Have you ever considered that pain in any parts of the body could be caused by a tense jaw?
That’s because the jaw has many fascial tissues running from head to toe. Fascia is a thin casing of connective tissues that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place. It has nerves which make it almost as sensitive as skin - and when stressed, the fascia tightens up, resulting in pain. As the jaw is a highly sensitive area, when tense, it can manifest in pain in other parts of the body like the knee or hip for example - known as reflective pain. The good news is that by relaxing the jaw, we can help to relax the fascia - and in turn the entire body - easing pain and niggles caused by trapped emotions or physical injuries. Here our incredible in-house Thai Yoga Massage Therapist Catia Garcia shares three easy massage techniques to help release tension in the jaw for instant calm.
1. Soothing jaw circles
Gently place your fingers on your jaw joint located on either side of your lower jaw line (you can find the jaw joint by opening and closing your mouth and feeling the point where the ball and socket is in motion). Start to softly circle around the jaw joint with the tips of your fingers - the fascial tissue responds best to soft, gentle touch. Circle in one direction, and then the other, increasing the size of the circles. Gently lower your eyes, taking deep breaths, as you feel waves of calm washing over you.
2. Facial combing
Place your three middle fingers softly underneath the eyes around the point of your cheek bones. Slowly stroke your fingers down your face (a similar motion to when you run a comb through your hair). Repeat, closing your eyes if you wish, and remembering to keep your jaw completely relaxed - when your jaw is relaxed, we have a tendency to open the mouth. ‘Combing’ the jaw muscles helps the face to relax - which in turn relaxes the fascial connection in the whole body.
3. Lotus flower face hug
Put your wrists together to form a ‘v’ shape with your hands (like an open Lotus flower). Cup your face with your Lotus flower hands so your chin and jaw are nestled in your hands. Allow your jaw to completely surrender into your cupped hands, and feel tension melt away.
Want to learn more mindful massage techniques to help soothe, heal and repair? We frequently offer Massage Therapy Courses here at Suryalila where you will learn the principles and foundations of Thai Massage, Osteopathy and Craniosacral Therapy as well as the basic concepts of Reflexology and Herbalism. You will have the opportunity to explore themes like Joints, Fascial Connections, Reciprocal Tension and much more. For more information check out our calendar or email us.