Intra-oral massage is a safe and effective technique that includes massage to the neck, throat, shoulders, facial muscles and the muscles of the jaw. The jaw work is done by working on the inside of the mouth. This work can be very helpful in relieving stress and tension around the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) as well as the face and neck and even down into the shoulder girdle.
If you have jaw pain or have been told by your dentist that you are clenching or grinding your teeth, intra-oral massage will be very helpful to you. This modality can also be very effective in treating headaches, strain from orthodontia, extensive dental work or dental surgery, chronic ear congestion and pain, sinus problems, whiplash injuries, and chronic face and neck pain. I have also found it helpful in treating carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome as neck strain is usually a player in repetitive strain injuries.
In my practice I do intra-oral massage as part of the Hellerwork Series. In addition to the series work I also have had success in using this powerful modality to treat temporomandibular joint dysfunction, jaw pain, and other structurally related conditions.
Because of the very close relationship between the musculature of the jaw and cervical spine, intra-oral massage is very important in structural integration work helping to achieve good alignment of the head and neck. In the Hellerwork Series we do head, neck and jaw work at the end of our core section. Structurally, the purpose of this session is to restore verticality to the neck, and freedom of movement to the head and jaw. In the unaligned body, the neck commonly leans forward, the head tilts backward, the muscles of the neck become ﬁlled with tension and both the head and neck can no longer move freely. In a balanced body, the neck is a vertical pillar sitting on top of the horizontal surface of the shoulder girdle. The head rests on the top of the neck, without needing constant tension in the back of the neck to hold it on.
Although intra-oral work can be intense it does not have to be painful to be effective. As always when you are receiving any kind of massage or bodywork you are completely in charge when you are on the table and your feedback is wanted and appreciated by all good practitioners.
If you would like to learn more about intra-oral treatments and other ways to improve your health, please go to our website at sanjuanholistichealthcare.com or give us a call at 378-5660.
By Valarie Keaton, LMP