Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a common condition that is characterized by pain and jaw dysfunction. TMJ is used to describe a wide range of conditions associated with jaw pain and restricted jaw movement. While TMJ isn’t life-threatening, it can negatively impact a person’s quality of life, causing bouts of insomnia, stress, pain and disability.
It’s estimated that up to 30 percent of the world’s adult population suffers from TMJ, most of whom are between the ages of 20 and 40. Many people living with this condition simply mask the pain with prescription painkillers or other medications. In doing so, however, they create other problems, such as increased stress on the liver and stomach. Acupuncture offers an alternative treatment that instead of masking the pain, works to reduce symptoms at the source.
While there’s no guarantee that it will cure your condition, several studies suggest that it acupuncture does in fact help relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with TMJ. One recent study involving 70 dental patients in the U.K. found that acupuncture relieved their pain by as much as 75 percent. Another study found acupuncture to offer long-term patient satisfaction when used to treat TMJ (acupuncture treatment was given 18-20 years prior to the follow-up).
The 2,000-year-old practice of acupuncture involves the placement of thin needles directly under the skin in specific locations known as acupuncture points. Acupuncturists believe that when we are healthy, our body is in balance and our natural energies are flowing properly. There are times when the body’s natural flow will be blocked, disrupted, or stagnant, leaving the person susceptible to disease and illness. Acupuncture works by releasing these blockages through acupuncture points to return your body to its natural flow.
Acupuncture is also known to stimulate the body’s self-healing process, which could in turn relieve the muscle tension attributed to TMJ. People with TMJ often clench or grind their jaws without realizing it. Acupuncture treatment can help relax the muscles from their clenched position.
Going Green on the Inside
Wind generators, solar power, geothermal heat, natural cleaning products, organic clothing. There are seemingly endless means by which to shrink your carbon footprint and lessen your impact on the environment.
But while our planet manages to garner heavy doses of TLC, there continues to exist a large dumping ground for dangerous toxins, chemicals, and man-made impurities.
Our bodies are under the influence of more and more artificial products, and their cumulative effect over the past few decades is beginning to show.
Despite significant advances in the healthcare delivery system, obesity rates are skyrocketing, autoimmune diseases are on the rise, and there are more medicinal and surgical procedures being administered than ever before.
Antibiotics continue to be abused, and prescription medications of all sorts are showing up in water supplies across the nation.
While emergency medical care is absolutely essential, continually dispensing medicine for conditions better treated naturally or more conservatively is misguided, and in many cases downright dangerous.
One of the greatest things about acupuncture is that it facilitates healing while preserving the sanctity of the human body and mind. It’s the ultimate green healthcare!
If a body is already ailing, what sense does it make to subject it to an onslaught of dangerous chemicals? It is far more productive to nurture the body by bringing it back into balance naturally and allowing it to rid itself of disease.
But aside from the health advantages of limiting your consumption of drugs, it is simply more efficient to tap into the renewable resources within the body than it is to try to power it from the outside. The body is healed and powered by the meridian system, proper diet and exercise.
As we continue to uncover the long-term effects of medicine and other chemical products, the responsibility falls on us as consumers to be sure that we are making the best decisions for us and for our planet, and it is imperative that our choices regarding healthcare be included in the mix.
Will we continue to make choices that poison our body and the world around us, or will we trust in cleaner, healthier alternatives that support the body’s natural balance?