While in Asheville I took full advantage of the many spa and wellness offerings in town. One commonality among towns near an energy vortex: lots of alternative therapy options, and providers who are skilled at their craft. I was on a mission to relieve my TMJ that was becoming gnarly… in a very bad way. Crackling during stretch sessions, painful where it felt like a rubber band ready to snap. Really, really nasty.
I clench in my sleep, while I’m focused on work, when I’m anxious or stressed. My jaw seems to be where all of my body’s tension is held and I’m always looking for a release. Back in August, Audrey pointed out inflammation in my left jaw where most of the crackling was occurring. Coincidentally I break out often enough in the exact area (where your jaw hinges), never thinking to connect the two. Occasionally I’ll take Kava Kava before bed, and it works wonders, but it’s not exactly healthy for your liver. Every morning I stretch my neck and jaw, sometimes pressure points inside my mouth with successful relief but nowhere near 100%.
A month or so after seeing Audrey my TMJ intensified, and I just lived with it until it began causing headaches. The weeks leading up to my appointment at Still Point I had a massage focusing on my jaw and neck and realigned everything with my chiropractor. While both made a significant difference I was still hurting and feeling desperate. It was basically prep for my grand finale treatment.
I found Robin and Still Point Wellness after talking with a friend about acupuncture for TMJ that lead to a discussion on cranial sacral therapy. In her circle, Robin is known for being an expert at her craft, no sales pitch needed here!
At this point, you’re probably wondering… W.T.H. is cranial sacral?
It’s basically the most gentle massage you’ll ever receive. The technique decompresses bones in your head, spine, and sacrum and focuses on improving the body’s structure system, specifically the nervous system. This video does a great job of explaining cranial sacral with visuals. The touch is light, so light that even though I knew what to expect I couldn’t help but think “seriously, this is it?” But it works wonders for relieving pain and stress!
Robin used guided meditation to help me focus on relaxing. I hate meditation and being in my own head! Legit makes me incredibly uncomfortable, so imagine how much worse it felt with someone making me do it. I had to physically force myself to focus on meditating and allow myself to turn off. You know, let the woman do her damn job instead of working against the process.
The gentle touch started at the chest bone, up my neck to the base of my skull, and to my jawline. With delicate precision, Robin made adjustments so small that most of the time I didn’t feel a thing. Once she made her way to the areas most affected with pain I did feel immediate shifts and relief, particularly with work done inside my mouth. Yes, in my mouth and it was the best part of the treatment! Pressure on the roof of my mouth, teeth and under my tongue gave the most satisfying relief… the relief I had been obsessing over.
After the 90 minute treatment, I was relaxed and waited a few hours before making a judgment call on whether or not there was a significant change. And you guys, IT DID. I felt more relief than I had in months, no more pain! Now I’m in a maintenance mode of sorts with daily stretches that help keep my jaw pain away. I’d say this visit was a success!