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Is There Imagery for TMJ?

29 May

Question:

BR, Is there a visual imagery tape available from any source for TMJ?  [Ed note: this is temporomandibular joint disorder, usually involving unconscious grinding or clenching of the jaw.]  Being a sufferer, I read that nearly 30% of the population suffers from some form it. I understand it is a matter of retraining the muscle memory. In my case, much of it happens during sleep & a tape during sleep would be most helpful.

Alex

Dear Alex,

I looked around but couldn’t find any specific imagery that targets TMJ.  But any sort of stress reduction or progressive muscle relaxation program would be good, of course.

And I would also recommend our audio for Healthful Sleep. Even though it doesn’t address TMJ specifically, it involves relaxing and softening all the muscles of the face (including the jaw), and the rest of the body too, along with many other images of protection and safety.  People tell us they not only sleep better and with greater relaxation, but wake up with a more positive feeling, too.

And you’re right - it’s a very good idea to listen to an imagery audio while you’re falling asleep - not only because this is when your jaw is doing most of its clenching and grinding; but because falling asleep is one of our most receptive times to take in healing imagery of any kind, because our brain waves are slowing down and our right hemisphere is more active... a very spongey time indeed to soak up some positive imagery! Give it a try and let me know how you do.

I did find some other general recommendations for TMJ here - maybe you’ll find something new and useful on this list of suggestions.  

Best of luck,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award