Star Wars and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Part 2
Anatomically consider Jabba-the-Hutt as a slug (shell-less snail) merged or integrated with a wheelbarrow. All of this is muscle. As the tongue the, slug section, is composed of intrinsic muscles with fibers going right/left, up/down and back/forth. They make the tongue curl up/down and right/left.
Jabba appears to be within what acts as the tray of the wheelbarrow. The extrinsic muscles of the tongue are analogous to the wheelbarrow's component parts. They help suspend the tongue within the jaw-neck-throat space, connecting it to the rest of
This is unique, as if Jabba is connected to a hammock. Except, it is more complicated as the hammock is tethered to two stable trees, where one's tongue is suspended from and tethered to numerous anatomic locations, all of which are able to move in multiple directions both independently and co-dependently as I illustrate and describe here
In the front, where the wheelbarrows front wheel is located, it attaches, like a towing rope, to the inside of the lower jaw (mandible) behind the chin.
In the back, there are actually the equivalent to, as many as, three handles on each side with
One connected to a boney protuberance inside the skull behind and below the ears.
A second becomes the sides and top of the back of the soft palate as it forms an arch framing the entranceway to one's throat.
The third integrates with muscles of the sides wrapping into the back of one's throat.
The legs do not rest on “terra firma” as do trees that suspend a hammock. Instead, they merge into the sides of a miniature (1 ” long) mandible shaped hyoid bone. The hyoid lies within the confines and slightly below the mandible, however, it too, like a hammock, is suspended by and tethered by supra-hyoid muscles to the same and additional skull and jaw bones from above and by infra-hyoid muscles to other bones and structures from below. These attach to
The shoulder blades from behind,
The collar bone, breast bone, some upper ribs in front, and,
The sides of the thyroid cartilage of our “voice box” just below it.
One can see the mutual interdependence of the anatomic influences of the posture and position of the tongue and head, neck and total body posture. Anatomy suggests that a huge degree of coordination is required to maintain stability that supports the function of easy, effortless airflow.
To the degree we appreciate and understand this, we can improve the anatomy to reduce the structural instability. Only through being aware of the multiple players here and how they are aligned and react in a behind-the-scenes way to keep us alive and “going” can we help them anatomically function more advantageously, in harmony and at peace.
In Star Wars, Jabba's ignorance of his interrelationships with others led to his demise. In life our ignorance of the tongue and associated structures can lead us to ours.
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