Holistic and alternative treatments such as meditation, aromatherapy, and acupuncture have all become increasingly popular over the last several years. There are myriad reasons for this return to more homeopathic solutions to medical issues, but two of the main causes are the increasing costs of healthcare and the desire for more natural treatment methods. Interested in exploring one such treatment method for your bruxism and teeth grinding episodes? Keep reading this article!
How Does Acupuncture Work?
For those unfamiliar with acupuncture, this treatment works on several different levels and is effective in treating many different health conditions, both physical and mental. The ancient tradition of acupuncture is based on the belief that the body contains an energy life force called Qi, which flows through our bodies through various channels, known as meridians. When these meridians become blocked, the Qi is unable to travel through the body, resulting in illness. Acupuncture works by placing delicate, sterile needles into certain points in the body to help restore the Qi’s flow and restore equilibrium to the body.
Why Use Acupuncture for Bruxism?
Bruxism and teeth grinding are interesting medical conditions in that they have both mental and physical causes: they are often in part caused by anxiety and stress, in addition to the physical action of clenching one’s jaw and grinding one’s teeth. The result is physical pain in the form of headaches and sore jaw muscles, as well as cracked and damaged teeth in more sever cases of bruxism.
Using acupuncture can help treat both causes – the mental and the physical – by working to relax the mind and body while also treating the pain caused by a bruxism episode. By focusing the mind on relaxation, acupuncture can help relieve stress caused by external and internal issues: while your acupuncturist works, clear your mind of any anxieties and stresses you may be facing, concentrating instead on a peaceful image or memory. If you struggle to clear your mind, try focusing on each sense: breathe in deeply to smell the air around you, focus on your skin to feel the different sensations all around you, and look carefully at the image in front of you to see every inch and detail.
Being relaxed can help the acupuncturist treat the physical issues you may be feeling, making it easier to open up your meridians to get the Qi flowing freely again. In addition to helping with the current physical symptoms such as headaches and jaw pain, the relaxation that comes with acupuncture can help to prevent future bruxism episodes altogether. Practice some of the meditation techniques used during your acupuncture session when you wake up to help alleviate any pain caused by grinding your teeth during the night, and try to relax before bed in order to prevent bruxism before it starts!
Are There Any Side Effects to Acupuncture?
The short answer is “No”! One of the great things about holistic and all-natural treatments such as acupuncture is that they will not put strange or harmful chemicals into your body, many of which can cause us to react negatively, thereby causing side effects. As long as your acupuncturist is using sterile needles, there is no risk of any physical or mental side effects when undergoing acupuncture treatment.
You can also continue with other bruxism treatments while getting acupuncture for bruxism, or any other medical condition, such as wearing a mouth guard at night, taking pain medication, or practicing supplementary meditation techniques. Unlike many medicines, acupuncture won’t interfere with other medicines or cause adverse reactions when combined with other treatments. If you have any concerns at all, however, be sure to talk to your regular healthcare professional and divulge and relevant medical records to your acupuncturist.
Like other natural and holistic treatments, acupuncture works with your body, rather than against it, in order to help cure your bruxism and prevent any further teeth grinding. So seek out your local acupuncturist today!