What Is TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)?

TMJ is a disorder of an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint, which connects your mandible to your skull. The most common cause of is the muscle tension of the jaw, which leads to bruxism (teeth grinding). Other cause of bruxism could be mechanical misalignment of the bite which should be addressed by your dental professional.

We treat TMJ disorders by mobilization of the joint and working on releasing muscle tension of the surrounding tissues. Activator protocol and other Physical Therapy modalities, along with cold laser can be incorporated into the treatment. On average, it takes 3-5 treatments to feel significant improvement of the symptoms.

Acupuncture Treatment for TMJ

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is effective at treating Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD), bruxism (teeth grinding), teeth clenching, and jaw pain.  Acupuncture alone can be useful to unblock the affected meridians encircling the jaws (Stomach, Gallbladder, Triple Burner, Small Intestine, Large Intestine), thus reducing the pain felt in that area.

Chinese herbal medicine can also be added to the treatment plan to help reduce stress, move Qi and Blood through the meridians, and nourish any deficiencies in the body that could possibly be causing some of the stagnation in the channels.  Introducing cupping into the treatment protocol can greatly increase the therapeutic benefit.

Cupping is a Chinese medical modality that involves using a suction force to help draw out toxins out of the muscles.  It’s the toxins that are making the muscles tight and tense, causing the pain.  Cupping can produce bruising (darker bruises take about 2 weeks to completely go away while lighter bruises might take a week to completely go away).  However, most patients rationalize incorporating cupping into their treatment protocol by outweighing the benefits of cupping over the temporary discolorations.

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