I work with busy, stressed women and men to ease tight, painful jaw muscles – because you’ve got better things to do than suffer.
Transform chronic pain into freedom to enjoy life
It breaks my heart to realize how many people suffer from chronic jaw pain for years, even decades. I’ve learned that many people have “normalized” their jaw pain and tension. It’s there, it’s constant, and it detracts from their quality of life. They live with it and are resigned about it. Sometimes it really drags them down and they seek help.
Maybe they’ve gone to various practitioners in search of help, that either didn’t help or didn’t last or was painful. Maybe they’ve worn through mouth guards or found them so irritating, they quickly stopped using them. Maybe they’ve had jaw surgery.
Their dentist knows about their TMJ problems and of course wants to help — but did you know that studying the temporomandibular joint is not a required subject in dental school, and only 12 dental schools in the U.S. even offer a course in it? Mouth guards protect your teeth from damage from clenching and grinding, and that’s needed.
I am grateful for dentists — and yet the vast majority of dentists specializes in teeth and gum disease, not TMJ disorders.
Massage therapy specializes in the soft tissues — muscles, fascia, tendons — and most of the time, muscle tension causes jaw pain. Even when the disc or the bones are involved, muscle tension is usually present.
Most people — including dentists and doctors — are unaware that a treatment program from a caring, licensed, board-certified massage therapist –– who is well-trained and experienced in intra-oral work –– can reduce and often eliminate jaw pain in a gentle, respectful, and holistic manner.
The sessions I offer are relaxing. You can sink into my table, heated if you prefer. I offer a blanket and a bolster for comfort. We listen to soft ocean waves, and my big private picture window connects us to the natural world outside.
Treatments are progressive, beginning with full-body alignment, working on the neck, decompressing the head, and massaging the external and internal jaw muscles. It ends with lymphatic drainage to help detoxify your body.
I work as gently as possible and never make any sudden moves.
I offer hemp oil before working inside your mouth to reduce anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
If you’ve had intra-oral work for your jaw issues before that didn’t help that much, here’s what makes sessions with me effective: I work on the small, nearly-inaccessible lateral pterygoid muscles. Not all TMJ-focused practitioners touch these internal jaw muscles. I’ve found that about 80 percent of the time, releasing tension in the lateral pterygoids is the key to feeling a relaxing sense of spaciousness instead of tension in the jaw.
Here are some clear, simple choices to work with me for lasting relief from tension-related jaw pain:
- Start here: schedule a free 30-minute consultation to learn whether I can help you. We’ll discuss your jaw problems. I’ll evaluate you to see if you are a good candidate for the treatments I offer, and you can ask me anything you like. There’s no pressure and no obligation.
- If you’d like to experience a session, schedule a single TMJ Relief session and see for yourself what it feels like for your jaw to feel spacious. Sometimes, depending on my schedule, you can schedule this right after the consultation, make one trip, and go home feeling a lot better.
- Most of the time, with just one treatment, your jaw will revert back to tension within a few days or weeks. It takes repetition to retrain the muscles and create lasting results, as well as habit change for clenchers and grinders. If you’d like to experience lasting relief, sign up for my TMJ Relief Program (5 sessions over 4 weeks) and schedule your second session for 3-4 days after the first, paying the balance when you return. This works best when your schedule allows two sessions the first week and the remainder a week apart. There’s also an educational component: you’ll get an email from me after each session with support for habit change, self-care tools, supplement suggestions, exercises, and more.
- If this timetable doesn’t work for you, you can always schedule single TMJ Relief sessions as needed. I also offer a once-a-month 75-minute Relax & Renew subscription service that may work better with your schedule. Unused sessions roll over, and you can cancel your subscription any time.
If you have jaw tension and/or pain, the earlier treatment begins after onset, the better the outcome, because jaw dysfunction can become progressive, increasing your pain and dysfunction, leading to damaged teeth, jaw joints, cartilage, and connective tissue, and potentially requiring surgery. Why suffer for years?
The best outcome is when you can commit to four weeks of excellent self-care while receiving your five sessions. This might include:
- adding yoga and/or meditation into your life
- taking regular Epsom salt baths to relax
- resolving stressful relationship or work problems
(Ask me for other ideas. I have plenty of suggestions!)
How long will five TMJ sessions last? I wish I could predict that. There are many variables, including your constitution, how long you’ve had jaw tension, how severe it is, whether you’ve had related injuries such as whiplash, and your ability to change the habits that create muscle tension. What you do during and after the series has a big impact on your outcome: transforming habits, practicing self-care, reducing stressors, relaxing deeply and frequently, and adapting to change are determined by your intention and commitment.
Five sessions result in a significant difference for most clients. Some never need another TMJ session, and some return for TMJ Relief sessions after major life stressors or prolonged dental work. Some return for other types of work I offer, including craniosacral therapy, biodynamics, or Zero Balancing.
Here are a couple of testimonials:
Dr. Sue Muschett, DC, LMT, 8/20/18, writes: “I saw MaryAnn after literally trying everything I could think of for my facial and TMJ pain: my dentist, primary care doc, chiropractic neurologist, craniosacral practitioners, massage therapists and chiros galore, you name it! After one session with MaryAnn, I could open and close my mouth more easily, more completely, and with less awful crunching noises than ever before. It was surprisingly relaxing (I’ve had lots of excruciatingly painful work around that area, and was expecting more of the same), and she is very gentle and deliberate in her work, allowing you the time and space you need to relax. Her knowledge of the anatomy and biomechanics of the jaw and skull are tip-top, which is very impressive given the complexity of this area. After a second session, I have been virtually pain-free for over a month, and am no longer afraid of the deadly carrot stick at lunchtime! I cannot recommend MaryAnn highly enough, and am sending her all my TMJ patients from now on!”
See What People Are Saying for more feedback from TMJ clients.
If you’re not sure you’re ready or don’t live in Austin, I started a Facebook group, Word of Mouth: Resources for Jaw Pain/Dysfunction, where people can share what helps them manage their jaw issues. I’d love for you to join! The group includes some educational units (click Units on the left sidebar) to aid in understanding the anatomy and self-care practices.