MASSAGE OFFERS SPECIFIC BENEFITS FOR WOMEN

Are you a woman who gets massages? If so, what is your reason for calling and making that appointment? We all have different reasons as women for seeking massage therapy. Perhaps it is to relax. Maybe it is because you are a mom and you need some mommy time. Maybe you are an active woman and you get massage to aide in your recovery from the gym. Perhaps you are having a difficult monthly cycle and massage helps ease your discomfort.

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HOSPITAL-BASED ONCOLOGY MASSAGE

The field of oncology massage has grown leaps and bounds over the past decade. With the increase in evidence-based, peer review research around the efficacy and effectiveness of oncology massage, more and more massage therapists are being trained in this needed and meaningful field. More importantly, more and more cancer patients are receiving the healing power of touch.

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LIVING WITH TMJD

Everyone has a temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It allows you to chew food, talk and open your jaw to sing. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) manifests in many ways, such as pain in the face, ears, neck and shoulder; sinus pain; pain when chewing or talking; jaw clicking or popping; headaches; and locking jaw. Often people suffering with these symptoms develop social and emotional complications as well. Social anxiety can develop from the embarrassment of not being able to properly….

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LIVING WITH TMJD

Everyone has a temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It allows you to chew food, talk and open your jaw to sing. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD) manifests in many ways, such as pain in the face, ears, neck and shoulder; sinus pain; pain when chewing or talking; jaw clicking or popping; headaches; and locking jaw. Often people suffering with these symptoms develop social and emotional complications as well. Social anxiety can develop from the embarrassment of not being able to properly talk or eat in public. It can be very uncomfortable to go out in public and have trouble eating or only being able to eat a liquid diet because the jaw is so painful or locks so frequently you cannot properly chew food.


TMJD can be brought on by acute or chronic physical trauma. Common causes of acute TMJD are car accidents that cause a head injury; a roller coaster violently shaking the head; a diving injury; jumping on a trampoline and jarring the head and neck; falling; bicycle accidents; and physical violence resulting in a blow to the head. Chronic physical and emotional complications such as poor posture sleeping, prolonged teeth clenching and/or grinding, excessive wearing of a headphone device, excessing talking and/or singing that puts stress on the TMJ and chronic emotional stress can also cause TMJD. If any of these symptoms are present, a proper diagnosis from a dentist or medical doctor is the first step in the treatment of TMJD.


While treatments can range from dental intervention to surgery, massage is also an option in the treatment of the muscular tension and complications associated with TMJD. TMJ massage as a tool in the treatment of TMJD releases the contracted muscles and fascia to ease the discomfort on the temporomandibular structure and reduce pain. Often structural issues with the bones and joint of the TMJ are further complicated by tension and contracture in the cranial facial muscles associated with the joint. Muscular tension in the associated TMJ muscles pull on the cranial bones and TMJ. This puts pressure on the cranial facial structure, causing additional pain and orthopedic stress. As a TMJ massage therapist, I have consistently had patients report good results from muscle and fascial release. Usually their pain is reduced or totally eliminated. As a result of the pain relief, patients have also reported a reduction in social anxiety since they are able to more easily eat, talk and sing.


Seeking massage therapy from a qualified TMJ massage therapist can be a powerful tool to add to your treatment plan of TMJD. TMJ massage involves massage on the outside of the face, neck and shoulders. Intraoral massage occurs inside the mouth to release the muscular and connective tissue known as fascia to ease muscular and fascial tension. The TMJ massage treatment is usually a 30-minute specialized massage targeting the muscles and fascia tissue associated with TMJD and its trigger points to ease pain. Frequent sessions can be necessary, from one to

six treatments, depending on the individual case. Patients have reported relief from symptoms and pain after just one treatment. TMJ massage results will vary and no guarantee can be offered as to the possible results.


In addition to professional massage, self-care can help you maintain good TMJ health. Avoid hard, crunchy foods. Stop chewing gum and let your jaw rest whenever possible, especially if you must lecture, talk for prolonged periods or sing for extended sessions. A good, supportive pillow can also help your sleeping posture. Experiment with different types of pillows until you find that one that is comfortable and eases your head and neck tension.


TMJ massage classes will be offered to the professional massage community at Lexington Healing Arts Academy on July 12, 13 and 14, 2018. As part of the TMJ massage training, a special free TMJ massage clinic will be offered to the public with limited availability on July 14, 2018. Reservations for classes and the clinic can be made at www.massageceeducation.com.  


DEE VICKERS

Dee Vickers, LMT, BCTMB, M.ED., is a board-certified massage therapist, Nationally Approved Massage and Bodywork continuing education provider and the owner and lead educator for Massage CE Education. She has been a professional educator for over 20 years, combining her passion for education and massage for 15 years. Her clinical specialty in private practice is TMJ massage. Learn more at www.massageceeducation.com.

more articles by Dee Vickers