Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article
When people say "TMJ," they often mean a group of issues called temporomandibular disorders (TMD). The temporomandibular joint is the joint that links the lower jaw to the skull. This joint lets you move your jaw so you can talk, eat, and yawn. It's a special joint because of its movement and how it's built.
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) cause pain and trouble with the jaw joint and nearby muscles. It's tricky to find out why someone has TMJD. It could be because of genes, a hurt jaw, arthritis, or even teeth grinding, which is sometimes due to stress.
Some signs of these issues are:
- You can't open your mouth wide or move your jaw side to side.
- You have jaw pain when trying to open your mouth.
- You hear noises from the jaw when opening or closing your mouth.
- You can't stick out your tongue all the way.
- You feel pain when pushing on your cheekbone.
- It's hard to open your mouth when you wake up.
Causes of TMJ and Jaw Pain
TMJ can be caused by stress, bad habits like teeth grinding, injuries, arthritis, and problems with the jaw joint's shape or cushioning disk. Young people between the ages of 10-19 and 20-29, especially females, are more prone to experiencing jaw pain. This is partly due to their lifestyle habits and stresses from school or work. Additionally, certain habits, like sleeping with the face down or always chewing food on one side, can change the jaw joint over time. Stress can make people unknowingly grind or clench their teeth, which tires out the jaw muscles. This can cause a painful cycle of muscle spasms and damage. TMJ can also result from injuries, arthritis, issues with the cushioning disk in the joint, or the shape of the joint itself. However, sometimes, the exact cause isn't easy to pinpoint.
Pressure Points for TMJ on the Head
Below the Joint (Xia Guan 下關) ST7 Acupoint
Below the Joint acupoint, located below the cheekbone, offers relief for TMJ and related conditions. It is beneficial if you are experiencing TMJ, toothache, tinnitus, or trigeminal neuralgia. Since this point has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, massaging it can provide immediate relief, particularly if you have temporomandibular joint arthritis or a clenched jaw.
Where is Acupressure Point ST7?
The Below the Joint acupoint is located beneath the center of your cheekbone (zygomatic bone).
How to find Acupuncture Point ST7?
- Close your mouth.
- Find the point in the indentation which is directly below your cheekbone.
- If you close your mouth you can feel a depression between the outer edge of your cheekbone and the notch of your jaw.
- When your mouth is open, this initial indentation disappears, and Xia Guan is found in this spot.
Jaw Bone Point (Jia Che 頰車) ST6 Acupoint
Jaw Bone is an acupoint that helps treat the symptoms of TMJ. It is particularly useful in treating nerve paralysis symptoms such as crooked mouth and eyes. This acupoint is close to the lower teeth and works wonders on neck spasms, cheek swelling, gum pain, and mumps.
Where is Acupressure Point ST6?
Jaw Bone is located about an inch down from the angle of the lower jaw, heading towards the earlobe.
How to find Acupuncture Point ST6?
- Close your mouth and clench your teeth.
- You should feel a raised muscle above the angle of your lower jaw in the direction of your earlobe.
- That point is the Jaw Bone acupoint.
Head Corner (Tou Wei 頭維) ST8 Acupoint
The Head Corner acupoint is used frequently to relieve TMJ and migraines. It is also effective for treating eye diseases, fatigue, reduced vision, and congestion in the head.
Where is Acupressure Point ST8?
Head corner point is located above your hairline at the point that is an inch further from the midpoint of the line connecting the outer corner of your eye and the tip of your ear.
How to find Acupuncture Point ST8?
- Connect the outer corner of your eye with the tip of your ear directly to draw an imaginary line.
- The midpoint of that line extends upward to meet your hairline.
- From this point, move an inch towards the top of your head.
- That point is the Head Corner acupoint.
Palace of Hearing (Ting Gong 聽宮) SI19 Acupoint
Palace of Hearing acupoint addresses TMJ. It plays a key role in treating ear diseases, symptoms related to TMJ, and it's an effective point to help with headaches, heaviness in the head, dizziness, decreased vision, and memory loss.
Where is Acupressure Point SI19?
Palace of Hearing is located in front of a small cartilage in front of your ear called the tragus.
How to find Acupuncture Point SI19?
- Open your mouth slightly.
- Look for the indentation in front of the center of the tragus.
- You can find the Palace of Hearing acupoint at that point.
Auditory Convergence (Ting Hui 聽會) GB2 Acupoint
Auditory Convergence relieves issues with the ear and with the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). This point can help relieve symptoms of deafness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), misalignment of the eye and mouth, and TMJ, including difficulty in moving the jaw. This point is particularly helpful in suppressing head heat and wind discomfort, which are common causes of these symptoms.
Where is Acupuncture Point GB2?
Auditory Convergence Acupoint is located in a small indentation in front of a particular notch (called the Intertragic Notch) which can only be felt when the mouth is opened fully.
How to find Acupressure Point GB2?
- Open your mouth fully.
- Gently feel for a small indentation (notch) with your finger at the front of your ear. This area is near the bottom and close to the face.
- The point is slightly forward from this notch, at the back border of a bone named condyloid process of the mandible.
- Upon reaching there, you will be on the GB2 point. It can feel tender to touch or pressure.
Pressure Points for TMJ on the Hand
Three Intersections Third Point (San Cha San 三叉三) T 22.17 Acupoint
Three Intersections Third Point provides relief for TMJ and other pains. Aside from treating TMJ, this point can aid in alleviating various types of pain including sciatic, bone spurs, back pain and soreness, shoulder pain, and leg pain.
Where is The Three Intersections Third Acupressure Point?
This point is on the back of your hand, in the junction between the fourth and fifth fingers when you make a fist.
How to find The Three Intersections Third Acupuncture Point?
- Make a fist.
- Look at the back of your hand.
- Find the junction between your fourth and fifth fingers.
- The Three Intersections Third Point is in that junction.
How Can Acupressure Points Relieve TMJ at Home?
Activating acupressure points can naturally provide relief for TMJ at home. Targeting specific points like Three Intersections Third, Palace of Hearing, Jaw Bone, Head Corner and others can encourage relieve and movement in your jaw. Acupressure offers a natural method to address TMJ.
Here are some practical tips to get the most out of these acupressure techniques:
Create a serene environment: Choose a quiet space where distractions are minimal. This calm setting will enhance your focus and heighten the healing effects of acupressure.
Deep breathing: Initiate your session by inhaling and exhaling deeply. This not only calms your mind but also prepares your body for the acupressure session, making it more receptive to the process.
Clean hands: Hygiene is essential. Ensure that your hands are clean before you start. This will prevent any potential infections, especially when dealing with sensitive areas.
Consistency is key: Regular application of these acupressure techniques is more beneficial than sporadic sessions. Aim to integrate these into your daily or weekly routine for a sustained impact
Individual responses can vary. If these acupressure techniques don't offer the relief you're seeking, consider consulting with a licensed acupuncturist or TCM practitioner for tailored advice.
Simplify Your Acupressure Sessions with Moxa
The Moxa Acupressure App provides tailored sessions to aid in consistent acupressure practice and TMJ relief. To take your journey to wellness a step further, consider downloading the Moxa Acupressure App. This app offers a wide range of rituals and personalized sessions to help restore balance to your body and improve your overall well-being. Let us take the complexity out of finding the right points, pacing the sessions, and tracking our progress. See how Moxa can you help find the right points for your body and help establish a routine.