Good news! I've recently been endorsed and licensed to perform intraoral massage. For those of you who suffer from TMJ (TMD) or have similar symptoms, TMJ massage has been known to help greatly. I focus on relaxing the muscles in the neck, head, and jaw. Intraoral massage is performed using a gloved hand. This allows for me to access muscular/tendon/ligament attachments within the oral cavity to help relax and relieve tension related to TMJ symptoms. For more information on TMJ, below is a link that may answer a few questions.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw. These disorders are often incorrectly called TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint.
What Is the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head. The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.
What Causes TMD?
The cause of TMD is not clear, but dentists believe that symptoms arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or with the parts of the joint itself.
Injury to the jaw, temporomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck – such as from a heavy blow or whiplash – can cause TMD. Other possible causes include:
What Are the Symptoms of TMD?
People with TMD can experience severe pain and discomfort that can be temporary or last for many years. More women than men experience TMD, and TMD is seen most commonly in people between the ages of 20 and 40.
Common symptoms of TMD include:
If you haven't been in lately, come in and check out our new table coverings! Now equipped with Kur memory foam face cradle and table pads to make your massage experience that much more enjoyable! If you love heat, then you'll love our new moist heat pack! Moist heat therapy is a heat treatment that involves applying a moist heat to an affected area in order to bring about relief from the pains and aches caused by sports injury, tendon injury, muscle injury, muscle strain, sore muscles, and painful joints. It is also useful in treating conditions like arthritis, bursitis and migraines. Thermotherapy helps to increase circulation, and this in turn can bring about relaxation in muscles, joints and soft tissue, leading to pain relief and, in some cases, speedy healing. (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-benefits-of-moist-heat-therapy.htm#)
Massage Therapy Holds Promise for Low-Back Pain
Massage therapy helped reduce pain and improve function more rapidly than usual medical care in people with chronic low-back pain, according to researchers at Group Health Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle, the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and the University of Vermont in Burlington. The purpose of the NCCAM-funded trial—published in the Annals of Internal Medicine—was to compare the short-term and long-term effects of structural massage, relaxation massage, and usual care for people with chronic low-back pain. Back pain is an important health problem that affects millions of Americans and is the most common medical condition for which people use complementary and alternative medicine practices, such as massage therapy.
The trial enrolled just over 400 Group Health patients who had low-back pain with no identified cause for at least 3 months. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: structural massage, relaxation massage, or usual care (standard medical care). Study personnel who assessed outcomes were blinded to treatment assignment. It was not possible to blind participants or massage therapists. Structural massage is intended to address musculoskeletal causes of back pain through myofascial, neuromuscular, and various soft-tissue techniques. Relaxation massage (similar to Swedish massage) is intended to promote a sense of relaxation through techniques, such as long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, or vibration. Usual care for low-back pain may include medication, other forms of physical therapy, back exercises, and education.
Participants assigned to the massage groups received 1 hour of massage once a week for 10 weeks. The participants’ symptoms, medication use, and ability to perform daily functions were measured after completion of the 10 treatments, then at 6 months, and again after 1 year.
Significantly greater improvements in disability and bothersomeness of symptoms were seen at 10 weeks in both massage groups compared to those who received usual care. For example, at 10 weeks massage recipients were better able to perform daily activities, were more active, spent fewer days in bed, and used less anti-inflammatory medication than those who received usual care. Some of these benefits persisted at 6 months, but at 1 year the benefits of massage over usual care were not significant—when pain and function across all three groups had improved about evenly.
The researchers point out that the mechanisms by which massage helped in this study remain unclear—benefits could come from specific local effects on the body, or from non-specific effects such as a relaxing environment, being touched, or increased body awareness. The study provides additional evidence that, as the researchers conclude, massage therapy can be a helpful adjunct in treating chronic low-back pain. While these results are promising, additional research is needed to understand better why some patients improve and others do not, and to help define optimal and cost-effective approaches to integration of massage into care of patients with chronic low-back pain.
References Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, et al. A comparison of the effects of 2 types of massage and usual care on chronic low-back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011; 155(1):1–9.
WRITTEN BY: REBEKAH DELLING - JAN• 16•11
Do you suffer from the winter blues? You are not alone. Our body’s biology urges us to curl up in a ball and sleep away the snowy months. Unfortunately, most of us lead a hectic lifestyle that doesn’t include time for hibernation.
However, if your winter blues last for months or recurs every year, you may be one of the many Americans suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression triggered by lack of light in the wintertime. It occurs more frequently in women than men and between 6 to 8 percent of people in the United States experience symptoms severe enough to seek treatment. Many more remain undiagnosed or suffer from a less debilitating form of the disorder.
A diagnosis of SAD is usually made if patients experience more than one of the following symptoms, depression (for more than a few days, weeks or even months), trouble sleeping, lethargy, overeating, irritability, loss of libido and a weakened immune system.
Fortunately there are many treatment options available. Light therapy is the most common and is 85% effective in most cases, according to the SADA. But treatments work best when combined with alternate therapies and exercise.
Massage and SAD
Massage may be the best choice of alternate therapies for SAD sufferers. Why? Because massage doesn’t require much effort on the part of the recipient. Once the appointment is made, the recipient just needs to show up and climb onto a table. From that point on, he or she can relax and let the therapist do all the work. Many massage therapists will even make house calls.
But how does massage help SAD sufferers? Massage alleviates the symptoms of SAD in a variety of ways. First of all, massage releases endorphins, which creates a euphoric feeling and fights depression. Massage also lowers the recipient’s blood pressure, improves circulation, positively stimulates the nerve endings, removes toxins and improves energy and concentration. By receiving regular massages, at least two a month, the SAD sufferer will experience less intense symptoms and will regain a more positive and healthy perspective on life.
Buford, Darren. “House of Blues: Beating Seasonal Affective Disorder.”Massagetherapy.com,. 2003. Web. 28 Nov. 2010.
SADA. Seasonal Affective Disorder Association, 2010. Web. 30 Nov. 2010.
*This post will appear as an article in the winter issue of the Western Pennsylvania Guide to Good Health.
Look for it here: http://www.guidetogoodhealth.com .