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Jaw & Face Relaxation Techniques

Hey, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about how to relax your face. So if we’re stressed, either with being back to school or just that’s our constant state of operating, we carry a lot of tension in our jaw and our face.  And often, we don’t even realize it.

So today, I want to talk about how we can take a minute to do a check-in and help relax things if they are holding a little tension.

So there are a couple of important muscles around the jaw. One is the masseter. This is a chewing muscle. If you take the line of where your mouth is, and travel back towards your jaw, that’s your masseter. So you can give that a little massage. You can also do what’s called a face pull or a face drag. Just start at the top, gently apply some pressure and drag the face, skin/muscles down. So that’s masseter.

Another chewing muscle is temporalis. If you start at level of your eyes and go back towards your ear. That’s going to be where temporalis lives. And if you rub that muscle, it can be a little bit tender too. So you can just do a little self massage or do a lift up. That can feel really nice for that muscle. Drag down for masseter and lift up for temporalis. So just doing a little relaxation of the muscles around the face.

Another thing that can come in handy is a resting position for your jaw. So if you’re like me, and you clench your jaw when you’re stressed, taking a moment to check in to see where you’re holding your jaw can be helpful. 

A nice resting position is if you take your tongue and put it above the top of your front teeth. And we are talking on the backside towards the bottom of your gums. Where your gums meet the top row of teeth, there’s a little ridge on your gums. Just rest your tongue there. And it helps put your jaw in a relaxed position for you. 

And then finally, if you are clenching your teeth or feeling a bit stressed, I find that I kind of jut my head out. That can start to tighten up your suboccipital muscles which live right where your head connects to your neck. And those can feel really nice if you can give those a little massage too. You can do it yourself just with your fingers. Or you can also take a lacrosse ball and just hold it there and lie on the floor and roll across that area. That can feel really nice.

So face muscle massage, make sure that you’re not clenching your jaw, and instead put your tongue in that resting position behind your top row teeth. And then getting suboccipital muscles to relax a little bit.

So if you’re feeling stressed and your face is showing it give those a try and let us know what you think.

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Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.