Do you feel tightness between the shoulder blades that goes away temporarily with massage or other bodywork treatment but creeps back? Physical effects of TMJ disorder include:
Approximately 30% of the population have some degree of TMJ disorder but because it tends to be painless for the jaw, and produce symptoms that, although painful, would not seem to be related to the jaw, many people simply don’t know that they have a problem.
Temperomandibular Disorder has been called “The Hidden Impostor” as it can create conditions of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, mental health, hormonal issues, or via compensation patterns it may be a contributor to muscular issues elsewhere in the body.
To find out if you are one of the 30% of people with TMJ issues, check out my rough guide to self assessment in this video.
One of the unexpected symptoms TMJ disorder can cause is negative emotional effects such as depression. Another one is hormonal imbalance, and they have the same cause: Normal brain chemistry and hormonal functioning can be disrupted by the jaw. If the jaw position has affected the positioning of cranial bones, it can cause the pituitary gland to over produce or under produce certain chemicals / hormones. Of course, hormonal issues and negative emotional states like depression and anxiety can have multiple causes.
As well as being a possible symptom of TMJ disorder, negative emotions can be part of the cause. Part of treating the TMJ is finding out how you can achieve and maintain a non stressful emotional state in day to day life. There is a primal connection between the jaw and stress. Our bodies prepare to bite when we feel threatened. Unresolved stress (conscious or subconscious) can activate the muscles of the jaw leading to clenching and grinding of the teeth, causing damage to the jaw structures in the process.
The advantage of the NST approach to healing the jaw is that the emotional aspects of TMJ problems are acknowledged and an easy user-friendly way is available to defuse negative emotions through the body using a simple form of kinesiology.
Mild cases resolve when the muscles of the jaw are released - I recommend NST Bowen Therapy for this purpose - which takes pressure off the joint. The process is supported by using the MOJO if necessary.
The Australian designed MOJO is a simple one-size-fits-all mouthguard style device which enables the mouth to rest in a position that allows the cartilage of the jaw to self-repair in a matter of weeks or months depending on the severity of the problem and how frequently the MOJO is used.
These exercises I demonstrate in my video (below) will enhance the effectiveness of the MOJO by increasing blood flow to the area to speed repair, and by strengthening the muscles used in correct jaw posture. The exercises also act as a non surgical facelift for the jaw area.
The MOJO is also an anti snoring device. It holds the lower jaw in a position where the airway is supported and the soft palate doesn't collapse.
One of my clients was a lady in her late 70’s. When holding the jaw joint as she was opening and closing her mouth I could feel a grating sensation similar to the feeling of two pieces of broken terracotta grinding against one another. I suspect all the cartilage was gone. After 6 weeks of nightly MOJO use the action of her jaw when in use was smooth and gliding.
Here’s how you’ll know when it’s worked for you: The jaw will move normally. There will be no clicking. The chin will track in a straight line as you open your mouth. There will be no tender areas around the jaw. And whatever troublesome symptoms the “hidden impostor” has brought to your life will be resolved.
Try this simple and easy to learn technique the next time you or your kids have an earache, sore throat, toothache, or any infection or inflammation in the head and throat. It costs nothing, requires no supplies or special equipment, and is surprisingly effective!
A few months ago I woke up at 3am and discovered to my dismay that I had an earache. Last time I had an ear ache I spent two days in pain following my kids around with my ear pressed to a hot water bottle and I was not keen to repeat the experience.
Inspiration struck - I tried these lymphatic drainage points out hoping they would help.
I knew that in an ear infection we get a blockage in the Eustachian tube, but I was surprised to actually be able to feel that blockage as a small lump in the soft space under the ear on the affected side. It was very sore to touch.
I awoke some time later to a loud draining noise in my sore ear and instant relief from the pain!
All three of the kids gave me opportunities to test this out in the past few months. We have now cleared an ear infection in each child using this method. We made sure to drink lots of water in the hopes of thinning out the fluids in the ear.
If this remedy hadn’t worked, we would have been off to the doctor’s lining up for antibiotics. But considering that antibiotics have been linked to other undesirable outcomes such as disturbance of the good bacteria in the gut, I was happy that we were able to avoid that.
I have been suggesting this to everyone, on line and in real life, who complains of earache. The feedback indicates that it is working pretty well.
Thank you so much! You've been very helpful in more ways than you'll ever know - your video with I think your daughter? Has changed my life. I'm always getting ear aches and this has worked amazingly. Even recently I had a bad cold/headache and sinus pressure and it was relieved so quickly. So thank you thank you thank you! - Rhiannon
Step 1. Movements towards the midline, in the hollow above the collarbone. Starting at the outer end of the collarbone, allow fingertips to sink in just below skin level, and drag fingertips towards the midline of the body as much as skin slack will allow. Place fingertips 2cm towards midline, and repeat until you reach the inner point of collarbone. Repeat on the other side.
Reason for doing this move: to clear the drainage point for the lymphatic system.
Step 2. Pinching movements up the side of the neck. Find the muscle that attaches to the point of the inner collarbone. You will be following this muscle up to a point on the skull just behind the ear. Gently pinch the muscle and pull it out sideways. Tilting the head towards the side being worked on will help. Make gentle pinch/pull moves all the way up the muscle. Near the top it is too tight to really get a grip on. Using skin slack, make front to back moves across the top of the muscle. Repeat on the other side.
Reason for doing this move: Stimulating the lymph flow below the ear, so that when the Eustachian tube drains it has space to flow down.
Step 3. Downwards movements behind the ear. In the hollow behind the ear, in line with the jaw, make 2-3 downward movements. Place a fingertip in this area, and use skin slack to drag the fingertip down towards the feet. Make 2 or 3 movements in a downwards line. Repeat on the other side.
Reason for doing this move: To encourage draining the Eustachian tubes of the ear.
This would be worth trying for any condition of inflammation in the head and neck:
If you are doing this for a small child, expect it to hurt a little bit. Little kids are sometimes a bit reluctant to let you poke around in their necks. If there is any protest, go lighter and lighter, even just skin level movements will help.
If you are having recurrent ear or sinus trouble you would probably benefit from a more complete treatment of the neck and TMJ. Contact me to make a booking!
The Bowen Therapy protocol for fertility attempts to influence the body in a few different ways towards conception.
The experience of having a Bowen treatment is relaxing. There is a natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect in the week following a session of Bowen therapy. Positive emotions are enhanced while negative emotions are less noticed. This alone could make a big difference, since it is known that a relaxed state can help achieve pregnancy, but many couples experience infertility as a very stressful and emotionally painful time in a relationship.
In balancing and aligning the body using Bowen, eliminating the “knots” caused by muscles in spasm, there is a beneficial effect of freeing up energy for the body’s other processes. Muscles that are locked “on” are draining our oxygen and nutrients. They use up a large percentage of the body’s resources. When that draining effect is eliminated, the body can reallocate that energy to its other needs which would include the reproductive functions.
On the hormonal level, Bowen therapy for fertility aims to balance the hormones, enhance male sperm production, stimulate female egg maturation, and to trigger ovulation at the appropriate time.
This is a gentle method that may take 3-6 months to find out if it will work for you.
If you are thinking about having Bowen therapy for fertility purposes, please have a pregnancy test on the morning of your first session to ensure you are not actually already pregnant. Some of the moves that will be done are not recommended for the pregnant body.
The first session treats the woman only, one week before menstruation. Subsequent sessions are spaced two weeks apart, targeting particular points in the menstrual cycle, and it is recommended that both the male and female partners are treated.
If a pregnancy results after Bowen therapy, one benefit is that the woman will be starting out pregnancy with her pelvis in a state of muscular balance. Sometimes babies have trouble getting into the optimum position if there are tight muscles in the way. Births that are “too fast” and “too slow” can be a reflection of the woman’s hormonal state being unbalanced. It can be beneficial to have a few tune-ups through the pregnancy to keep the hormones and the muscles in balance.
In the postpartum time, Bowen therapy can be very useful in helping the woman’s body recover from the birth, to prevent or treat mastitis and help in case of low milk production, and to help the baby’s body adjust to life on the outside, and the common issues such as infant colic, reflux, breathing difficulties, positional talipes, constant crying and being unsettled.
If you have any questions about this please get in touch.
Bowen Therapy is known for its effective treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. It is less well known that the organs and the endocrine glands can also rebalance and autoregulate in response to Bowen Therapy.
Based on the work of Bowen practitioner Trevor Rose, Hormonal Bowen Therapy is an approach which has helped conditions of the kidney, bladder and reproductive organs both female and male.
Trevor Rose initially developed this work to help his wife, who was allergic drug needed to lower her estrogen levels in order to treat her breast cancer. Trevor and medical colleagues developed a way to lower her hormone levels using Bowen Therapy. After succeeding with that he went on to develop useful strategies for wide range of issues such as:
· Period pain and premenstrual symptoms
· Menopausal symptoms eg. hot flushes, mood swings
· Lower libido (male and female)
· Fertility (male and female)
· Endometriosis and adhesions
· Continence, Weak bladder, stress incontinence, frequent urination and bedwetting
· Prostate issues
· Pregnancy and Birth
Some of the moves involved in this work are done on the lower part of the abdomen, and on or near the bony structures of the pelvis. No extreme force is used so any discomfort is minimised.
There is a protocol for conception and fertility (male and female), once you are pregnant there are ways of setting up the ideal hormonal, emotional and muscular conditions for a smooth birth, and after baby is born, ensuring that the mother and baby are in a good condition afterwards. As a doula and mother of 3 I take particular interest in helping mothers birth their babies as easily and naturally as possible.
For more information visit www.hormonalreleasethebowenway.com.au
If you have any questions please get in touch.