Holding on to anger, resentment and hurt only gives you tense muscles, a headache and a sore jaw from clenching your teeth.” – Joan Lunden
She clenches her jaw as her manager requests more work she simply can’t do in normal working hours. During lunch her jaw clicks as she eats her food. At work, she sits in the ‘turtle neck’ posture, as she strains to read emails on her computer. At night, while asleep, she grinds her teeth relentlessly as she unconsciously processes the day’s frustrations. This is not an actual case study, but it could be.
Jaw-related health issues are common in many people. The jaw, otherwise known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is the joint connecting your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. This joint allows the jaw to move side to side and up and down for chewing, talking, yawning etc.
The intricate movements of the TMJ are almost solely due to the facial muscles, and not the shape of the joint. In Professional Kinesiology Practice (PKP) we call the TMJ the ‘the master joint’ because dysfunction of this joint can affect other parts of the body, particularly the back. Dysfunction of the TMJ may be caused by dental work, poor posture, whip lash, lyme disease, constant chewing.
There are five facial muscles involved in the movement of the jaw, and these muscles, have the potential to store many emotions. PKP has a specific technique to test and correct all five muscles that move the TMJ and, from experience, these corrections are incredibly powerful. Following a balance of the jaw muscles, clients can experience a softening of the muscles around the face, the ability to open the mouth wider without discomfort, cessation of teeth grinding and clenching. The most significant part of the balance, however, is uncovering the underlying emotion for all those muscles. People hold a great deal of emotion in their jaw muscles.
Sometimes there are unexpected gains from a TMJ kinesiology balance. In one case a client had suffered jaw problems for many years. She also had a number of other health related issues including an allergy to wheat and hip problems. After the first session she noted less grinding and clenching at night and less sleep disturbance. After the second session her teeth began to move and reposition themselves. By the third kinesiology session she was feeling more positive and focused on her life goals, her hip issue had resolved and incredibly she found her digestion had improved and she wasn’t as inflamed eating wheat. The ‘only’ kinesiology she’d received was three PKP balances on her jaw.
This article first appear in Living Now Magazine on March 2016