Four years ago, I lost 100% of the hearing in my left ear and began experiencing excruciating ringing, tinnitus, and severe sound distortion. My equilibrium was off and I was dizzy. This is my experience with TMJ dysfunction, hearing loss, and tinnitus and how structural bodywork and a dental device healed me. And how I incorporated bodywork techniques to heal my clients as well.
The TMJ, or temporal mandibular joint, is the joint that moves your jaw, used in talking, chewing, and clenching. Dysfunction in the TMJ affects the entire head, neck, even shoulders. Causing headaches, jaw pain, clenching, tooth pain, and as my experience shows also healing loss and tinnitus.
TMJ Dysfunction, Hearing Loss, and Tinnitus
It came on suddenly. After 24 hours in the ER, numerous MRIs and inner ear steroidal injections I was miserable and terrified, with no answers. And pregnant nonetheless. No one could tell me why it was happening, or if it would ever go away. I couldn’t function, it was pure torture. I couldn’t be around my 3-year old, and the idea of having a newborn in a few months terrified me.
I began putting pieces together. TMJ dysfunction, hearing loss, and tinnitus are all connected. The day before onset of symptoms, I received a massage where I laid on the side of my face. A vivid memory because when I sat up my jaw was locked and painful. This made me suspect me it was muscular and fascial so I made two appointments: a TMJ specialist dentist and a structural bodyworker.
The dentist gave me a device to realign my jaw. I wore it 24/7 and it relieved the pressure, lessening the torture.
The structural bodyworker released muscle tension and fascial adhesions in my jaw, neck, and face. Treating the TMJ dysfunction relieved symptoms.
Setback and another clue
Then I received a massage where the therapist worked briefly but intensely on my jaw. It aggravated my symptoms, when I saw up the hearing loss and tinnitus was twice as bad. It felt like a setback at first, and then it was like a lightbulb went off.
Back to the structural bodyworker to undo that damage done and, combined with the dental device, I slowly improved. My hearing came back to 95% and the ringing, tinnitus, and sound distortion dissipated.
I was left with a fascination with how interconnect the jaw is with the ear canal. How a misaligned jaw can put so much pressure on on the ear canal that one could lose hearing and experience excruciating pain.
My respect for structural bodywork soared, and I was hooked. So freaking cool!!
Now I integrate these structural bodywork techniques into my healing practice. I’m trained in the same structural bodywork techniques that healed me.
Have you struggled with TMJ dysfunction? I’d love to help you heal!