Can Getting A Facial Help Your TMJ? Here's What To Look For In Your Service

TMJ is an acronym for the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge-like joint that connects your jaw to the rest of your skull (via Mayo Clinic). Each of us has two of them. People who have TMJ disorders often experience, pain, stiffness, popping, and other mobility issues in this particular joint, either on one side or on both. The causes of TMJ can vary from person to person, and it can sometimes be difficult for medical professionals to determine why a patient has begun having these issues. Potential causes range from arthritis or a jaw injury to a clenching habit, a grinding habit, or orthodontics.

For most people, symptoms of TMJ are temporary and situational and can be relieved with non-surgical measures like nighttime mouth guards for grinders/clenchers, application of warmth or heat, stress-reducing methods, orthodontics, etc. 

Recently, however, some sufferers of TMJ are discussing another treatment that is helping them find relief from the tenderness, popping, and stiffness the disorder brings with it: a particular type of facial massage.   

Intraoral Massage

The type of massage in question is part of a very special facial, and is called intraoral massage (via TZR). When done as part of a facial, intraoral massage is generally accompanied by whatever other type of facial elements and massage a licensed practitioner would feel suits your particular needs, for instance, it might include cleansing, a mask, gua sha, lymphatic drainage, a lifting massage, etc. But the intraoral massage itself is exactly what it sounds like: a massage that includes the inside of your mouth/cheeks to more fully release tension and relieve discomfort. 

Of course, a practitioner would take all necessary precautions like proper sanitation and the wearing of gloves, and would discuss your particular level of comfort and any concerns beforehand. The benefits of an intraoral massage for someone with TMJ can include relief of the stiffness, popping, and pain, just as a massage for other parts of your body can help loosen up stiff muscles to allow more comfortable range of movement.

To find this type of treatment, search for an aesthetician who focuses on touch and energetic modalities, rather than only on treatments like lasers, mcironeedling, etc.   

Another type of facial/massage for TMJ

If allowing someone to put their hands inside your mouth doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. There is another trendy type of facial and massage that can help to relieve symptoms of TMJ (via Oprah Daily). The principles of using slow, intentional, sculpting touch and energetic modalities to give your face a "lift" and a "workout" are still the main focus, but no one will touch the inside of your mouth or cheeks. The method is called: Face Gym. 

Face Gym is a cute name to be sure, but it's called this for a reason; the process that you'll undergo at an appointment is meant to be a workout for your facial muscles that will leave you with a lifted, sculpted look and will help build muscle memory over time (via Pure Wow). During a Face Gym experience, a professional will likely use a mixture of tools and their own hands to stimulate blood circulation and collagen production (without needles or other invasive treatments). Each appointment usually takes just under an hour, and you are likely to feel a little sore the next day, just as if you had a good workout at the gym.

In addition to giving your face a lifted, sculpted look, some people find this particular type of treatment helps to relieve their symptoms of TMJ thanks to the massage, the increased blood flow, and the muscle relaxation.