Updated: Apr 1
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. TMJ disorder can cause difficulty chewing, speaking, and even breathing. While there are many conventional treatments available for TMJ, such as pain medications, physical therapy, and surgery, more and more people are turning to acupuncture as a natural solution to their TMJ symptoms.
Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the body's natural healing processes. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, stress, and inflammation. In recent years, acupuncture has gained popularity as an effective treatment for TMJ.
How acupuncture works for TMJ
Acupuncture works to promote healing by stimulating specific points along the body's meridians, or nerve pathways. By inserting needles into these points, an acupuncturist can help to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow to the affected area.
Acupuncture can be particularly effective for TMJ because it targets the muscles and nerves that are responsible for jaw movement. It can help to relax tight muscles, reduce spasms, and increase range of motion in the jaw joint. Acupuncture can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate TMJ symptoms.
What to expect during an acupuncture treatment for TMJ
During an acupuncture treatment for TMJ, your acupuncturist will first perform a thorough evaluation of your condition to determine the best course of treatment. They will then insert fine needles into specific points along your body's meridians, including points in the arms, hands, and legs. You may feel a slight prick or tingling sensation as the needles are inserted, but most people find the treatment to be painless and relaxing.
Acupuncture treatment for TMJ is usually performed over a course of several sessions. The number of sessions required will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how well you respond to treatment. Many people find relief after just a few sessions, while others may require ongoing treatment to manage their symptoms.
The benefits of acupuncture for TMJ
Acupuncture is a safe, natural, and effective treatment for TMJ that can provide a number of benefits, including:
Pain relief: Acupuncture can help to reduce pain and discomfort in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
Improved range of motion: Acupuncture can help to increase range of motion in the jaw joint, making it easier to chew, speak, and move the jaw.
Reduced inflammation: Acupuncture can help to reduce inflammation in the jaw joint and surrounding tissues, which can contribute to TMJ symptoms.
Stress relief: Acupuncture can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate TMJ symptoms.
Fewer side effects: Unlike conventional treatments for TMJ, such as pain medications and surgery, acupuncture is free from side effects and complications.
If you are suffering from TMJ, acupuncture may be an effective natural solution for your symptoms. Acupuncture can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and reduce inflammation in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.
Nicole Peterson, LAc, MAcOM is a licensed acupuncturist in Ashland, Oregon. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to health through her online blog and at her clinic, Ashland Family Acupuncture. Contact us for an appointment or free consultation. 541-631-9649