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Do you suffer from TMJ? Massage Therapy can help!


It’s been a jaw-clenching, teeth-grinding kind of week. (When isn’t it that kind of week?) And now, you have excruciating jaw pain. Ibuprofen? Might as well put a bandage on your jaw for all the help it’s doing. So how do you spell jaw pain relief? M-A-S-S-A-G-E.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. You have one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders — a type of temporomandibular disorder or TMD — can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement.

Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism), although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.

In most cases, the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments.

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw

  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints

  • Aching pain in and around your ear

  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing

  • Aching facial pain

  • Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth

TMJ disorders can also cause a clicking sound or grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew.

By using massage on the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint, TMJ patients may be able to lessen pain and ease TMJ symptoms.

In a 2007 survey of 126 TMJ patients, meanwhile, participants ranked massage as one of the most effective self-care strategies for both relieving and controlling pain.

Several other small studies have tested massage's effects on TMJ pain. For example, a 2009 study of 15 patients found that receiving massage on the lateral pterygoid muscle (a muscle involved in opening the jaw) helped soothe pain, reduce joint clicking, and increase mouth-opening.


Hi! I'm Kristen!

Trigger points are hyper-tensed muscles (aka muscle knots) that cause jaw aches and pains. When it comes to TMJ, we can blame the pain on the masseter muscle, which covers the jaw over your teeth.

The magic of massage or manual therapy may mend those muscles. It’s best to find a provider who has a comprehensive understanding of the TMJ musculature.


There are several therapy techniques that can help with TMJ issues; trigger point therapy is commonly used in TMJ therapy because it’s very effective.

Trigger point therapy involves hands-on movements designed to break up a tense area of muscle.

For example, Kristen the therapist, will place pressure on the trigger point, and she will then perform massage-like hand movements to release the pent-up tension in the trigger point. By releasing this tension, we help restore normal muscle movement, and this can also help realign the TMJ. In turn, the reduced tension and realignment can help decrease the pain and other symptoms you’ve been dealing with.



One of the contributing factors to TMJ disorders is a high-stress level.

Create your own positive environment when you use Elevation essential oil blend. This blend is called the joyful blend due to its ability to promote a positive mood. When you use Elevation in a diffuser or on your skin, it will help facilitate a revitalizing environment that will uplift and help you relish the joys of life.




To keep the jaw muscles smooth and supple, you can also perform simple jaw exercises at home. We recommend these exercises to stretch, strengthen and relax the jaw muscles:

Jaw Relaxation

How to: While touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth behind the upper front teeth, open and close your mouth. Repeat.

Variation: Place a finger in front of the ear on the TMJ, then use your finger on your chin to open and close the jaw partially or fully.

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