TMJ and Tension Relief

YOGA FOR ANY AGE

Yoga is an activity that is appropriate for all ages. This article discusses a few benefits of yoga, makes some recommendations for how you might practice and offers tips to get the most out of your time.

There are numerous benefits of yoga. Here are just a few.....


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TMJ AND TENSION RELIEF

In the root of your jaw, a tight aching sensation throbs subtly … or not so subtly. Tender to the touch, the sensation moves into your temples or perhaps your ear or into your face. You may or may not feel a clicking or locking in the joint of the jaw. Does any of this sound familiar for you?  You may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMJD). Good news: This is generally temporary and can be self-treated. Talk to a health care practitioner for recommendations tailored to your own needs...

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VISUALIZATION WITHOUT EYES

Our incredible human minds can see without eyes. We have the power of vision whether our lids are open or shut, measured at 20/20 or legally blind.  With yoga practice, we can create a vivid vision nonexistent outside our minds but quite tangible to the mind that has created it. A mountain vista, passing clouds and geometric patterns sketched on the surface of our neural pathways can be part of a practice involving pratyahara. Pratyahara is one of the eight limbs that comprise a yogic approach to living.

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TMJ AND TENSION RELIEF

Yogic Assistance

With yoga practice, we can complement those recommendations and progress towards a daily life not tainted by TMJD. One way to do this is through breathing practice. Bhramari is a breathing practice that, according to Dr. Timothy McCall, can help with a variety of issues, including insomnia and stress. Perhaps this approach finds a root through the reciprocal relationship with stress and tension at the jaw or perhaps the low humming sound vibrates the muscles in a massage wave of movement that helps relax tension.


Bhramari Breathing

Bhramari Breath, also known as Bumblebee Breath because of the low buzzing sound incorporated in it, is easy and can be practiced in just a few minutes. Try it and see if you feel any relief from anxiety, depression, the habitual cycles of your mind, or anything else. Follow these steps for a basic bhramari practice.



As you continue with this breathing pattern (about six times), observe the sensations of the vibrations moving through the tissues of your face, neck and body. Can you direct the relieving benefits of the movements to the areas of TMJD symptoms in your body?


Other ways of practicing bhramari include using different pitches, higher and lower, and in silence if you need to stay quiet. To change or even intensify the effects of the practice, try creating specific mudras (hand/finger positions) and placing them on your head in different ways.


For more information, check out these resources:


LAUREN WEAVER, RYT 200

Lauren Weaver is a Yogi, Yoga Instructor, and Assistant Instructor with the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Lexington Healing Arts Academy. She can be reached via email at Lauren.mw32@ gmail.com.

more articles by Lauren Weaver

In the root of your jaw, a tight aching sensation throbs subtly … or not so subtly. Tender to the touch, the sensation moves into your temples or perhaps your ear or into your face. You may or may not feel a clicking or locking in the joint of the jaw. Does any of this sound familiar for you?


You may have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMJD). Good news: This is generally temporary and can be self-treated. Talk to a health care practitioner for recommendations tailored to your own needs and preferences.


Recommendation: Self-Check

If you notice symptoms of TMJ, the Orofacial Pain Clinic at the University of Kentucky may recommend setting an alarm for every waking hour or so to take a quick minute and check on these things:



Next, strive to release tension in your jaw, face, and neck. This might involve stretching, self-message, acupuncture, mindfulness and a variety of other options.