We already know that massage can reduce stress, boost your mood, and strengthen your immune system, but what if it could also help relieve that pesky (and painful!) jaw clicking? Or, soothe achy neck and jaw muscles after whiplash?
The answer is intra-oral massage, a lesser known but extremely effective massage technique. This method works on muscles inside and outside the mouth, as well as on the neck and throat.
It can be intense, but it is not necessarily painful. Since it focuses on muscles that are rarely massaged, they respond to less pressure. Gloves are worn while working inside the mouth to relax and release the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.
So, how do you know if you need intra-oral massage? Here are four common reasons you would consider it:
TMJ pain: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. TMJ disorders cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control that movement. This pain can occur from jaw injury, arthritis, or grinding your teeth, and can result in clicking or popping noises. Intra-oral massage relieves pain from the tight jaw muscles.
Teeth grinding: Formally known as bruxism, this is a condition where you unconsciously grind, gnash, or clench your teeth, either during the day or at night. This grinding can be frequent and intense enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, and damaged teeth. Massage releases the muscles associated with chewing and jaw clenching.
Migraines: Some migraines are caused by pressure on a bone found in your skull called the sphenoid bone. It is also found in the upper reaches of your oral cavity. Massaging skull and jaw muscles can reduce pressure on the sphenoid bone and help relieve migraines.
Whiplash: The neck is usually the primary victim of whiplash, but it can also strain the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and jaw. In these cases, intra-oral massage can reduce stress placed on the jaw muscles and joints.
If you have any trigger points or pain areas in your neck, mouth, or facial muscles, then intra-oral massage may be just the thing for you. Next time you’re at Dreamclinic, feel free to ask your massage therapist more questions about intra-oral massage or schedule a session now.
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