I sat at my seat on the train opposite the business man and pondered how I was going to kill the three hours + of time ahead of me. He was typing on his laptop and I guess to help him to concentrate, he was chewing gum.

He was a fast chewer.

At least two chews per second. He didn’t let up for the whole journey. I got my calculator out on my phone and did the sum. In that journey he used his muscles of mastication (chewing) at least 10,800 times!



I found myself wanting to ask him these questions:

Do you suffer from a painful or achy jaw? Do you get headaches or migraines? Do you have stomach or digestion problems? Do you get earache or toothache? How about your neck and shoulders – are they tight?

Chewing gum in moderation may have advantages but in excess, may lead to problems including TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or dysfunction.

1 in 4 people in the UK are estimated to suffer with symptoms relating to TMJ dysfunction.

Symptoms may include

  • Chronic pain or tenderness in muscles of your face, neck, shoulders and upper back
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Teeth grinding
  • Earaches and tinnitus
  • Sleep issues
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking

Some people may be more prone to TMJ disorder and this includes the commuter chewing his gum. Others include

  • Heavy telephone or mobile phone users
  • People who clench their teeth due to stress
  • Those who have had recent dental work
  • Anyone with a history of whiplash injury
  • Denture, orthodontic braces or retainer wearers
  • People who chew on one side

If you suspect you may have TMJ dysfunction always consult your GP or dentist first.

However Trigger Point Massage Therapy and advanced Myofascial Release may help to ease your symptoms.

Work may include intra oral myofascial release (using a gloved hand to work muscles and around the jaw inside the mouth) and advanced massage techniques on face, neck and shoulders.

My training was developed by by ex dental nurse and myofascial release expert Tracey Keirnan of Blend Therapy and Training. I have had a lot of extremely  positive results, so why not be in touch to see if I might be able to help you?

Read about clinical massage, contact me and  book here: https://www.mariapali.co.uk

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