Thomas W. Myers
- Anatomical Analogue Connection
The jaw and the hip structures are quite similar when you visualize them as standalone entities. In TCM we recognize that body parts that are analogous affect each other, like a hologram. For instance, the wrists are like the "neck" of your arm, while the ankles are like the "neck" of your legs. As such, working on these areas have an affect on your actual neck. Similarly, the hips that support your pelvic bowl are analogous to your jaw bone which supports your mouth.
How cool is that?