So much of our lives revolve around our mouths. It's the gateway to nourishing our bodies and a key method of communication - pretty fundamental stuff when it comes down to it. It's no surprise then that our mouths can become sore and tense, yet conditions affecting the jaw - and the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) in particular aren't massively well known.
From a physical and psychological point of view stress and anxiety can cause teeth grinding and clenching. This causes the TMJ and its muscles, the temporalis muscle and the masseter muscle, to become tense and tight.
When the TMJ and its muscles spasm or become compromised a number of symptoms
may occur, these can include headaches and migraines, ear problems including dizziness, tinnitus, earache and decreased hearing, pain behind the eyes, pain in the teeth, neck pain and tension and
jaw clicking. For more information please visit the NHS website - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder-tmd/
TMJ syndrome caused by teeth clenching or grinding might be linked emotionally to ‘chewing on a problem’, with the saying ‘chewing something over’ being very relevant here. It may also be linked to not verbally releasing anger or difficult feelings. Furthermore, some studies have shown a strong to moderate relationship between depression and anxiety and TMJ syndrome, stating that TMJ pain may be a physical manifestation of anxiety or depression.
Reflexology can help, as can many other forms of relaxation. Mindfulness is incredibly good for stress, along with Yoga and exercise. Reflexology releases tension, lifts mood, promotes relaxation and aids sleep. Just one treatment a month can boost wellbeing and improve your perception of health. As Reflexologists we even have a reflex point on the feet which we work in all clients, but which is particularly beneficial in those experiencing stress, anxiety, depression or just tension in the jaw. To find out more please contact me via the website, www.orchard-reflexology.co.uk
As always, Reflexology should never be viewed as a miracle cure, or as an alternative to seeking medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional.