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November - Acupuncture for TMJ, Jaw tension and headaches

Hello and happy November!


One of the most common things that I treat in the clinic is jaw tension from bruxism. Whether it’s the chief complaint or something mentioned on the side, a lot of us are dealing with some degree of discomfort here. At its mildest, jaw tightness is a brief annoyance; when acute, it’s accompanied by migraines, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint dysfunction and tooth fractures/wear.


The muscles of the face, jaw, neck and shoulders are intimately connected. When there’s tension in the masseter, there’s usually tension in the temporalis, sternocleidomastoid, trapezius and scalenes. In treating jaw tension, I begin by addressing some of the root causes of bruxism. These include stress/frustration/anxiety, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, and gut imbalances. Then I use acupuncture to move constrained qi and target the chain of tight muscles. Facial gua sha is also a potent tool to use in addition to acupuncture. I’ve had great results with patients who book my “acupuncture + facial add-on”, which involves facial cupping, gua sha and massage. I’m always happy to give patients mini gua sha lessons for them to do at home, too.


 

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the month and an early happy Thanksgiving! Did you know that there are herbal formulas and point protocols specifically designed for “food retention”? I’ll be here for any bloating, reflux or discomfort you experience on the other side of the holiday. In the meantime, I hope you savor some sweet food and company :)


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