Do you have a Mountain Ridge or Peak in Your Mouth?

Last week I talked about massage for the teeth and inside the mouth.  An odd topic, but one that is really important. We don’t often talk about what’s going on inside our mouths–but what if the problem inside your mouth is causing your headaches, hearing problems, sinus problems, foggy thinking, or other problem?

Earlier this summer I was working on a client who complained of ‘congested hearing’ in her left ear.  After several sessions I probed further and found out that the congestion isn’t really like fluid in the ear, but that’s the only way she could describe it.  Hearing in the left ear was  dimmer than the right and an ear doctor said her ear was functioning perfectly normally.  There was no problem with her ear.

So I asked her if I could do some intra-oral myofascial release, gentle work inside her mouth.  Many people don’t think about how close the jaw joint is to the ear. Problems with the teeth and jaw can cause hearing problems or headaches.  Here’s a picture to show how your jaw joint is right next to your ear canal.

ear-jaw closeness.jpg.png

Right now, run your tongue along the roof of your mouth.  Nobody is watching–give it a try!  What do you feel?  Is there a ridge?  Is it really pronounced or fairly flat?  Now, take your tongue to the middle back—if you have a ridge follow it straight back.  Is there, what I call, a mountain peak? maybe its more of a mound than a peak?

Well, I knew that many people have a ridge down the center, but I had never know there could be a mountain peak in the back!  Both the mountain ridge and the peak are not supposed to be there!

After discovering the peak in my client I started asking people “what’s inside your mouth?”  While I got some weird looks, I was amazed to find that many people had a ridge AND a mountain peak or mound.  Let me explain what these are:

Your hard palate is the roof of your mouth, the floor of your nasal cavity, and it is part of the maxilla which forms the floor of your eye sockets.  Therefore problems here can also contribute to sinus & vision problems.

The palate is divided into 4 sections by sutures.  These sutures allow for movement within the skull.  Your cranial bones are also connected by sutures to allow for movement from the pumping of the cerebrospinal fluid.  Take a moment to feel the top of your head, right down the center.  Do you feel a ridge?  Hopefully not. This smooth suture is how the suture on the roof of your mouth should feel.

Sobo_1909_100_-_Palatine_process_of_maxilla

But for many people something happened whether growing up or in adulthood, where the sutures got stuck.  They stopped moving as much as they should and then the body adapts to that and builds up fibrotic tissue,  the fascia thickens and tightens preventing movement more.  What you feel as the ridge or mountain peak are the stuck sutures and the thickened tissue built up over it.

Myofascial Release uses gentle pressure, tension, and time to change loosen the fasica, break up fibrotic tissue, and help return things to their normal state.

For my client, after about 15-mins of intra-oral myofascial release, her hearing improved for a minute or two and the mountain peak softened.   I gave her a simple self treatment technique to do at home. We did another session for almost 60-mins and felt movement in the palate, the peak got a little smaller and hearing cleared up for a little longer.  I expect with continued treatments we may be able to resolve the hearing problem.

If you have a mountain ridge or peak in your mouth, come see what Myofascial Release can do for you!

Next time find out how the jaw and the hips are connected!

Massage for Teeth?

Wow, I just read a post from a fellow Myofascial Release therapist who resolved a child’s underbite with 5-10 mins of treatment 1x per week for 6 weeks!!  This child doesn’t have to grow up with kids making fun of their underbite, they don’t have to go through traumatic surgeries or dental procedures to ‘fix’ their jaw or teeth.  With just a few minutes of generally gentle & relaxing treatment, the problem was resolved and future problems were probably avoided!

Several people have been surprised when I talk about intra-oral massage work–work inside the mouth!  But think about your mouth–you have lots of muscles forming your mouth that allow you to speak, make facial expressions, and allow you to chew.

I’ve learned techniques for inside the mouth in all of my various massage trainings–in massage school, in manual lymphatic drainage, and in myofascial release.

In massage school I learned techniques to help release the muscles that contribute to TMJ problems.  One of the biggest problem muscles for TMD (Temporo-Mandibular Joint Disorder) is not accessible from outside of the mouth (the medial pterygoid).

In manual lymphatic drainage training, I learned a technique to help drain excess fluid from the brain!  Great for those that have suffered strokes, have swelling in the brain, or had brain surgery.  It also can help with tinnitus.

In myofascial release, I learned techniques to help with a wider variety of issues.  Migraines, TMD, over/under-bites, not enough space for teeth, sinus problems, tinnitus, hearing problems, and more.

Let me ask you this… if your doctor said let me remove 2 of your skull bones, would you let them?  The most interesting realization I had in myofascial release training was about the teeth.  When you look at a picture of a skull it always includes the teeth!  While technically they are not bones, they are an integral part of your skull! They affect your bones, and your bones affect them. They belong in your head plain and simple.

skull-41552_1280

Why are we believing that we were created in a way that most of us would need to have several parts of our anatomy removed surgically?   This is a common belief now.

What if we were to to look at the cause of the problem?  The dentist thinks you need to have teeth removed because you don’t have enough space in your mouth for them.  If they remain, they will impact your bite and cause problems.  Why don’t you have enough space in your mouth?  This is the real problem.  And there is a way to solve it WITHOUT surgery for many people.  Treat the cause, not the symptom!

distal view skull

This is what my therapist friend did for the child.  She released the fascial restrictions in the jaw, mouth, & head to allow the jaw to move back into it’s normal position and thereby correct the under-bite.

Tune in next week for more about Myofascial Release and the Mouth— Do you have a Mountain Ridge or Peak in Your Mouth?

Harmonizing Wellness Institute

Whole Being Harmony

Announcing my new logo! Thank you to my niece Kelsey Elliott for taking my ideas and making them look fabulous!

I’d like to take a minute to share the symbols and meanings behind the logo—this is what my business and I are all about:

The 4 notes represent the 4 dimensions of the self that we need to keep in harmony: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual

  • The Physical note is red; taken from the root chakra which signifies our core being and connection to the earth. Our most basic physical needs are wrapped up in the energy of our root chakra.
  • The Emotional note is green; taken from the heart chakra which is the home of our emotions. All of our love and emotional states develop from the heart chakra.
  • The Mental note is blue; taken from the throat chakra which voices our thoughts. Thoughts and words are powerful. Free flowing energy in the throat chakra keeps us mentally clear.
  • The Spiritual note is purple; representative of the third-eye chakra which is the seat of our soul. This is the chakra to focus on for spiritual advancement.

The spiral in the center represents two things for me:

  1. Wholeness: I work with you to bring all 4 dimensions into harmony so that your whole being is in tune.
  2. The Journey of Life: The spiral is one of the most ancient symbols representing the journey of this life. We go round and round with ups and downs in our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. A healthy person keeps the energy flowing. My journey in life has been a great adventure and I am happy to share this adventure with you

And quite by accident the whole image looks like a pinwheel. Some didn’t like this effect, but I love it and love the symbolic meaning of the pinwheel. The pinwheel represents unseen energy, wish fulfillment, childhood innocence, and transformation.

Chinese culture believes the pinwheel is an instrument to turn obstacles into opportunities. To see or play with a pinwheel in your dream suggests that you will succeed on your own power and your creative energy. The wind which propels the tiny mills evokes the spirit.

I hope you’ll keep these things in mind each time you see my logo: remembering to harmonize your whole being (all 4 dimensions) and to enjoy the journey of life with childlike innocence, transforming obstacles into opportunities with your spirit.

 

Harmonizing Wellness Institute

Welcome to the blog for Harmonizing Wellness Institute!  I’d like to take this first blog to share a bit about my journey & my mission.

I created the name Harmonizing Wellness Institute as I was in massage school.  I’ve played the violin, piano, handbells, and sung most of my life. No matter what instrument you play, or listen to, it needs to be in tune in order to sound good.  I view massage as a way of tuning the body.  Bringing all of the parts of the body back into a balanced, harmonious state.

The further I’ve gone in my journey, the more I’ve discovered that it isn’t just about the physical.  For a human being to be well and in perfect harmony, all aspects have to be in tune–the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  If one of these is out of tune, the others will also be affected.  Being out tune appears as illness, stress, pain, fatigue, depression, etc.

And so, my mission is to help those who feel stuck or out of tune whether due to chronic pain, emotional trauma, mental stress and fatigue, or lack of spiritual connection, to come back into harmony using one or all of my services.

I’ve developed core services that individually address the whole being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  So you can take your pick or combine them as you feel called to:  Myofascial Release massage, TimeWaver Energy Healing, Yoga, & Meditation.

The last part of my business name is Institute.  I’ve always had a passion for teaching and that has to be a part of my business.  I endeavor to teach my clients what they can do to bring themselves into harmony; to empower them to be well on their terms; to have the tools they need to live life to the fullest; to enjoy their harmonizing journey.  Stay tuned for classes on a variety of topics!

My desire is that this blog will be part of that institute to share knowledge and help you come into harmony physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Check out my website for more about my services:  www.HarmonizingWellnessInstitute.massagetherapy.com

To book an appointment on-line visit: www.MassageBook.com/HarmonizingWell