Here is some news that might surprise you: pain in a particular area or part of the body may not always be due to a physical cause. It could be due to tension, more specifically, it depends on where in your body you “metabolize” that tension – back, shoulders, neck, or your jaw.
Chronic pain or tension in the jaw is known as Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMB). The jaws are joints that are used more than the other joints in the body –as they are multi-functional, being used for speaking as well as eating. If your jaws feel tender, sore, painful or stiff, the causes for this could vary:
- A habit of grinding them when you are under emotional stress or, perhaps unconsciously, in your sleep
- Misaligned teeth or wisdom teeth
- Injury or disease
- Improper posture
It’s no wonder that many people suffer from pain and tension in the jaw region.
Awareness of the problem, timely diagnosis, and following medical advice and the treatment regimen are keys to dealing with jaw pain.
Some Yoga experts recommend adopting a healthy basic posture which aligns the head in a neutral position to the neck and to the shoulders, which is neither stooping towards the front nor thrown towards the back. If this is accompanied by a conscious relaxation of these three areas, it immediately releases the strain on the jaws.
Yoga for Relief:
Yogasanas too confer alignment and relaxation while reducing stiffness. Here are a few asanas experts recommend:
UJJAYI PRANAYAMA (VICTORIOUS BREATH)
Ujjayi pranayama slows down your breath, regulate it, and helps in gaining mental focus. It also forms the base for several other asanas.
SIMHASANA (LION POSE)
The Lion pose relaxes the facial muscles and relieves it of tension.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (DOWNWARD FACING DOG POSE)
This inverted pose improves the flow of blood to the face and head region. It relieves the tension in the jaws.
USTRASANA (CAMEL POSE)
The Camel pose stretches and massages muscles in the neck region thus helping relieve tension in the lower jaw.
Some Important Steps:
- Take the go-ahead for yoga-practice from your doctor and learn yoga only under a trained expert.
- Always customize asanas to your personal level of flexibility and comfort.
- Avoid asanas which put too much weight on your head and arms and exert more pressure on the jaw.
- When doing belly-on-floor poses, experts suggest you bring the forehead to the floor, and not the chin, as is usually done.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]