Why IQoro works

IQoro is a neuromuscular training device and regime that activates the body’s own pre-programmed system for the swallowing process. It involves all the 148 muscles both those under your voluntary control, and those under the control of your involuntary autonomic system.

The swallowing process is a pre-programmed chain of events in which nerve signals are sent to and from the brain. The process involves the musculature all the way from the mouth, throat and esophagus down to the diaphragm and the stomach.

When you train with IQoro, four sensory nerves in the oral cavity are stimulated simultaneously and they convey signals to your brain. In its turn the brain send signals down to the involved muscles.

These are the same nerve signals that are transmitted in a normal swallow, but are more intense when you train with IQoro, giving a greater effect.

This explains why IQoro has an effect both on the brain plasticity (i.e. ability to regenerate and restructure) and on the internal and external muscles.

Why IQoro treats many symptoms

Thus IQoro, in a simple and effective way, addresses problems with our most basic and vital functions such as to breathe, eat, swallow, talk and smile.

All these functions rely on the same muscles and nerves, but in slightly different ways, and thus IQoro is used successfully to treat a wide range of conditions.

In this section we explain how exercising with IQoro reaches and develops the brain’s own command system.

Treatment and training with IQoro

The exercise consists of placing the device between your lips and front teeth and pressing your lips together tightly, then pulling the device straight forward as if trying to pull it out of your mouth. Hold this tension for 5 to 10 seconds, then relax for three seconds. Repeat this exercise twice more (a total of three repetitions).

This set of three repetitions is to be performed three times during the day, but not more frequently than two hours apart. Totally then, you will be training for 90 seconds per day.

Read a more extensive description of how you train with IQoro.

IQoro stimulates the sensory nerves in the mouth, and by doing this reaches the brain’s control system for the swallowing process, which is closely linked to the control systems for other bodily functions [3], including breathing, the ability to form sounds (speech), facial expression, postural control [1], stomach and intestine functions, and more.

How IQoro stimulates the swallowing process

This high intensity training of the muscles involved in the swallowing process strengthens the muscles in the face, oral cavity, upper airways and down the diaphragm and the stomach.

Think of it as a power swallow where the whole swallowing process and all the affected muscles get to work extra intensively.

Read more about the natural swallowing process.

IQoro effectively stimulates the swallowing process by:

  • The lips, via the cranial nerve (CN) Trigeminus, provide the trigger function for the brain’s central command for both breathing and swallowing. This is activated immediately when the IQoro is placed in the mouth, and further during the exercises.
  • All the upward-transmitting sensory nerves “afferent nerve pathways” – CN Trigeminus, Facialis, Glossopharyngeus and Vagus – in the oral cavity, are stimulated simultaneously and ‘lightning fast’.

    These are activated by a combination of the following stimuli: contact of the IQoro on the lips, that the lips are compressed together, that a low-pressure is created in the oral cavity during the forward movement in the exercise, whereupon the tongue moves backwards and contacts the anterior palatal arch and the soft palate.
  • The tongue’s backwards and upwards movements towards the soft palate ”velum” have a reinforcing effect on the direct stimulation up to the brain via the CN Glossopharyngeus and the Vagus. “CN Vagus controls all the internal organs except the sex organs”
  • The entire muscle chain – from the lips down to the diaphragm – is physically activated directly when you exercise by pulling on your IQoro training device.

  • The flat handgrip gives a steadier and more even pull when training, and this helps to develop symmetrical muscle strength.

    Symmetrical muscle strength is important for, amongst other things, the balance of the tongue bone’s “hyoid bone’s” upper and lower muscles, the “supra- and infra-hyoidala muscles”. The balance of these muscles is vital during the preparation to swallow, (the hyoid bone moves backwards and upwards), and to initiate swallowing (the hyoid bone moves forward and upwards).  

    Coordination between these muscles is also crucial in the closing off of the airway “larynx” and thus eliminating the risk of food ‘going down the wrong way’.
  • IQoro is designed with the optimal shape, size and rigid surface texture to develop maximum power to activate all the muscles from your lips down to your diaphragm when you exercise with it.

Translation from the original Swedish text by T. W. Morris, MYoroface.

Reference sources

  1. Hägg M., Tibbling L. Effect of IQoro® training on impaired postural control and oropharyngeal motor function in patients with dysphagia after stroke. Acta Otolaryngol 2016; 136 (7):742-748.
    DOI:10.3109/00016489.2016.1145797 
    http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/00016489.2016.1145797
     
  2. IQoro – list of scientific articles
     
  3. Ekberg O, (2011), Röntgendiagnostiska avdelningen, Universitetssjukhuset MAS, Malmö, Normal sväljning inclusive anatomi och fysiologi, (pdf). Hämtad 2015-12-05, kl 15.00,
    http://media1.dysfagi.se/2011/06/svaljningssvarigheter.pdf 
    (English translation: ”Normal swallowing including anatomy and physiology”)