I have been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1993 and bringing awareness to and freeing the atlanto-occipital joint (see blog post on AT & Restorative Dance Class 1) is fundamental to understanding an important principle of the Alexander Technique.
I have seen over the years that the mandible or jaw bone is a mirror to the AO joint. What I mean by this is - if the jaw is held with tension, then the neck will also reflect that same pattern. It is common for me to see clients with neck tension that also have issues with TMJ.
The mandible (our jaw) is the largest, strongest and by far the most mobile bone in the cranium, with 16 muscle group attachments and is the most open to psychological input, representing both expression and absorption.
Energetic impact on the mandible:
What have we not spoken? Did you really want to say something and held back?
What have we regretted saying?
Anger and aggression can lock the jaw.
Tenacity – we hang on with our nails and teeth, just grin and bear it.
Suppression of tender emotions
Trauma to the face
Using Restorative Dance & Restorative Movement, guided visualization and subtle movement awareness excercises we can begin to shift patterns of holding and tension around both the atlanto-occipital and the mandible.
Building awareness is key to making changes!