TMJ Relief

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

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. 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 try to get help.

Maybe they’ve gone to various practitioners in search of help, that didn’t help much or didn’t last. 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 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 they specialize in teeth and gums.

Massage therapy specializes in the soft tissues — muscles, fascia, tendons — and most of the time, it’s muscle tension that causes jaw pain.

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 mouth work –– can reduce and often eliminate jaw pain in a gentle, respectful, and holistic manner.

Here are some clear, simple choices 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 your body to see if you are a good candidate for the treatments I offer. No obligation, no pressure.
  • If you know you want a series of sessions for lasting relief, the discounted TMJ Relief Program is designed for you. You receive five 75-minute sessions within 4 weeks, plus self-care practices.
  • If you’d like to experience a session before committing to the program, schedule a single TMJ Relief session. Wait a couple of days to see how you feel. If you’d like to continue, schedule your second session for 3 or 4 days after the first. If this timetable doesn’t work for you, let’s talk.
  • You can always schedule single TMJ Relief sessions as needed. You will experience relief during each session.

What you experience in the TMJ Relief program

Most, but not all, jaw issues are caused by muscle tension, and the earlier treatment begins after onset, the better the outcome, because jaw dysfunction can become progressive, increasing your pain and dysfunction, damaging your teeth, and potentially requiring surgery.

Even though one session provides relief, those newly-relaxed muscles often revert to painful tightness. The TMJ Relief program is designed to retrain your system for lasting, long-term relief.

I integrate multiple  in the TMJ Relief program:

  • I work on your whole body structure, because your posture affects your jaws — and better posture benefits your energy flow, organ function, breathing, movement, relationship to gravity, emotions, and attitude.
  • I work to relieve the stress you hold in your body, releasing strain patterns that keep you stuck and helping your body’s systems work together more congruently.
  • I work on your neck and external and internal jaw muscles to release tension, increase ease of movement, and reduce pain.
  • I assist your body to flush out toxins.
  • I educate you in self-care practices that you can do at home to deepen the work.

These four weeks are an ideal time for you to work on transforming your habits into those that feel better — such as replacing daytime clenching with a relaxed jaw. What if that was your default? I’ll teach you how.

The best outcome is when you can commit to four weeks of excellent self-care while receiving your five sessions. This might include at least one of the following:

  • adding yoga, Pilates, Alexander Technique lessons, or meditation into your life
  • taking regular Epsom salt baths
  • resolving stressful relationship or work problems
  • going on an anti-inflammatory diet

You explore what’s doable in your life, to get tangible results for your health and happiness. I’m here for support.

How long will five TMJ sessions last? I wish I could predict that. There are many variables, including how long you’ve had jaw tension, how severe it is, and whether you’ve had previous injuries such as whiplash.

What you do has a big impact on the outcome: transforming your habits, practicing self-care, reducing stressors, relaxing deeply and frequently, and adapting to change are determined by your intention and commitment.

I can say that five sessions result in a significant difference for most clients. Some never need another TMJ session, and some need TMJ relief only after major stress or prolonged dental work.

Here’s a testimonial written by a chiropractor after just two TMJ visits:

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!”

If you’re not sure you need a session or you live outside of 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 contribute! The group includes some educational units (click Units on the left sidebar) to aid in understanding the anatomy and self-care practices.