Intra Oral Massage Dos, Don’ts, Dosage

Do you massage your own tongue, masseter, or pterygoid to relieve jaw pain or to alleviate vocal tension? Yes? This video is for you then.

In this video, Voice Physio, Selina, talks about the Dos, Don’ts, and most importantly, Dosage for D.I.Y. Intra Oral Massage.

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’Til next time, Be Free In Your Movement™.

B. Phty
This information is not medical advice. Got health concerns? Consult a real-life health professional.
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Listen very carefully. No one should be doing their intra oral massage every single day.

There are many internet videos teaching people how to massage inside their own mouth, but no one talks about the do’s, the don’ts, and most importantly, the dosage!

My name is Selina, I’m a physiotherapist. I’m qualified to treat inside the mouth and I have a few tips for you today.

Massaging inside the mouth or intra oral massage is very popular amongst singers and those who have jaw issues. The muscles commonly targeted are the masseters, the pterygoids, and the tongue. 

These techniques are valid, they can be very useful, but they’re not without risk, so today I have two do’s and two don’ts for you, and then we’ll talk about dosage. Ready?

The first do is simple. Do wash your hands before you put them inside your mouth, it’s a basic hygiene measure.

Number two. Do cut your nails. Nails and manual therapy are simply not compatible, it hurts, it scratches, it can easily irritate outside tough skin, let alone the more sensitive lining inside the mouth.

The first don’t is an extension of my previous point. Long nails. If you have long acrylic nails or natural nails that you like to have them long and don’t want to cut, that’s totally okay but it does mean that intra oral work is not compatible with you.

Not only because of the pain and scratch factor we just talked about, when you have an extra centimetre or two of nails, you really can’t fit it in to get it to where you need to get to to be effective.

Plus with that nail there it takes away a lot of the function of your hand, especially this, the ability to be able to grip like this is very important to doing manual therapy.

When you can’t do that you can only really grip this way, this is not a strong grip, it’s very tiring for your hand muscle so it makes no sense when you’re trying to give yourself some relief in one area only to give yourself a new problem in another area.

The second don’t is for ulcers, sensitive or sore gums, and dry mouth. If you are experiencing any one of these, it is not the time to go poking inside your mouth.

If my patient tells me they have one of these things going on, it is an automatic no to any intra oral work that day. Again we are trying to get relief and putting yourself through some unnecessary discomfort is not the way to get it.

Next we have dosage. How often should you be doing your own intra oral massage?

Listen very carefully. No one should be doing their intra oral massage every single day, and especially not multiple times every single day. I will say that again. You should not be massaging inside your mouth every single day, definitely not multiple times every single day.

Remember, as nice and as effective as it appears, it is an intervention and too much of a good thing can bruise, can irritate, and can sensitise the area, all undesirable.

If you are experiencing some undue muscle tension and you want to use these technique to help you get back down to your baseline, it is reasonable to massage once a day for three days and then leave it, or you could do once every three days, so twice a week and then leave it.

After about a week, week and a half, if you haven’t brought yourself back down to your baseline it really is time to check in with your health professional and get the professional support that you need.

If you are using this as a maintenance then it is reasonable to do it once every two to four weeks.

Now bonus tip for you. None of these muscle need a lot of time, you should not be spending minutes massaging and massaging and massaging. 20 seconds 30 seconds per muscle should be all it takes, you may need to repeat once but that’s it.

And that is why I do encourage my patients to do it in the shower, it is a practical place to do intra oral massage, plus because we don’t want to be wasting water, it really helps you not to overdo things.

And if you are not getting the result you think you should be getting, you know what that means right? That’s it, go see your health professional and get the help that you need.

Until then check out this playlist, I think you’ll like it. ‘Til next time, Be Free In Your Movement.™

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