The TMJ vital alignment procedure in Medical Acupuncture

Steven K.H. Aung
Departments of Medicine and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine. University of Alberta, Medical Clinic: 9904 -106 St. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5K 1C4

Epidemiologic research suggests that a substantial minority of the population will experience some signs and symptoms of craniomandibular disorder, and that about 5% of the population is in need of appropriate therapy. The TMJ type of craniomandibular disorder is a complex condition that may be characterized in terms of chronic dysfunction and distress. This paper delineates a viable TCM approach to aligning-and harmonizing-the TMJ.

The approach, which encompasses acupuncture as well as manipulation/massage and features lateral, midline and medial vital energetic alignment techniques, has proven effective in the medical clinic. More specifically, TMJ dysfunction blocks the flow of Qi along the six major vital pathways of Yang energy, namely, the Large Intestine, Small Intestine, Stomach and Gallbladder meridians. Branches of these meridians converge in the retromolar space in front of the ear below the TMJ. The procedure is designed to balance the TMJ by harmonizing the retromolar space. This, after all, is where four Yang meridians (Sanjiao, Small Intestine, Stomach and Gallbladder) converge and it is where these meridians are deeply stimulated by the lateral, midline and medial alignments.