Acupuncture for TMJ - Treatment Protocols

General Approaches

Acupuncture For Tmj - Treatment Protocols

Acupuncture treatment protocols are generally directed towards the deeper root of a persons set of health issues, not at each individual issue. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, treatment is generally directed towards the individuals diagnostic pattern(s) and their primary issue is only a part of the information required to approach the correct patterns to treat (see "treating the cause vs. the symptoms" for an introduction to this process.).

In designing an acupuncture protocol for temporomandibular joint disorder (tmj), one might find one or a combination of the following patterns: liver qi stagnation among many other possibilities and possible combinations.

Below you will find some of the more common tcm diagnoses and acupuncture treatment protocols for TMJ and related temporomandibular disorders. There are many ways to approach the treatment of this condition within TCM. Our presentation describes foundational approaches that would need to be further tailored in most cases to be effective for a given individual.

  • Etiology & Pathology:
    • Can be a local problem from trauma, arthritis in the joint, lots of dental work (from keeping mouth open), stress related tension (usually presents with Bruxism)
    • Tension in the occipital/atlas, upper cervical area can lead to TMJ
    • TH, SI, GB & ST Channels involved
  • Treatment Points:
    • Local Points:
    • Distal Points:
      • LI 4 - command face/jaw
      • TH 5 & GB 41 - Master/Couple of the Yang Wei Mai, moves Qi in the ear araa
      • SI 3 or SI 1 - secondary
      • If constrained LV Qi (emotional causes):
        LV 3, LI 4 - four gates & GB 34 - supplements LV 3

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were consulted within this section:

  • St. John, Meredith: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes
  • Valaskatgis, Peter: New England School of Acupuncture, Etiology and Pathology Lecture Notes

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