New referral partners

I’ve made some additions to my referral partners for TMJ Relief:

  • Brodie Lane Dental
  • Dr. William C. Snow, DDS, on Medical Parkway
  • Dr. Vinay Parameswara and Dr. Aditi Sule in Oak Hill
  • Austin Wellness Collaborative
  • Dr. Franklin Bonasso, oral surgeon

These professionals are among those who are interested in referring patients to me for TMJ sessions, and I want to return the favor. If you’re looking for a doctor, dentist, oral surgeon, or chiropractor, check out this list. It includes the part of Austin they are located in.

Amanda Lee, therapist, humanitarian

I just wrote about my friend Amanda on my wellness blog, She’s a therapist who spends a lot of time in Austin, and also has a base in The Netherlands.

She works with people in person and remotely. She has awesome skills and is especially good at helping motivated people resolve things quickly, based on her many years of experience working in crisis zones around the world.

For people who follow my work website but not my wellness blog, here’s a link:

Amanda is someone worth knowing and worth knowing about.

Referral partners for TMJ Relief

I am happy to announce my referral partners among Austin, Texas, wellness practitioners. If you’re looking for a dentist, chiropractor, or doctor in Austin, these professionals care about their patients enough to refer TMJ cases to me, and in turn I refer people to them.

I include their locations because as big as Austin is getting, that can make a difference.

Dr. Elizabeth Rayne, DDS, is the first dentist who asked for my business cards after learning I do craniosacral therapy and TMJ sessions. Thank you! She’s known for her holistic practice in Austin. She’s located in south central Austin at Ben White and Bannister.

Dr. Sue Muschett, DC, of Synergy Chiropractic & Bodywork has been sending patients with TMJ pain/dysfunction to me. Her patients have told me how helpful and generous she is. Sue is also a massage therapist, a great combination of skills, and she is an expert on how to improve your movement with specific exercises. She’s located in south central Austin near Ben White and Manchaca.

Dr. Sid Cunningham, DDS, located in south Austin at William Cannon and I-35, heard about my TMJ Relief work first-hand from Dr. Sue and requested my business cards. I met with him. He’s a caring dentist with a lot of experience and connections. If you have jaw pain or dysfunction, Dr. Cunningham can accommodate you in tending to your dentistry needs.

Dr. Ameet Trivedi, DDS, of Honest Family Dental (south Austin near I-35 and Ben White) is someone I met through the Austin Wellness Collaborative. He cares about his patients, researches and adopts new technologies, and is connected with those who can provide advanced services when needed. He can work with your needs if you have jaw pain or dysfunction. Also, his office has the cutest little poodle name Mushroom (whom I believe serves as a therapy dog).

By the way, the Austin Wellness Collaborative is a group of health care professionals with a searchable online directory. Members practice numerous modalities from acupuncture to yoga.

November 2018 additions: I’m adding Dr. Vinay Parameswara of Oak Hill Wellness Center (southwest Austin near William Cannon and 290). He’s an integrative doctor who takes health insurance, including Medicare. He’s my doctor, and I just love how he really listens, asks questions, and takes notes to get to the root of a problem rather than just treating symptoms. He’s the most highly educated doctor I know, yet very down to earth. He works with his wife Dr. Aditi Sule, and she’s a pediatrician.

Also, Brodie Lane Dental (Dr. Statz, southwest Austin on Brodie near William Cannon) has my cards and invitations, as does the office of Dr. William C. Snow (centrally located on Medical Parkway), both new additions to the list of dentists with whom I have referral partnerships.

Dr. Franklin Bonasso, DDS, is an oral surgeon located near 32nd and Red River in central Austin. When TMJ clients have jaw problems that I am unable to resolve, Dr. Bonasso can order an MRI to view the jaws in motion and pinpoint the issue. Most jaw issues involve some muscle tension, and occasionally it’s more complicated. Dr. Bonasso has a very good reputation in Austin for doing jaw surgery right when it’s the right thing to do.

If you are a dentist, physical therapist, doctor, or otherwise provide services to people experiencing jaw pain and/or dysfunction and are interested in a referral partnership, and you would like to be included here, please contact me.

Treating TMJ issues: releasing trigger points in your jaw muscles

You have four jaw muscles: the two large ones on the outside of your head (the masseter and temporalis) and the four small ones inside your mouth (two medial pterygoids and two lateral pterygoids).

Any of them can get trigger points.

What is a trigger point? Healthy muscle tissue is made of bundles of fibers that run in the same direction. This tissue is pliable. It stretches or contracts when you move.

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 8.36.04 AMA trigger point is a spot where the muscle tissue has lost its pliability. A massage therapist may feel that the fibers in a particular spot have become glued together and hard, creating a small nodule. The tissue feels denser and often rolls under the fingers, compared to healthy muscle tissue.

This causes that band of muscle fibers to become shorter and tighter, restricting full range of movement of the entire muscle.

If you can’t open your mouth wide, or move your jaw easily left and right, forward and back, you may very well have trigger points in your jaw muscles.

Trigger points usually feel tender when you apply pressure to them, and they may also refer pain elsewhere. They may also form “constellations.” This makes them the tricksters of the nervous system.

You can work on your own trigger points to release them. It helps if you’ve received trigger point work from an experienced massage therapist, but you can learn to do it yourself. Even then, you may prefer to have someone else work on them, especially if you have a lot of them in multiple jaw muscles.

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 8.08.14 AMMy favorite reference book for working with trigger points is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, third edition, by Clair Davies and Amber Davies.

It is written for laypeople to release their own trigger points, but I know many massage therapists who use it as a reference book in their offices.

When I am working on TMJ issues, I notice that many people have trigger points in their masseters, the big external jaw muscles on the sides of your face that run from your cheekbone to the bottom of your jawbone.

Here’s how to find trigger points in your own jaw: using a bit pressure, drag your fingers slowly down the masseter muscle on one side of your face. Do this several times, experimenting with adding pressure, and notice if there are tender spots or “roll-y” spots. Repeat on the other masseter.

If you don’t have masseter trigger points, this usually feels pretty good.

Screen Shot 2018-07-12 at 8.41.19 AM
Source: The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook

If you find trigger points in your masseters (and you can still have TMJ issues without them), there are several ways of treating them.

Some therapists apply a huge amount of pressure. I don’t recommend this because if you have TMJ issues, your jaw is probably already out of alignment, and this could make it worse.

A better way, in my opinion, is to use less pressure. Yes, you can gently release trigger points!

I learned to do this from a local (Austin) massage therapist who is very experienced with trigger point release. She’s worked on me and released many trigger points, teaching me how to do this in the process.

If you have a lot of trigger points, I highly recommend seeing her. She works intra-orally, as do I, but her experience is greater than mine, and she’s amazing at discovering patterns if you have “constellations” of trigger points. She’s going to be more efficient than I can possibly be. She is the queen!

If you are interested in having her work on you, her name is Rose of Sharon, and you can reach her by phone or text at 512-282-1672. Please leave a message with your name and number so she can contact you.