Treating TMJ issues: the importance of a good pillow.

In my TMJ consultations, I always ask about sleep position. Why?

You have posture 24/7/365! And, since you spend about one-third of your life sleeping, your posture during sleep is at least as important as your waking posture.

Maybe it’s even more important, since you’re unconscious while sleeping and may get your body into some unusual positions that create strains.

Hence, setting yourself up for good sleep posture will pay off over time with less strain and pain. Waking up refreshed and pain-free from a good night’s sleep makes your life more pleasant.

Nearly everyone who comes to me for jaw issues also has neck issues, so I include myofascial release and massage of the neck muscles in my TMJ Relief sessions.

It’s not enough to improve jaw and neck function, however, if you are sleeping on a pillow that doesn’t support good posture.

I recommend a pillow designed for back and side sleepers called the Therapeutica Sleeping Pillow. It looks like this:

without cover

It supports the curve of your neck when sleeping on your back.

It keeps your head and neck aligned with your torso when sleeping on either side, and it supports your jaw without adding pressure.

Best of all, it comes in different sizes for different shoulder widths for side sleepers. I’ve seen many pillows promoted as being therapeutic, but this is the only one I’ve found that has sizes to fit various body shapes.

Here’s a link to the manufacturer, Core Products, with information about sizing, prices, warranty, firmness (I recommend original firm), and more.

Is it expensive?

Yes. However, with a 5-year warranty, it prorates out to $20-26 per year depending on size.

Your comfort is surely worth that. Also, I’ve used one of these pillows for longer than 5 years, and it retains its shape.

If you really need to save money, after reading the Core Products information and measuring to get your size, you can save a few dollars buying on Amazon. I recommend the Firm models.

Here are links for the Petite/Firm model, the Average/Firm model, the Large/Firm model, and the Extra-Large/Firm model on Amazon.


A former long-term TMJ client, Deborah — my very first TMJ Relief client, who no longer has any jaw issues — told me about the Therapeutica Travel Pillow. It’s smaller, less expensive, and easier to travel with.

Deborah likes that this smaller pillow allows her to sleep closer to her partner.

She turns it indented side up for back sleeping and flat side up for side sleeping.

It comes in Petite and Average sizes.

Read about it on the Core Products website.

without cover

Here’s info on the Petite model on Amazon, and here’s the Average model.

These prices are subject to change. Also, fair warning: as an affiliate, I do receive a very small percentage if you buy through these Amazon links.


What to do if you have jaw issues? I offer a 30-minute in-person TMJ consultation to gather information and evaluate your issues. I also teach clenchers an alternative to clenching and provide known ways to stop grinding, from those who succeeded.

These habits are major contributors to TMJ issues, and you can change them.

If you’re not in Austin, I can do the above as well as help you learn what to ask about when seeking TMJ relief near you. Just let me know if you need a phone or Zoom consultation.

I offer a combination TMJ Consultation plus TMJ Relief session in person in Austin, Texas, and in Taos, NM, in sumemrs. The consultation serves as an intake, so I have a better idea of what your issues are and how we’ll measure progress. Your consultation is free when combined with your first TMJ Relief session. This is a two-hour session.

To be fair, when you’ve had TMJ issues for a long time, or they are acute, you may need multiple sessions to retrain your system to retain the ease and alignment, along with doing your homework to stop clenching or grinding your teeth.

I offer a package of four TMJ Relief sessions for 10 percent off single sessions, best done a week or two apart. These sessions are 90 minutes and integrate various bodywork modalities — including work in your mouth — so that you feel great when you get off the table. They are best done over 4 to 6 weeks.

If you’re really adventurous, you can schedule a 75-minute Self-Treatment for TMJ Issues session on Zoom where we’ll do an intake and I will teach you how to work on releasing the tension patterns that cause problems, including working in your own mouth. You’ll need clean hands and short nails. It’s really not that hard! Learn more about it here.