Maybe you clench your jaw while sleeping. Or maybe your jaw and facial muscles are where you store your stress from a busy day working with skin care clients. Either way, these exercises will help to soften a tight temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) and get your jaw in its proper resting position.
Sitting tall and straight, start with your jaw in this resting—tongue pressed to the back of your upper front teeth with your mouth closed. With the tongue still pushing against the back of your teeth, open your jaw wide, then close. Repeat 6 times. This helps strengthen the joint and put the jaw in proper position.
Chin Tucks for TMJ
Sitting tall and straight, with your head aligned over your shoulders, move your head forward, and then back in a parallel fashion, without moving your chin up or down. This exercise works the muscles that affect your jaw pain.
Self-Massage for the TMJ
When you feel the stress building and the jaw pain beginning, it’s time for some self-massage. Starting at the masseter (your lower jaw bone), palpate the area up to your cheekbone. Repeat several times, before replicating the same movement from your temple up toward your scalp. This technique helps loosen muscle attachments that can affect TMJ pain.
Additional Tip: Adjust
In addition to stretching and self-massage, self-awareness is another important consideration for keeping your jaw pain-free. When stretching, doing yoga, or working out, if you find tension in your jaw, that’s a sign that something is off. Become aware of your body. Adjust. Envision your lower jaw being heavy and your upper jaw being light. Awareness of your tension can make all the difference in how you address it.