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TMJ and Yoga: Finding Balance with Dr. Mingus in Bend

Yoga is known to carry many benefits, from achieving a bridge pose to going beyond personal limits. However, very few people are aware that it can help people with Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Bent, Oregon offers a unique practitioner, Dr. Mingus, who specializes in TMJ and yoga.

Whether or not you have been diagnosed with TMJ, you likely have experience with jaw pain. Some jaw pain might come from overuse or injury, such as clenching the jaw, grinding teeth or experiencing a dental trauma. Gentler forms of jaw pain can result in stiffness or having trouble opening the mouth fully.

Dr. Mingus and her team travel around central and eastern Oregon, offering classes in yoga and tai chi to those interested in learning how to gently stretch and strengthen jaw muscles. Dr. Mingus’ programs are unique in that she combines her expertise in both oral/eastern modalities in order to achieve a balanced approached to healing.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a misalliance of muscles, bones, and connective tissues that connects the jaw to the skull. When these joints are injured or overused, a disorder can occur. The symptoms of TMJ disorders can include headaches, jaw pain, toothaches, and difficulty in eating.

Treatment options for TMJ disorders include analgesic medication, muscle relaxants, physical therapy, and dental treatment. In some cases, TMJ patients undergo surgery. Dr. Mingus argues that a gentle yoga practice can help alleviate pain and increase range of motion in patients with TMJ.

How does yoga help?

Dr. Mingus advises participants in her classes to take an open-minded approach to the practice of yoga. People with TMJ disorders should avoid poses that place extra stress on the jaw, such as arching the neck or holding poses for extended lengths of time.

Rather, the foundation of Dr. Mingus’ practice is about finding stability and balance between the jaw, head, neck, and core muscles. The goal is to reduce stress in the area while ultimately gaining freedom of movement. To achieve this, Dr. Mingus emphasizes looking inward and focusing on breath as well as being mindful of bite/jaw alignment.

Balance Beyond Yoga

Dr. Mingus’ healing goes beyond the mat. She works with patients for personalized exercises and techniques that focus on gently stretching and strengthening connective tissues. Dr. Mingus finds many benefits in tai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art that focuses on fluid, rhythmic movements.

Patients should also be mindful of their dental alignment and seek treatment from a dentist if necessary. Dr. Mingus spends time educating her patients on how to navigate through dental treatments, including the use of night guards, bite splints, or full recovery sets.

Dr. Mingus’ unique approach to treating TMJ makes her an ideal practitioner for those looking for a way to alleviate jaw pain and to find balance. Her combined practice aims to reduce pain and promote long-term health.

Conclusion
Yoga and tai chi can be a gentle and noninvasive way to combat the pain and restricted movement that comes with TMJ. Dr. Mingus’ unique practice in Bend provides the perfect fusion of oral and Eastern medicine to help heal jaw disorders. Her classes focus on balancing the body while building strength and flexibility. Patients value her compassionate approach and ability to personalize workouts for their unique needs. If you are in the Bend area and experiencing pain in your jaw, then perhaps it is time to discover the natural healing properties of yoga and tai chi. Dr. Mingus may be just the practitioner you have been searching for.