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36 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 9 education PATHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES Temporomandibular Joint Disorders Biting Off More Than We Can Chew By Ruth Werner Do you have TMJ? I will answer that question: you do. In fact, you have two of them: a left one and a right one. TMJ, of course, refers to the temporomandibular joint. TMD is the label for temporomandibular joint disorders—and that is the focus of our discussion here. Before we begin, I want to offer my profound thanks to my friend Sherri F., who shared some of her experiences as I prepared this article, and also with the numerous teachers and practitioners who generously shared their insights. YOUR JAW-DROPPING TMJs Your temporomandibular joints are amazing! They allow movement in several planes, including up and down (elevation and depression), forward and back (protraction and retraction), side to side, and all directions together. Even more amazing, they do all those actions twice at the same time—it is impossible to move one TMJ without moving the other.

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