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A neuromuscular (TMJ / TMD) and physiological approach for massage therapists


image-massage-therapist-2Neuromuscular treatment is a growing phenomenon in the massage therapy community,
especially in relation to the treatment of temporomandibular jaw disorder or TMD.

There are several ways in which you as a massage therapist can help with TMJ problems, particularly if you have any training in one or more of the following.

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  • Neuromuscular therapy, which is the use of ischemic pressure to key trigger points situated in the muscles in the jaw, which include the masseter, emporalis,  medial pterygoid and lateral pterygoid muscles.
  • Cranial-Sacral therapy, as well as classic stillpoint activation, adjustments to the temporal, mastoid, sphenoid and zygomatic bones have the ability to offer tremendous TMJ relief.
  • Post-Isometric relaxation is using isometric contraction which actively stretches tense muscle fibers, by adding a minimum of resistance to a further stretch, proceeded by relaxation enables enhanced relief to the muscle that has been targeted. This method may help to restore the level of motion that normally with a TMJ disorder regresses.
  • Acupressure – the massaging of the meridians, both locally and distally that surround the jaw can bring about an increase in circulation and therefore relief to TMJ disorder. The meridians that are primary to the jaw are the stomach, gall bladder, triple warmer and large intestine.
  • Swedish massage – This should not be underestimated, especially a Swedish massage, which is a full body type. This is particularly so as stress could be a major factor in TMJ disorders. Bringing about full body relaxation could have a major impact in the reduction of jaw tension.

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TMJ pain and neuromuscular massage therapy

TMJ disorder can occur due to several possible factors which include:
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  • arthritis
  • a localised injury
  • whiplash
  • ear or sinus infections
  • bruxism, teeth clenching or grinding
  • headaches
  • stress

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Stress and teeth grinding are not always the main causes of TMJ disorder but these can cause difficulties when trying to relax, particularly when a sufferer is tensed up and the body is taut. Emotional tension causing body tension can affect the temporomandibular joint.

If the jaw has become misaligned symptoms such as clicking, popping and cracking of it takes place when the sufferer tries to undertake jaw movements. Chronic headaches, shoulder, neck and jaw pains are symptoms too.

There are a number of ways you as a neuromuscular massage therapist can relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorder.

Benefit from our knowledge

image-massage-therapist-pointsWith this growing demand for neuromuscular dentistry, massage therapists such as you should consider becoming a member of the ICCMO – the International College of Cranio-Mandibular Orthopedics. Our organization consists of professionals in a variety of health care disciplines who share an interest in the physiology and anatomy of occlusion and jaw functioning.

Our members find solutions for patients who suffer from pain when the jaw does not function correctly. Membership will help you as a massage therapist to provide better care, expand your knowledge and grow your practice.

Join us

By joining us you become a member of our college’s knowledge base and you will develop by sharing experiences, case studies and patient stories with other professionals who, as members, strive to provide the best and most innovative solutions to TMJ problems.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity any longer and fill that gap in your knowledge.


[button linking=”default” link=”http://occlusiontmjauthority.com/new-membership-application/” align=”center” size=”medium” type=”standard” style=”solid” title=”title”]Membership Application [/button]