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TMJ/Jaw Pain

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, making it possible for us to chew, speak, swallow, and open and close our mouths. The injured or inflamed temporomandibular joint leads to discomfort and dysfunction with pain in the head or neck; chewing, clicking, crackling, and popping of the jaw; difficulty opening and closing the jaw properly; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; and headaches, including migraines. These conditions respond very well to integrative therapies. Different therapeutic modalities are like different languages that your body speaks – the key is to find the right language (or combination of languages) that your body will listen to. At Stepping Stone Acupuncture & Wellness, we offer many services that can benefit patients suffering from TMJ disorders and jaw pain, either as stand-alone therapies or in combination with one another. When it comes to hands-on medicine, we find that the whole is often greater than the sum of the parts.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of single-use, sterile, solid needles into specific acupuncture points on the body to reduce tension and pain, overcome disease, and rebalance the body. Your acupuncturist will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your TMJ and facial pain from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and your treatments will be tailored to your presentation. Additional Chinese Medicine methods such as cupping, gua sha manual therapy, or moxibustion heat therapy may be included in acupuncture sessions, when appropriate. Acupuncture can reduce muscle tension in the face and neck, reduce headache, interrupt the pain response, promote tissue healing, and change how the nervous system perceives and responds to pain.

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle hands-on manual therapy technique. The craniosacral system extends from the head (cranium) to the sacrum and includes the central nervous system. A craniosacral therapist can feel and rebalance the rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid flow, which covers your bones, joints, and sutures. Craniosacral Therapy seeks to reset the nervous system, which operates on high alert when you are in a state of pain. It is a gentle option for releasing tension and pain stored in the neck, head, jaw, or nervous system.


Reflexology is a therapeutic treatment in which pressure is applied to particular points and regions of the foot to affect change in the whole body. Reflex points on the feet correspond to different organs and body systems, and by stimulating these points the practitioner can create positive change in a particular system and bring the body back into balance. A trained reflexologist can help the neck and jaw muscles to relax and soften through focused work on the feet. Also, our reflexology sessions include a short head and neck massage, to aid in relaxation and helping release tense muscles.

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