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The TMJ Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Persistent Jaw, Neck and Head Pain

The Tmj Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Persistent Jaw, Neck and Head Pain - Cynthia Peterson Besides my notes below, the book is full of exercises and lots of great information. TMJ healing plan• Stop the overuse and abuse of your jaw.• The power of posture: learn how to stand, sit and sleep.• TLC: teeth apart, lips together, and calm your muscles and mind.• Typically, an appliance alone will not solve your TMJ problems, but a jaw appliance that is balanced and made correctly can provide an environment for your jaw to improve. Splints are most successful when used in conjunction with other treatments and when addressing and eliminating hurtful habits. Conversely, a splint that is not made correctly or one that is worn inappropriately can be deleterious. P. 76• Your lips need to be able to stay together to maintain the negative air pressure that allows your tongue to stay gently suctioned to the roof of your mouth. When your tongue is anchored on the roof, your jaw muscles can relax. • Your teeth should only touch momentarily and lightly when you swallow. P.81 • Train your tongue and swallow carefully.• Your tongue needs to be able to rest and stay anchored on the roof of your mouth to initiate relaxation of the muscles and facilitate breathing through your nose and diaphragm. • Breathe well.• Mouth breathing and quick shallow chest breathing are often a result of stress and anxiety, and can irritate neck muscles and aggravate headaches and TMJ-related disorders. • Good posture and breathing through your nose and diaphragm are essential for you to breathe properly. • Keeping your tongue on “the spot” and lips together forces you to breathe through your nose and can help trigger your diaphragm to do its job. • Care for your muscles• Care for you disks and ligamentous structures• Halt head and neck pain• Keep a symptom diary.• Use an icepack at the base of the skull for back of the head headaches. • Treat your muscles – massage, acupuncture, etc.• Investigate any tie-ins from food triggers. Try an elimination diet. • Try heat and cold.• Move gently in the pain-free and click-free range. Gentle movement can help relax the muscles in the jaw and neck and decrease inflammation. Keep your tongue on the roof of the mouth and open and close only in the click-free and pain-free range. Movement of irritated muscles and joints is important in maintaining mobility, pumping fluid in and out of the joint, and helping to prevent muscles from becoming tight or going into spasm. • Reduce stress and begin to exercise• Make your action plan. • Increase your awareness of posture, tongue position, breathing, TLC. • Polish one fingernail. When you notice that nail, check.• Any time you walk up or down stairs, check.• Place a rock in your pocket. When you feel it, check. • Ask a friend or partner to remind you to check. • Tongue on the spot. • Practice clucking.• Do orbiting exercises in the mirror six times when you wash your hands.• Practice saying T,D, N, L, S, and Z without your tongue pushing against your front teeth, but going to the roof of your mouth instead.