Before Beginning Acupuncture for TMJ Disorder
Since there are many different potential causes for TMD, it will be important for your acupuncturist to discuss with you your current lifestyle and symptoms. We’ll ask your personal goals and what you want to get out of your acupuncture treatments. Your Louisville Acupuncture practitioner will use this information for your treatment, as well as to suggest other changes to help improve your symptoms. Some of the topics your acupuncturist will focus on before your treatment include:
- Stress Management – Your acupuncturist will likely ask about how you’re managing stress as this can be a cause of TMJ disorder. It may be suggested to try yoga, meditation, or journaling. Magnesium is a supplement that is commonly recommended as it is suitable for anxiety, sleep, and muscle tension.
- Clenching or Grinding – Bruxism, also known as grinding, involves moving the jaw with the teeth pushed together. Clenching is when the teeth are held together and the jaw muscle is simply tightened. Your acupuncturist will want to know which of these two you are struggling with as the treatment protocol might be slightly different.
- Night Grinding – This can sometimes be due to low blood sugar. Your acupuncturist may suggest eating foods higher in protein like nuts and avocados.
Acupuncture for TMJ Disorders
The gallbladder meridian is a commonly used acupuncture meridian for TMJ disorder. There are several points on the gallbladder meridian that traverses the side of the head and jaw, where symptoms are often their worst, but points on the lower part of the body can often be targeted to help the upper part of the body. Once the needles are in, Marjoram essential oil is usually applied directly to the jaw muscles with massage. Marjoram is similar to oregano and is known for its muscle relaxing properties.
Facial Cupping for TMJ Disorders
Cupping can be thought of like a reverse massage. The cups used for facial cupping for TMJ disorder are small silicone cups about the size of a thumb. It involves applying suction to a muscle which pulls the connective tissue layer away from the muscle layer, which stops pain from traveling. Tense muscles, such as the masseter muscle of the jaw, can benefit greatly from facial cupping.
Questions About the Benefits of Acupuncture for TMJ Disorder
Acupuncture is a safe, non-invasive modality that can complement your current treatment plan or our practitioners at Louisville Acupuncture can create a plan with you. If you have any questions about acupuncture for TMJ disorder, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to schedule a consultation and discuss your individual needs and situation.