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Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain and Acupuncture

The TMJ links our jaw to our head. Those two small joints carry a huge responsibility, being involved in chewing, speaking and really any facial movement that includes your lower jaw. These two hinge-like joints may be affected by arthritis, grinding/clenching of teeth, injury or other causes. The worst symptom of a TMJ issue is the strong pain that can radiate to your ear or the whole face. Additionally, some TMJ issues may produce a clicking sound, reduce the range of motion/lock the jaw or cause facial swelling.

In Chinese medicine, the stabbing pain of a TMJ injury is a clear indicator of Blood Stasis. Energy (Qi) and Blood are not moving and whenever there is a lack of movement, there is pain.

Negative emotions might also play a role in some TMJ afflictions. ‘Stiff upper lip, ‘grinding your teeth’, ‘biting your tongue’, are all expressions where strong emotions are being repressed and they all involve the mouth and the jaw. Strong emotions like anger or frustration are typically linked to the Liver channel in Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture points on the Liver channel will cause a moving of energy in the channel, a carefully selected combination of local and distal acupuncture points, ideally in combination with a herbal medicine formula, will work on Blood Stasis and underlying imbalances

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