Heavy work is a movement that comfortably compresses joints such as elbows, knees, shoulders, and your jaw. When your joints compress your muscles send special signals to your brain. These signals tell your brain where your body parts are in relationship to the other parts of your body. Knowing where your body is, and understanding that when you move your body changes position is important for sensory regulation and for feeling safe and confident in your own body. Increasing heavy work and joint compressions can help people feel calm, focused, and at center.
Using gross motor movement is a great way to get heavy work (pushing, pulling, rolling), but you can also get heavy work in your jaw by consuming foods that are chewy, crunchy. These kinds of foods require more compression of your jaw - releasing proprioceptive signals to your brain, creating a calm and focused response.
Here are 5 things you can eat to get heavy work for your mouth.