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Taking Control of TMJ: Your Total Wellness Program for Recovering from Tempromandibular Joint Pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia, and Related Disorders

Editorial Reviews

Book Info
(New Harbinger Publications) Author is in private practice in northern Minnesota. Discusses TMJ and how to understand the pain, relieve its symptoms, prevent its recurrence, and avoid unnecessary surgery. Explores the connection between TMJ, fibromyalgia, and whiplash. For consumers. Softcover.

Book Description
From the publisher of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome (over 100,000 copies sold) comes this indispensable guide for TMJ (temporomandibular joint pain) sufferers and their caregivers. With a comprehensive study of symptoms - from locked jaws, severe headaches, and joint pain to nausea, dizziness, and even loss of hearing - this book is a must for people who want to take an active role in their healing.

Customer Reviews:

Thank you for writing this Book!, March 12, 2001
Reviewer: cherith (Portland)
I was diagnosed with TMJ many years ago. For the past year I have been battling with numb fingers. After many tests, much time, and a lot of money - an accidental visit to my dentist helped to show TMJ was affecting my fingers. I had never heard of that happening. This book not only lists every possible symptom, but exercises that are extremely helpful.

After reading the book for about 15 minutes, I tried the first exercise. My jaw felt immediate relief. I am very grateful for this book. It will certainly help in relieving pain and discomfort.

This is a well written, concise guide for TMJ sufferers., July 20, 1999
Reviewer: A reader (Aitkin, MN USA)
Dr. Uppgaard has given us a blueprint for the conservative treatment of TMD and related conditions. I give this book to all of my TMD patients.


"Do it Yourself" help for the desperate, April 15, 2004
Reviewer: A reader (Atlanta, GA)
I had never heard of TMJ until late February 04.

After years of predictable middle America life, things went crazy for me in 2003. Both my parents died after long painful illnesses (where I was the care giver), my company hired a hatchet man to reduce costs, and he outsourced all our jobs to India (George Bush thinks this is a good thing? That shows how out of touch he is with the actual working class in this country!), my daughter was in a car accident, my husband needed knee surgery, and my dog died! (I know that in retrospect, it all starts to make me want to laugh, just the sheer negativity of it all). Evidently, I began clenching and grinding my teeth, so my dentist gave me a mouth guard.

Ironically, this CAUSED TMJ symptoms! A week after using the mouth guard, my jaw began to pop. To her credit, my dentist determined this was caused by an improperly designed mouth guard so we agreed I would stop using it. However, symptoms escalated (even without the mouth guard) to jaw pain, popping and tension that did not allow me to eat anything more solid than oatmeal!
I could only open my mouth the width of 1 finger.

My local doctor knew nothing about TMJ. At this point, my dentist also washed her hands of the situation and said she referred such cases to a specialist. The problem for me is that I was in transition, moving from one part of the USA to another area almost 1000 miles away. I did not have time to establish a relationship with a TMJ specialist in my old neighborhood. I felt totally on my own! As those with TMJ know, 1 day can seem like an eternity in such a case.

So what does the modern person do in such cases? If they are like me, they surf the internet for help! I came to and searched for books on TMJ, and found this book. Upon receipt, I read the doctor's holistic approach (including general body muscle releasing exercises, e.g., I am doing Yoga each day via a video tape by Peggy Cappy). Perhaps more importantly, I did the deceptively simple exercises at least twice a day, and made part of my ongoing life his directive on letting the tongue help me establish a new habit to break the clenching/grinding insanity that probably precipitated TMJ.

Results? I still have to be wary of not abusing my jaw. I no longer eat nuts, hard pretzyls, hard candies, or even steak. However, I am able to eat normal food again without experiencing pain or popping. I can open my mouth up to 3 fingers in width (which the doctor considers the norm). I do the doctor's exercises every single day, even if my jaw feels normal. I apply a heat pad 2 times a day. I am more conscious of my body's stress reactions, e.g., on days when a part of me is frightened or tense (now living in a totally new city with a new climate), I know I must be more kind to my jaw and not over tax it.

Will I have to live with TMJ forever? Perhaps...but what I hope to achieve is a benign relationship. Right now most of the symptoms are gone, and so our relationship consists of me continuing with the preventive exercises in the doctor's book and being aware of my stress level and what I am sticking in my mouth!

Buy the book. You cannot fail for the price.

Good information about TMJ, October 2, 2002
Reviewer: olas (Costa Rica)
This book contains information about the disorder, causes, anatomy, precipitating factors, exercises, and splints.

a non-invasive cure, April 10, 2002
Reviewer: A reader (Pine River, MN)
This book offers a simple, non-invasive cure to a miserable problem that is poorly understood or treated. I had chronic jaw pain for over a year when I happened to meet Dr. Uppgaard at a holiday party. During our conversation the topic of TMJ came up and I learned that he had a book out on the subject. Within days of doing the simple exercises, my pain began to diminish, and was completely gone in about two weeks. Now it only returns during times of stress, and by doing these exercises again for a few days, it disappears. After all that time of being in pain, who could imagine that the solution could be so simple! This book is certainly an important "first try" before doing something like surgery which can makes the problem worse. THANK YOU, DR. BOB!

TMJ and Vision, August 26, 2001
Reviewer: A reader (SK Canada)
I came upon this book in a very roundabout way ---- during the process of improving my vision by natural means of all things. What could eyesight and the TMJ possibly have in common? In my case, a great deal I was to discover. When I first started improving my vision naturally, I thought it was only about the eyes and did not appreciate the whole health aspect. I was in for many surprises and some confusion when I eventually began having referred pain and sensations in areas seemingly unconnected to the eyes. It didn't initially dawn on me that there was any relationship between these symptoms and my improving eyesight. Then I began to wonder, could there be a connection? I studied several books on natural vision improvement (Relearning to See --- RTS for short - and Better Eyesight are highly recommended) which made reference to blurred vision causing tight muscles and problems in many other areas of the body. Muscle groups affected can include such areas as the neck, shoulders, jaw, ears, cheeks and forehead. It soon became abundantly obvious that the symptoms I had been experiencing fit the reversal pattern of holistic healing. Suggestions were made in the RTS book to try some holistic healing treatments in conjunction with relearning the proper vision habits. One of several mentioned was TMJ treatment, yet the term had no significance to me at the time. Because of my neck and shoulder stiffness and pains, I opted for massage therapy sessions and obtained significant tension releases which the therapist also noticed. It turned out that the type of massage was myofascial release. I was intrigued to learn more on the Internet when I got home. The many website results that came up in my search about myofascial release were in relation to TMJ disorders. There was that term again. Bingo! It was like a piece of a puzzle falling into place. I chose to buy Dr. Uppgaard's book to find out more. I was amazed to read so many parallels and similar topics in Dr. Uppgaard's book and the RTS book. Both authors discuss such subjects as the impact of mental stress, neck and shoulder problems, the ears and hearing, dizziness, proper breathing, referred pain, the importance of good posture and the benefits of holistic healing treatments. But what really jumped off the pages in Dr. Uppgaard's book were references to certain neck muscles that, if tense, could cause "visual disturbances and blurring of vision". The RTS book states that "the neck is tight for all people who have blurred vision." The sternocleidomastoid muscle described on page 50 of Dr. Uppgaard's book has had such a strong connection with my improving vision. I've gotten to the stage where I can massage areas in this muscle to release tension (trigger points as discussed in his book) and cause spasm-like sensations in and around my eyes, ears, jaw and cheeks. Looking back many years ago, I believe now that my dentist had at one time suspected a TMJ disorder. I recall him checking the TMJ on both sides and asking some questions. Based on my responses, I guess I didn't fit into the slot of standard symptoms for which he was trained to assess, because nothing further was suggested. Yet when I got Dr. Uppgaard's book, I checked off so many symptoms, presumably lesser known to many and unknown to most. What started as a goal of keener eyesight has ultimately led to improved overall health. I applaud Dr. Uppgaard for going "outside the box" of conventional medical views. His book has been a very educational and helpful resource along my journey of natural vision improvement and total wellness.