Can Yoga Be Used as TMJ Treatment in Idaho Falls?

If you suffer from TMJ pain, chances are you’ve tried every “trick” in the book to find some type of relief. However, if you’ve yet to find the solution to solving your TMJ pain, it may be time to take a deep breath and relax into Yoga to find the answer. 

While Yoga has become part of mainstream culture and even schools and workplaces have begun to implement “asanas” (yoga poses) and meditation as part of their curriculum or culture, few of us associate TMJ pain with Yoga. 

TMJ or temporomandibular joints are the two joints that connect the jawbone to the skull. These joints can become locked or “freeze” from a variety of actions such as teeth grinding, misalignment of the teeth or jaw, a blow to the head or jaw, and even a high-stress lifestyle, as pointed about by Yoga Journal. TMJ pain can be excruciating and is sometimes an ongoing issue in many people’s lives. Just like there are many reasons why a person may be suffering from TMJ pain, there are also numerous TMJ treatments in Idaho Falls to combat this painful disorder. If you’ve tried over-the-counter pain medications, cold compresses, and mouth exercises with no positive results, Yoga might be able to help relieve some of the tension in your jaw. 

The following yoga poses and practices have been known to reduce all-over tension in the body, which can be beneficial as part of an Idaho Falls TMJ treatment plan as well as an overall lifestyle change. 

Consult with your doctor and dentist before starting any physical exercise program, including Yoga, especially if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, or kidney disease. 

Yoga Poses To Relieve TMJ Pain

woman doing yoga - Idaho Falls TMJ
Photo by Keren Perez on Unsplash

If you’ve never done Yoga before, it’s probably best to perform the following poses under the supervision or guidance of a yoga teacher at first. Many of the following yoga poses are gentle stretches that can reduce tension, pain, and stress in the neck, jaw, and head. According to Mind Body Green, the following yoga poses can relieve neck and TMJ pain in Idaho Falls:

  • Eagle Arms – Begin by taking your arms out wide to your sides and then gently swing your left elbow underneath your right as you attempt to take either the backs of the hands together or bring the palms to touch. Next, begin to lift the elbows up to shoulder height while making sure to keep shoulder blades sliding firmly down the back and actively pressing forearms away from the face. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side. 
  • Head Tilts – Begin in a comfortable seated position–this can be with legs crossed on the floor or sitting in a chair. Make sure your spine is long and straight, and shoulders are drawn down the back. Keeping the base of your spine and hips rooted to your seat, exhale as you gently lower the right ear to shoulder, inhale to lift back to center, and then repeat on the other side. Continue for a few rounds and later try reaching the opposite arm as you lean your ear to your shoulder for a few breaths to intensify the stretch. 
  • “SuperMan” (Locust Pose Variation) – Strengthening your core muscles, especially in your back, can help to keep shoulders down, thus creating better posture. Begin this pose by laying on your stomach with feet a little wider than hip-distance apart and bring your forehead to rest on the floor. Next, create an “X” shape with your body by bringing your arms forward and wide. As you inhale, lift arms, legs, and chest up as high as you can. As you breathe, squeeze your legs and arms together then extend back to a lifted “X” shape. Lower and repeat 8 to 10 times. 

You can find the full article, with additional yoga poses, from author, Jennifer White here

Meditation to Relieve TMJ

Spa scene with candles - Idaho Falls TMJ
Spa treatment

Another critical component of Yoga and an effective Idaho Falls TMJ treatment is meditation. The benefits of meditation are expansive, and range from stress relief, enhancing self-awareness, reducing memory loss and controlling pain and improving sleep (and who couldn’t use some more sleep?). Furthermore, since meditation aids in overall relaxation, this can impact tension in the jaw, shoulders, and neck–a significant cause of TMJ pain in many people. If you’ve never tried meditation before, we suggest trying out this simple, yet effective meditation practice from Yoga Journal:

Start in a comfortable seated position for meditation and focus on relaxing your tongue (often, the tongue will relentlessly cling to the roof of the mouth). Deeply relax your tongue, your eyes, and observe that your lower and upper teeth move slightly away from each other. Soften the skin at the corners of your mouth. These directions are the beginning stages of the practice of pratyahara—the internalization of sensory awareness.

Start out by meditating for just one minute and continue adding minutes to your meditation practice as needed. Experts suggest that only 5-10 minutes of meditation can help the average person reap the benefits that it has to offer. Alternatively, as Yoga Journal suggests, you don’t need to carve out time to do this meditation to release the jaw, you can do it while driving, making dinner, folding laundry, listening to a co-worker, etc.We hope these suggestions will help to alleviate some of the pain and tension you may be experienced from TMJ pain in Idaho Falls. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call Comfort Sleep Solutions. We are more than happy to answer any and all of your questions

Featured image by:  Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash