“Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.” ~ Proverbs 12:25
This week I had the opportunity to go to my first biofeedback appointment. Most people I tell that to respond with a blank look, so I’ll attempt to explain.
Biofeedback is a basically a form of intervention when the body has learned to do something incorrectly. Through Electroencephalograph (EEG) and other monitors, a biofeedback specialist can help you adjust things you may be doing unconsciously.
In my case, I grind my teeth and clench my jaw in my sleep so hard that I often wake up with a sore jaw and a headache. I’ve shifted my teeth and, according to my dentist, have ground my teeth together so hard over the years that the rocking motion has actually caused my gums to recede slightly. Crazy, right?
What I learned at my appointment on Wednesday is that I don’t just clench my jaw at night – I actually tense my teeth together all day long. During the monitoring that took place at the appointment, I discovered that when I am absolutely relaxed, my jaw only relaxes to the point where other people’s jaws are normally. So however relaxed your jaw is right now, reading this blog post, is the most relaxed my jaw gets – ever.
What the appointment helped me take was the first step in teaching those muscles in my jaw, face and head to relax. I have to work to stretch them out so that eventually my jaw will learn to relax and the clenching at night will decrease. And while this may sound like a lot of work (the specialist told me it could take up to a year to master), it’s worth it to me.
Her words were encouraging, because they gave me tools to manage my stress – and in doing so reduce the painful results. Seeking help for something that is bothering you can have this kind of effect. I think too often we refrain, thinking we should be able to take care of it on our own. But always remember – there are lots of people out there who are willing to help, whatever it is you need!