New: extended evening hours

I’ve been intensifying my yoga practice for the past few months, working with some amazing teachers, and since my yoga classes are mostly on weekday mornings, which cuts into my office hours, I’ve decided to stay open later three days a week.

Yes, I am totally going to be one of those amazing old ladies that are adept at yoga.

A few people have requested this, and I’m making it happen!

New hours:

  • Tuesday: open until 7 pm
  • Wednesday: open until 8 pm
  • Tuesday: open until 7 pm

Friday hours will remain the same, open until 6 pm.

I started practicing yoga (asana) in the early 1980s, when it wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. It was particularly helpful after a 1996 car accident and again when I did sedentary work. Now I love doing it for the strength, flexibility, alignment, balance, awareness, and good company of fellow yogis.

Yoga has given me resources in my bodywork practice that I am deeply grateful for. I believe it opens up the body’s energy channels to deepen presence and experience oneness — yoga means union. It makes a great companion to meditation.

How to Work with Me

If you are feeling sluggish, stiff, depleted, head achy, jaw achy, face achy, stressed, tense, hurting, lacking vitality, needing nurturing touch or to be listened to at a deep level, I can help. Also, many folks are just plain curious about receiving these special modalities I offer — craniosacral therapy, biodynamics, and Zero Balancing.

You can peruse my website or click Book An Appointment! and book your session online, start a monthly subscription (save $15 per session if you purchase this before June 21), schedule your free 30-minute TMJ Relief consultation, get started with the 5-session TMJ Relief program, buy 6-session packages for 45 or 75 minutes, and buy a discounted gift certificate for a Heavenly Head Massage for that person who really needs one — including yourself.

NEW! If you have any questions, you can now schedule a phone consultation of up to 15 minutes. Because my ringer is usually off (I’m working or got too darn many robocalls), this is an easy way for us to set aside time to chat on the phone. You schedule the phone consultation as you would schedule an appointment, and I will call you at the appointed time so we can chat.

I appreciate you, and I want to help! 

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Trivia of the day: Did you know that Ida Rolf — who contributed so much to American manual therapy there’s a whole body of work called Rolfing — was a yogi? According to my source, she called it “yog” in the manner where the final “a” is dropped in Sanskrit.

Treating TMJ issues: an upper-body yoga sequence

Often neck and shoulder tension accompanies jaw pain. I’m enjoying this seated yoga sequence for neck and shoulder tension, recommended in a FB conversation about what people with TMJ do for self-care. It’s 8:29 in length.

Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Tension

I’m a big fan of yoga, having practiced it since 1982. It’s definitely helped with stress, tension, flexibility, energy, body awareness. I’ve taken yoga teacher training and taught restorative yoga and one-on-one classes for yoga newbies.

My yoga orientation is alignment-oriented hatha yoga like Iyengar and Anusara, which I combine in my home practice with sun salutation vinyasas and balance poses to meet the needs of my body. I notice I’m becoming more and more attracted to kundalini yoga.

If you do yoga, do you have any favorite asanas or breath work practices for jaw pain?

Treating TMJ issues: what various professions do to help

I’m going to write about what various healing professions do to treat TMJ issues to help you be good consumers and know what to expect in terms of results. I am a massage therapist who specializes in TMJ work, including intra-oral (inside the mouth) work, in which I’ve had special training.

I want to say up front that most massage therapists do not work inside the mouth, which is where the jaw muscles most likely to be causing TMJ pain are located. Most massage therapists have the skills to release tension in the external jaw and neck muscles. Maybe that’s all you need, if your jaw pain isn’t severe and it comes and goes. You will feel better after such sessions.

But if you are really suffering from chronic or severe jaw pain and dysfunction, you probably want a lot more than that. You will greatly benefit from intra-oral work, which takes special training and experience to do effectively.

Do not hesitate to ask whether a therapist you are considering working with is trained in releasing tension in the internal jaw muscles and uses gloves or finger cots.

Whole-body work can also help, when the TMJ pain is related to your posture (for instance, head forward posture).

These are the major results that help with TMJ symptoms, along with the professional training that can provide them:

  • reducing stress (massage therapist, acupuncturist, yoga teacher, meditation teacher)
  • reducing tension in your external jaw muscles (massage therapist)
  • releasing trigger points in your external jaw muscles (any kind of therapist with trigger point release training)
  • releasing your neck tension (massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor)
  • getting your pelvis aligned and balanced (massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor)
  • preventing your teeth from cracking due to bruxism (dentist)
  • reducing tension in your internal jaw muscles (massage therapist with special training, physical therapist with special training, Rolfer)
  • getting craniosacral therapy to restore alignment in the external cranial bones (craniosacral therapist)
  • getting craniosacral therapy to restore alignment in the internal cranial bones (craniosacral therapist)
  • repairing a torn or perforated articular disk (oral surgeon — get reviews first)
  • getting whole-body therapy to help with alignment and release strain patterns (craniosacral therapist, Rolfer, Zero Balancer, yoga teacher, yoga therapist)

This is a brief and imperfect overview to help you get the results you want, and there are many fine points not mentioned here.

 

Treating TMJ issues: videos of self-care techniques

If you suffer from jaw pain, you may want to try some of these jaw exercises and self-massage techniques.

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TMJ Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Jaw Pain — Ask Dr. Jo. 3:03. Dr. Jo is a physical therapist who demonstrates four simple exercises.

TMJ Massage: Pressure Points for Relief by MassageByHeather.com. 3:43. Massage therapist Heather Wibbels shows you four acupressure points for jaw pain. You hold them bilaterally for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes. If you’re looking for something you can do on an airplane without attracting too much attention, do these.

Absolute Best TMJ Treatment You Can Do Yourself for Quick Relief. 5:48. “Bob and Brad, the two most famous physical therapists on the internet” (as their theme song goes) show you how to massage your external jaw muscles.

10 Best TMJ Exercises to Stop Pain in Your Jaw. 11:57. Bob and Brad show you the standard relaxed position for your jaw along with several exercises. They cite the American Academy of Family Physicians as the source for these exercises. Start saving popsicle sticks!

TMJ Exercises #1, 11:25. Chiropractor Adam Fields demonstrates exercises for the back of the neck, which is often tight when you have TMD, tongue exercises, and massage, ending with a relaxation exercise. In TMJ Exercises #2, 10:07, he focuses on massaging the muscles that open and close your jaw. He helps you tie the jaw exercises and massage into really good posture — a good habit that will help relieve jaw tension.

Yoga to Release Jaw Tension from Grinding Teeth, Clenching, TMJ. 10:26. Karuna demonstrates self-massage to release jaw tension, including a technique you can do right before you go to sleep that may prevent clenching and grinding while asleep.

I’m interested in hearing back from you about which exercises help you the most. If you’ve found other helpful videos about TMJ self-care, please let me know.

Meetup for Austin Relaxation Explorers is Feb. 21 at AOMA

If you are interested in deepening your relaxation abilities, and you live in the Austin, Texas, area, there’s a new meetup designed for people like you. The Austin Relaxation Explorers Meetup meets every month with a different presenter on topics and practices relating to relaxation.

I will be presenting on Tuesday, February 21, at AOMA at Westgate and Western Trails in south Austin, just down the road from Central Market Westgate. Check out the meetup here and view a screenshot below.  Continue reading “Meetup for Austin Relaxation Explorers is Feb. 21 at AOMA”