I’ll be closed on Thursday, July 4, but open Wednesday and Friday that week. And…FYI… I’ve started integrating some of the new techniques I learned in the TMJ Mastery training in Canada earlier this month, and my SomatoEmotional Release class from May.
The January/February 2019 issue of Massage & Bodywork (magazine for massage therapists) includes the article “Temporomandibular Joint Disorders: Biting Off More Than We Can Chew”. It’s full of information about the anatomy, pathology, demographics, contributing factors, symptoms, and treatment options for TMJD. The author is Ruth Werner, who wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology.
The article mentions that many dental professionals enthusiastically recommend massage therapy as an early intervention for TMJ disorders, which are often accompanied by dysfunction elsewhere in the body — the shoulder girdle, pelvis, and feet, for example. Regular massage therapy sessions can also help relieve pain and tension in the external jaw muscles.
The author states, “The [internal] pterygoid muscles require more specialized skill… Work inside the mouth carries some serious responsibilities… It’s not for beginners, and it’s not for dabbling. When things go wrong in this joint, problems can reverberate through the whole body… [Massage therapists working inside the mouth should] get advanced training…
“Intraoral massage may trigger unintended responses… Emotional release in response to work in and around the mouth is also a strong possibility. It is critical that massage therapists be mindful of their scope of practice and respectful of their clients’ processes if this happens. Massage therapists must be prepared to be present, nonjudgmental, and appropriately supportive for this kind of event. Once again, it’s not for dabblers. If you want to do this work, get appropriate training.”
After reading this, I feel good about what I do. Massage therapists trained to work inside the mouth mostly follow three paths of advanced training: craniosacral therapy (like me), neuromuscular therapy, and structural integration (aka Rolfing).
Also, not all craniosacral therapists or neuromuscular therapists work with the internal pterygoid muscles, so be sure to ask beforehand if that’s what you expect. That was part of my training with Ryan Hallford, not (so far) with the Upledger Institute.
Also, I’m thanking the Upledger Institute for my training in SomatoEmotional Release as well as past experience and research in trauma recovery.
I’m grateful to see that treatment for TMJ disorders by licensed massage therapists is getting media attention, and that TMJD itself is getting more recognition. The TMJ Association recently announced that the National Institutes of Health have agreed to do more research. It’s very much needed — practitioners know what we don’t know, and it’s a lot.
I woke up this morning at year’s end, reflecting on my work in 2018. It’s been a very good year for me in so many ways, and I want to share that with you.
- I’ve really come into my own doing the advanced integrative bodywork that I love, and of course there’s always more to learn with each person who comes in.
- I’ve done more sessions with more people than in previous years.
- I started working with a business coach this year, and I am very grateful for that. I’ve learned a lot.
- I’ve continued training in craniosacral therapy, biodynamics, and Zero Balancing, deepening and integrating those skills.
- Treating TMJ tension and pain has become a satisfying mainstay of my practice, ranging from the free 30-minute consultation to the 5-sessions-in-4-weeks program to my Facebook group Word of Mouth, as well as seeking and working with referral partners.
- My new Heavenly Head Massage is getting a lot of traction.
- I feel settled and at home in my office in West Lake Hills and very happy to be working with the practitioners who share the suite.
- I’ve enjoyed feeding the birds on the hillside outside my office as well as arranging rocks just so.
I don’t know what 2019 will deliver, of course, but I have some plans:
- I’ll be taking a course in TMJ mastery from a teacher in Canada who’s been doing TMJ and vocal cord work for over 20 years. He hasn’t posted the dates and locations for his 2019 trainings yet, but trading some of Austin’s summer heat for some Canadian cool would be nice!
- I’m taking another craniosacral therapy course from the Upledger Institute in May, SomatoEmotional Release 2 here in Austin, and I’m slowly making progress on getting certified in craniosacral therapy techniques. I’ll continue to attend study groups and work with a mentor and will serve as a teaching assistant for CST1 in Austin next August. I feel advanced Upledger courses calling me — the brain, cranial nerves, pediatrics, the inner physician, and more.
- I’m starting to work on certification in Zero Balancing. I continue attend study groups, advancing skills days, and taking classes, and I hope to attend founder Fritz Smith’s 90th birthday in May near Palm Springs, CA.
- I plan to make videos for my website, Facebook page, and Facebook group.
- I don’t have any classes in mind yet for biodynamics in 2019, but I plan to continue working on a modeling project with a mentor and trading with fellow practitioners.
May 2019 bring you more of what you want in life — health, happiness, abundance, love, opportunity, connection, peace of mind, and satisfaction. Thank you for your presence in my life!
I’ll be out of the office on Friday and Saturday this week — I’m participating in a night walking retreat at the Canyon of the Eagles Friday through Sunday. (I’ve done it before, so will miss the first day. There’s still room if you’re interested in (1) something different, (2) something relaxing, (3) removing yourself from the hustle and bustle, (4) learning a lifelong skill that you can use to relieve anxiety, (5) nature, trees, woods, water, dark skies, the beginning of the Geminid meteor shower,
I have openings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and in addition to everything else, I am offering $25 off on my Heavenly Head Massage. It’s the antidote for stress that brings relaxation like you wouldn’t believe! That discount applies to gift certificates too!