TMJ Therapy

image of young woman biting a pencil meant to demonstrate stress as a potential risk factor in tmj pain

We are thrilled to have TMJ treatment back on the menu!

Fun Fact: Our Thrive LMT, Stephanie Quarles, uses her Dental Assistant education from the Ross Medical Institute combined with elements from her mastery of neuromuscular therapy and myofascial release to help bring you significant and immediate relief.


What is TMJ dysfunction and how can a massage treatment help?

The temporomandibular joint or TMJ (it’s pronounced tem-puh-roe-mun-DIB-u-lur) is like a sliding hinge within your mouth that connects your jawbone to your skull. You have one of these sliding joints on each side of your jaw.

Jaw clenching from stress and other factors can cause very unpleasant pain on one or both sides. This can impede your ability to concentrate on your work. It can make you impatient with your partner/spouse or children or colleagues at work. It can disrupt your sleep, leaving you in mounting pain under increasing stress.

The cause of your jaw pain is often difficult to diagnose—and some extreme cases may require a doctor and/or surgery—but in addition to the other annoyances and sometimes serious impacts on your life, jaw pain can make it painful to chew and enjoy your food.

The origins of your pain may be due to genetics, arthritis, or a jaw injury. You also may tend to clench or grind your teeth. But for many people, the pain is temporary and can be relieved by massage therapy.


  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • TMJ pain in one or both joints
  • Aching either in or around your ear
  • Pain or difficulty while chewing
  • A clicking sound or grating as you chew or open your mouth
  • General facial pain or aches
  • Difficulty in opening or closing your mouth

Risk factors associated with developing TMJ disorders:

  • Rheumatoid or other arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • An injury to your jaw
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth for a long time
  • Connective tissue diseases that may affect the temporomandibular joint

Your masseter muscle is the main chewing muscle and it extends along the sides of the jaw just behind the cheeks. As you would expect, it’s also the muscle that clenches your jaw and grinds your teeth. It can function as the main accomplice of There is a strong connection between tension headaches and jaw muscle tension. People with a headache will instinctively massage their temporalis muscle on either side of their head. But the masseter jaw muscle is often neglected, even though it is more powerful and easily clenches. They both need some attention. Focus during a TMJ session is on the jaw, surrounding musculature, face, head, neck and shoulders. Inside the mouth (intra-oral) is also important to address – with gloved hands – the work is very intentional and specialized to release tension and restrictions. You can also combine your TMJ session with a full body massage – just book a longer session and let Stephanie know you want a combination of attention. 

 With our staff’s thoughtful and empathetic massage therapy skills, we can help people find relief.