TJM Disfunction

Have you ever had pain, stiffness, grinding, clicking, or locking of your jaw? These are most often clear signs of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Dysfunction. This is a common condition, affecting over 10 million people! The severity of the condition varies greatly, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms on occasion, while others suffer a great deal daily. And if you notice your symptoms getting worse, now’s the time to start taking care of it. That grinding, clicking, pain, and locking are all signs that the joint isn’t moving and functioning properly, meaning damage is being done, and without intervention that damage may very well be irreparable.  

What causes this kind of dysfunction? Most often, it’s due to clenching of the jaw and/or grinding of the teeth. Tightening the muscles around the jaw is a common reaction to stress. This can happen as our bodies try to recover from a busy day as we sleep, or throughout the day as we deal with even mild stressors.  

Conventional care that most people talk about is usually limited to night guards, devices worn through the night to prevent grinding of the teeth. However, the problem with these is that they often don’t address the overall problem. A night guard protects the teeth so they don’t wear down so much over time, and/or helps to realign the jaw to prevent an abnormal position of the joint as you sleep. But none of this addresses the clenching, the tightening of the muscles in that area that are at the root of the problem. 

One thing that may help…you guessed it, massage therapy. Studies have shown that massage therapy can help with the symptoms and pain associated with TMJ Dysfunction. The focus of this type of massage is on releasing the muscle tension and restrictions throughout the musculature of the jaw, face, neck, chest, and upper shoulders. That clenching of the jaw doesn’t just affect the TM joint, but rather the muscles controlling that area are positioned throughout the head, neck, and shoulders. It’s important to work them all to address the problem and prevent others. If you have any form of TMJ Dysfunction, you’ve probably felt the neck tension and headaches that can come along with it. 

While massage of the muscles in this area is important, intraoral massage can improve your results even more. Intraoral massage is just massage that is done on the cheek from inside the mouth, with a gloved hand of course. A recent study¹ has shown that combining intraoral massage with external facial massage is 80% more effective than just external facial massage.  

Because of the sensitive nature of this area and the intricacy of the structures, it’s important that you see a massage therapist who is qualified and knows their stuff. TMJ Dysfunction is common, but you don’t have to live with the pain. Book your appointment and get relief now! 

¹Pierson, Melissa Joan. “Changes in Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Symptoms Following Massage Therapy: A Case Report.” International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork: Research, Education, & Practice, ijtmb.org/index.php/ijtmb/article/view/110/201 ����

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5 Tips For A Great Nights Sleep

Did you know that an estimated 40 million people have sleep disorders? If you find that you’re not getting enough sleep, or not sleeping well when you do, here’s 5 tips that can help you make a change and start getting the sleep you so desperately need. 

Keep Caffeine to a Minimum 

While you’re probably aware that coffee, tea, and most sodas contain significant amounts of caffeine, there are some foods that also contain caffeine you may not be so aware of; such as chocolate, matcha green tea, coffee and chocolate flavored ice cream and yogurt, along with some granola bars and cereals. Even if you don’t think you’re very sensitive to caffeine, you don’t get major bursts of energy or have trouble falling asleep, it may still be contributing on a smaller level to disrupt your sleep patterns in some other way. Read food labels and be sure you’re not unknowingly overdoing it on caffeine, especially later in the day.   

Set a Sleep Schedule 

Our bodies like habit. If your current sleep schedule is hectic, going to bed and waking up at different times and trying to catch up on sleep on the weekends, your body doesn’t quite know when your down time is supposed to start and when you should be waking up each day. It’s constantly being forced to do something different. That’s why sometimes it takes you quite a while to settle down when you’re ready for bed and you find yourself struggling to get up in the mornings. If you train your body to wind down at the same time and in the same way every evening, and then wake up at the same time and with the same routines every morning, it will get used to the schedule and help improve your quality of sleep.  

Take Time Before Bed to Clear Your Mind 

Life is busy and you may very well have trouble settling your mind enough to fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. You may be running through all the things you didn’t get to, trying to figure out everything that needs to be done the next day, and generally letting your mind run away from you. Take control back and intentionally clear your mind so you can rest well. Keep a notepad and pen next to your bed to write down any thoughts or to-do’s that will keep you up. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly. If you do start replaying parts of your day, make sure your thoughts are settled on the good things, those that you can really express gratitude for. All of this helps to clear your brain of all those troubling thoughts and let your body and mind rest well. 

Take a Hot Shower or Bath 

Taking a warm shower or bath before bed can erase all that muscle tension that’s built up through the day. The temperature contrast from a hot bath to cosying up in bed, has been shown to improve quality of sleep and shorten the time it takes to fall asleep as well.  

Create Optimal Sleeping Conditions in Your Bedroom 

If you prefer a cool room when you sleep, add some extra fans or turn on the A/C and get comfortable. If you’re staying warm all night, you’re not going to sleep comfortably. If you prefer a warmer environment, crank up the heat and add a few extra blankets. Or if you’re the type to have the room freezing while covered in a few thick blankets, but with one foot sticking out so you’re not too hot…go for it! Whatever it is that makes you comfy and will let you sleep better, do it. If you have a significant other you have to compromise with, so be it. Each of you needs to determine what they need to get comfortable and meet somewhere in the middle so you can both rest easy.  

If you continue to have issues sleeping, reach out to your physician to make sure you don’t have a sleeping disorder or something else going on. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t functioning well. It’s time to kick your sleepless nights to the curb. 

Can a Morning Routine Improve your day?

Have you ever felt like you’re jumping out of bed, running through your day to get everything done, yet you never seem to be able to do it all, much less get ahead? Do you ever feel like you’re standing on uneasy ground and can never really get your footing? Most people wake up and take the day as it comes, but having a regular morning routine can get your day started moving in the right direction, making the rest of the day run, or at least seem to run, a bit easier.  

Research has shown that most people are more productive in the morning. This is because the longer the day goes on, the more fatigued we become and the less self-control and focus we have. It’s also been shown that the more structure you keep throughout your day, the more in control you feel in your life. We’re not saying to schedule every moment of your day down to the minute; that’s a stress in itself. But once you get used to a positive daily routine, you’re able to become more efficient. Your repetitive tasks get easier and easier. While you can have a routine for any part of your day, a morning routine is a great way to start. So, here are 3 simple things to make a regular part of your morning habits to start every day off on the right foot 

Write Out Daily Tasks 

Whether you pack your kids’ lunches, prep dinner for the evening to come, have projects due, meetings to go to, errands to run, or events to attend, make a list or put it in your calendar. Writing out even the smallest of things to do serves a few purposes. It ensures you don’t forget anything. It can help to keep you focused. And it gives you a little pick-me-up every time you mark one of those things off your list.  

Add in Quiet Time  

So often we hit the ground running as soon as our eyes open and it’s rare to get any time for ourselves. But some quiet time to yourself, whether that’s to read, meditate, pray, journal, or just sit and drink your coffee in peace, that time to yourself is so important. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Even if that means waking up just 10 minutes earlier before everyone else, make a commitment that you’ll give yourself this time to focus in on you and quiet your mind.  

Find Time to Move 

There is no doubt that movement and exercise are good for you, but it can be even more powerful when you do it first thing in the morning. Did you know that studies have shown people are more productive and perform better for hours after exercise? You don’t have to run a marathon or spend hours in the gym. A quick walk, yoga session, or HIIT workout can get your heartrate up, get those feel-good hormones circulating, and kickstart your body and brain for the day ahead.  

Whatever your day may hold, taking the time to prepare yourself for it is the best way to tackle it head on. There isn’t a one-size-fits all mold here. You have to decide what morning routine works best for you and your lifestyle. Remember that this is your morning routine. Design it to be exactly what you need each and every day. 

Two Become One

When he finds her, her light will rip through him like lightening. It is up to him to embrace that love or to let her fly. He must see her true form, as she is, and then her words will awaken the depths of his heart. Her eyes are the key to his soul. And together, they will emerge as they once were, complete and whole…

~Stubborn Angel ~