TMJ Massage: Benefits and What to Expect

Many people suffer from TMD commonly referred to as TMJ.  TMD is a condition affecting the jaw joints commonly characterized by clicking or popping when talking or chewing, lack of mobility in the jaw, trouble swallowing, and feeling like the joint is out of place.  Other symptoms may also be associated with TMD such as headaches, pressure in the ear, and tension in the neck and shoulders.  Every case is different in regards to the severity and symptoms.  Some people are genetically predetermined to have this dysfunction.  However, it can also develop later in life due to things such as trauma, wisdom teeth or anything that may change your bite, grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, and excessively chewing gum or eating tough or hard foods.  The medical treatment for this involves but are not limited to injections, pain medications, muscle relaxers, splints, and surgery.

Great news! There is a holistic and non invasive way to manage TMD.  TMJ massage can help alleviate the symptoms.  Although most people feel immediate relief, the severity of each individual case will determine how many sessions you will need in order to get the symptoms under control and after that continued maintenance will help keep them away.  In some cases, utilizing a guard while you sleep may be necessary until you get the situation under control.  Before you take the more drastic measures, consider trying a TMJ massage and see how it can benefit you.

A proper TMJ massage involves working the muscles of the jaw but also the muscle subsequently affected by the dysfunction.  If your session starts with your therapist putting on exam gloves, DON’T BE WORRIED.  There are external muscles of the jaw but there are also internal muscles.  This means that the therapist will have to work inside the mouth as well.  Nobody wants to stick there finger or have someone else’s finger in their mouth without a glove.  Working the internal muscles is usually the first ones to get worked so the gloves won’t stay on for long.  After loosening the internal and external muscles of the jaw, the muscles at the base of the skull, front/sides/and back of the neck, and down into the shoulders will be worked so, when you leave, you will be relaxed and your symptoms will be reduced if not symptom free.