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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Aug 9 2017 08:00AM

Facial therapy expert Veronica Massa shares some thoughts around anxiety and jaw tension and gives some helpful tips to help with this - attend her workshop on 26th August for more info!

Can Anxiety Cause Jaw Tension?

Do you relate to that?

Becoming aware of your body and how it feels, helps connecting with the feelings/emotions that are causing that tension. Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to let them go replacing them with new, positive and expansive one.

Where does it starts with you?

We tighten our jaws when we feel stress or anxiety. It becomes a habit to tighten our jaws, each time we feel emotions or an urge to share something. The jaws can be a major place for physical stress to accumulate. Just as the neck, shoulders and back, the jaws are a hotspot for mental unease to build up.

Why at the jaws?

Because we were told to do so!

“Shut your mouth!”

“Don’t cry, stiff upper lip”

“Don’t answer back, bite your tongue.”

Have you ever been told any of these sentences when you were a child and the years that followed? Probably as we grew up we were told many times to shut our mouth, to swallow our emotions and to tighten our jaws. So, we did and became very good at it…. just hold it in, don’t show your anger, don’t express your feelings. And we bravely keep them inside, attach to them and can’t let them go. We can hide them, but they are still present and active, manifesting through tension, tightness and pain, ultimately holding us back. And every time a situation triggers that feeling, here it comes again, we clench our jaw!

What if, instead of repressing it, denying it and hold it back, we connect deeply to that feeling and accept it as a part of us, we become comfortable with it, we feel it, experience it, see how our body responds to it, and then we come back to our centre, ground with a deep breath and let it go. Doing so we learn to detach and look at things objectively and ultimately let go of those feelings causing the tensions and be pain free.

So when you feel that tension building up and the pain raising, ask yourself:

How am I feeling? What am I feeling?

Which emotion am I hanging on to?

What is it that upset me? And why does it make me feel that way?

Am I feeling upset? Guilty? Fearful? Angry? Anxious? And why?

Which vibration is making me contract those muscles?

Which thought?

Anxiety, what is it?

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Oct 1 2015 08:00AM

Our founder and massage therapist, Jennie Duck, shares the benefits of the collaborative approach at West Norwood Therapies

One of the most valuable aspects of our approach at West Norwood Therapies is our teamwork and skills sharing, which benefits each of us as therapists as well as you as a client.

Each month we get together for a team meeting and dedicate part of this to continued professional development (CPD). We all come from different backgrounds and our treatments vary so it is helpful to understand one another’s approach so we can refer and collaborate more effectively.

Over the summer one of our meetings focussed on migraines and how each of us would approach treatment for clients suffering from persistent migraines. As a massage therapist who combines deep tissue techniques with relaxation, my treatments for migraines sufferers tend to be quite focussed around the head, shoulders and neck, with lots of deep release of muscles and fascia (connective tissue) combined with gentler work around the head to help people let go and release stress.

An osteopathic approach would be more diagnostic, trying to get an understanding of the type of migraine or other headache and what medical or biomechanical contributing factors there are.

And acupuncture has incredible results, particularly when a hormonal link is established (which there often is). Visit our blog at to read more in the blog ‘Migraine on!’ by our acupuncturist, Philippa Summers.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jul 21 2015 08:00AM

Do you suffer from migraines? Did you know that acupuncture can significantly reduce intensity, duration and frequency of migraine attacks with lasting results. It can help to reduce your reliance on medication and may even get rid of them completely.

A course of about 6 weekly acupuncture treatments can reduce the intensity of pain and frequency of attacks dramatically. It has been shown to benefit 80-90% of sufferers with the majority reducing their symptoms by more than 1/3 and with results maintained at a 3 year follow-up in over half the people. In a trial of severely affected people, all of whom had been referred to a neurologist, acupuncture improved their symptoms by almost 60%.

Migraine affects about 20% of the UK population, mostly women, and can have a debilitating effect on quality of life. The medications available often have limited effectiveness and all can give rise to unpleasant side effects, which is just one reason many sufferers turn to acupuncture for help. In one study 75% of patients reduced their drug intake by at least half.

Migraine is a complex constellation of symptoms affecting several body systems and varies enormously from one person to the next. Acupuncture treatments are highly individualised and will be tailored to your particular needs, addressing associated symptoms and triggers as well as the actual migraine symptoms.

Our acupuncturist, Philippa often incorporates some massage to relieve muscle tension that is frequently associated with migraines, as well as looking at lifestyle and dietary issues to get the best possible results.

Philippa is at West Norwood Therapies on Tuesdays and Fridays. See Philippa's profile page for contact details.

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