Use your Masseter: Talk all day long

masseter use

Talk all day long: Masseter Muscle

So far in this series we have covered a ton of bodily muscles but what about the thirty pairs of muscles that cover your head, neck and face? Anyone that knows me knows I love to talk. Let me tell you being in Germany for part of the year when you don’t speak the language is really tough for someone who could talk all day long. (Maybe I just like the sound of my own voice who knows) Either way, one muscle that I exercise/abuse a lot is my Masseter muscle.

 

Talk all day long using your Masseter

 

This is the muscle that helps to elevate the mandible (jaw bone). Just in behind your cheek bones this powerful muscle is hanging out. (Fun side fact: the 2 Masseter muscles together generate enough pressure to bite off a human thumb…. So when someone threatens to bite you…. believe it will hurt) It originates in the zygomatic arch (your cheek bone) and inserts into the angle and ramus of the mandible. Contrary to what you might initially see on cadavers this is actually 2 muscles one lying on top of the other which is why they have 2 insertion points.

Why might we have to pay attention to this small but powerful muscle? Have you ever had your jaw wired shut? I haven’t but I can imagine a poorly functioning (or worse non functioning) Masseter gives you a good idea of how it would feel. You use this muscle for so much! You use it to eat, to talk to grit your teeth when you are made. If you are like some people I know you use it to sooth your OCD and you flex and relax this muscle.

If the Masseter is overworked it can start to clench in your sleep as well. This way you never get a break and eventually that pain will have to transition somewhere.

Luckily! Yoga Tune Up® to the rescue! When you give this muscle a chance to relax it can function more optimally in the future. You know in case you ever need to make good on that promise to bite someone. Or hey if you are ever attacked this mat be a good weapon you have on you at all times!

 

masseter use

 

So how do we do that? Well Jill does an amazing job outlining this in the video below. If you are in a hurry though you can essentially do some contract and relax actions. With a Yoga Tune Up® ball up against a surface ( a wall or a block on the ground works) you can contract the muscle as hard as you can and then allow the ball to sink in further as you relax. Trying to relax a little more every time. Make sure you do both sides so you aren’t all wonky and uneven!

Check out the video here!:

Did you try out the video? Did you feel a huge difference?! I know the first time I did it I was so unaware of the tension I was holding there! Let me know what cool new blind spots you found n your jaw exploration! Leave a comment or connect with me on one of the social media channels in the top right corner!

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April 18, 2016
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