Do you have a tight jaw and hip flexors? You have red light reflex going on.
Did you know that the strongest muscle in the body based on its weight is the masseter (jaw muscle)?
With all muscles of the jaw working together it can close the teeth with a force as great as 55 pounds (25 kilograms) on the incisors or 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms) on the molars. Amazing! And no wonder it is so painful when it is locked tight!
TMJ and jaw pain, reflects a deeper reflex pattern called Red Light Reflex (startle reflex) – this autonomic reflex is the deepest innate protection mechanism we have in our bodies – its automatically says “freeze”, to ensure survival and protect our vital organs and life.
It presents as contraction of our flexor muscles (front body, or font line muscles). Red Light reflex occurs in all mammals in response to actual or perceived threat to survival. In today’s society it presents in response to high levels of stress and load and is exacerbated by repetitive and poor movement habits/activities such as texting (clinically termed Text Head Forward Syndrome), too much time at the computer with poor workstation ergonomics, excessive driving, sitting in furniture like the big cushy lazy-boy that force you to round forward.
The jaw pain, TMJ and tension is often accompanied by other reflex indicators.
Do you notice any of these other patterns in your body such as the head sitting forward of the shoulder, rounded shoulders, restricted diaphragmatic breath, overly tight abdominal muscles and hip flexors and a pelvis that is tilted back so that the tailbone is permanently tucked under??
Check in and see if you have one or more of these postural symptoms present.
Using the somatic technique of the pandiculation, you can release the involuntary contraction of the your front body muscles (flexors), restore easeful posture, full diaphragmatic breathing and release that relentless tension and deeper body holding pattern that just so happens to be showing up in your jaw.
Learn more about pandiculations in the learning resources section of this site.