By Kelli Rosen, Delicious Living
If you suffer from chronic facial pain related to problems with the jaw, namely the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, you may want to turn to natural therapies for relief–and take the bite out of jaw pain for good. And while each treatment is effective alone, experts recommend utilizing these options in concert.
By balancing the energy around the jaw, “acupuncture is very effective in addressing the root causes of grinding and clenching, such as stress, anger, and frustration, making it an excellent treatment option,” says Carrie Corey, LAc, LMT, a massage and acupuncture practitioner in Bethesda, Maryland. “Since tension decreases the flow of blood and energy qi in the [jaw] area, needles can be placed directly in tender points to relax specific areas of muscle.”
During a session for TMJ pain, expect needles to be inserted in acupoints along the channels that flow through the face, neck, or jaw, including the head, arms, and legs. Although many people experience positive results after only one session, don’t give up if relief isn’t immediate. “I usually recommend that patients allow six to eight visits before assessing if acupuncture will or will not be effective,” says Leslie Axelrod, ND, LAc, a practitioner in Scottsdale, Arizona.