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Rolfing® Can Help with TMJ


Among the areas of the body that a Rolfer may be able to help, many people are surprised to learn that the jaw is on the list. It’s easy to associate joint pain relief, improved posture, flexibility and range of motion with Rolfing, but people who suffer from TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder in Chicago can also be helped.

What Is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder refers to a group of conditions that affect the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. This joint connects your jaw to your skull, so it stands to reason that if you have issues with the muscles or ligaments that control its movement you may experience problems.

Some common symptoms of TMJ include pain in your jaw, cheek, teeth or front of the ear when you chew or yawn, clicking noises in the jaw, an inability to open your mouth wide or having your jaw lock when you are able to open it. You also may notice that your upper and lower teeth no longer fit together properly when you close your mouth. Some patients experience headaches, migraines, hearing issues, dizziness or earaches as part of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.

Causes of TMJ

TMJ has a myriad of potential causes. Some of the known causes of TMJ include serious jaw trauma or dislocation, physical or emotional stress, grinding your teeth at night or even sitting in a dentist’s chair for long periods of time with your mouth wide open. I find that emotional stress exacerbates many conditions and complaints including TMJ. Also, if you tend to clench your teeth as a result of stress, this may end up causing it. Statistics show that women are four times as likely to suffer from TMJ as men.

Can Rolfing Help TMJ?

Generally when someone first comes to see me in my practice, things are at their worst and clients have tried everything. As a Rolfer, I want to get to the underlying dysfunction of your structural challenge so every angle of the body is explored as we begin to work together. Usually, a plan for TMJ will include ca series of sessions known as the Rolfing Ten Series which includes sessions with specific structural goals to improve function throughout the entire body. As I see it, the head rests over the ribcage and shoulder girdle as well as the rest of the spine. It's important that we establish enough support in these structures so that the head has a comfortable place to rest above the rest of the body especially if you wish to experience extended relief. Once the body alignment is intact, it makes it exponentially easier to work with the symptoms being presented in the head and neck. Many times you can come in for the first session to see if the work is for you or you can come in for the first 3 sessions which is more comprehensive than a single session. It depends on the level of care and relief you're looking to experience.

If you have any of the symptoms of TMJ, schedule a consultation or book a session when you're ready to tackle this challenge. Every session is designed to improve your entire body giving us an opportunity to release the systemic tension which may be contributing to your the nagging jaw pain.

I'm here to help answer your questions at one of my several locations in the Chicagoland area. Please feel free to contact me today.

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