5 reasons people come to me for TMJ massage
Updated: Nov 22
Teeth grinding or clenching
The clinical term for this is bruxism and it's the main reason people come to me for TMJ massage. It's pretty easy for most people to make the link between grinding or clenching their jaw and pain.
Often, grinding happens at night. Your partner might tell you about it if it disturbs their sleep, or your dentist might notice signs of wear on your teeth. Clenching happens at night too but can happen in the day as well, particularly if you're stressed or concentrating hard on a task. If this has become habitual, chances are you won't even notice yourself doing it.
Grinding and clenching the jaw causes damage to your teeth, which can be expensive, painful and traumatic. Mouthguards can help, and I advocate the use of them, but they're for protecting the teeth rather than doing anything to reduce the issue.
Headaches and migraines
This is the second most popular reason people come for a TMJ massage. The pictures show the headache pain patterns you might be experiencing if treating your jaw will be helpful in reducing their frequency and severity.
The red areas show radiating or referred headache pain patterns. The pain is coming from the black x's. These are the trigger points, and are some of the key areas I treat during a TMJ massage. Treating the trigger points (the source of pain) is far more effective than simply treating the areas which hurt and it's what makes a Jing Method™ treatment particularly effective.
Not being able to open the mouth fully
The clinical term for this is trismus and it can make life really miserable. Imagine not being able to open your mouth enough to eat properly.
People who've been to me for TMJ massage sometimes tell me they've had to squash food so they can fit it through a very small gap between their upper and lower teeth. Many people who have trismus have to stop eating the foods they enjoy altogether.
Treating the masseter during a TMJ massage (the big muscle you can feel pop up when you clench your jaw) and the temporalis (the fan like muscle above your ears) can really make a difference to this debilitaing condition. Being able to eat the foods we enjoy pain free has a hugely positive impact upon our day to day experience of life!
Chronic neck and shoulder pain
We use the term chronic when pain has gone on for a long time. Often, people who have chronic neck and shoulder pain aren't even aware that it is the tension in their jaw which causing their neck and shoulders to feel so super tight and painful.
If this is the case then no amount of treatment for the neck and shoulders will make any significant difference, the source of pain needs treatment and getting to the source of pain is exactly what happens during a TMJ massage.
More people are hearing about TMJ massage, which is really great as for many people it can be an effective means of treatment for their jaw pain and tension.
Because of this, I get people coming to me for treatment who are simply curious to know if they will benefit from a TMJ massage. When this happens, even with those people who don't have obvious TMJ symptoms, everyone (and I do mean everyone!) says they feel they have so much more space in their jaw.
More and more people are suffering from jaw and facial pain. For many of us, life is very stressful indeed. Stress builds up gradually over time so often we aren't even aware of what we are carrying until the pain we feel as a result of it is relieved during a treatment.
If this is you, and you're curious to know how much better you might feel after a TMJ massage, then book in... I would really love to see you!
You can find out more about treating the TMJ with the Jing Method™ here
About the Author
Nicky Mandala is a Jing Method™ Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist, working with her hands, head, and heart in Brighton, East Sussex.
She specialises in Advanced Clinical Massage Treatments for the TMJ.
You can read more about her here