This is a common dental problem that affects many people, causing pain in the lower and upper jaw.
Despite many treatments and even surgery, for many the problem continues.
As a registered clinical hypnotherapist (AHA) and clinical naturopath (ANPA) I take a wholistic approach to solving the problem. This is because mono treatments sometimes don’t work but an integrated treatment involving mind and body can.
In treating TMJ it is important to make a full assessment of you including your medical history.
Do you suffer from TMJ Syndrome?
Does TMJ give you pain?
Have you spent a fortune trying to get relief?
As a clinical hypnotherapist I have helped many patients overcome TMJ. I was also trained in physical manipulation of the body and the head so I have an acute understanding of joint mechanism as a naturopath.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is when your jaw becomes misaligned to the extent it causes you a great deal of pain and even teeth grinding. It can be recent (acute) or a long-term chronic problem.
In extreme cases the jaw clenching, both at night and during the day, may have led to loss of teeth and even bone erosion and damage.
It also leads to pain in the neck, face, shoulder and back because the of the extreme misalignment of the spine that takes place.
What causes TMJ?
It has various causes including a pronounced overbite, underbite, the result of impact trauma from an accident or fall, loss of muscular or neurological control due to a degenerative nerve or bone condition.
Some people may have a neuromuscular disorder where the correct response for muscular activation fails to take place. There may be a failure in hormonal or enzyme production so the muscles don’t get the correct message to relax.
It may be due to congenital bone deformation where your scull and jaw bones didn”t form properly in the womb or during the growing up phase.
Drug addiction or the side-effects from prescribed anti-psychotic drugs can lead can lead to muscle spastication, torticollis (tilting of the head) and tardive dyskinesia (jerking of the head, shoulders and general upper body).
TMJ is also common in long-term users of medications prescribed for ADHD such as Ritalin or Dexedrine because they cause tenseness in the muscles and anxiety.
The most common cause, however, is stress and tension.
You may be aware of that overactive tension in your muscles or not. You might think you’re a relaxed person but your stress is high, causing misalignment and pain in your jaw area.
Options for TMJ
You may have been sold a dental night guard for thousands of dollars by your dentist and it has not solved the problem.
Sometimes you’re referred to your GP who might prescribe antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs or even steroid injections.
You might even have been talked into surgery that at times might be appropriate for jaw realignment and at times ill-advised, and did not work.
How your muscles remember
The body develops and retains muscle memory in every part of your body. Some of the muscle movements are innate (you were born with them) and they are programmed by your DNA. They are involuntary.
Muscle memory in the voluntary muscle system is learned and programmed by experience. For instance, each time you tried to learn to walk, your muscles learned the best way to coordinate your movement. Your brain coordinated those successful movements to come one after the other so you could walk.
Your body also remembers defensive movements like withdrawing when your foot stands on a nail, moving away fast in response to danger, stepping away from loud people. This is called a reflex reaction and is part of the fight or flight response to danger.
The problem is sometimes your body becomes confused and learns harmful muscular patterns. It might have been appropriate to tense up and withdraw from perceived danger once or twice but it became filed under your standard response to situations. In these cases your muscles remain in the tense state, particularly in the jaw area, causing TMJ.
How hypnosis can help TMJ
Whatever your cause of TMJ a great ability to relax the muscles can help relieve the pain.
In hypnotherapy we can make suggestions to and negotiate with your unconscious mind that files away those automatic muscular actions and reactions.
What this does is move your conscious mind out of the way, which is where many of your defensive mechanism reside, and talk to your unconscious mind.
This enables you to reprogram your automatic muscular actions and reactions, especially in the jaw and other areas. And it can happen fast.
Since I am also a clinical naturopath, I am also going to look at what’s happening with your body. So, we are coming to the TMJ relief from both a physical and mind-programming approach. It’s a basic hardware and software approach or mind and body solution.
Book your appointment to get help with TMJ syndrome with Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH by calling 0403 398 808.