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June 9, 2008

Questions From Readers (Oromandibular dystonia)

A reader writes to ask:

I want to know, can Oromandibular dystonia be cured with massage therapy. Or even the situation can improve for the problems like eating?

My reply:

Thank you for writing to me. I have only limited experience with dystonias, so I will tell you what I know. The variety of dystonia I have worked with is laryngeal dystonia which affected my clients' speech. The onset was late in life and may have had a genetic link. Massage seemed to ease the symptoms temporarily. This client also did extensive home care with self-acupressure and vitamin supplements. Despite our work, their condition continued to progress, but slowly. Stress exacerbated the symptoms.

I can only imagine if you, a loved one, or a client has Oromandibular dystonia that it must be very stressful, especially at meal time, as swallowing can be difficult. You may want to try relaxation and biofeedback techniques to see if this situation can improve. Patience is paramount (which I can imagine is difficult when very hungry) to prevent choking.

One interesting phenomena that my client and and I observed is there were points on either side of the spine down around the 6th ribs--whenever we pressed and held those acupoints, their dystonia abated significantly. Every person is different, so it may be worth exploring various points up and down the spine to see if that happens for you. I wondered if having a Tens unit or E-stim attached to stimulate those points would have helped them get through their day with the use of their voice.

That's all I have for you. I hope you find this information helpful. If you find that acupressure is helpful, you may want to consider finding a good acupuncturist to help you open up those points. Best of luck to you.

Posted by linda at June 9, 2008 8:48 AM

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