Do you have jaw tension? Here’s what it could mean…
TMJ or chronic jaw tensing/tension is a really common issue with my clients.
Physical reasons may include tension in the muscles at the top of the neck/base of the skull, stickiness in the small intestine/stomach, as well as tense jaw muscles.
Of course, there are emotional reasons as well.
Today I wanted to share what clients bodies usually say when we ask about the emotional reason the jaw is tight.
My clients’ bodies have said:
The jaw is held together when it doesn’t feel safe to fully and genuinely be themselves.
When there’s a fear of rejection or abandonment, or loss of community, because somewhere along the way the person in that body learned that they weren’t acceptable.
Sometimes it’s that they’re too weird, or too much, or too honest/direct (which unfortunately comes across as bitchy because of who’s saying it).
Essentially, there’s a belief that they can’t show up as their true/full/whole self, because if they do they’ll lose everything.
The jaw is held together tightly, to not let anything out by accident, to make sure that their true self, the part that might mean they get rejected or excluded, doesn’t come out.
Here’s the thing:
This is usually UNCONSCIOUS – on a conscious level, the person is fully trying to express and embody their true self and all of them. They aren’t consciously editing themselves.
But because this was an old belief, formed a long time ago, that lives in the body, it’s a program running in the background.
And the problem with background programs is that if you’re not aware of them, you can’t do anything about them.
Usually, once the body communicates this to us, there IS a recognition from the person – like ‘oh, yeah, actually, that does resonate – I just didn’t realise it was still there as I thought I’d worked through it’.
These are people whose livelihoods rely on their audience, their network, their community.
And these are people who are truly, deeply confident and strong and intelligent.
But these old stories, from childhood or previous life experience,
Where we were taught that we were too different, too loud, too much,
That we ended up putting so much time and energy in learning how to be normal, how to express ourselves honestly and authentically –
But not so much that we alienate people or end up alone,
That’s all become a part of the body we exist in, deep down carrying the belief that, actually, our full self isn’t acceptable.
When we show up, our body tenses our jaw, to make sure that the ‘wrong’ part of us doesn’t come out.
Do you tense your jaw?
If you do, it might be worth taking a minute to connect into your body (as long as it feels safe to do so, of course), and see if THIS reason resonates to it at all.
I’d love to know if it does – or if you have any questions about this let me know below!