Steve O: I'm gonna be the guinea pig, but I trust her though. I mean, she's done this for thousands of people; Let's bring on Janet Bennett
Janet, I was just telling people that I have sleep apnea, and I'm going to be a test case. That means, Janet, I believe it's going to work because I trust you so much, but if this works, that means I don't have to use my machine anymore
Janet Bennett: Well, you know I can't address the machine.
Steve O: I know you can’t, but I can.
Janet: Okay, that's right.
Steve O: So, she's not saying this, I am, because folks, I'm going to tell you something - a CPAP machine with a mask is the most uncomfortable way to sleep. But. it's better than snoring.
Sophia: Not breathing in the middle of the night.
Steve O: Janet, tell people how dangerous it is.
Janet: I'm Janet Bennett. I'm a speech pathologist. I've been doing this for over 40 years and I was treating a 14-year-old football player - this was about 20 years ago - and I was treating him for a tongue thrust. A tongue thrust is when you swallow and your tongue pushes the back of your teeth and you might end up having buck teeth, or your tongue comes out when you swallow and you might
I've discovered treating so many people with tongue thrust that they breathe through their mouth and they usually snore and maybe have sleep apnea so all of that goes together. When I treat a tongue thrust, you're also going to get treated for snoring whether you want to be or not.
I was treating a 14-year-old football player, and I had done two weeks of tongue exercises with him. His mother came into my office and said, “what are you doing with Adam?” and I said, “what do you mean?” and she said, “well, he's always been the loudest snorer in the world. he rattled our windows, and now he's not making a sound. So, I didn't know anything about snoring, and I looked at Adam and said, “tell me more,” and he told me he could concentrate better in school, he's making better grades, and he runs faster. So, that was what caught
Steve O: Because his energy level went up?
Janet: That's right - because he was sleeping. When you are snoring or breathe through your mouth, you can't get into REM sleep, so you don't get any deep sleep. I went on the internet, and I thought for sure that I would find out that they
Steve O: Sophia's in the health care business. Have you ever heard of tongue thrust?
Sophia: Yeah, I realized what she just said about the REM. I had no idea that they didn't go to REM.
Janet: Right, that's because they're mouth breathing.
Steve O: So that means your mouth is slightly open?
Janet: Well, it can be wide open. I think a lot of people when they hear mouth breathing I think that sometimes they deny it - they say no I don't breathe through my mouth.
You can just have a little place that's open when you're sleeping you know sometimes when a person lays on their side they don't realize it but maybe their hand can actually open their lips and they end up breathing through their mouth that way.
Steve O: If your lips are dry in the morning, does that mean that you're breathing through your mouth overnight?
Janet: Well, it can indicate that air has been passing back and forth. During the day, when people are awake and they dry they breathe through their mouth, you know the outside they're getting air in and out and that's when they use the ChapStick and that vicious cycle goes on.
Steve O: How long had you been working with Adam before you could notice a difference?
Janet: He had only attended two sessions. My program is seven weeks long. I have seven lessons, he had attended two. He had learned several tongue exercises that he had practiced every day, two times a day. So, that shows you can see results very quickly - it depends on the person. Does that person take it seriously? Do they get mindful about it and say, “I'm not going to let my tongue come out, or whatever you know their goal is?”
I found 86 people all over the United States that I wanted to treat, and I wanted them to help me word the program. I could not have that information and not share it with the world. So, that's why I took it upon myself to develop a new program. Of these 86 people, 94 percent stopped snoring.
Steve O: That's amazing. I don't even know what the CPAP is that good. Janet, that's wonderful. So, that was your test program?
Janet: Yes. I didn't have a control group, so it didn't get published in a journal, but that didn't matter to me at the time. I quickly had to figure out if this is what I was going to be doing. You can't help somebody make such a change in their life without sharing.
I evaluated a new person yesterday - an adult female about 27 years old, and she had lots of physical problems. When I first meet with somebody, it's our discovery time. I ask lots of questions because I want to know what's going on, and how I can help them. She and I were talking about her waking up with a dry mouth, and she told me earlier about a year ago she had had some heart palpitations. They weren't sure what it was. She wore a heart monitor and they just said, it was heart palpitations.
Later on, when she and I are talking, I'm asking her about how she felt when she woke up and she said, “when I wake up in the morning it's usually because I've snorted, that she would do that noise and it would wake her up in the morning. I said that is a symptom of sleep apnea. But I asked her if the doctor knew about the way she wakes up, and she said no, she didn’t tell him.
Steve O: This is very dangerous. You could die if you stay out long enough.
Janet: My point is here this lady - she'd already had contact with a cardiologist. They'd done tests, she was his patient. I don't think he at any time ask her about the way she breathes or the way she sleeps. He didn't ask any of that, and she didn't know to tell him. So, that's where people can fall through the cracks. I immediately finished but today she got referred to the sleep doctor and she's going to have an overnight sleep study.
Steve O: When do you come in? After the sleep study?
Janet: If they do a sleep study, after it's done, they do my program. If a person goes in and stops breathing like 60, 70, 80 times an hour, the doctor's not going to let them out of there without a CPAP machine.
Steve O: You’re not against CPAP machines?
Janet: No, not if that’s what you have to have. I've treated someone who had a CPAP before who's who stopped breathing 66 times an hour. After seven weeks of doing my exercises, he went from 66 to 11 times an hour. He may still need his CPAP machine, but it's still better. He has less chance of a heart problem with 11 times an hour versus 66. It's totally up to the person if they want to get off the CPAP, but I don't recommend it. If you just have, like five times an hour - five and below of not breathing per hour, that's not considered sleep apnea.
Steve O: I don't think people understand how dangerous sleep apnea is, but when you actually stop breathing in the middle of the night that if you don't get woken up by your snore, I don't even know when you're gonna wake up. You literally stop breathing.
Janet: There is a part of our brain that, the job is, “hey, if Joe stops breathing and he's not supposed to be dead wake him up. That's where the snort comes in. I was telling you the other day that there are some people that part of the brain doesn't work, so they don't get the signal, and they're the ones that are it's more dangerous for them.
Steve O: Now, you teach and work with people who have a tongue thrust.Tell people what tongue thrust is.
Janet: Tongue thrust is when you swallow, and your tongue is not in the right position.
To Steve O & Sophia: The two of you swallow your saliva and tell me what your tongue pushes against inside your mouth when you swallow. You've never had to think about it.
Sophia & Steve O: My teeth.
Janet: Congratulations, y'all both have a tongue thrust
Sophia: I have a big tongue. I have a small mouth - they had to pull my teeth when I was younger because it didn't fit all in. My tongue was too big for my mouth.
Janet: Sophia, I discovered that when I was treating people, their tongues are just too big. I invented a tongue stick that you stroke on your tongue and it makes your tongue skinnier. This is a special stick. Sophia, I invented this and I have a patent on it.
Sophia: It really works?
Steve O: So, that helps with tongue thrust?
Janet: Yes, it does because here's the thing - your tongue probably lives on the bottom of your mouth. This program is going to train your tongue to live on the top. Up on the upper palate, it’s skinnier up there. Your tongue is not used to a skinny place, it's used to be able to just hang out. So, we need to make your tongue skinnier so it fits up on the roof of your mouth. That's for people with a tongue thrust, mouth breather, or snorer. They all need the same thing.
Steve O: Do a lot of people have a tongue thrust?
Janet: A lot of people have a tongue thrust.
Steve O: Wow. Now, you're a speech pathologist. I want people to understand Janet's in North Carolina and I want people to know you do telemedicine, which means you can do it by Zooming.
Janet: I can zoom, and really the best thing for all these listeners is to go to correctmytonguethrust.com and order your own program. It's very inexpensive. You get everything that you need - seven weeks' worth of exercises. You've got a video with me teaching an adult male how to do all the exercises so that you know you're doing it correctly. You've got another video, and I will be at my desk waiting for you in what I call the exercise room you have to practice your exercises two times a day. Come on and see me - I will count for you I will time things you have to copy me you don't even have to think about it
Sophia: It's a seven-week program?
Janet: Yes, it's a seven-week program. I think it would be ideal for someone if they wanted to have a zoom consult at the beginning, maybe and I can help make them feel better knowing that they are a good candidate or maybe they aren't, and I could identify that.
Sophia: Does insurance cover that?
Janet: Insurance covers a tongue thrust because it's a medical condition. A person with the tongue thrust does not initiate their swallow correctly. You both initiate your swallow by pushing the back of your teeth. When you do that, you have a weak swallow - so if you are trying to swallow food or anything, you might feel something getting stuck in your throat and hang on for a while.
That's a very common thing because your swallow is weak. But, if you put your tongue tip on the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth and you kick off from there, that's the perfect swallow. It's like a wave.
So it's a medical issue if you are not initiating your swallow correctly and the insurance companies do usually take care of that.
Steve O: It’s so amazing that insurance does not cover these techniques for sleep apnea because it is definitely a medical problem. Janet, I was just thinking - I'll bet you you've saved a lot of marriages and relationships, and lives.
Janet: Well, I don't know about the lives part, but snoring was the number two reason for divorce.
Steve O: Do you see more males or more females?
Janet: I don't know the percentage, probably more females.
Steve O: I would have thought it would be men!
Janet: Well, snoring is an embarrassing thing. When I grew up my grandma - everybody denies it - I used to go stay at my Granny's house all the time and my granddaddy was over there in the corner in his chair snoring. Now, we all thought look at Grandpa, he's snoring, he's sleeping so good.
See, when we were growing up thinking that if you're snoring that means you're sleeping, but it's quite it's the opposite. It actually means that you are not sleeping well - it's it has a negative connotation with it, it's a social thing - and both men and women both are quick to deny any part of snoring that's right even right in front of their spouse.
Steve O: I don't walk around with a CPAP machine on, so if I've had a long day, I'll fall asleep. If I fall asleep, that means I'm gonna be snoring, and someone would go, “you're snoring.” No, I'm not snoring! It's very embarrassing. I don't know why it would be.
Janet: Well, I think it's the noise. I'm trying to stop using the word “snoring” so much, actually, and just talk about mouth breathing. If you're breathing through your mouth because that snoring is just the sound that it makes when the air is going back and forth around your uvula.
Steve O: Listen, I've done three shows together now and I love what Janet does because I really understand it. She wrote me last week and said, “you know, I don't know if you believe in this or not, but I want to use you to show you. And she doesn't understand, I totally believe in what she's doing. It does it just makes sense - and what's nice is you could be in any part of the country and Janet can help you.
Sophia: Janet, are you a Ph.D.?
Janet: No, I have a master's degree.
Sophia: You should be!
Steve O: I've never heard of tongue thrust before we met with Janet and there are people walking around out there who probably have it and don't even realize it.
Janet: Something that’s really important here is, the size of the tongue you know, we've talked about big tongues and a large percentage of people have a wide tongue. It might be embarrassing, but so many people have it. You're not alone at all.
This program literally makes your tongue skinnier. Do you ever accidentally bite the sides of your tongue?
Sophia & Steve O: Oh yeah, all the time.
Janet: When you start this program, I'll ask if you are still biting the sides of your tongue, and you'll go, “I forgot I did that!”
Steve O: Janet, first of all, you're so easy to work with, and people don't have to be embarrassed because this is what you do for a living. You've seen it all, and it's so easy they can pick up the phone, or they can go to your website.
Sophia: I think she should write a paper on this and have it published everywhere!
Janet: I've probably spent ten years working on that, Sophia. It's harder than you think.
Steve O: I'm going to be a test case. Janet’s going to be back.
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