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Personal Story of Living with TMJ: A Journey of Self-Management and Empowerment

Ten years ago, during my pregnancy, I embarked on an unexpected journey with chronic jaw pain. A burning sensation in my right jaw made simple acts like eating, laughing, and talking agonising.

 

The pain intensified over time, disrupting my sleep and daily life. My doctor diagnosed me with TMJ, a condition affecting the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.

 

Understanding TMJ:

TMJ stands for TemporomandibularJoint Disorder, causing pain and difficulty moving the jaw. Various factors can trigger it, including stress, teeth grinding, misalignment, injury, or arthritis.

 

Seeking Relief:

My search for relief took me through various paths. While my prescribed medication for epilepsy wasn't an option due to pregnancy concerns, I explored alternative therapies like acupuncture, naturopathy, osteopathy, orthodontics, and chiropractic care. They offered temporary comfort, but the pain persisted.

 

Discovering Triggers:

Through self-awareness, I noticed stress and excessive sugar intake worsened my TMJ. This motivated me to adopt a natural approach to managing pain without medication.

 

 

My Current Approach:

I actively manage my TMJ through various strategies, including:

 

• Stress reduction techniques: Managing stress plays a crucial role in my well-being.

• Jaw exercises: Specific exercises help improve jaw mobility and alleviate discomfort.

• Nutritional adjustments: I prioritise a healthy diet to reduce inflammation.

• Lifestyle modifications: Identifying and minimisingbehaviours that aggravate my TMJ is key.

• Finding support: Sharing experiences and seeking guidance from others with TMJ helps me feel empowered.


Transforming Challenges into Growth: While options like Botox or surgery exist, I choose to prioritise natural methods due to their lower risk profile. As a Transformational Life Coach specialising in TMJ, I draw on my experience to help others navigate this condition.

 

Empowering Others with TMJ:

Through coaching, I offer personalised guidance and support to individuals with TMJ.

 

This includes:

• Comprehensive education: Understanding TMJ empowers individuals to make informed decisions.

• Symptom management strategies: I share techniques like jaw exercises and stress reduction for self-management.

• Nutritional guidance: I help individuals adopt dietary practices that support healing.

• Behavioural modification: We work together to identify and adjust behaviours that contribute to TMJ.

• Supportive environment: I create a safe space for individuals to express concerns and find support.

• Goal setting: We collaborate on setting achievable goals for symptom management and overall well-being.

 

By partnering with individuals on their TMJ journey, I aim to empower them to take control of their condition, improve their quality of life, and cultivate resilience.


Fatima Lahiani

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