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Could it be it's easier for her to swallow that way? I always thought my mother should lift her head while eating because she would choke. Imagine my surprise when she did this in the nursing home and was told to put her head forward in order to swallow better. Google your question and see if you can come up with some answers.

Good luck.
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Could be that this is a "tic," and no, not to be confused with tick, which is an insect. Best to get her checked out at the doc's. A tic is unexplained movement patterns.
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Is it more of a rocking or is it a faster "twitch" if you will? My dad has an essential tremor in his hand but only when he eats or tries to writes. When he was younger he did try medication but he didn't like the side effects. If it's not a tremor a lot of elderly have little habits that calm them also. They probably don't even realize they do it. Things like pleating anything they have in their lap, napkin, skirt, etc. My grandmother did this and now my mom does too. My father in law use to take the crease that was on his pants and crease it even more all the way down from his hip to his knee. It was just a habit I think. I've even pointed it out to my husband that he does it.
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could it be a habit, did she do it before? I work with someone who has a habit when in a meeting......the rock back and forth with their hands under their shirt at waist level. or someone that constantly is bouncing their knees up and down when having meetings. If she did this before it could be habit but only you notice it more now.........but better to get checked out.
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Sounds like an Essential Tremor, something that is most obvious when the patient attempts to use the affected muscles. Treatable. See your MD.
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