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My useless tongue

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jun 1, 2004
Now that my thread title has got your attention, please read on... :D

Ok kids, after reading over the Fettah-Frenzel doc and reading in several other places about using your tongue as a piston to either:

-perform the frenzel equalization technique (pushing air up into your sinuses/ears)
-pack your lungs (pushing air down into your lungs)

When it comes to the frenzel technique, I'm stuck at the "tongue piston" part...I thought I had it by making that "Ungh" sound talked about in a previous thread, but really I was cheating by doing a Valsalva.

And packing...well, bluntly, I'm clueless. :duh

I guess I'm wondering how you guys actually do it? I guess what I'm looking for is more or less a description of the mechanics behind it, or how you managed to stumble across doing it. I'm really confused and frustrated! :head
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Reactions: Alison
hi bolts,
i use nothing to equalize i duno why!!
when ya upsidedown nothing works well.
i read frenzel fattah doc it is clear and useful i bet!
Read this,too may be help ya!
[ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=58108"]equalizing technique...[/ame]
almost forget ya try at home or in the water?

[ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?t=58108"]equalizing technique...[/ame]
SEDATE said:
almost forget ya try at home or in the water?

Well, I've tried several times to do the Frenzel tech. out of the water...I haven't tried it in the water, since if I can't do it dry, no way I'm going to have success underwater. ;) As for packing....I don't think I'm doing it right, and I'm not sure I could tell even if I was. :duh

I guess the intent of my original post was just to hear some other people's success stories.
never do it out of water!!!!
there is no pressure but you give a presssure to the ear-drum hahaha.
when there is a pressure ya can supply a very small pressure it will be enough to open the roma gates
anyway it will defineatly work in the water...
Using the tongue as a piston is not really that hard. The catch is succesfully applying the "tongue block", the rest of it is pretty simple. Usually if there are problems at this stage of the frenzel, you're doing something wrong in another step. Most commonly it's that even though you can control your epiglottis fine, when you start playing with your tongue you unconciously open it.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm going to explaing the tongue block in such detail that it should be clear to anyone.

Think of a bicycle pump. You have a cylinder and a piston. As the piston moves forward, it reduces the airspace and thus increases the pressure inside the pump. Now if the piston leaks or is to small in diameter, all it does is move air from the front to the back: as the volume in the front decreases, the volume in the back increases. Look at this fine picture:

Once the pressure in the piston (p1) grows bigger the pressure p2 outside the pump (in the bicycle tubing), the valve opens and the pressure equalizes.

Now then, what has this got to do with your mouth? Well, if you move your tongue up and back, all you're doing is moving air from the back of your mouth to the front of your mouth. As you raise your tongue, yes, the volume over the tongue decreases. But at the same time, the volume under the tongue increases and that's where the air goes. Unless you apply the "tongue block", your "piston" leaks.

Now let's look at your mouth.

Here the volume under the tongue and in the front of your mouth is the "back of the pump". The front of the pump is the airspace in your throat and back of the mouth and the "valve" is obviously your eustachian tubes. If you don't apply the tongue block the air will just leak to the front of your mouth (upper picture).

To apply the tongue block you simply raise the tip of your tongue behind your teeth (lower picture). Much the same way as you would say the letter "t".

Try exhaling and stopping the air with a "t" and the with just the tip of your tongue. You might also try reproducing this .

The actual "piston movement" is actually pretty subtle. If everything is in place (epiglottis closed, softpalate neutral and tongue block in place) you should feel pressure right away when you move your tongue. If you don't, the air is escaping either thorught a leaking tongue block or down the epiglottis...The image above should make it clear that anything else is impossible.

Even if you can't equalize, but definately feel increasing pressure in your month, don't give up. You're half way there! All you need to do then is to lower the soft palate, and you're done.

If you don't succeed at once, don't give up. Persistence is the key here...If you do succeed, the congratulations. Now go do the same upside down, then upright in water, then upside down in water, then upside down in the water with empty lungs. Then repeat a hojillion times and you're done ;)

Packing in short:
Think of your mouth as an airlock. In side the pressurechamber the pressure is greater than outside. If you open the door, the air will escape and the patient in there dies in horrible pain. Not good. So you need an airlock, which is a small room in between the chamber and outside air with 2 doors. You open the door that leads outside (mouth) while the door to the chamber (epiglottis) is CLOSED and enter the airlock (suck in air). You then close both doors (close mouth, apply tongue block). Then you increase the pressure in the airlock to match the pressure inside the chamber (tongue as a piston) and once that's done, you can open the door to the chamber (epiglottis) and enter the chamber (push in air). Pretty clear I hope?

So you need to:
1. Close your epiglottis
2. Open your mouth
3. Suck in air WHILE EPIGLOTTIS IS CLOSED with your cheecks etc
4. Close your mouth, apply tongue block
5. Push air as in frenzel while you open your epiglottis
6. Once the tongue is all the way back, close the epiglottis
Repeat until done.

Sorry again for the long post...
Last edited:
Good post jome

Bolts here is how I learned:
1) Take some air into your mouth and close it. Now try to compress the air in your mouth by moving the very back of your tongue up (dont' let the air come out of your nose and don't let it go back into your lungs.
2) Now (do what you have to do) to let the air you have compressed in your mouth out through your nose (without opening the epliglottis to your lungs). So air only goes up through your nose.
3) Now repeat (1) and (2) but pinch your nose as the air starts going out through your nose. Continue to piston your mouth up and down. It is better if your jaw is a little open. You should feel clear thumps in your ears.
4) To make sure your are not using "cheating", you can try empty lung, fill your mouth and repeat (it should still work fine).
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