Release Your Tight Jaw & Neck In 6 Feel-Good Steps
Jaw tension is one of the telltale signs of stress. It can come from teeth grinding at night, unconscious clenching during the day, or even simple bad posture. Often jaw tension, when consistent enough, will travel along the neck, too, causing pain, tension, and general discomfort. If this sounds all too familiar, worry not—holistic personal trainer Rebecca Kennedy, who is known for her integrative, recovery-oriented approach to training, shares her pro-tips on how to release neck and jaw tension in this video. Check out the steps below and follow along with Rebecca—the whole sequence takes only a minute!
1. Side head tilt.
Tilting your head to the right, place your right hand on the left side of your head. Press your head up into your hand and your hand down into your head. These movements are gentle but firm. Stay for three to five breaths for all moves in the series unless otherwise noted.
2. Three-quarter head tilt.
From here, roll your head about three-quarters of the way forward and move your hand toward the back of your head. Press your head up into your hand and your hand down into your head. Repeat steps one and two on the other side before moving forward.
3. Backward head tilt.
Lift your chin up to the sky so that your forehead is parallel to the sky and the ground. Place your hand on your forehead and press your forehead into your hand. This time, just use your hand as a boundary—we don't want to injure the neck with too much downward pressure from it. Keep your shoulders away from your ears.
4. Forward head tilt.
Wait a moment for your neck to neutralize before tilting your head forward, tucking your chin. Interlace your hands behind your head and gently move your head from side to side, stretching the back of your neck and skull.
5. Outer jaw pressure points.
Feel free to stay longer than three to five breaths while doing the inner and outer jaw pressure points if that feels good. Start with your head in neutral; gaze is forward. Using your index and middle fingers, travel up the sides of your neck until you reach the jawline, right behind and below your ear. Press into the muscle—it's probably pretty tight, so ease into it and breathe deeply.
Once you're done, open your mouth wide, move your jaw around, and stick out your tongue for a big lion's breath.
6. Inner jaw pressure points.
Now move your fingers up to directly under your cheekbones and mimic the same pressing action. Open your mouth slightly but not too much, and stay here for a few breaths.
Shake it off, move your mouth around, and you should be feeling a whole lot looser!
For more from Rebecca, check out her natural beauty routine.
Lindsay Kellner is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based out of Brooklyn, NY. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and psychology at New York University and earned a 200-hour yoga certification from Sky Ting. She is the co-author of “The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide to Ancient Self Care,” along with mbg’s Sustainability Editor, Emma Loewe.