BODYWORK / INTRAORAL MASSAGE

A manual therapy technique comprised of a continuum of skilled passive movements that are applied at varying speeds and amplitudes, including a small amplitude/high velocity therapeutic movement. The primary goal is to restore movement and more normal mechanics of a joint, to improve function and reduce pain.

The history of massage therapy dates back to 3000 BCE (or earlier) in India, where it was considered a sacred system of natural healing. Used by Hindus in Ayurveda “life health” medicine, massage therapy was a practice passed down through generations to heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses.

Research indicates that intraoral and extraoral face massage is effective in managing: 

  • Subacute/chronic pain

  • Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

  • Anxiety

  • Stress

  • Soft tissue injuries

  • High blood pressure

  • Insomnia

  • TMJ noise (clicking, popping, or grinding)

  • Headaches

  • Postural dysfunctions, head forward posture

  • Limited opening

  • Ear congestion and pain

  • Swelling on the side of the face

  • Vertigo (dizziness)

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

  • Nausea

  • Loose teeth

  • Clenching/bruxism (grinding)

  • Facial pain

  • Fatigued facial muscles

  • Tender, sensitive teeth

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Cervical (neck) pain

  • Postural problems

  • Paresthesia of fingertips (tingling)

The type of treatment can also be effectively used to support people with:

  • A chronic disease

  • A life-threatening illness such as cancer.

One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing. 

Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine, are also reduced. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system. 

Some of the physical benefits of massage include:

  • Reduced muscle tension

  • Improved circulation

  • Stimulation of the lymphatic system

  • Reduction of stress hormones

  • Relaxation

  • Increased joint mobility and flexibility

  • Improved skin tone

  • Improved recovery of soft tissue injuries

  • Heightened mental alertness

  • Reduced anxiety and depression.

Different types of massage may include:

  • Medical Massage – involves the assessment and treatment of soft tissue pain, injury, and dysfunction affecting movement and mobility. Medical Massage is applied to restore and maintain the health and function of the soft tissue structure (muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia) of the human body

  • Remedial – is the objective assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of the signs, symptoms, and causes of biomechanical dysfunction or injury, using specific mobilization techniques, in order to restore normal health and function

  • Therapeutic – also known as 'Western' or 'Swedish' massage. One of the most popular forms of massage, this technique is designed to promote relaxation and improve blood circulation

  • Lymphatic drainage – a gentle whole-body treatment that relaxes the nervous system and aids the body's immune system

  • Aromatherapy – essential oils made from selected flowers and plants are added to the massage oil for their particular therapeutic properties. For example, the scent of sandalwood is thought to reduce nervous tension

  • Baby massage – can help to treat constipation, colic, and sleeping problems. Studies have found that regular massage helps premature babies to gain weight at a faster rate

  • Reflexology – based on the principle that certain parts of the body reflect the whole. Reflex points, which relate to all parts of the body, can be found in the feet, hands, face, and ears. These points respond to pressure, stimulating the body's own natural healing process

  • Shiatsu – an oriental massage technique that aims to improve energy flow by working certain points on the body. The underlying principles of shiatsu massage are similar to those of acupuncture

  • Sports – this is an application of massage, not a particular massage technique. The type of technique or treatment applied is dependent on the nature of the stage of training or competition, sports injury or condition, and the assessment of the remedial massage therapist. Sports massage is a blend of techniques that aim to enhance performance and help overworked muscles to recover quickly.

A head massage may help relieve stress and reduce tension. It may also ease migraine or headache pain, lower blood pressure, improve circulation to your head and neck, and promote hair growth.

 

HEAD, NECK & INTRAORAL BODYWORK

Bodywork has been proven to treat an array of chronic ailments. Please click on any of the underlined conditions to learn more about how we can help.

 

TOOTH PAIN, TRIGGER POINTS & HEADACHES

3 Muscles that cause a lot of dental complaints:  Masseter, Temporalis, & Digastric.  Each muscle has a distinct pattern of pain that refers to the teeth. 

Masseter refers pain to the back teeth, top and bottom.

The Temporalis refers pain to the whole set of upper teeth, moving backward tooth by tooth accordingly with the location of the trigger point along the lower edge of the muscle.  

The Digastric refers pain to only the front bottom teeth. 
These trigger points can be treated effectively with simple methods, and a lot of tooth pain and unnecessary dental procedures can be avoided!


**It is always important to maintain dental health and to be evaluated by a qualified dental professional to determine whether you have a more serious condition.

These detailed referred pain patterns come from Dr. Janet Travell and Dr. David Simons' extensive research and writings (Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual).

 
 

"A myofascial trigger point is defined as a hyperirritable spot in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule in a taut band. It has been suggested that myofascial trigger points take part in chronic pain conditions including primary headache disorders." 

Source

Headaches can be debilitating and some have been linked to tight muscles in and around the head and neck. If you suffer from chronic headaches then About - Face may be able to help by using gentle intraoral and extraoral massage techniques. 

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STOP THE GRIND

More often than not your dentist will give you a bite guard without a full functional assessment.

A full functional assessment and muscular re-training program may help you. Here at About - Face, we address the reasons why our clients may be clenching and/or grinding, & try to relieve those stressors. Clenching and/or grinding, 99% of the time, stems from an orofacial dysfunction like sleep apnea or sleep-disordered breathing, both of which cause stress in our bodies.  These concerns can be addressed with massage, myofunctional therapy, and breathwork.

 

CLENCHING & GRINDING

 
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We all clench our jaws or grind our teeth from time to time. But when that grinding becomes a frequent, chronic problem it’s a condition we call bruxism — and the side effects are serious.

Woman holds hands on jaw and feels tooth

FACIAL PAIN & TMJ DYSFUNCTION

We Get It

Facial pain is common and often the result of headaches and injuries. However, other causes of facial pain include nerve conditions, jaw, and dental problems, and infections. Facial pain can originate from a specific area of the face, or it may radiate from another part of the head.

95% of facial / Jaw pain is muscular in nature. 

There are many causes of Facial pain. Here at About: Face we look at and can help with: 

TMJ Pain

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Acute Facial paralysis 

Migraines

Headaches &

Transient Bells palsy

And More.... 

 

LOCK JAW

AKA : Trismus

Trismus, commonly called lockjaw, is a reduced opening of the jaws (limited jaw range of motion). It may be caused by spasm of the muscles of mastication or a variety of other causes.

Lock Jaw can cause pain and can lead to problems with eating, speaking, and oral hygiene.​

Symptoms

The defining symptom of trismus is the jaw not opening fully or opening to 35 mm or less.

  • Jaw pain and cramping

  • Difficulty biting, chewing, or brushing the teeth

  • Inability to swallow some foods

  • Headaches

  • Earaches

Horizontal portrait of blonde caucasian
 

CAUSES

INFLAMMATION

  • Arthritis in the jawbones

  • Scleroderma, which is an autoimmune disease that affects connective tissue

  • Soft tissue fibrosis, which occurs when excess fibrous connective tissue forms

DENTAL WORK / SURGERY

  • Oral surgery, including wisdom tooth extraction, may cause inflammation in the mouth, which can lead to trismus.

  • Hyperextension, which is having to open the mouth wider than its usual range of motion, during surgery may also lead to lockjaw.

CANCER / CANCER TREATMEMT

Cancerous tumors in the head or throat can affect the function of the jaw.

Radiation treatment for these tumors can also cause trismus.

According to a small 2016 study consisting of 30 participants with oral cancer, trismus affected 53.3% of them at the time of diagnosis.

This number increased to 86.7% after surgery and 85.7% after radiotherapy.​

INFECTION

Infections can contribute to trismus in some cases.

Types of infections that may do this include:

  • Mumps

  • Tetanus

  • Tonsillitis