I recently went to a massage therapist in hopes of relieving some of my TMJ pain. I’ve had massages before, and always left the place feeling no different at all. I’ve had 30, 60, and 90 minute massages, but still never felt relaxed or like any muscle tension had been released.
I found a new therapist and decided to give it another shot. I met with her and she sat down and asked what were my problem areas and was there anything in specific I was there for. After explaining my TMJ, migraines, and that I had been to a chiropractor, she said that she would spend our 30 minute session focusing solely on my jaw, head, and neck muscles.
I’m not going to lie, it hurt. She told me that she could feel that my muscles had shortened and needed to be stretched back out in order to relieve the tension that was causing my migraines. She would push and drag down my neck and then move to my jaw where she would push down and wiggle ever so slightly. There were a couple of times that I thought I was going to have to tell her to stop, but just as I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I’d feel the muscle give. It was almost like an “Oh my God, so this is what it’s supposed to feel like?!” moment.
Both sides of my jaw, down my neck, and shoulders screamed as she tugged and pushed trying to get the muscles to stretch. Once they finally gave up and loosened it was glorious. Of course, it isn’t going to last long. It is going to take several trips to get the muscles to release and stay that way. I don’t expect instant, magical results, but I will say that when I left her place, I actually felt better.
I had karate afterwords and my jaw was a bit sore, but it felt looser. My neck didn’t feel as tight and I was able to spar without my hands going numb. My spirit is much higher after my massage therapy session. I go back in two weeks for another session, and I honestly cannot wait. This could be it. I’m finally on my way to pain free.
If you are interested in massage therapy for pain relief, make sure your massage therapists understands the areas that you are having problems with. Make sure he/she focuses on those areas and has a good understanding of how to release the tension. The therapists I previously used did not focus on my problem areas. They didn’t ask questions or listen to my concerns. I’m glad I finally found a therapist that listens and understands my frustrations.
You can, of course, massage your own neck and jaw for relief; here’s a link with some good info, but I needed something much better than anything I could do myself. As with anything, check with your doctor first.
Until next time,