Teeth grinding

AcuEssence logoI’ve been in practice since 2006 and during that time I’ve see numerous people who grind their teeth in their sleep when they are unaware of it. This may not be the main reason they come to see me it but can lead to problems with their bite, headaches and pain in the jaw.

clenching teethDuring an acupuncture treatment with one patient, prompted by the palpable tension in her jaw I asked whether there was “something she was unable to say?” But she couldn’t recall anything in her everyday life.

As she relaxed into the treatment, it was obvious to me that there was a part of her holding a lot of frustration. It hadn’t been given a voice and was being held behind clenched teeth. During sleep it still wasn’t vocalised but her jaw was grinding as if venting. As the treatment progressed, I gave her frustration a chance to chat, enabling the vexation to be expressed.

Despite not being part of her waking thought patterns, she discovered there were things that she had never said. She was ruminating about them so deeply in the background she could not express them. They were trapped inside and continued going round and round, fueled by anger which had increased with time and withholding.

TeethAfter treatment she was visibly rested, like a weight had been released. It wasn’t necessary to address the person or situation that was implicated. Practically in life it might not be beneficial for everyone involved, or even possible, to confront past miscreants. It was simply enough to discover and vent the source of the tension. I remember when I was eleven years old and suffered with bruxism (teeth grinding), the solution was a sleep time mouth guard. It mitigated damage to my teeth which was important but it was not a solution to the tension. Finding the root of the tension brought lasting resolution.

I’m not presuming that everyone who presents with a tense jaw is withholding anger they haven’t voiced, there are many causes. But if you grind your teeth is there something you need to say? If you need help finding what that might be, I’m available to help – feel free to get in contact.

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