When many people think of receiving a massage, they think of having their shoulders, back, or other large muscle groups kneaded. There are many other parts of your body, however, that your massage therapist may target — and some of these areas might not be what you expect. If you suffer from chronic tightness of your jaw, massage can help to decrease this discomfort. To do so, your massage therapist will actually need to massage inside your mouth. Using latex or silicone gloves and a soft, professional touch, the therapist will use his or her fingers to manipulate your tissues and release restrictions. Here are some tips for preparing for this sort of treatment.
Minimize Talking and Gum Chewing
You want to get the most out of this unique type of treatment, and doing so is partly dependent on your ability to have relaxed muscles around your jaw and mouth. The more relaxed these muscles are, the softer they will be. This will allow your massage therapist to treat them more effectively. Your jaw muscles can get tight and sore from excessive talking and gum chewing, so try to avoid these activities in advance of your massage appointment. For example, you may wish to schedule your appointment early in the morning, rather than at the end of the workday, if you talk a lot at work.
Take a Breath Mint before the Appointment
It might sound like a minor detail, but you want your breath to be fresh during the massage — and not just for the therapist's comfort. If you're nervous about your breath, you'll often be tense, which can translate into holding your jaw tight and making the massage therapist's job more challenging. Since chewing gum isn't advisable, a simple way to deal with this situation is to take a breath mint before your appointment. It will freshen your breath without tightening your jaw muscles.
Stay Away from Stressful Environments
For many people, stress manifests itself in the form of a tight jaw. The tighter your jaw is, the less success your massage therapist may have. Do what you can to minimize your exposure to stressful environments before your appointment. If you're having a disagreement with a family member and he or she calls you, let the voicemail pick up. You might also wish to do something that is relaxing and that you enjoy before the treatment, such as going for a walk.
For more tips on how you can prepare for your massage therapy appointment, talk to a professional at Inner Harmony Center For The Healing Arts Inc.