Co-Creative Healing

Jaw Tension and How it Affects Neck Pain and Headaches

We have all heard the expression “grit your teeth and bear it.” For some people, this can be an unconscious way of dealing with stress, by either clenching their jaw or grinding their teeth at night.

Over time, this repetitive pressure not only damages teeth, it can create head and facial tension, clicking in the jaw, and can contribute to neck pain. People who suffer with such symptoms are often diagnosed with TMJ Disorder. TMJ, or the Temporomandibular Joint is the main joint on both sides of the jaw and allows the jaw to move and function.

One of the most common treatments for TMJ Disorder is to wear a mouth guard or splint to protect the teeth at night. Although this does help reduce damage to teeth, it rarely reduces the muscular tension that the clenching causes.

Many people who have suffered with TMJ Disorder are surprised to learn that massage and manual therapies can help improve physical symptoms. For those who prefer a more conservative approach, massage of the face, neck, head, and the area around the ears can relieve jaw tension. For those who are more adventurous, the actual chewing muscles can be massaged from the inside of the cheek while the therapist wears a glove. Although this treatment may sound unusual, such work can be a welcome relief from tension and reduce the vicious cycle of grinding.

From my experience, most people who have jaw tension do not even realize they have it. Their symptoms show up in the form of neck pain or as headaches. I have often found that releasing the muscles of the jaw can be the missing piece to addressing chronic neck pain or headaches.

Some people have structural alignment issues with the teeth that need to be addressed by a dental professional. In these cases, soft tissue work can also be used as a wonderful adjunct to help the system integrate the dental work.

The great thing about having TMJ Disorder addressed within the context of a massage/bodywork session, is that it also can help reduce overall stress which is often the root cause of clenching in the first place. Why “grit your teeth and bear it” if you don’t have to?

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Co-Creative Healing

Specialties Co-Creative Healing offers Massage Therapy & Bodywork in Ashland, OR. I offer blends of deep tissue, acupressure, CranioSacral, myofascial release, visceral work, sports massage, stretching & Thai massage. * I have been doing massage therapy professionally since 1998, have over 1800 hours of training. I also am a nationally certified massage continuing education provider.* My work is also unique because of its timeless nature. Instead, I offer sessions that last an "hour and half plus." Most sessions tend to run between 1.5 and 1.75 hours. Working at this pace allows us to talk before your session begins and gives you the time to get up from your session without feeling rushed. Serving the greater Rouge Valley, including Ashland, Medford, Talent, Jacksonville, Eagle Point, Phoenix. Clients even drive in from Portland and Roseburg! History Established in 1998 I began my first private practice in New Orleans within a Medical Clinic. Over the years I have experience working in medical settings, spa settings, holistic retreat centers and private practice. I draw upon this diverse types environments to provide a session that is therapeutic, effective, relaxing, nurturing, pain and stress relieving and long lasting.

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