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Jaw Massage: An Extra Tool in Your Bodywork Toolbox

Jaw MassageScott Kellsey returns to VSOHA this March for a new course offering: TMJ (Jaw) Massage. This 16-hour course is recommended to practitioners who are looking to deepen their understanding of the biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint (jaw), the surrounding musculature, and treatment strategies for common TMJ related issues.

Scott, a registered massage therapist and osteopath, originally trained in massage therapy in 2011.

“I worked with a lot of people who had headaches and migraines,” says Scott, “and they often mentioned clenching their jaws at night or were wearing splints and braces. That was when I got into jaw work.”

Scott spoke to colleagues and physiotherapists, then took a jaw course and applied his research to his own practice. In 2017, he became a manual osteopath. He has taught anatomy and deep tissue techniques at VSOHA and is very interested in helping others through movement therapy.

What can students expect from the TMJ Massage course?

Scott Kellsey Bodywork Massage Faculty

“The first part of the day will be an anatomy review where we look at the muscles and structure. We’ll look at hands-on external jaw work with the cheeks, chin, and mouth, as well as somefascial techniques for the scalp. In the afternoon, we’ll look at how to work these muscles intraorally by putting gloves on and putting fingers in the mouth for a few techniques. I’d like everyone to have the experience of doing it to others or to themselves.”

Scott hopes to empower students with the confidence to know when intraoral or external work is needed. “If your clients clench their teeth or get migraines, this is an extra tool in your toolbox. It’s unique, and you can stand out when you’re working with pain, because not a lot of people offer TMJ and jaw services.”

“I had a client who thought she had a cavity, but her teeth were great. Her dentist noticed she had trouble opening her jaw and recommended she see someone who specialized in jaw work. There are muscles in the jaw that refer pain directly into the tooth. Sure enough, we worked through it together.”

Students are encouraged to prepare for the course. “If they want to, they can crack open their textbooks and look at the muscles of the jaw so that the terms are not unfamiliar. That will help,” says Scott.

Scott believes very strongly in his work and loves being able to pass on the knowledge. “I love seeing students when their eyes light up, or when they come back and say I worked through something with a client. To me that’s the most fulfilling thing there is.”

The TMJ (Jaw) Massage course runs March 9 – 10, 2019. For more information on the course, including tuition and times, visit our course information page.