How to release tension in the jaw

By Cathy Sobocan, M.A.

Jaw tension is very common. And when the jaw fails to move freely, it can result in voice issues such as mumbling, speaking too quickly, and a voice that doesn’t sound very confident and inviting.

The masseter muscle is the key muscle that moves the jaw upward and it’s the muscle where we often hold tension.

If we take the time to do a few simple jaw release exercises during the day, we’ll feel better, breathe better and speak better. With practice, we can learn how to release tension in the jaw.

There are many exercises to help release tension in the jaw, and I’ll share just one of them with you.

How to release tension in the jaw

  1. Place your hands gently along both sides of the jawbone. It’s a large bone that includes the bone in the top of your cheeks, and runs all the way down the sides of the face to the bottom of the chin.
  1. With your hands along the sides of your jawbone, allow your mouth to open. Don’t force it.
  1. Pay attention to how that feels. Can you feel any muscles release that are attached to the jaw?
  1. Leave the hands on the jawbone with the mouth slightly open. And observe where you feel breath. Do you feel breath in your belly? Do you feel breath in your low back? Do you feel any breath along the sides? Don’t force any breath in just feel where breath is.
  1. Imagine on the floor there is a bowl that collects tension. (Or use an actual bowl).
  1. Slide your hands gently along your jawbone, and with your hands throw the tension into the bowl.
  2. Have a gentle sigh of relief.