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How to Give a Shiatsu Jaw Massage

Learn how to give a shiatsu jaw massage from shiatsu practitioner Shandoah Goldman in this Howcast video.


So the jaw is one of the strongest muscles in the body and it's a place that we often hold tension and stress or clench while we're sleeping. So to release the jaw, I'm just going to take her head and rotate it gently to the side so that my bottom hand is really supporting the weight of the skull and then exposed here I have the full jaw surface.

So, to start I'm going to put my thumb right into that hinge and this can be a really sensitive place if someone holds a lot of tension in their jaw, which a lot of us do. So I might tell my receiver to take a nice deep breath in and then as she exhales I'm just going to keep my thumb right into that jaw hinge and apply some pressure, pretty firm pressure. And then some circles.

Another thing I love to do for the jaw is I like to make my hand like a fan where, from my wrist out to the pinky is the base of one side of the fan and from my wrist out to the thumb is the other. This sort of mirrors the bottom jaw hinge and the top. Then I trace that along the jaw and the top of the skull. This really gives a nice sense of spreading the jaw down so the chin can move down towards the chest and the hinge can open a little bit.

I'm just holding that nice firm pressure there. I'm going to rotate the skull back towards center and place both of my palms on either side of the jaw and just do some pretty firm circular motion. So, I'm moving my own body, as you can see; little bit forward and then back. Rather than just using my hands, it's really important that I use my full weight. The receiver will feel the difference if I'm using my body weight as I go along here. So that it's not so mechanical but there's actually a flow from my body into hers as I release the jaw. So after some circles, again just holding and letting the heat from the hands melt all of that jaw tension.

And another thing that I like to do is just encourage the chin to drop a little bit. So I'm just going to place my thumb right on the chin and I'm not really pressing, I'm just allowing the weight of my thumb to encourage that to release right in here. Good. All right. So those are some great techniques for releasing tension held in the jaw. It's a great way before you go to sleep, even if you're just laying down yourself, to think about opening that jaw hinge, so preventing clenching during the night or accumulated tension during the day.

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