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.

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.

Free consultation for TMJ issues

I’m please to announce I’ve added a new service. If you have jaw pain or dysfunction and are wondering if I can do anything for you, please schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

A lot of people, including dentists, are not aware that appropriately trained massage therapists can work on relieving your TMJ issues that are due to muscle tension or trauma. 

Screen Shot 2018-05-30 at 8.44.49 PMI’ll ask about your symptoms and your history. I’ll also evaluate your body, including your neck and jaw.

Then we can talk about treatment options. If you’ve never had manual therapy for jaw pain and dysfunction, or if you’ve received it previously from a different practitioner, I’ll be happy to tell you what a typical session is like and the typical progression if you are curious about buying a series of sessions.

Please note: What I find once I start working and how well your system responds are variable with bodywork.

I’ve been doing TMJ Relief sessions since 2014. My teacher was Ryan Hallford of the Craniosacral Resource Center in Southlake, TX. I’ve taken his cranial base/TMJ class twice and been a teaching assistant for it when Christian Current taught. In addition, I’ve studied craniosacral therapy with the Upledger Institute.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and don’t hesitate to read the testimonials on my What People Are Saying page.

Treating TMJ issues: types, causes, and exercises

I just discovered an excellent new source of information about TMJ pain and dysfunction. It’s a really great website called Be My Healer offered by a doctor of physical therapy, Sophie Xie.

She’s got a couple of posts about TMJ issues. (If you have other issues, please look around. I am impressed with the quality of her posts in terms of credible information, writing to a lay audience, and her images. You go, Dr. Sophie Xie!)

First, this article helps distinguish between types and causes of TMJ dysfunction. In short:

  • Type 1 is arthrogenous TMJ, meaning the problem is related to the functioning of the bony temporomandibular joint. There are two causes: arthritis and disc displacement. She recommends the best treatments for each cause. (I can’t help with these, but exercises* can help. If you’re in Austin and have disc displacement, I can refer you to a couple of oral surgeons who are getting great results.)
  • Type 2 is myogenous, meaning muscle-related. Causes include bruxism (clenching and/or grinding), muscle imbalance (such as forward head posture, chewing on the same side, playing the violin), and systemic influence causing muscle tension (such as chronic stress, fibromyalgia, PMS).

Dr. Sophie Xie writes, “TMJ massage therapy can help by releasing the tense mastication muscle and provide pain and stress relief. However, you will need to call around to find a massage therapist who is specialized in intraoral release to receive the most targeted treatment.”

Here’s me raising my hand, signaling “Pick me!” I can help with all of the muscle-related types of TMD. I offer intra-oral work, help relieve forward-head posture, and help you relax from stress.

Again, exercises* can also help.

  • Type 3 is idiopathic, referring to a single cause: trauma impacting the joint  from accidents, injuries, dental treatments, even violent laughing or yawning.

Dr. Sophie Xie writes, “Post-traumatic TMJ pain is highly preventable. Early intervention such as physical therapy and massage therapy are excellent in preventing scar formation and muscle stiffness​. Gentle and progressive jaw stretching and exercises* will build a strong muscle function to keep chronic and repetitive TMJ pain away.”

Again, I can help.

*In her post Say goodbye to TMJ pain with these 5 convenient jaw exercises, Dr. Sophie Xie describes and shows (with delightful illustrations) exercises to strengthen and balance your jaw muscles.

She writes, “Most people experience significant TMJ pain reduction with daily exercises after 5-6 weeks. You should experience even faster results if you are also combining TMJ massage therapy with a nightly mouth guard.”

Her website has a contact page if you want to work with her. (I believe she’s practicing in Washington state.)

If you are in Austin, Texas, I’m happy to help.

Treating TMJ issues: the relaxing breath

Today I want to complete something I promised, sharing a quick way to relieve stress. This is important since so much TMJ misery is related to stress. Either the pain causes you to feel stressed, or your stress from other reasons creates muscle tension, which creates pain. It can be hard to break that cycle.

Some people have a hard time relaxing. The pressure to perform, to get things done, is on. Maybe they have a lot of energy but haven’t learned or had a chance yet to create time for themselves yet. (Yep, in my 30s.)

Or they’ve gone through a stressful period and it feels like their body forgot how to unwind. (Been there multiple times.)

Perhaps they’ve suffered a trauma that keeps them hypervigilant. (I know that one too well.)

Some psychotherapists specialize in helping trauma victims rebalance their autonomic nervous systems, so they can pendulate between fight-or-flight only when a true threat is present and rest-and-digest when they’re safe (and enjoy its benefits of better digestion, better healing, and inner peace). If this is the case with you, check out Somatic Experiencing therapy.

Others just need a little help to get started relaxing. Massage can help tremendously.

A meditation practice is a commitment to relax while sitting upright every day, with attention on your breath and sensations, observing the activity of your monkey mind with some detachment and humor (or horror!).

In fact, I have been curious for years about how relaxed I can become without falling asleep! It’s what drives me to meditate daily, do 10-day vipassana meditations, float in floatation tanks, and get esoteric acupuncture.

If you’d like to start rebalancing from stress into relaxation on your own, there’s an exercise I recommend called 4-7-8 breathing (the Relaxing Breath). Dr. Andrew Weil, who has been practicing and writing about holistic health and integrative medicine for 30 years, came up with it, although its roots are in yoga.

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The video is 3:18 long. Dr. Weil recommends doing 4 breath cycles at least twice a day for two months to get the benefits.

After a month, you can increase to 8 breath cycles, the maximum.

He recommends slowing the cycle down, with the limiting factor being how long you can comfortably hold your breath.

After practicing this for 4-6 weeks, you can begin to use it when something stressful happens. It’s a great resource for me when another driver does something alarming, but there’s no accident and I am left with the residue of stress in my body. A few of these breaths rebalance me. It can help with cravings and falling asleep.

After 2-3 months, it changes your physiology. It lowers heart rate and blood pressure, improves digestion, and is much more powerful than anti-anxiety drugs.

In essense, you are retraining your nervous system to be more relaxed. In my 7 years of doing bodywork, one day I realized this is what we bodyworkers are doing: retraining your body to be more relaxed and functional.

You may become less stressed from using this technique (yay!) and still benefit from receiving a TMJ Relief session to retrain your jaw muscles into relaxation.

If you’re ready to have that conversation with me, please connect. I’d love to hear from you.