After six years of braces, followed by countless more wearing a retainer at night, I’m no stranger to jaw tension. Sadly, the dull pain didn’t come to an end during my teenage years, thanks to my teeth moving after I bit through my retainers – in hindsight, this should’ve been my first clue that I had jaw problems.

Set on achieving the perfect smile, I began another course of invisible aligners last year. Aside from the normal aches of moving teeth, I assumed that waking up in the mornings with a tense jaw from grinding throughout the night was completely normal.

Meghan Markle© Samir Hussein
Meghan Markle admitted she loved sculpting her face with buccal massages

Just seconds into my meeting with Charlotte Mernier from My Osteo London she had already built up a picture of my problem areas as I prepared to try her signature Buccal Massage, famed for not only relaxing your jaw but also sculpting your face.

“Is this going to feel like another uncomfortable trip to the dentist?” I thought to myself, doubtful that the intra-oral technique would be in any way relaxing. But with A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez and the Duchess of Sussex reportedly fans of the beauty treatment for its lifting and contouring, I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to try it.

Before joining the royal family, Meghan confessed to Birchbox: “I do facial exercises taught to me by one of my favourite aestheticians, Nichola Joss, who basically has you sculpt your face from the inside out. I swear it works, as silly as you may feel. On the days I do it, my cheekbones and jawline are way more sculpted.”

What is a buccal massage?

Not content with simply focusing on vanity, Charlotte wanted a way to address her clients’ jaw clenching, grinding and tension headaches without using painful osteo methods that would deter them from returning in the future. Enter her signature massage. 

During the hour’s session, she finds points of tension in the jaw, ear canals and cheeks, interspersed with gentle facial and massage techniques.

“Being an Osteopath with a jaw specialism for over a decade, I realised that something was missing in terms of treatments for jaw tensions. Suffering from clenching myself, I gathered all the knowledge accumulated through the years to create my dreamy treatment: my signature buccal massage,” explained Charlotte.

When I asked her what kind of benefits clients should expect, she replied: “Reducing jaw tensions, decreasing tension headaches and other TMD symptoms (TemporoMandibular Disorders), reducing puffiness, refining face contour, stimulating cells oxygenation for a healthy glow, as well as Collagen and elastin production.” Sign me up!

Massage therapist in gloves performing a facial buccal massage© Alexeg84
Buccal massages can have aesthetic and medical benefit

Much akin to a pianist, dancing their fingers over the keys, Charlotte’s hands moved at lightning speed across my face, allowing my brain to barely register which muscle she was focusing on before she was gone.

The session started with gentle tapping and massaging, from my decolletage to my shoulders and cheeks. Just as I felt myself settle in for a unique facial, she switched her technique to lymphatic drainage, which she said is the main concern for some of her clients looking for aesthetic rather than medical results. 

Finally, the bit I was most concerned about – the intra-oral massage. Short and sweet, it was a little uncomfortable where Charlotte focused on one side of my cheek (I apparently chew almost entirely on my right side) but the sensation didn’t last long and the result far outweighed any temporary discomfort.

In short, it was a combination of a shoulder and neck massage and a facial with a twist. 

Do buccal massages work?

“Each patient is different and comes with different symptoms,” Charlotte said, but essentially it depends on what results they’re looking for.

Personally, I came out with more knowledge about my poor habits (who knew that chewing gum and biting your nails could have long-term effects?) and far less tension in my jaw. I can’t say my cheekbones were as sculpted as the likes of Meghan Markle, but I did feel generally less puffy. Plus, aesthetics were not my main goal.

How often should you have a buccal massage?

© Alexeg84

“Results depend on a patient’s stress levels and bad habits leading to jaw tension in their daily life.

“My recommendation is to come once per month as maintenance and do the jaw self-massage exercises 3-4 times per week aside to extend the benefits of the treatment,” Charlotte said, adding that many choose to visit more frequently.

How to do DIY buccal massage at home

Not content with only seeing results for weeks after my session, I cheekily asked Charlotte to share some of her expert knowledge so I could try it at home. See her top three secrets if you’re interested in a DIY buccal massage:

First, you need to unclench your teeth, relax your jaw neck and shoulders, and breathe deeply to start releasing your body’s tension. 

Then use a cream and start massaging your masseter muscles. Place your fingertips under the cheekbones and gently massage by doing circular movements for 5 minutes. 

For the buccal massage, wash your hands, place the thumb of your opposite hand inside your mouth and massage from back to front for 10 seconds on each side. 

DISCOVER: Can drinking collagen really help my skin? I tried it for six months


Skincare-and-fragrances/516325/i-tried-inner-facelift-massage-loved-by-meghan-markle-for-jaw-tension/”>Source link