TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint disorder is one of the most uncomfortable disorders that may initiate a drama from the sufferer and people around him/her, when it occurs. Naturally, not being able to open the mouth completely to speak or eat , rigidity in movement of the jaws, intense pain in the jaws, feeling of the upper and lower teeth not fitting well, an awkward tightness in the mouth, are enough reasons to press the panic button in most of us.
TMJ is a muscular disorder and it may be caused due to excessive stress on the jaw bones due to stress, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, or a joint dislocation. Regardless of the causal factors or the symptoms, exercising the jaw muscles is observed to help in improving their flexibility in movement. Particularly, certain yoga exercises such as Pratyahara meditation, Adhomukha Svanasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, and Viparita Karan improve blood circulation in the jaws, enhance their flexibility and strengthen them.
Yoga Exercises For TMJ
Pratayahara meditation makes you aware of your internal parts and it can be used to make yourself aware of all the parts of your mouth and relax them through meditation. To perform this exercise, seat yourself in comfortable position and slowly focus your attention on each and every part of your mouth, starting with the tongue. Relax your tongue. Relax the upper row of your teeth and then the lower row.
Slightly move them apart till you feel comfortable in the mouth. Become aware of your jaws and loosen them. Remain in this position for 20 minutes or longer and concentrate on the feeling. This exercise will help you in relaxing your jaws, thereby relieving you of the TMJ disorder. Become aware of the tenseness in your jaws when you are busy with work, while interacting with people, or while performing any other chore, and release the tension in it by focusing on it.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
This is a yoga inversion pose that greatly improves the blood and lymph circulation in your TMJ region. Perform this asana by first standing on your hands and knees in the yoga Table Top Pose.
Now, gradually straighten your knees. You will be resting on your hands and feet with your torso raised up in a forward bending pose. Remain in this pose for 2-3 minutes or for as long as you can.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
The Upward Facing Dog pose is an upward stretch that pulls and strengthens the TMJ muscles along with many muscles pertaining to the rest of the body.
This exercise, when done with the Adhomukhasvanasana, helps in improving the blood circulation in the TMJ region by flushing in blood in and out of the region. To perform this asana, lie flat on your abdomen. Now, slowly raise your torso and your head upwards. Stretch your neck and face upwards, with your gaze pointed upwards.
Salamba Sarvangasana is a yoga inversion pose that tones and strengthens the TMJ muscles and improves the circulation of blood in that region. To perform this asana, lie down on your back on the floor.
Gradually, lift your legs and straighten them with the soles of your feet turned upwards. Your body weight should be supported by your head, neck and shoulders. Your torso and your legs should all be perpendicular to your head and neck.
Viparita Karani is an easy yoga pose that bathes the TMJ muscles in blood and lymph, thereby improving blood circulation in that region and strengthening the TMJ muscles.
To perform this asana, lie on your back and slowly raise your legs up a wall till they are straight and perpendicular to your waist and torso.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.