Locked by Jaw Pain and how to UN-lock
Jaw pain, jaw headaches, and TMJ related ear pressure are common issues that many people, including myself, have struggled with. Unfortunately, these conditions can be challenging to treat. People sometimes end up with medication or surgery for as treatment options. But what if there was a natural and holistic approach to healing that could help me overcome these symptoms and achieve lasting relief?
Enter the Feldenkrais Method. This somatic practice is based on the principles of embodied awareness and mindfulness, and it has been shown to be an effective approach to reducing pain, improving mobility, and enhancing overall well-being.
Most of you know that I got into the Feldenkrais Method to help my back pain as a teenager. Being that it took me well above and beyond what traditional PT did for me, I went back to become a Feldenkrais practitioner after I graduated as a PT. That's some background, now fast forward to sometime after I graduated as a Feldenkrais Practitioner. One morning, I took some time to stretch and just kind of dove into it...too far! I yawned while stretching and my jaw had locked! Being a seasoned PT, I recognized that the disc in my jaw had dislodged from its original position. I also knew that this was a common issue that often required a trip to the emergency room to fix.
However, instead of panicking and rushing to the ER, I took a deep breath and reminded myself to stay calm. Fortunately, I had Feldenkrais tools handy, and I decided to explore what I could do with that. Then, go to the ER if necessary!
Drawing upon the techniques I had learned, I began by doing small movements with my tongue, eyes, and breath, all the while focusing on the sensations in my jaw and surrounding muscles. Gradually, I increased the range of my movements, being mindful of any discomfort or pain, and calmed my nervous system.
To my delight, playing around with breath, attention, and movement in this way helped! My jaw gradually relaxed, and I was able to move it freely once again, without any further pain or discomfort. Phew! There was no need for a trip to the ER!
But what had caused my jaw to lock in the first place? And what causes jaw pain in general? Many factors can come into play with jaw pain or jaws locking. Here are some factors:
Not speaking up
Holding on, resisting, or bracing against life
muscular habits (like resting your chin on your hand, or other facial expressions, gum chewing)
car accidents or other traumas/injuries to the neck/jaw/face area
I myself had a combination of contributing factors, such as an incident in my childhood where I jumped from a treehouse and landed so that my chin struck my knee, resulting in a split tooth and blood everywhere! Yikes. This event had led to a habit of teeth grinding that contributed to my jaw pain. All that grinding at night led to muscular tension around my jaw. These muscular tension patterns can effect jaw functioning.
What can you do if you have a history of factors that might add to jaw tension or pain?
With the Feldenkrais Method, we explore outside our habits and help our bodies recall how to move in different ways. By doing so, we can decrease the muscular overwork around the jaw joint and reduce pain. It's a holistic approach that not only addresses the physical aspects of jaw pain but also considers the emotional and habitual factors that contribute to it. Without drugs or surgery!
I know there are a lot of people out there with stress and neck/jaw tension or overall tension or body pain. That's why I'm excited to introduce "FEEL FREE: Discovering Ease, Motion, and Emotional Resilience Through Mindful Movement", a program that will be coming out soon. In this program, we will delve deeper into Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Lesson designed specifically to help you on your journey of freedom.
FEEL FREE will provide techniques and practices to release tension, change harmful habits/instill new ones, help to feel into your own history's effects and share ways to rebalance your well being and functioning in the now.
Stay tuned for "FEEL FREE," and discover how you can transform your relationship with your jaw, your breath, emotions, and habits to lead you to finding relief from pain and discomfort.
If you'd like a coupon for the FEEL FREE program go to the top of my home page on this website and sign up for my free e-book, which means you'll be getting email updates and other good wellness info from me. As a subscriber, you'll get coupons to all my video and audio programs as well!