Acupuncture for Jaw PainIf your jaw is popping, impeding closure, or in constant pain you may be suffering from a variety of jaw related issues including TMJ or temporal mandibular joint disorder. If this pain is not addressed, worsening symptoms could occur including varying facial pain, chronic headaches, earaches and/or toothaches.

Conventional medicine addresses jaw pain by attempting to target these symptoms head on. This often includes one or more pharmaceutical remedies such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID’s, muscle relaxants and local anesthetic, corticosteroid or botox injections. In severe cases, surgical procedures such as drawing fluid out of the jaw, may also be recommended. These approaches could bring temporary relief but there may be a price to pay regarding side effects, scar tissue and more.

Acupuncture for jaw pain is an easy, natural, meditative way to address these symptoms. As a result you may possibly experience not only a pain-free jaw but a potentially new ROM (range of motion) you never thought you could achieve without wincing in discomfort.

Balance the Mind, Balance the Body

For some, the jaw is ‘ground zero’ for dealing with everyday stress. You can literally watch someone contract and release their cheek muscles. Inside they are clenching or grinding their teeth, holding back what they really want to say.

This may be you and you may not even know it until you begin experiencing some of the above symptoms.

Working with an acupuncturist to address jaw pain involves balancing the mind as well as the body. Many conditions are directly connected to the mind and when the mind takes over, challenges can occur. Experiencing acupuncture requires a calm, quiet, meditative atmosphere without outside stimulation. This can lower blood pressure, increase deep cleansing breathes and stimulate the movement of Qi (chee – your essential life force).

When you struggle with jaw pain you could also be dealing with stuck energy that needs to be released. By clearing your mind and embracing your acupuncture treatment you could, after about four to six sessions, experience less pain, tightness, and overall discomfort.

Found Facts

Acupuncture for jaw pain has been studied by various researchers to determine its immediate and lasting effects. One study published in the Journal of Dentistry (March 2007) explains its findings,

“A double blind randomized controlled trial conducted in the TMD Clinic, at the School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester. Twenty-seven patients were assigned to one of two treatment groups. Group 1 received real acupuncture treatment whilst Group 2 received a sham acupuncture intervention….The results demonstrated that real acupuncture had a greater influence on clinical outcome measure of TMJ MP [temporal mandibular joint myofascial pain] than those of sham acupuncture, and the majority of these reached a level of statistical significance…Acupuncture had a positive influence on the signs and symptoms of TMJ MP.”

Repave a New Path

It is believed that acupuncture creates direct nerve stimulation that sends signals to release or redirect nerve firing causing the affliction, such as jaw pain. Conventional medicine cannot claim forging a new path to allow for overall healing done solely by the body itself. Acupuncture can.

This stimulation also releases neurotransmitters and analgesic (pain numbing) hormones throughout your system. Some equate acupuncture as similar to taking a pharmaceutical remedy so the pain and inflammation are quelled enough to allow the body to repair the condition. It is estimated that four to six weeks at one to two acupuncture visits per week often yields beneficial results.

An Unconventional Map

Below is a possible protocol of acupuncture points for jaw pain. It is interesting to note that not all points address the jaw itself. Instead, varying, surrounding points all correlate as one proving how the body works as a complete structure and not just where symptoms occur.

• Stomach – ST 6 – Bottom cheek in line with back teeth.
• Stomach – ST 7 – Above ST 6 near the temporal mandibular joint.
• Small Intestine – SI 18 – Below the outside eye on the cheek (zygomatic) bone.
• Governing Vessel – GV 20 – Top of front head.
• Gall Bladder – GB 20 – Just below the outer ridge of the back of the head.
• Bladder – BL 10 – Lateral (outside) ridge of the back of the head.
• Large Intestine – LI 4 – In the web between the thumb and forefinger.

Acupuncture for jaw pain offers a calming, energetic manipulation of stuck energy to allow the body to use its own healing mechanisms. In doing so, a root cause just may be tapped and extinguished beyond any temporary, pharmaceutical fix. At Integrative Med Solutions, we will design an acupuncture and naturopathic treatment program that works for you. In many cases, insurance covers portions of the acupuncture treatment. Allow us to support you to achieve optimal health. To make an appointment or find out more about how acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can benefit you, please call our office at 914.337.2980 or CLICK HERE to schedule an online appointment.

*Please CLICK HERE to see a current list of Insurance Companies that commonly carry acupuncture benefits for its members. Please call 914.337.2980 or securely email to verify your specific benefits. If you are emailing, please include your full name, date of birth and insurance identification card number.

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