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Help! Teeth pain, tongue tension

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by banjoman, Apr 11, 2023.

  1. banjoman

    banjoman Peer Supporter

    Has anyone experienced having a very tense tongue and pressing it against their teeth? My teeth are aching.
    I know it’s tension, right?! And I’m aware of several pressure points in my life that are causing the mental tension but as it lingers now for about 8 weeks I’m hoping for some experience of other folks relieving this issue. Just to keep my mind in a hopeful place as I slowly work on the life crap that’s driving it and the very slow and gradual process it dialling back my stress/freeze response

    chewing gum as a distraction fyi

  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    LOL, @banjoman, doesn't your own description answer your question?

    One of the most basic instructions in yoga and meditation practices is to relax the throat, jaw, facial muscles and tongue. The whole premise of so-called "Body Scan" meditations is becoming mindful of the tension we naturally carry in our muscles, and to become skilled at being able to relax every muscle in the body.

    Many people are body-unaware and don't have a clue how to accomplish this. I have been pretty skilled at this for decades, but that's probably a function of being raised in a physically active family by parents who actually understood the relaxing benefits of simple deep breathing. I can't describe this skill in writing, but the right therapeutic bodyworker could help you develop it. You should also check out Herbert Benson MD who came up with the term "the relaxation response" - I can't remember the first time I heard about him, but he was still lecturing in 2010 according to this short and comprehensive article with lots of links: Using the relaxation response to reduce stress - Harvard Health.

    A skilled bodyworker could be a massage therapist, physical therapist, perhaps an acupuncturist - basically any hands-on professional who can specifically help you learn how to feel your body and visualize it into relaxing.
  3. banjoman

    banjoman Peer Supporter

    Thanks @JanAtheCPA its a funny one. I know the TMS routine so well and in a lot of ways I’ve had a string of equivalents over the last few years between Covid world and a huge career change that I don’t want. I know this is TMS essentially but as I can actively move my tongue it’s hard to connect up the dots the same was as I can with say hip pain or back pain. I know they’re TMS because the source is truly unconscious. But I can move my tongue! So it feels like I’m doing it or that it’s my fault. And that’s probably the most telling statement. It’s my fault. Because the tension is all about me not doing enough, not being good enough and heaping pressure on myself to do and be more. It’s my fault.
    And being stuck in freeze mode. It’s so obvious!! Bracing against, using my tongue. Not speaking out. Freezing due to overwhelm and fear. Terrified of rejection. The child inside frozen, scared, angry, unheard, pressured, unloved. That’s actually a concise history of my childhood.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hope that others who have done inner child work will offer recommendations, @banjoman!

    Now, I assume that your repetition of "it's my fault" is because you fully recognize that this is where your negative fearful brain is leading you, right? If you've never engaged in a practice of self-compassion, do a search for "meditations for self-compassion" and/or Kristin Neff, PhD, the reigning "queen" of self-compassion. Brene Brown and Sharon Salzburg are also great on this topic, and of course everyone's got a web site these days, which almost always offer at least one or two free resources including meditations.

    Also, if you suffered childhood adversity, it might be useful to answer the ACEs questions so you can get a good look at what you're dealing with (and of course read the accompanying information: https://www.npr.org/sections/health...e-quiz-and-learn-what-it-does-and-doesnt-mean
    banjoman likes this.
  5. banjoman

    banjoman Peer Supporter

    i score kinda high on Ace

    Good suggestions and reminders to revisit self compassion

    thank you x
    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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