One of potential causes of TMJ, neck pain and headaches is sleep-disturbed breathing or sleep apnea [1, 2, 3]. Reflect on the listed below signs of interrupted sleep breathing:
90% of population don’t know that they have sleep disturbed breathing. The reason for that is the airway and the jaw with crowed or crooked teeth is narrowed by a lifetime of wrong mouth breathing and other factors listed in [1, pages 30-31 and 4]. It also gets compressed at night which prevents you from getting enough air during the night so you have to open your mouth at night, snore, grind your teeth, or grasp for air [1, 3, 6]. Every time you unconsciously tense muscles, you are not in deep sleep. So, there is a strong connection between your nighttime breathing, sleep quality and pain!
The following therapies address snoring and sleep disrupted breathing: positional therapy, dental appliances such as MAD – mandibular advancement device and TRD – tongue restrictive device; CPAP and APAP machines [1, 2, 3]. However, they provide symptomatic relief! Strengthening the upper airways with orofacial myofunctional therapy [3, 4, 7] along with breathing re-education takes care of the root cause of the problem and stops the weakening of the airway muscle tone that naturally happens with age !
As a medically certified massage therapist, I don’t only treat TMJ with my hands, but also demonstrate how to breathe the right way using Buteyko technique, provide exercises to do at home, and references on selfcare. I also make professional referrals. Give it a go and try “Buteyko Inspired Breathing Exercises – 5 minutes”  or watch “Shut Your Mouth and Change Your Life” . To make the very first step towards good quality sleep and pain free life, start NASAL BREATHING today!