Acupressure for TMJ Relief: Improving Jaw Function and Reducing Back Pain

Acupressure for TMJ Relief: Improving Jaw Function and Reducing Back Pain


TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint. It’s the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ disorder is a condition where the joint gets misaligned and it causes symptoms like jaw pain, headaches and pain in the neck and back.

Acupressure can help reduce jaw pain and improve jaw function. It can provide relief from TMJ symptoms. Let’s look at how acupressure can help with TMJ.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) can affect the muscles and joints around your face. It’s commonly linked to pain in the temporomandibular joint, located between your ear and jaw. It can also cause neck, shoulder and back pain.

TMJ is often caused by stress or injury to the jaw muscles. This could be from a misaligned bite. Symptoms include:

  • clicking/popping when you open or close your mouth;
  • difficulty opening/closing your mouth;
  • muscle pain down your face/neck;
  • tenderness when you touch the affected area; and
  • headaches.

Treatment for TMJ may involve:

  1. physical therapy;
  2. heat/cold;
  3. bite adjustment/surgery;
  4. over-the-counter meds;
  5. exercise programs;
  6. relaxation techniques; and
  7. lifestyle changes. Acupressure can also provide relief.

Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ dysfunction is a painful medical condition that affects the jaw. It can lead to serious issues, like headaches, back pain, and trouble opening/closing the mouth. Acupressure can be a great treatment without medicine or invasive treatments.

Common signs of TMJ are:

  • Jaw pain/discomfort
  • Trouble chewing
  • Pain in face/neck/shoulders
  • Trouble opening/closing mouth
  • Chronic headaches
  • Trouble sleeping due to jaw pain
  • Clicking sound in mouth when opening/closing
  • Tingling in hands/arms.

The Benefits of Acupressure

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese medicine method that’s been around for centuries. It helps reduce pain and promote relaxation. There are many advantages, like relief from TMJ and back pain. It can also improve jaw functioning and reduce back discomfort.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of acupressure to ease TMJ:

How Acupressure Works

Acupressure is a healing approach that targets certain parts of the body to boost overall health and advance natural healing. Pressure is placed on the body’s meridian points, which are where energy passes through. Traditional Chinese medicine has used needles in these points for centuries. Acupressure requires no needles. It is non-invasive and uses no drugs, bringing few side effects. This makes it a good choice for people who seek natural relief from joint pain and inflammation.

The pressure of acupressure boosts qi (life force) in the body. This lets it travel freely and helps healing in the affected area. It also improves circulation and reduces strain in muscles and nerves. This allows them to relax more and increases flexibility in joints, such as those in the jaw. When acupressure is used on meridians, it can improve vitality by raising energy levels and lessening pain, like neck and back pain from TMJ disorder.

Acupressure Points for TMJ Relief

Acupressure is an ancient Chinese practice. It uses pressure on various points of the body to improve circulation, relieve pain, and promote wellbeing. For TMJ disorder sufferers, acupressure can reduce inflammation and provide relief from painful symptoms. Pressure on certain points can help release tension and give greater mobility.

There are specific acupressure points for TMJ relief:

  • Gallbladder 21: Found at the back of the neck near the base of the skull. Applying pressure for three minutes could reduce pain in the area.
  • Stomach 1: Under the cheekbone near the ear lobe. Massaging with gentle, firm pressure or circles can increase relaxation.
  • Stomach 8: Firm downward pressure on both sides below the nostril will loosen tensions between facial muscles caused by clenching or teeth grinding while asleep. This helps relieve headaches.
  • Kidney 12: Moderate pressure above the inner ankle bone can help realign muscles and increase movement without discomfort. This can help with lower back pain caused by TMJ.

Acupressure can provide lasting improvements and help return to the quality of life enjoyed before TMJ onset.

Techniques for Acupressure

Acupressure is a type of massage therapy which uses light pressure on certain points in the body to reduce pain and promote good health. For TMJ pain, acupressure focuses on relieving tension in jaw muscles and releasing the locking feeling associated with TMJ.

This article explains the techniques of acupressure for TMJ relief. It will also explain how acupressure can help in improving jaw function and decreasing back pain.

Self-Administered Acupressure

Self-administered acupressure is a great way to reduce jaw discomfort and back pain that comes with TMJ. It’s easy, safe, and can be done in the comfort of your own home. Here are some popular techniques:

  1. Trigger point massage – This means pressing firmly on specific points on the body. In TMJ cases, these points are often on the jaw and chewing muscles. Hold the pressure for two or three minutes, until the tension decreases.
  2. Pressure point therapy – Use your fingers or thumbs to press on certain points. These points are linked to TMJ, like teeth clenching and jaw alignment. Hold each point for one minute before moving on.
  3. Stretching exercises – Stretching can help TMJ by making the jaw joints more flexible. When stretching, move slowly and take note if you feel tense or pain. Do not push until it becomes damaging.

Professional Acupressure

Professional acupressure is a form of bodywork. Pressure is applied to certain points in the body. It is related to Chinese medicine. Areas with extreme tension need to be addressed first. Hands and fingers are commonly used by practitioners. It can help with headaches, tension and muscle pain, jaw pain, low back pain and sciatica, digestive issues and stress-related conditions.

Strokes and slight pressure are used to relax muscles and improve blood flow. This can reduce back pain associated with TMJ. With consistent treatments over time, benefits may become more noticeable and long-lasting. There is no manipulation or rubbing involved, so there are rarely any side effects like bruising or soreness.

Additional Support for TMJ Relief

Acupressure is an old Chinese healing method. It boosts circulation and relieves pain. Those with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can benefit from it. It can help better jaw function and diminish back discomfort.

In this article, we’ll find out how acupressure can help relieve TMJ. Other treatments and methods are also mentioned:

Diet and Nutrition

TMJ disorder is a complex condition. To help ease jaw pain and dysfunction, try acupressure and dietary changes.

It’s good to get more magnesium from leafy greens, nuts, seeds, salmon, and soymilk. This mineral relaxes jaw muscles and reduces tension headaches. Also, get enough calcium from dairy or calcium supplements, as low calcium can worsen TMJ symptoms. Avoid chewing gum, as it leads to teeth grinding, which irritates the TMJ joint.

Eat whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Find stress-reduction techniques like yoga, Tai Chi, guided imagery, and progressive muscle relaxation – this can help TMJ. Dieticians can also create meal plans to treat TMJ disorder.

Exercise and Stretching

Stretching and exercise can help reduce TMD-related jaw pain and discomfort. Targeting the muscles of the head and neck can increase mobility of the temporomandibular joint. It can also reduce tension and tightness in the muscles around it.

Facial stretches are simple and effective for improving muscular balance. Examples include:

  • Rolling your head
  • Nodding forward
  • Opening/closing your jaw
  • Jaw movement with lips closed
  • Stretching both cheeks by smiling wide

Stretches for the SCM muscle at the base of your neck can keep your neck aligned and improve range of motion.

TMJ exercises should be done slowly and gently. Comfort should be kept in mind to avoid causing further irritation or injury. Working with a healthcare provider trained in manual therapy techniques like physical therapy or massage therapy can ensure correct technique.

Stress Management

Acupressure is a great tool for TMJ relief. However, it’s also important to manage stress. Studies show tension in the neck, shoulders, and head can cause jaw pain and dysfunction in people with TMJ. Tense muscles can’t move properly and put more strain on the TMJ. Plus, high stress levels can strain weakened jaw muscles.

Mindfulness meditation is one way to reduce tension and stress. It helps the body relax by focusing on relaxation techniques and being aware of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that are causing distress.

By recognizing current tensions, individuals with TMJ can learn how to prevent discomfort. Other techniques include:

  • Self-massage
  • Breathing exercises
  • Gentle stretches of the shoulder and neck when feeling stiff.

Taking regular breaks throughout the day, even 5 minutes every hour, can help you notice where you’re holding tension that can cause TMJ symptoms.


To sum up, acupressure can be a great help to treat TMJ pain and jaw problems. It might take some time to find which acupressure points work for you. But with patience and effort, many find relief from TMJ discomfort. Plus, acupressure is known to have good effects on muscle tension and joint pain in the neck related to back pain.

Therefore, doing regular facial massage and self-acupressure may provide great potential benefits. These include:

  • Reducing neck pain
  • Relieving jaw and TMJ related symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is acupressure for TMJ relief?

A: Acupressure for TMJ relief involves the application of pressure on specific acupressure points in the jaw area to alleviate pain, improve jaw function and reduce back pain.

Q: How can acupressure help with TMJ?

A: Acupressure can help with TMJ by stimulating the body’s natural healing mechanisms, promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension in the jaw, neck and shoulders.

Q: What are the benefits of acupressure for TMJ relief?

A: The benefits of acupressure for TMJ relief include reduced pain, improved jaw function, lower stress levels, better sleep quality, increased flexibility and reduced back pain.

Q: How do I find the right acupressure points for TMJ relief?

A: The right acupressure points for TMJ relief are located at specific points along the jaw line and around the ears. There are also helpful guides and diagrams available online that can help you locate the right points.

Q: Can I perform acupressure for TMJ relief on myself?

A: Yes, acupressure for TMJ relief can be performed on yourself. However, it’s always best to receive guidance from an experienced practitioner to ensure you’re applying the pressure correctly and effectively.

Q: How often should I practice acupressure for TMJ relief?

A: The frequency of acupressure for TMJ relief depends on the severity of your symptoms and your personal needs. Some people practice acupressure several times a day, while others may only do it once a day or a few times a week.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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