You’ll share your symptoms and history, address your habits and other contributing factors, learn to release tension and stress from your system, and … learn to work in your own mouth, with guidance from a seasoned manual therapist who can speak your language.
The upside: You’ll save money, get a brief video recapping the intraoral skills to help you practice and integrate these skills, acquire several other skills that will help you relieve your own TMJ issues for the rest of your life, and have the confidence that you got this — NEXT!
How hard is it? If you’re not afraid to get your clean fingers wet or wear medical gloves, and if you can tell the difference between touching something hard and touching something soft, and if you are willing to go slowly with sensitivity, you can do it.
It’s often a revelation.
There’s no need to learn anatomical language. I can share that if you like, but most of the instructions are like this: ”slide the side of your index finger down your bottom molars on the opposite side…”.
Recently I wrote about how acupuncture can help relieve jaw pain and the stress that often accompanies it. Today’s post is about doing acupressure on yourself for TMJ issues.
Keep in mind that if you see an acupuncturist, they will do an evaluation that may show other issues that they can address, with a focus on getting your whole system in balance.
But acupressure can help. The leading expert on using acupressure, Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., has a page on pressure points for sinus problems, jaw, TMJ, and bruxism and includes a 4:07 video (go to 1:18 for the jaw points).
This site has good images of four points, two of which Heather covers (SI 19 and ST6), with two other points on the cranium (ST7 and GB12) that can help.
(Note: If you Google this topic, be aware that not all the results are credible. I found one that pictured ST36 on the leg while describing a point on the face!)
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.