What IS TMJ anyway?

What IS TMJ anyway?!

Great question! I'm glad you asked. :)

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, aka your jaw.

So why do people say they "have TMJ" then?! Everyone (or almost everyone) has a jaw!

Check out this short video to find out.

So much education and challenges to help you on your journey in my group, Fed-Up & Option-Seeking TMJ Warriors: Abundant Life Community. Check it out!

How I Personally Dealt With TMJD Naturally

How I Personally Dealt With TMJD Naturally

Jaw issues can be a tricky thing... Many people (specialists included) don't know exactly what causes it, and for different people there can be different root issues or things that exacerbate it.

I personally believe that the body is inter-connected. We were made to be holistic beings and to care for our body, mind, spirit, and heart as whole beings!

So with that in mind, it took much trial and error for me, but with some changes to lifestyle and positive natural additions, I'm finally in a place of being physically well, emotionally well, relationally well, and spiritually well. There's always room for more growth, but I feel better than I have ever being on this wellness journey of discovery and progress.

5 Things That Have Impacted My TMJ For the Better

1. We cut out all sugar & caffeine, most dairy (esp. husband for his IBS), and most processed foods. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. And einkorn for grain mostly. Part of our diet change also included some supplements that support joint health and overall wellness including energywhich has even helped my hair and nails grow longer and thicker and be less brittle. Who knew? More positives, I guess when you're going for naturally supporting the body. 

2. We also see a specialized chiropractor, and utilize something that helps us stay in alignment longer. I wear a custom splint on top at night so I slide instead of clench, though I personally think that mostly just protects my teeth than stops clenching.

3. Working on mindset and run-away emotions, as well as balancing hormones. I used to be a really anxious person, worrying about every little thing and blowing smaller worries out of proportion. If I went to a dr for that, maybe I would have been diagnosed, maybe not. But I have consciously worked REALLY hard to help myself focus on affirmations (truths rather than lies) to help me when I feel like it's harder than it should be.

4. Supplement where the body is deficient. This one may seem obvious, but I don't think it is! This includes joints, gut health, and ear/detoxing issues such as tinnitus. We live in a world that is broken, and with bodies that don't always do as they're supposed to -- but it wasn't meant to be this way! By providing our bodies high quality, bioavailable options to support where our bodies are lacking, we can live full lives more as we were created to. I've been able to do that very well, but the body takes TIME to heal. (This process can take months of consistency, so be patient. It didn't get "messed up" in a day, so it won't get "fixed" in a day either.)

5. Get good sleep. Sleep is foundational for so much of our health and wellness.

Curious about the specific things that have worked for me in each of these categories? Check out some of the links above, for starters, or check out the TMJ Strong course. I don't believe there's a one-size-fits-all for health & wellness, but I'm happy to be someone you can bounce ideas off of while on this natural wellness journey, or a listening ear to see what I can do to help you thrive rather than barely survive. I wish I'd had someone like that when I first started this journey. Happy to be that for you if you need it! I pray wellness and relief and abundance for you, friend. Be Blessed.

How I Chose My Chiropractor as an HSP With TMJD

How I Chose My Chiropractor as an HSP With TMJD
There are SO many chiropractors in the world... SO MANY.

How to choose?!

As a highly sensitive person with TMJD, I really had to take a good, hard look at what I needed from a chiropractor and what my goals were before being able to find someone that would fit my needs and help me achieve my goals.

My goals at the time were: more better sleep, less TMJD discomfort and more range of motion, less anxious thoughts and emotional swings, and stability in health and wellness. And I am reaching all of those goals through the choice I made -- yay!

1) What is their philosophy of wellness and health? Are they going to keep you coming back because they want to keep you, or have you come back at certain check-points or as needed? Do they also offer different nutritional supplements or support? Is that something you want as part of what they offer?

2) What is their actual method(s) of practice? My chiro is a part of NUCCA (National Upper Cervical Chiropractors Association) and practice a specific technique that is gentle, non-manipulative to the body, and focuses on specifically the atlas (V1) with the focal idea that most issues stem from there. If the main nerve of our spine is being pinched due to misalignment, many other issues (like TMJD, IBS, aches, etc) result. But each person is different, so the issues can be different. Once that is in alignment, the rest of the body can heal itself in its time usually. This was SO important to me because I'm really sensitive, so "twisting, cracking, and popping" my body was just not gonna happen. I'd been to one of those chiros as a kid and HATED the experience. I'd literally feel like crying in fear/dread.... yep, not happening. Very grateful to find NUCCA!

3) Do they listen and educate? Or do they just adjust and move on without taking time to care? Example: my husband has a rib that once in a while comes out of place and rotates. After adjusting his atlas, our chiro will sometimes gently adjust his wonky rib if needed, but only if it's not doing it's job. He normally doesn't do those things, but a rib out of wack isn't always going to find its way back to staying in alignment without a gentle nudge (literally, haha).

4) Do they adjust automatically if you come in, or just when you need it? Since my chiro is a NUCCA doc, he only adjusts me if I'm actually out of alignment. He has specific ways to tell if my body is in alignment or not, and he does not adjust me if my body does not need it. This allows a more natural body healing process to stay in place rather than outside forces (literally) interrupting that process. My NUCCA doc also charges half as much if he doesn't need to adjust, which is nice! Saving money but still checking on my alignment if I think I might be out.

Interested in NUCCA? They have a website where you can look up a NUCCA doc to find one near you. Their website is found here.

I'm no expert and no doctor, but this has rocked my world, and I hope can help you too, friends. TMJD can be addressed naturally.

I also have a little secret, a "chiropractic assistant" that helps me stay in alignment longer because it supports my body's skeletal and muscular systems in doing their job properly. Learn more about that here!