Is Your Tight Jaw Linked To Stress?
Easy jaw massage for better movement.
Jaw Dysfunction (TMJ) is common, so common that 8 out of 10 clients and patients who attend my clinic present a tight jaw. Your jaw muscles are wired into the same place as your fight/ flight response and can be a huge factor in how the brain sends signals through your body.
I treat tight jaws with something called a TMJ release (a technique for relaxing your jaw and neck muscles) It’s simple to do and it can make all the difference to your awarenesses of how your body is adapting to it’s environment. It can also help to release neck and shoulder tension and change the way you move in general. The best part about this technique is that I can teach you how to do it at your desk.
THE MUSCLES OF THE JAW
The Masseter Muscle – is the strongest muscle in your body, (other mammals too.) If you’ve ever seen a Staffordshire Terrier clamp on to his toy you will know what I mean.
When this muscle becomes dominant then it affects the rest of your muscles and nerves. This is know as a compensatory musculoskeletal pattern.When your Jaw muscles are tight other parts of your body start to do different things. For example.
- your abs can stop working.
- your glutes take a vacation.
- your pelvic floor, which is carrying a fairly heavy load above it can’t hold the fort.
- your overall balance can be affected.
Lot’s of other things happen too like poor breathing patterns, tight shoulders, tight hamstrings and calves, all trying to find a way to stabilise your body. It’s brilliant actually but not necessarily useful when it keeps on switching on at the drop of a hat. So, if you think you have a tight jaw, here’s a couple of tips.
-Give your jaw and underneath your cheeks a daily massage, then sing or exaggerate your vowel sounds.
-Activate your diaphragm and do breathing exercises or sing a song because singing helps you work your diaphragm.
-Blow through your lips making a vibration sound. (Yes, really! The vibration release muscles in your face, jaw and throat and just makes you feel good.
There a lot more we can do and if you like anatomy here’s a very good resource for more about the TMJ: