[Transcript] – How To Fix Your Feet, Eyes & Jaw (& Why You Should!): The Mind-Blowing Science of Posture and Its Implication to Your Health with Annette Verpillot

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/annette-verpillot-posturepro/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:00:54] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:07] Guest Introduction

[00:08:04] How does the jaw affect posture

[00:17:17] The development of Posturepro system

[00:20:50] The link between the central nervous system and posture

[00:28:07] Podcast Sponsors

[00:32:11] cont. The importance of eyes for good posture

[00:35:47] Vagal Activator

[00:38:20] Why are feet important for posture

[01:02:41] Posturepro System

[01:06:10] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Annette:  It's a profession that is reserved to dentistry, so not a lot of people are looking at the jaw because they just assume that it has to do with cavities in teeth, but it's just so much more than that, just like the foot is muscles and joints and in biomechanics, the jaw is the same, except that we have the teeth, we have the actual joint, we have the tongue and we have the muscles. And, all of that together needs to work in synchronicity in order to either promote health or disease.

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

Alright, so I'm a fan of putting a huge handful of blueberries in my morning smoothie. I'm a fan of eating pomegranates. Those are two things that I eat a lot of for my mitochondria. But, what a lot of people don't realize is these compounds, they produce postbiotics. Postbiotics are something that your body makes during digestion. It's like you got prebiotics that metabolize stuff, then they make postbiotics. Well, there's one postbiotic that they've recently discovered, it's called urolithin A. It's an anti-aging postbiotic. It kind of upgrades your body's cellular power grid, meaning it's amazing for your mitochondria. Now, clinical studies have shown that 500 milligrams of this stuff alone significantly increases muscle strength and muscle endurance with no other change in lifestyle.

So, here's the deal. There's this company called Timeline. They've figured out how to optimize the body's urolithin levels with three different products. They have a berry powder, that you can mix in your breakfast yogurt or your daily smoothie. They have a protein powder, which gives you all the muscle health benefits of whey protein added to the Mitopure. Then, they have soft gels, if you're on the run and you want a convenient grab-and-go choice. So, basically, they've figured out how to take all the stuff you get from blueberries, pomegranates, et cetera, and just concentrate it in high amounts into a powder and give you 10% off. So, you go to timelinenutrition.com/Ben. That's timelinenutrition.com/Ben. And, I highly recommend you start their starter pack that's got all three formats in. That's a good one to start with. So, check them out, timelinenutrition.com/Ben.

Who doesn't want to start their day with superfoods? Hmm, superfoods that don't taste like crap. I mean, really you'd think that if were to put a bunch of vitamins and minerals and add antioxidants and stuff like moringa and ashwagandha and chlorella and all these hyper green alkalizing detoxifying superfoods that support the blood and the healthy response to stress and help as an anti-inflammatory and a hormone balancer to the body that we would all taste drinking and nasty bitter salad. But, the folks at Organifi have cracked the code. I'm drinking 11 different superfoods all at once, an absolute culinary adventure in good way, meaning that not only are their products 100% USDA-certified organic, jam-packed with all the stuff you'd normally pay, book a bucks for it like juicery, but it tastes amazing. I listed a few of the ingredients, but it also includes spirulina, beets, turmeric, mint, wheatgrass, lemon, coconut water, incredible energy boost, it's like drinking, I don't know, probably a few dozen salads. It's my highly scientific analysis.

Anyways, you get 20% off this stuff. You go to organifi.com/Ben. That's Organifi with an i.com/Ben.

Alright, folks. Your feet are important, skin on the bottom of your feet has thousands of nerves used to control your movement and your posture. The more you feel your feet, the more you feel the ground, the better you move. A lot of injuries, orthopedic injuries, knee injuries, ankle injuries, hip injuries, even shoulder injuries start with the feet.

So, this genius group at a company called Naboso has developed a whole line of products just for your feet. We're not talking about toenail clippers, we're talking about things like their Neuro Ball for triggering proprioceptive receptors in the bottom of the foot, Splay toe spacers you can wear while you're asleep or during the day to allow your toes to become more ancient humankind's toes rather than the modern compressed toes we walk around with these days. They got Activation Insoles that keep your feet alive and turned on while you're walking around in your shoes. They allow for increased proprioception any time of the day, which of course improves athleticism and performance. They even have Recovery Socks that you can wear even if you aren't wearing the insoles and you aren't wearing shoes. And, the Recovery Socks also increase your proprioceptive feeling in the feet, even have a mat. I keep it in my sauna that allows for better foot health and foot recovery and balance while you're doing things like yoga, for example.

So anyways, Naboso has this great suite of products. I have something from Naboso on my feet spot every day. Go to naboso.com/Ben and use code BEN for 10% off. That's N-A-B-O-S-O.com/Ben and use code BEN for 10% off.

Let me ask you a question if you're listening right now, how often do you run into performance issues or injury issues or recovery issues or even things like sleep issues and think, “Oh, gosh, I know what's going on here, it's my feet, my eyes, and my jaw.” My feet, my eyes, and my jaw. Most people don't think about that. I certainly didn't until I discovered the teachings and the work of today's guest who has some pretty mind-blowing science and techniques when it comes to posture and posture's overall implication to your health. 

I think, I first discovered today's guest when I heard her interviewed by my friend Ben Pakulski. And, my ears perked up because I was like, “Gosh, this girl is talking about things that really aren't addressed that much in terms of the brain-body connection and tools and techniques that can help to recalibrate faulty motor patterns and postural alignment.” And, it turns out when I began to dig into her that she works with a range of professional and college teams like the New Jersey Devils, and the 49ers, the Gators, the Xavier University men's basketball team, UNC Charlotte men's basketball team. She's worked with a lot of top athletes. And, her work has been presented at Harvard Medical School and a variety of universities and yet I think it flies on the radar. So, I wanted to get her on the show today to talk all things posture, particularly with her unique flavor. 

Her name is Annette. And, Annette's last name, I'm going to guess because she's up in Canada and there's a lot of French folks up there, it's spelled V-E-R-P-I-L-L-O-T. Annette Verpillot, I'm guessing. Am I close in it?

Annette:  That's perfect.

Ben:  Oh, wow. Okay, cool. I don't even speak French. I've spent a lot of time on Duolingo with my Italian during my toilet time, but not a whole lot of French. Although, you'd probably frown upon from a postural standpoint playing Duolingo while you're on the toilet. Yes, no?

Annette:  While you're doing some foot and eye drills.

Ben:  That's right. That's right. You got to stack habits. So, if you're listening in right now, I'm going to link to Annette's fantastic website, the Posturepro website and her Posturepro Method if you go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Posturepropodcast along with some of the tools that she uses to retrain postures. 

Matter of fact, one is sitting right here in front of me. This might be good opening fodder for our discussion, Annette. I've got this blue jaw thing. I can't talk within my mouth obviously, but you've got this jaw thing, you got some insoles, and then I don't recall if there was something that you sent me for the eyes.

But, tell me about this jaw device that I have sitting right in front of me right now.

Annette:  Yeah. So, that's a Functional Activator. It's basically a mouth guard that serves the purpose to do one thing and one thing only is to help you position your tongue on your palate. And, by doing so, it's going to promote physiological nasal breathing. I've long looked in my practice at the functions of the jaw in relation to posture and some of the ailments I was seeing clinically with some of my clients and the jaw is a huge component of posture. I always struggled finding a way to, if I may say, neutralize the jaw, so the sensory input going into the brain from the trigeminal nerve. If there's a dysfunction with the job, someone for example is a mouth breather or has underbite or an overbite, that's actually going to modify their jaw posture, which will have an effect on their head posture, shoulder posture, and their global posture. So, the Functional Activator came about in attempt to find a solution to address that sensory system being the jaw so that I would be able to work by process of elimination and find which sensory receptor was really causing or is at the root cause or with the root cause of the imbalances that I would see clinically.

So, the way that it's shaped, it's kind of a double gutter mouth guard that allows you to put right your lower jaw and your upper jaw together. There's a little shape for your tongue. So, when your tongue feels the pressure right under it, it automatically should go on top of your palette. And, that's going to create one of two things while it will create physiological nasal breathing. But, it's also going to create these micro-movements that are going to reset your temporomandibular joint in place. So, the idea is to wear it when you're working on the computer, wear it a couple of minutes throughout the day, but ideally, to be able to sleep with it.

Ben:  Okay. So, it's a little bit different than just say closing your mouth and focusing on breathing nasally or doing something like let's say while you're asleep, mouth taping, because it's keeping the position of the tongue higher up on the palate?

Annette:  Correct. So, the pressure of the little wedge actually creates an involuntary, if I may say, kind of reflex that will cause you without having to think about it, will cause you to position your tongue up on the palate. And, that will promote nasal breathing. So, there are some studies that show the advantages of a softer mouth guard versus a hard mouth guard, which is what we're accustomed to seeing most mouth guards that are available are really hard and they're kind of shaped to the molding of our teeth. And, what that does is that it just further promotes the dysfunction in the jaw if there is a dysfunction or if there is a malocclusion, it's really going to just protect the enamel of the teeth. So, I wanted to go a step further, I wanted to address grinding of the teeth, I wanted to address clenching, but I also wanted to address the jaw muscles and that begins with addressing the tongue.

Ben:  Okay. Sorry to take this thing out of my mouth because I was playing around with what we were talking. Could I wear this during a night of sleep?

Annette:  Of course, of course. Ideally, the optimal scenario is to wear it when you sleep. This kind of resets the entire system and allows you to breathe through your nose as well have proper jaw position while you're sleeping.

Ben:  Better than say mouth taping?

Annette:  Well, yeah, because mouth taping does not actually address the tongue, it forces you mechanically to close your lips and prevents you to breathe from your nose. But, we come from a concept where we want to actually make changes in the nervous system. And, the tongue, if you start with the tongue, which is the strongest muscle in the mouth and you address it consciously wearing the activator when you're doing your daily activities or even working out and wearing the activator, Functional Activator, when you sleep. That's when you're going to get the most benefits from wearing the device.

Ben:  Okay, got you. I, of course, I'm sure, have some overachieving listeners who are going to put this thing in their mouth and then tape their mouth to keep it shut inside or something like that and stack the two.

I'm curious because you mentioned, of course, the fact that this will enhance nasal breathing. I've discussed on the show before how that can be beneficial for the jaw alignment for nitric oxide production for fixing some issues related to sleep apnea, et cetera. But, you also mentioned that there is a global postural effect, I think, is the way you phrased it. And, in some way, this is affecting things like the scapula and the thoracic spine, which I think might be a little bit of a disconnect for some folks. How could doing something like putting a mouthpiece in to adjust the jaw have an effect on things scapular function or thoracic function? And, why is that important?

Annette:  The lower jaw is connected to our skull through muscles. I guess that we don't really tend to think about this all that often, but the development of that entire oral cavity really begins in the early stages of life basically the way that we learn how to swallow our food. When the teeth start coming out and when we start to form teeth, we normally should go through a process where our swallowing patterns are going to start changing from infant to toddler to adulthood. And, if there are disruptions in that system and those basic reflexes do become up to a certain extent become fixated in our nervous system, but if there are disturbances in that system, what will end up happening is that we will end up with a malocclusion. 

Now, the link between malocclusion and tongue is that the tongue is always the culprit, it's always at the root cause of the problem, yet it's never addressed. So, how can this create an imbalance with your posture? Well, it's going to have to do with the development of your teeth and it's going to have to do with the development of your arch, which will ultimately affect the position of your head on your shoulder and then challenge your overall stability, your gravity. It has to do really with your head posture. So, the tongue is intrinsically linked to that entire system. And, if it functions properly, so for example, if you were breastfed and if you have a big jaw and if all of your teeth came out and if your jaw is more square than round, you'd then have the most chances at promoting nasal breathing and optimal jaw development, which will then ensure that the condyle in your meniscus is properly grounded, which will then promote proper head posture and cervical and thoracic curvatures. So, this is how the jaw can potentially create that dysfunction. 

And, what we to know in our sessions is basically what's causing what because the jaw if it functions properly, if there's no dysfunction either with a lingual dysfunction being that you would propulse your tongue forward every time you swallow your saliva, the tongue actually shouldn't touch the teeth. If you're clenching your teeth, which is basically when you're just not eating or drinking are your teeth in contact in the day. If they are, that's pathological clenching throughout the day. All of these things have an effect on your joint. And, that could then potentially, again, affect your jaw, which in turn can affect your posture.

Ben:  Yeah. My dentist, Dr. Eniko Loud has been on this podcast before. She's based out of Phoenix. And, the first time I went in to see her, she did a full 3D scan of not just my head and my jaw, but down to the cervical. And, I think she even went down as far as the thoracic spine and noted that the way that I had my teeth set in my mouth and some of the shape of my jaw was actually affecting things like my cervical and my thoracic function. And, she had this custom-designed mouthpiece for me that I wore for six months during sleep. 

And, she basically has this theory that in order to fix the teeth, you have to start with the posture, you start with the jaw, the cervical spine, get everything in alignment because if you try to do aesthetic treatments on the teeth like say to fix issues related to grinding or improper bite, et cetera, but you don't fix the underlying postural issues first, all you're going to do is get a pretty mouth that you continue to wear down. So, this kind of makes sense. And, this jaw piece and the fact that it can affect things like performance and strength is absolutely fascinating. But, of course, there's the other two things that you talk about; the feet and the eyes. And, I want to get to that.

But, before we get to how you can work on the feet and how you can work on the eyes, I'm just curious, this whole Posturepro system, and we've got a little bit of time for you to get into the details if you want to, how did it come to be? How did you learn this and develop it?

Annette:  It came about throughout my own personal practice. I quickly came to realize that the results–I have a background in rehabilitation. And, some of the results that I was producing or the relief that I was producing in session, I quickly came to realize that it was short-lived. This was something that although I was providing relief and I was very happy to do so, it became clear to me that I needed to look outside the box if I was going to provide real answer and real results in my practice. And, this is what led me to looking or finding the answers in neurology and reading published studies and trying to understand how the role of the brain could have an effect on movement and most of the ailments that I was seeing in my practice. When I started applying, I mean, the information about the feet, the eyes, and the jaw, has been I've traced stuff back to the 1800s as far as figuring out how humans are able to stand upright and fight gravity efficiently and applying these concepts in my practice completely transformed my clinic and the results that I was getting clinically with my clients.

Ben:  Now, didn't you do some work with a fitness icon who's since passed who's very influential, Charles Poliquin?

Annette:  Yes. Charles, God bless him. Yes, he was one of the first one to actually bring interest or be interested in what I had to say as far as this brain model in the context of strength. And, his main interest was is he wanted to know and was curious to know if we would be able to basically increase strength through posture correction. It's really thanks to Charles that I was able to pierce through the market, if I may say, of fitness and rehab and just strength and conditioning because he was the one who really was able to show and explain how unaligned posture would have immediate impact on sports performance and on strength output. 

Some of the first readings that he did where he was talking about strength gains anywhere between 5.1%, which according to him was the equivalent of one year's training. And, his last reading was 15% with posture correction which blew him away. And, I said, what does that mean exactly? And, he says, well, it means that athletes are performing at 85% of their total capacity. And, it's sad because he was actually going to do a video about this and give his feedback an explanation as Charles does, but he never had the opportunity to do so.

Ben:  Well, I mean, if a guy who was as brilliant as Charles was about posture and body mechanics vouched for something like this and saw the value in it, that certainly speaks volumes. And, he gave a lot to the fitness and the rehab and the performance world. So, if you're listening and you haven't looked into some of Charles work, I'll certainly include some links in the shownotes over at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Posturepropodcast.

The other thing that I wanted to ask you and that was you hinted at the global effect of something like proper jaw alignment when it comes to posture, but what about just the overall link between the central nervous system and posture? Why is it when you go to, let's say, a typical physical therapist, a rehab specialist that they're not focusing on the central nervous system in the brain and seem to go straight to things like the muscles in the joints, whereas you're focusing on the central nervous system?

Annette:  Yeah, I believe that that is the missing link is in the educational system. That is the only explanation that I've been able to come up with. But, it is true that in the world of rehab and even in fitness, we're not accustomed to thinking about the role of the brain and movement and performance and health and longevity. But, the reality is that in order to age gracefully and for longevity to occur, the primary thing that we have to assess is or ask ourselves is how well are we fighting gravity, how are we managing our stress and how are we digesting our food? 

So, it turns out that when you dig a little bit into neuroscience and how from an evolutionary perspective, in order for us to be able to stand upright, we rely on three main sources of input, which is basically proprioceptive. And, I apologize for the complicated word, but our sense of perception, which usually comes from our muscles. That would be sensory stimulation visual, which is what we see through our eyes, and vestibular eyes and vision kind of work together. All three of those systems orchestrate this thing called upright posture and gait and feed into our brain right at the beginning of life. The reason that babies are not able to walk when they're born is because they don't yet have access to the part of the brain that allows us to move, which is the frontal lobe. And, the reality of things is that the brain builds from the bottom up and from the back to the front. It really is the missing link. And, the missing link and I find that in most training programs is the fundamental understanding and the application of the organization of the brain in the context of rehabilitation and fitness.

Ben:  Interesting. Okay, this kind of reminds me of a guy named Eric Cobb who I interviewed a while back and he had a company called Z-Health where he do a lot of work with the eyes, with convergence and diversions, and even had a whole system called The Vision Gym, which is supposed to fix you and even remove a need for things like contacts and glasses. I actually bought it for my wife and I think it's still in a deep dark corner of a shelf somewhere because she wasn't that interested in using it. But, he hinted at this idea because he was working with a lot of athletes that he actually did a lot of work with the eyes. And then, you look at an athlete probably Steph Curry would be a great example doing things like tennis ball drill and goggle drills and saccadian drills, something like that. Is that the right word?

Annette:  Saccadic drills, yes.

Ben:  Yeah, saccades. And so, there's something to this. But, explain what's going on with the eyes.

Annette:  Yes. So, basically, the eyes are the only part of the human body that function at 100% of their ability at any moment of the day or night without any rest. And, the muscles that move our eyes feed right into the cranial nerves that innervate these muscles feed right into our primitive brain. And, the muscles that move our eyes move more than 100,000 times a day to help us scan our environment and our surrounding and focus on a specific target with efficiency. So, what we see and how we see it, and the way that we see the world has an incredible impact on our state of mind, on our breathing, on our posture, and on our stress level. 

Why do I say stress? Because if we have an ion balance, it's going to create an imbalance in our vestibular system. And, if there's an imbalance in our vestibular system, which is our inner ear, our sense of balance, there's going to be an imbalance in how stable or there's going to be a disruption in how stable we feel within our own body.

Anxiety actually lives in the vestibular system. If there's an imbalance with the eyes, there's an imbalance with the vestibular system, and that could ultimately create anxiety. And, I could elaborate on that a little bit more later if you'd like. But, the information from that outside world, we use our eyes to take in information from the outside world and bring it into our brain so that we can organize our movement. And, it turns out that there's actually imaging studies in neuroscience that support that eye movements can actually activate specific parts of our brain.

So, I'll give you an example. One of the exercises that I always try to restore is an exercise called convergence, which is basically the ability to bring your art, your eyes inwards towards a target. And, by doing this simple exercise, which is just converging, bringing your eyes inwards and focusing–and, I use circles to kind of solidify the exercise, what we're doing is we're triggering the activation of different neural circuits in the brain that can actually impact our attention, our gait, our balance, because that's going to involve the vestibular system, as well as our alertness.

Another example would be, and I love to use different eye exercises for this, and I actually do use them for myself and in my practice is if you were to move just your eyes sideways. So, for example, if you were to put your thumb in front of you and move from the left to the right slowly, just following with your eyes laterally. Then, you can actually suppress or activate or trigger a part of the brain that suppresses the stress response and that increases that happy hormone serotonin because you're having an effect in the same area you'll find the vagus nerve, controversely, doing opposite movement, vertical movements as opposed to laterals, so just up and down slowly. You'll target the part of the brain, the midbrain, which is the part of the brain that secretes dopamine. So, that's going to be for mood alertness and focus. And, as you said before, saccades uses the front part of the brain, the frontal eye fields. And, that's going to improve reaction time. There's different ways of doing these saccades whether they'd be horizontal, vertical, or whatnot standing on one foot or there's different ways to do them. But, the point is is that they can actually improve reaction time. And, if you want to use eye movements with head movements, so specifically using the eye as the head is moving, then that's going to help with coordination and balance.

So, what's really cool is that if our eyes can affect our balance, they can also affect our posture. And, because our brain trusts our eyes over all other senses, if we have an imbalance with the eyes, it does create an imbalance with posture, with our stability, and ultimately it could affect our health.

Ben:  The Mobility Wall. It's this thing, okay? It's like a foam roller and it hangs in my door. It's super cool because if you've ever struggled with hitting the hard-to-reach spots with a foam roller, the Mobility Wall fixes all that. It's a door-mounted foam roller. So, you can do all your trigger point therapy, your deep tissue massage, all while standing up. I drape my body over this thing. I can get into the upper hamstrings, the back of the arms, underneath the shoulders, at the neck, all the places that I just like it's frustrating, got to freaking do like Kama Sutra on the floor to try and do this with a foam roller.

Now, they have this Mobility Wall installed in the door right by my office. Every time I walk by, I can do any move I want that I do in a traditional foam roller but a whole lot more. They even have a free app and it gives you video instructions to cover pain management and conditions like sciatica or tech neck or tennis elbow or golf elbow. It's a secret weapon for pain and stiffness. I wish I'd invented this thing or thought of it. I don't know who did, but super simple. It installs in seconds. You just twist it on or off to fit in your door jamb. It's super lightweight and you can work everything from your neck down to your feet. It holds over 300 pounds of weight. It's got non-slip silicone support brackets to protect your doorway. And, you can even store the top of your doorway when it's not in use, so your door will stay fully functional whether you want to open or close. So, they've thought of everything, everything. So, this Mobility Wall, it's pretty bomb. I love it.

You go to mobilitywall.com/Greenfield or enter code GREENFIELD at checkout and that'll give you 20% off. You can relieve pain and stiffness dramatically with this thing. So, mobilitywall.com/Greenfield and you enter code GREENFIELD and that will get you a big old discount, 20% off.

Alright, this is cool. You can join team Ben Greenfield Life. We're currently hiring. You can check out our careers page at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers. We got editorial position available. It's the editorial assistant for Ben Greenfield Life. You get to assist with and execute the full editorial strategy. That means things like blog, email, social media, copywriting, collaborate across different departments on all the written content, ensure that we have timely and appropriate development and delivery of digital content that conforms editorial style because I can't do that on my own. Lord knows all I can do is write. I'm horrible at managing the rest of it. I need an editorial assistance. 

We're hiring one. BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers is where you can apply. We have a very creative and inspirational network and team. We live to empower people to live their bold purpose-filled and adventurous life with help, hope, happiness, and love, and our team is amazing, and super fun, super fun to work with. So, check it out. Go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers if you think you got the chops for this new editorial assistant position.

Alright, folks. You can now go to BoundlessParentingBook.com and get yourself a brand-new copy of my brand-new parenting manual. You're going to love it. Your parenting journey or the parenting journey of whoever you get this for; teacher, educator, grandparent, and uncle, you name it, is never going to be the same. It's an anthology, a really thorough anthology of vulnerable and radical and inspiring parenting advice from superstar parents, many of whom I've seen raise amazing children: Naveen Jain, Katie Wells, Dr. Maya Shetreat, Spartan Race founder, Joe de Sena, all the way down to the controversial Liver King, Brian Johnson guy. They're all featured in there. The weird, the cool, the amazing things that they do with their families and their children, you get to read about and learn from. There's entrepreneurs, billionaires, single moms and dads, pastors, education experts, legacy builders, wealth managers, and other earth-shaking parents. Huge variety of them. You get all their tips, all their tactics, all their tools, all their wisdom. And, the book is now available. You go to BoundlessParentingBook.com to get a copy. That's BoundlessParentingBook.com. This book is the parenting blueprint and it's amazing if I don't say so myself. I'm pretty proud of this thing. It's big, it's beautiful, it's lovely, you're going to love it.

This kind of reminds me a little bit of eye movement desensitization reprocessing. It's called the EMDR. And, it's a therapy treatment for people who've been through trauma and seems to be pretty effective using specific movements typically like lateral movements of the eyes. And, it's usually combined with hand tapping and often audio stimulation to allow someone to access traumatic memories and then process them in new ways. So, is that what you're referring to when you mentioned that this can be used for things like anxiety?

Annette:  Not in that context. EMDR is using eye movements to bring your entire body and mind to a state of deep awareness through eye movements to be able to cope with traumatic or negative events that you've had in life. But, the exercises that I'm referring to–well, you could use them, they can be used if you're trying to think of a traumatic event. I'm referring more to just doing these exercises as part of your healthy routine every morning or three times a day, a couple of minutes per day to just light up and activate your brain. The same way that you would if you went for a brisk walk or if you meditate it in the morning or decided to go in a cold water to just wake your body and your brain up. They have many purposes and could be used for many different things.

Ben:  Yeah. One thing I was taught during breathwork was when coming out of breathwork to reactivate the vagus nerve to move the eyes left without moving the head, then right without moving the head, then up without moving the head, and then down. And, I do a lot of breathwork with my sons, and typically and some of my friends who I brought through breathwork, they'll experience this with me. We spend the final minute just shaking the fingers and toes, then opening the eyes and going through that series. And, it seems to be a really cool way to bring yourself back into the world. I've never actually tested something like heart rate variability to see if it actually increases heart rate variability significantly. But, that idea of finishing breathwork and then moving on to these type of eye movements that trigger the vagus nerve, you actually experience this shift towards what I would describe as more of a peaceful grounded, and relaxed state when you finish breathwork. Have you ever done something like that like paired eye movements with breathwork?

Annette:  I've never done it. I've heard of it. I'm sure that it would be extremely powerful if it was done along with the breath. But, I can see the relation with eyes and just breathing because eye movement can target or have an effect on vagal tone. I mean, there's just so much that the eyes can do and it's something that as far clinically or even from a health perspective because they do communicate with really essential nuclease in the brain stem that can put us, again, either in a state of alertness or in a state of calmness. And, in the context of posture, they do and the vestibular system, they also have an effect on our back muscles, on our extensors, and our ability to stabilize our head in space. 

But, some of the exercises even that you were describing suppressing natural movements of the eyes with the head can also target really, really specific parts of the brain. And, that's why I find that they're really incredible when you use them in the context of rehabilitation when someone comes to see you with shoulder pain or back pain because if you understand how these exercises could potentially help you activate parts of the brain that are then going to activate specific muscles that you're trying to target to help alleviate pain, that's when this becomes really super powerful.

Ben:  Okay, got it. Now, related to the vagus nerve, I noticed on your website you also have this thing that you put in your mouth that vibrates. What's that doing?

Annette:  So, that is a Vagal Activator, is what we called it. Is basically using vibration. It's kind of a piece of, I don't want to say plastic that you put in your mouth, it kind of has a plastic structure. It's flexible and it has this little part that's kind of sticking out. And, when you hit it with your finger, it creates a vibration. And, the idea is to be able to target all the muscles of your throat. So, you're really using the vibration from your teeth to have an effect on the trigeminal nerve because there is desmo-dental sensitivity. That sensory information goes into your trigeminal nerve, but at the same time, you're having an effect on your entire throat. 

So, from the moment that you have an effect on the throat, you'll have an effect on the vagus nerve as well. So, you can kill two birds with one stone. You're calming down the trigeminal nerve. These are for the clenchers, the daily clenchers. And, at the same time, you're tapping into your vagus system, which will allow you to just feel better and relax and breathe better.

Ben:  Kind of reminds me also back to breathwork of this idea of doing vocal toning or humming or chanting or oming to kind of vibrate and shake the body during the breathwork because that seems to tone and activate the vagus nerve in the same way that gargling is another thing that can do that. But, this is just a device that you put in your mouth and use your finger to just kind of flick it up and down to make that same vibrating sensation.

Annette:  Yeah, exactly, exactly. I just wanted to use something that was cheap. It comes in a pack of five, so you can have one in the car or have one at home, have one in the gym, have one in your bag, in your purse, and you kind of have the Vagal Activator with you at all times. And, when you feel stressed, just put it in your mouth for a couple of seconds, start vibrating it and just relax. 

Ben:  Yeah. I have a friend, Joseph Anew who's been on the podcast before. He's amongst many other things, a kettlebell instructor, and to keep his sympathetic nervous system being overactivated during a lot of his kettlebell work like these death marches he would do holding the kettlebell overhead or clutch to the center of the chest, he would use a popsicle stick. Put a popsicle stick in his teeth and do nasal breathing with an exhale hum while doing his workouts to kind of keep his nervous system a little bit more de-stressed while training. So, I was kind of familiar with the approach, but I hadn't seen a device like this before.

Now, the feet in addition to the jaw is something that you talk about. And, right now, I've got a spiky ball underneath my feet. I don't know if it's the one that you sent to me or not, but it's like this proprioceptive ball and then there's also these insoles that you recommend for similar function. Talk to me about what it is that we need to think about when it comes to our feet and why that's important based on your Posturepro System?

Annette:  I like to refer to these different body parts as sensory receptors simply because they take information from the outside world and they bring it inside our nervous system for us to be able to assess exactly what's going on out there and make the appropriate decision in regards to movement. 

The foot really is a structure that has three things that are communicated to your nervous system. The information will either come in through the skin or through the muscles or through the joints. And, that's going to go to different parts of your brain that will create either stability or dysfunction in the body. 

There's also obviously a biomechanical component. If the muscles are tighter on one side in comparison to the other, then the movement of the foot, the flexion and the extension of the ankle joint is going to be compromised and then the lower body left side versus right side will also be compromised. 

The foot really is the point of contact with the ground. It allows us to sense and interact with our environment. And, those sensory receptors in the skin are called mechanoreceptors. They send information to the brain about postural sways, if I may, about balance, about gaits. So, there are some that are extremely sensitive to 1-100th millimeter of a stretch or 3 to 24 grams of pressure. And, that information is unconscious. It's going into your brain, you're not thinking about it, you're not aware of it, so the shoes that you wear are going to affect that process, by the way.

And, when we use sensory stimulation like a spike ball or therapeutic insoles, what we're doing, in essence, is we're targeting the same mechanoreceptors in the skin to have an effect on the parts of your brain that help you inhibit flexion and activate extension. So, by doing so, and we can actually and we have and we do record this on a force plate, what we can see is that by improving sensory input to the brain, what we're doing, in essence, is that we're diminishing, we're reducing postural oscillations. And again, this can be measured with very, very precise number with a computer that shows you the actual movement that one subject will be doing with or without the therapeutic insoles. So, from the moment that you decrease postural oscillations, you're basically wasting less energy standing upright.

Upright posture, again, is something that we take for granted. When we're born, we're born into flexion and we have to develop or learn how to develop a way to inhibit flexion and activate extension. That's why when you see someone who has kind of a flexor dominant type of posture and you'll see that often with Parkinson's disease, they tend to go forward because those parts of the nervous system are being affected and the brain is no longer able to inhibit that flexion and activate extension.

So, doing foot drills is an awesome way. The shoes that you wear obviously, I mean, we need to wear shoes especially here in Montreal where it's really cold. But, the shoes that we wear can affect those mechanoreceptors. Again, remember, they're super sensitive, 1-100th millimeter of a stretch, that's crazy. That's nothing at all. And, they're already firing to your nervous system. So, using proprioceptive drills or even using the therapeutic insoles in your shoes to kind of create that stimulation constantly is a great way to start reversing the imbalances that we may have acquired over time.

Ben:  I didn't realize this, but when I first got the insoles, they seemed pretty similar to a lot of insoles that I've gotten in the past. Typically, you take the cheapo ones out of your shoes and you go grab, I don't know, Walgreens or CVS or whatever, have the nicer insoles that are meant to control pronation or supination or provide you with a little bit more of a comfortable ride. But, these therapeutic insoles that you have, they have a built-in disc inside them. I think you call it a resonator. What exactly is that doing?

Annette:  We're basically using two different types of metal. It's not electric, but we are using two different types of metals and shapes to create a frequency. The body is frequency, so it is a language that the body understands. And specifically, what we're using is in 90-hertz frequency and we are achieving this with the metals and with the shape of the metal, and with upright posture. So, when you put them in your shoes and you start to walk, that's going to create a frequency that is and ranges roughly around 90 hertz. 

Why 90 hertz? Because studies have shown that when you use a 90-hertz frequency towards the midfoot, so where your arch would be, then individuals tend to activate, again, that part of the brain that I was referring to that will inhibit flexion and activate extension. The 90 hertz is the gold standard to get the maximum activation that you're going to want to get from the nervous system in order to be able to fight gravity efficiently. And, what you'll see really in practice, and I have tons of pictures of this, are people that are just kind of like they're growing, they're getting taller, but they're not actually getting taller, it's just that they're inhibiting flexion and their back muscles are now really taut and firing in the nervous system. And, some of them are gaining inches or fingers and look much, much taller and straighter.

So, we do use frequency, but we also use wedges. We will never see our insoles go over 3 millimeters because we know, again, from published studies that anything that's above 3 millimeters will create kind of that reverse myotatic reflex. Instead of activating, it will inhibit. And, if you don't use it, you lose it. So, we want to use the concept of we want to activate the nervous system as much as possible for as long as possible so that we can get the greatest response.

Ben:  Okay. So, the insoles, those can be used in any shoe and you can wear socks with them, right?

Annette:  You can, specifically with the therapeutic insoles, the frequency, it doesn't even have to touch your skin. I'm just going to mention that because the frequency is the one that has this criteria, which means that they work even when you're sitting down. Whereas, the other models that we have, you actually have to be weight-bearing. But, with the frequency specifically, they work at 15 centimeters. What is that? 6 or 7 inches from your skin. So, those mechanoreceptors are picking up on that frequency up to 6 to 7 inches from your skin.

Ben:  Okay. And then, for the ones that are for low back support, have you simply just changed the angles using wedges or thicker material or something like that?

Annette:  Yeah, correct. So, we're basically using the 3-millimeter wedges. And, depending on where it's located, we're actually pooling your nervous system. For example, for the lower back insoles, when you put them under your foot, it gives the nervous system and the vestibular system the impression that you're moving forward. So, if you feel that you're moving forward, what you'll do unconsciously is you'll activate your back muscles and pull yourself back. So, we can use different wedges in different areas of the foot to induce the desired postural responses that we're looking to achieve clinically.

Ben:  This kind of reminds me of how my brothers and I used to walk down our driveway when I grew up in Lewiston, Idaho, about a quarter-mile long driveway to either get the mail or drag the large wheeled garbage cans down for garbage pickup day. And, we almost always went barefoot in the entire driveway. It was gravel. So, I grew up just basically walking on these proprioceptive stimuli of gravel, and still both me and my sons, we go just about everywhere barefoot outside in our yard, constantly getting that proprioceptive stimulus. So, I would assume that folks who do a lot of barefoot walking or spend time outdoors unshod on surfaces that have proprioceptive stimuli such as gravel would just naturally have a little bit better posture. Yeah?

Annette:  Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the sooner you start, the better. It's all about implementing those different protocols in the early stages of life. I think that your sons are lucky to have someone like you that is so aware of how important it is to work on that foot proprioception. Unfortunately, not everybody's aware of this and it does create problems or it can create problems in the long run. It's about developing coping mechanisms. 

At some point, our children have to go to school and unfortunately in school, they have to wear shoes. And unfortunately, the shoes that we have or that are offered to us in most stores are shoes that are going to modify the gait. A baby, a child's foot is flat up to the age of 3, even 5 years old. There's kind of this layer of fat on the sole of the foot and the arch will start to form through movement and sensory stimulation. So, the longer we walk barefoot, the better it's going to be to develop our postural chain, our posture, the way that we learn how to walk, and gravity and all of the stuff that's necessary in order for us to waste the least amount of energy while we're standing upright.

Ben:  Have you noticed differences in athletes who might actually use these type of insoles for game day or for training in terms of their actual power output or performance? Have you studied this at all?

Annette:  Yeah. So, absolutely. So, we noticed that there was a lack of ankle injuries with basketball for an entire season. So, not one single ankle injury in a basketball season with the therapeutic insoles. 

One of the things I wanted to continue Charles's work and I worked with this state police in Massachusetts, and one of the things that they were really interested about as far as longevity is concerned is if we can improve with the insoles specifically strength, obviously which is a big one, blood pressure and shooting accuracy. And, we did testing with 13 officers ranging from the younger being 30 up to 60 years old and anywhere in between. We measure the differences with the force plate pre and post. And, what we found is almost all of them improved up to a certain extent as far as blood pressure, as far as shooting accuracy, and this is with a gun in a specific room that they call the [00:49:31] _____ room and with their strength output.

So, the foot could have major implications on the blood pressure. I mean, that's just something that's huge, but it has major implications on everything, really, because what we're doing is we're having an effect, again, on how well we're managing and fighting gravity. The less postural oscillations we have, the more energy we have for everything else.

Ben:  Yeah. You remind me a little bit of a biomechanist I know named Katy Bowman who I'm going to have on the podcast soon. And, she even has a section in one of her books. I was actually reading it last week where she even tackled things like menstruation pain and period issues through calf and footwork and found that by switching to minimalist shoes and doing a lot of calf and particularly proprioceptive work on the bottom of the foot, it somehow changed her level of anxiety and possibly endocrine function for certain times of the month, which is just fascinating how many links there are between the feet and the rest of the system of the body.

Now, I mentioned the fact that right now we're talking, and this is just for about every podcast, I have this little textured mat underneath my feet. I have a grounding mat. It's actually kind of funny. There's a long stake going out from this mat that's planted out in my backyard, so I'm kind of like grounded the whole time I'm indoors in my office at my standing workstation. But, the grounding mat is on top of one of these Topo mats with all sorts of little surfaces on it. And, there's even a ball right in the middle of the mat that I can roll on. I forget the brand of this thing, but I mean, you can find them all over Amazon. 

And then, of course, you also have this spiky ball that you sell on your site, and I have a spiky ball too, it's underneath my left foot right now. I think a lot of people are aware of these balls that you can get for a variety of different biomechanical treatments. I think Kelly Starrett, the author of “Becoming a Supple Leopard” made a lot of this stuff pretty popular. But, it's one thing to own it and another thing to know how to use it. 

How do you actually recommend using this type of spiky balls on the feet? Are you just rolling it up and down or are you stopping and putting pressure on certain points? What's the ideal way to use these things?

Annette:  Yeah. So, the way that I do it is I don't actually use specific points, I kind of rub the entire foot. And, the reason being that the toes, the metatarsals, the heel, the midfoot, the side, inside the arch, all of those different areas of the foot do target specific sensory receptors. So, they'll either target the fast twitch, the slow twitch, the type one, the type two. I want to target them all. I want to have an effect on everything so that I can be as stable as possible. So, I'll do it three times a day. I'll wake up my feet in the morning. I do this with my kids to help encourage them when they were younger and I still do it now. And, before sporting activities, for sure, and afternoon, and around suppertime, along with the eye exercises. These are actual thing things that I do in my daily routine. And, even when I travel, they're spectacular for fighting or combating jet lag when you are in that stressful state of not being home. So, really simple tasks. You don't have to do it for very long because it's highly efficient, but it is something that I do repetitively on a daily basis.

Ben:  It's kind of funny that you talk about that with the eyes because I have these two little poker-sized cards in my fanny pack and I take them out and they've got 10 different drills on the card all based on diversions, conversions, saccadic training, and I got them. And, this is interest because you talked about shooters. I got them from a shooting instructor named Mike Ox who has a book called “Dry Fire Training Essentials” because right next to my bedside, I have this little pop-up thing that I also got from Mike that allows me to do dry fire practice with my handgun, for example, before bed. I'll just do a few rounds. I'll use this thing called [00:53:38] _____ that I can put on the gun that allows me to know whether I'm gripping it too hard, my trigger pull time, it's got a bunch of built-in almost dry fire shooting games in it that ties to an app, so I can work on my handgun skills without actually blowing through a bunch of expensive ammunition. 

Now, these cards came with his book and they're supposed to train your eyes to be able to do things like acquire a target faster or move from one target to the next or adjust your ability to be able to see at close distances and then long distances with rapidity. And, I noticed that on your website you do have something called a saccade training for these saccadic movements, but how does your device work? Because it kind of looks like a long Leaning Tower of Pisa with a bunch of dots on it. What exactly is going on with that?

Annette:  So, that's a really cool piece. So, what it does is that it promotes saccades of both eyes. So, fixating a point that's really close and really far and closer and further and closer and further and just kind of practicing that system. Remember, that's the frontal eye fields. That's going to be in the frontal lobe. 

There's different types of eye movements, whereas this one is really training both eyes together. But, we've also created the saccadic training, which means that it kind of looks like an arrow. And, if you see the side where it's the end of the arrowhead, you can actually flip it around and put it right on your nose. It would be easier to show obviously. But, there's a way to actually flip it around and now start training one eye at a time. So, you can train saccades of both eyes together and you can also train saccades of one eye at a time but in conjunction with the other eyes. You kind of separate the visual field from the left side to the right side and you want to see if both eyes are kind of following the target simultaneously. It's extremely powerful, again, for just going from one target to the other and it's something that can be done really virtually anywhere in the world if you have your saccade training in your bag. You can just pull it up and start doing these eye exercises and then your brain is going to be all that. It's like having caffeine without caffeine.

Ben:  Yeah. And, you'll also be a real ninja figuring out those 3D posters at the mall where you're supposed to find the hidden image. As soon as I started doing all this training, I can do that and those optical illusion books a lot better. So, it's kind of crazy how you can get your eyes to be used to seeing hidden objects and adjusting to 3D scenarios. 

You also have this Proprioceptive Enhancer. And, I think that one's for the jaw. It's this small black object. What exactly is that, this angular proprioception enhancer?

Annette:  Yes. So, that's kind of a Gua Sha that's very lightweight.

Ben:  Wait, explain to people what a Gua Sha is?

Annette:  Gua Sha is basically a device that you can use to break down adhesive tissue on your body.

Ben:  Yeah. A lot of people use it for face therapy, right?

Annette:  Right. While some people use it all over their body. But, we use it for the jaw, but we also use it for the foot to help us go a little bit deeper into the fascia. But, for the jaw, it's a great tool to use to release the masseter and different muscles of the jaw if one wants to dig in there and be able to release their jaw. But again, with the jaw really, it's all about the tongue. If you're able to manage daily clenching, you most likely will not have the need to massage the muscles of the jaw because they're not going to be tense. It's about the stress management.

Ben:  Are you for or against gum? I chewed a lot of gum and I wonder if it keeps my jaw tense or if it has a more relaxing effect on the jaw. What do you think about gum?

Annette:  It does create an effect of that constant pressure on the teeth. I love gum don't get me wrong. I was a big gum chewer when I was in high school. But, it does oversolicitate your trigeminal nerve and especially if you're doing it all day long.

Ben:  Oh, yeah, especially because I use the mastic gum, which is the Greek gum that's supposed to increase salivation and jaw strength. But, I guess my theory was if I'm strengthening the jaw, kind of like if you're working out a muscle, it's tense during but then more relaxed afterwards, assuming you're not maintaining too much tension in it subconsciously. So, my idea was kind of like chewing the gum and working out the jaw and almost exhausting the jaw during the day could help it to relax when I'm say like eating or sleeping or resting or something like that, but you think there's just too much tension created from constant gum chewing?

Annette:  Yeah, for adults, definitely. But, I will say that for kids, it's great because it forces them to learn to control and develop their tongue posture and the swallowing patterns. So, I find that that's something that's really awesome for kids. I always give gum to my kids for them to just chew. But, for adults, it's not something that I would recommend to do on a daily basis.

Ben:  Isn't there even a form of therapy, I think it's called mewing, that teaches kids how to maintain correct tongue posture?

Annette:  Yeah, absolutely. It's basically different types of breathing and awareness around the tongue, but it goes back to whether or not the child was breastfed, whether or not there are primitive reflexes that are still active like rooting, the rooting reflex in children. The rooting reflex is basically, I don't know if people know what a primitive reflex is, is a reflexive movement, an involuntary reflex that occurs involuntarily and that is inhibited by the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that I'm going to say is inactive in newborn babies. This is the reason why they can't walk. And, through sensory stimulation, through repetition, through movement, what they end up doing is they build the connections through the frontal lobe that allows them to inhibit those reflexive movements.

So, what we find with kids that have mouth occlusions is that more often than not there is an active rooting reflex. And, chewing gum actually helps them integrate that reflex. So, the more aware a parent is as far as primitive reflexes and that whole sensory integration, the better chances we're giving for the child to grow up as optimally as possible from a posture standpoint, of course.

Ben:  And, obviously the presence of ultra-processed foods, soft baby foods, and an inability for a child to use their jaw and their teeth properly is something that I know has created a big, big problem with kid's posture and the idea of a soft jaw and teeth crowding and the necessity for removal of wisdom teeth. That's a whole discussion for another day. 

But, the Gua Sha thing you talked about, it did remind me. I have this thing called a Myobuddy. It's a massage device I discovered a long time ago. It's basically a glorified car buffer. As a matter of fact, they're probably using a car buffer and just marking up the price and selling it as a body therapy tool. But, I keep it on my bathroom counter and I can use it for digestive work, for moving around my abs in the direction of the ascending and transverse and descending colon, if I want to help out with the bowel movement or I could use it on a sore joint. But then, I also, a couple of times a week, will take this thing and it just creates this massive vibrating massage. And, I do it all over my jaw, all over the occipital, and even all around the sutures on the top of the head and it feels amazing. And, I feel it really, really helps with jaw tension to use this vibrating tool. 

So, I obviously would be careful because if you use vibrating or acoustic therapy too much on the jaw on the teeth, you could risk breaking something or cracking something. But, just a little bit of jaw therapy here and there, I think, is fantastic. As a matter of fact, the other thing that I have done is when I get a massage, my massage therapist will often put pressure in certain areas right around the teeth and then have me open and close my jaw. I think it's even called jaw adjustment therapy or something like that. But, I think not enough people who do deep tissue therapy or body work actually take it as far up as the jaw and the teeth and the masseter. And, it sounds like based on my discussion with you that when it comes to all of the global implications for posture, it would be a good idea to pay a little bit better attention to our jaws.

Annette:  Yeah, I completely agree. The jaw, it's a profession that is reserved to dentistry. So, not a lot of people are looking at the jaw because they just assume that it has to do with cavities and teeth, but it's just so much more than that, just like the foot is muscles and joints and biomechanics. The jaw is the same, except that we have the teeth, we have the actual joint, we have the tongue, and we have the muscles. And, all of that together needs to work in synchronicity in order to either promote health or disease.

Ben:  Yeah. Now, let's say that I wanted to kind of start to wrap my head around your Posturepro System and do some work with my eyes and with my jaw and put these insoles into the shoes and just kind of wanted to get started with the minimalist system, what would somebody listening and actually get from your website because we've talked about a lot of different tools? I don't think everybody's going to go out and buy them all. But, is there some kind of package or something you recommend as far as what somebody would need for the minimal effective dose for the eyes, for the jaw, and for the feet?

Annette:  Yes. We have a bundle called Fix My Posture Bundle. And, that's the bundle that's going to give you the biggest bang for your buck if you wish. It's going to help you address that foot posture. It's going to help you address your jaw. And, it's also going to help you with massaging your jaw with the proprioceptive enhancer and getting a little bit deeper into the fascia of the foot. 

So, the Fix My Posture bundle is one of our best sellers. And, if not, you can just take a look at the Therapeutic Insoles, are the insoles that we've been working with for the longest time. And, we actually started selling them online publicly when COVID hit. They're extremely powerful as far as the results that they produce health-wise. So, we do include the Therapeutic Insoles with the Fix My Posture Bundle. And, if you wanted to start and just take your posture in hand and fix it with a bundle, that would be the one that I would recommend.

Ben:  Yeah. And, in the same way that folks will endorse PEMF mats and infrared saunas when one could just go outside in the dirt in the woods and hang out under the sun. You could technically walk outside barefoot on the gravel and look back and forth from the mountain to your hand to a tree and move the eyes back and forth and use any object to do your own jaw treatments. It's not as though you need a bunch of expensive tools to be able to work on your eyes and your jaw and your feet, but some of the products that she's created are designed to do some of this stuff with a little bit more laser-like precision. 

So, like I mentioned, she sent me one of the packages to try out and I just absolutely love the insoles and also with the little spikey ball that you sent. I didn't really know how to use this jaw thing. I had it sitting in my desk waiting to talk to you. And, now that I understand that, I'll probably use it while I'm doing work in the mornings initially because I can just stick it in my mouth. But, I might try sleeping with it as well even though I've been experimenting with mouth taping, I might try this just to see if there's any difference.

So, if folks go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/Posturepropodcast to Annette's stuff, she gave me a discount code, it's BEN15. I think that saves 15% on our website if you want to get a package or whatever to try some of this stuff out. And, also in the shownotes, I'll link to any other podcast that I mentioned, any other resources. That's also where you can go leave your questions and your comments and your feedback from me or Annette to check out and dive into. So, that's at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Posturepropodcast.

Annette, this is absolutely fascinating. Thanks so much for coming on and sharing this stuff with us.

Annette:  Thank you so much for having me, Ben. It's been a pleasure.

Ben:  Awesome. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Annette, got to do it one more time, Verpillot signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.



If you've never given much thought to stimulating the tiny nerves in the bottom of your feet, training your eyes to move in a variety of directions, and even doing a bit of good old fashioned jaw therapy, then you probably should – especially if you want better posture and enhanced physical and mental performance. Neuroscience now confirms that the pros and cons of your posture are based on the fundamental fact that performance and strength are not just related to the muscles but also to your brain’s connections with the body. To improve this brain-body connection, you must consider the use of tools and techniques to help recalibrate faulty motor patterns and postural alignment.

My guest on this podcast, Annette Verpillot, has created the Posturepro Method, which has many benefits: injury prevention, pain elimination, and the promotion of stronger and healthier bodies. It also helps optimize performance on all levels because aligned bodies are faster, stronger, and have better reaction time and coordination.

Annette Verpillot is the founder of Posturepro, a health company specialized in restoring the brain-body connection through some of the world’s most advanced rehabilitation and injury prevention techniques. She has created The Posturepro Method which has gained global recognition for eliminating chronic pain, increasing strength, and improving sports proficiency. Additionally, Annette actively works with clients, professional athletes, trainers, practitioners, researchers, and law enforcement officers to develop solutions that promote a healthy, long, and pain-free life. She has worked with strength specialists, elite athletes, and successful coaches from professional and collegial leagues such as:

  • The New Jersey Devils
  • The San Francisco 49ers
  • The University of New Mexico Men’s basketball team
  • The Florida Gators Men’s basketball team
  • The UNC Charlotte’s Men’s basketball team
  • The Xavier University  Men’s basketball team

Annette actively participates in research on posture, health, and performance, and her recent collaboration with McGill University was presented at Harvard Medical School, and at La Sorbonne University in Paris.

Through her teaching, speaking, and research, Annette continues to tackle global health issues and train professionals to have a lasting impact on clients and patients.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

Annette Verpillot…05:05 

  • Posture alignment specialist
  • Works with professional and college teams and athletes
  • Posturepro and Posturepro tools (use code BEN15 to save 15%)

-How does the jaw affect posture…08:11

  • Functional Activator (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
    • Helps position your tongue on your palate
    • Promotes physiological nasal breathing
  • The jaw is a huge component of posture
  • The idea is to wear it when you're working on the computer, a couple of minutes throughout the day; ideally, to be able to sleep with it
  • Soft mouth guard vs. hard mouth guard
    • Better than mouth taping
    • Mouth taping does not actually address the tongue
  • The effect on scapular or thoracic function
    • The tongue is always at the root of a problem but never addressed
    • Development of teeth, arch, position of head
    • Challenge to stability and posture
  • The link between malocclusion and tongue is that the tongue is always the culprit
  • Podcast with Dr. Eniko Loud:

-The development of Posturepro system…18:08

  • Posturepro (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
  • Annette's background in rehabilitation
  • The results and the relief were short-lived
  • Led to looking for answers in neurology
  • Applying new concepts transformed the results
  • Charles Poliquin
    • Increasing strength through posture correction
    • Unaligned posture has an immediate impact on sports performance and strength output

-The link between the central nervous system and posture…21:02

-The importance of the eyes for good posture…24:10

  • The eyes are the only part of the human body that function at 100% of their ability at any moment of the day or night without any rest
  • What we see and how we see it, and the way that we see the world has an incredible impact on our state of mind, on our breathing, on our posture, and on our stress level
  • Saccade Training (use code BEN15 to save 15%)
  • Eye imbalance creates imbalance in vestibular system
  • Anxiety actually lives in the vestibular system (inner ear)
  • Eye movements can activate specific parts of brain
  • Convergence exercises
    • The effect of eye exercises on serotonin and dopamine
    • The effect of eye movement with head movement on coordination
  • If our eyes can affect our balance, they can also affect our posture
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) – using eye movements to bring the entire body and mind to a state of deep awareness through eye movements to be able to cope with traumatic or negative events
  • Eye movements and breath work
    • Effect on the Vagus nerve

-Vagal activator…35:56

-Why are feet important for posture…38:49

-Posturepro System…1:03:15

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Shine Event / VIP Dinner: March 10th – March 12th

I want to personally invite you to an intimate VIP dinner experience with my family and I in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. I'll be in AZ during that time presenting as a keynote speaker at the Breath, Body & Beyond ‘Shine' event from March 10th to the 12th, and I'd love to see you there for my formal dinner on the 11th. At this dinner, you'll be presented with an exquisite home-style dinner personally prepared by the entire Greenfield family, a free signed copy of Boundless Cookbook, a personalized Q&A with me, and entertainment by local vocal artist and my younger sister, Aengel Greenfield. Learn more here.

Resources from this episode:

– Annette Verpillot:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode Sponsors:

Timeline Nutrition: Timeline is offering 10% off your first order of Mitopure. Go to timelinenutrition.com/BEN and use code BEN to get 10% off your order.

Organifi Green Juice: Start your day with essential superfoods that help detox the body, lower cravings, reduce stress, and reset your morning with a juice. Organifi Green Juice contains a clinical dose of Ashwagandha and supports healthy cortisol levels, aiding in weight management. Go to organifi.com/Ben for 20% off your order.

Naboso: Naboso features sensory-based product lines, created for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and biohackers as a way to optimize their foot health and foot recovery. Better movement begins now. Visit naboso.com/ben and use code BEN for 10% off”

Mobility Wall: Want to relieve pain and stiffness in just minutes a day? Go to mobilitywall.com/GREENFIELD  or enter GREENFIELD at checkout and get 20% off your first order.

BGL CAREERS: Check out our open positions at BenGreenfieldLife.com/Careers.

Boundless Parenting Book: Everything you need to know about family, parenting, and raising healthy, resilient, free-thinking and impactful children. Go to boundlessparentingbook.com and pre-order your copy now.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

One thought on “[Transcript] – How To Fix Your Feet, Eyes & Jaw (& Why You Should!): The Mind-Blowing Science of Posture and Its Implication to Your Health with Annette Verpillot

  1. Sunil Menon says:

    How is the functional activator different from airwaav? Both seem to achieve the same objective. Airwaav is only 39$ whereas Functional activator is a whooping 297$
    Check Airwaav at https://airwaav.com/products/airwaav

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *