Blog Mental Health Therapy Somatic Exercises Discovering Somatic Jaw Release: Unlocking the Path to Emotional Freedom

Discovering Somatic Jaw Release: Unlocking the Path to Emotional Freedom

Our bodies hold on to more than just physical tension; they store emotions and experiences too. One of the most overlooked areas of our bodies that silently bears the brunt of this stress is the jaw (3, 1). Many of us unknowingly clench our jaws or grind our teeth, whether during the day or while sleeping (a condition that is known as bruxism). 

This habit can be both a physical response to daily pressures and a manifestation of deeper, unresolved emotions and traumas (2). This seemingly small tension can ripple through your well-being, affecting your mood, sleep, and overall health. But did you know that there’s a way to release this tension and the emotions that are tied to it? Enter the transformative practice of somatic jaw release. 

This holistic approach doesn’t just focus on the physical aspects, it also delves into the interconnectedness of the body and mind. By understanding and addressing the emotions that are stored in your jaw, you can unlock deep healing and relief. Whether it’s through simple exercises, mindful awareness, or professional therapy, somatic jaw release offers a pathway to ease jaw tension and help you with emotional release and mental clarity.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to release unresolved emotions from the jaw, understand the emotions that are held there, and delve into somatic release methods. We’ll also provide practical techniques to help you release tight jaw muscles, which will pave the way for a more relaxed and balanced state of physical and mental well-being. 

See also
Somatic Movement: A Journey to Mind-Body Connection

So, let’s embark on this journey of discovery and healing together and learn how to give our hardworking jaws the care and release they deserve.

How to Release Trauma from the Jaw

Releasing trauma from the jaw involves a holistic approach that combines awareness, relaxation, and gentle physical techniques. Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Awareness: The first step is becoming aware of when and why you’re clenching your jaw. This can be triggered by stress, anxiety, or even certain thoughts and memories. Try to notice when you start to feel tension building up.
  2. Breathing: Deep, mindful breathing can help relax the muscles in your jaw. Practice inhaling deeply through your nose, holding for a few seconds, and then exhaling slowly through your mouth. Some breathing techniques you can follow are box breathing or 4-7-8 breathing techniques.
  3. Massage: Gently massaging the jaw area can help release built-up tension. Use your fingers to apply light pressure to your jaw muscles, moving in small circles.
  4. Pandiculation: A ‘yawn’ is a reflexive pandiculation and something we’ve all done countless times (5). Open your mouth wide in a gentle yawn stretch, hold for a few seconds, slowly close to release, then move your jaw side-to-side and in small circles, repeating these movements to relax and release tension in your jaw muscles.
  5. Professional Help: Sometimes, seeing a professional such as a somatic therapist or a massage therapist trained in somatic release techniques can provide more in-depth relief.
See also
The Benefits of Somatic Exercises: Elevate Your Physical and Mental Well-being 

Running a never-ending rat race, shoving trauma further and further away, falling into self-harming thought patterns, living life that’s eclipsed by constant anxiety and fear – this is what an average person goes through every day. Not addressing it will only pull you deeper into a downward spiral. BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app will help you gain a new perspective on life and help you regain that long-lost internal balance!

What Emotion Is Held in the Jaw?

Did you know that emotional state can have a significant impact on jaw health? Emotions are often expressed through our facial expressions and tension can be stored in our facial muscles, including the jaw. Think about the times you’ve been upset or stressed—chances are you might have clenched your jaw or ground your teeth. 

By holding tension in the jaw, your body is essentially “biting back” on emotions that you may not feel ready to express. Research has shown that neuroticism-related traits, which indicate a tendency toward emotional instability and negative emotional states, are linked to self-reported teeth grinding (6). This habit, which is known as bruxism, is often a physical manifestation of deeper emotional issues. Studies have also shown that anxiety and depression can be precursors to bruxism.

See also
Somatic Bodywork: A Path to Unleash Your Inner Strength

But that’s not all—these traits are also associated with other oral complaints that are commonly tied to anxiety. If you’ve ever experienced jaw clicks, difficulty chewing, or a dry mouth, these could be signs that your body is reacting to stress and anxiety (6). 

Understanding this connection can help you address the emotional root causes of your physical tension.

somatic jaw release  

What Does a Somatic Release Feel Like?

Experiencing a somatic release can feel different for everyone, but common sensations include:

Warmth or Tingling: As the tension releases, you may feel warmth or tingling in the area.

Emotional Release: It’s not uncommon to feel a rush of emotions, such as crying or laughing, as the stored tension and emotions are released.

Relaxation: A deep sense of relaxation and relief can follow, often accompanied by a feeling of lightness in the jaw and surrounding areas.

Fatigue: You may also feel tired as your body processes the release. You may experience temporary headaches after a somatic exercise, which could be due to increased blood flow. If your headache persists, you should seek medical attention.

See also
Somatic Workouts: Your Journey to Improve Physical and Mental Well-Being

What Is the Somatic Release Method?

The somatic release method is a therapeutic approach that is focused on releasing stored tension and unresolved emotions from the body. This method integrates techniques such as deep tissue massage, guided breathing, and mindful movement. The goal is to help you connect with your body, understand where you hold stress and emotions, and gently release these stored emotions.

Practitioners of the somatic release method often use a combination of hands-on techniques and guided verbal cues to help clients tune into their bodies. This can involve:

Guided Breathing Exercises: To promote relaxation and increase awareness of body sensations.

Body Scanning: To identify areas of tension and holding patterns.

Manual Therapy: Such as gentle pressure and stretching to release tight muscles and fascia.

Read more: Somatic Healing Techniques: A Holistic Approach to Physical and Emotional Recovery

How to Release Tight Jaw Muscles

In addition to the techniques that have already been mentioned, here’s a somatic jaw exercise you can do at home to release tight jaw muscles:

  • Sit with your back fully supported or lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  • Close your eyes, raise your eyebrows, contract your forehead muscles, and release to a count of eight. Repeat.
  • Squeeze your eyes shut and release to a count of ten. Repeat.
  • Smile widely and release to a count of eight. Repeat.
  • Purse your lips and release to a count of eight. Repeat.
  • Clench your jaw, release to a count of four, and open your jaw slowly to a count of 12. Repeat.
  • Shift your jaw to the right and release to a count of six. Repeat to the left. 
  • Make jaw circles: open your mouth, then move your jaw downward, right, upward, left, and downward again. Repeat and reverse direction. Relax your jaw completely at the end.
See also
Exploring the Transformative Power of Somatic Sexual Therapy

By incorporating this technique into your daily routine, you can gradually release the tension and trauma that are held in your jaw, which will lead to a more relaxed and emotionally balanced state. Remember, the journey to emotional and physical well-being is a personal one, and it’s okay to seek professional help if you need to. Embrace the process and allow your body to guide you toward healing and release.

BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app can help you transmute stress into serenity, pull you up from the doldrums, free your mind from the cares and worries of the world, quell racing thoughts and infuse you with tranquility! Start using it now and change your life!

somatic jaw release  


  • What are physical signs your body is releasing trauma?

When your body is releasing trauma, you may experience physical signs such as: 

  1. Involuntary Movements: These can include shaking, twitching, or tremors as the body releases stored energy.
  2. Temperature Changes: You may feel warmth or coldness spreading through your body.
  3. Deep Sighs or Yawning: These are signs that your body is relaxing and letting go of tension.
  4. Tears or Laughter: Emotional release often accompanies physical release, so don’t be surprised if you cry or laugh spontaneously.
  5. Muscle Relaxation: A noticeable softening of previously tense muscles.
  • Is somatic release real?

Yes, somatic release is a well-recognized therapeutic approach that acknowledges the connection between mind and body. It is supported by both anecdotal evidence and clinical research, showing its effectiveness in helping people process and release stored tension and trauma (4, 7). Many people have found significant relief and emotional healing through somatic practices.

  • How do you do somatic exercises?

Somatic exercises are designed to increase body awareness and release tension. Here are some simple ones you can try:

Body Scan: Lie down comfortably and mentally scan your body from toe to head, noticing areas of tension, without any judgement. Breathe into these areas and imagine the tension melting away.

Grounding Exercises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and gently shift your weight from one foot to the other, feeling the connection between your feet and the ground. Notice any sensations you feel, without any judgement

  • What is somatic stretching?

Somatic stretching involves gentle, mindful stretches that focus on releasing muscle tension and improving body awareness. In contrast to conventional stretching methods that frequently concentrate on specific muscle groups to enhance flexibility, somatic stretching emphasizes slow, deliberate movements and increased internal awareness to help release deeply held tension and trauma.

  • How can you release somatic pain?

To ease somatic pain, taking a holistic approach is key, and making it a part of your daily routine is essential. 

Engaging in somatic exercises such as mindful movement practices, breathing exercises, and somatic therapies such as dance movement therapy or somatic experiencing therapy can work wonders in promoting relaxation and unlocking tension that is stored in your body. 

Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a somatic therapist or a trained mental health practitioner to support you on this journey toward healing and relief.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Changes in Pressure-Pain Thresholds of the Jaw Muscles during a Natural Stressful Condition in a Group of Symptom-Free Subjects (2000,
  2. Craniomandibular pain, oral parafunctions, and psychological stress in a longitudinal case study (2004,
  3. Human masticatory muscle activity and jaw position under experimental stress (2002,
  4. Letting Go with Bodily Awareness and Somatic Movement (2024,
  5. Pandiculation: Movement Medicine (n.d.,
  6. Teeth grinding: Is Emotional Stability related to bruxism? (2010,
  7. The Somatic Dimensions of Emotional Healing (n.d.,
150 million people
have chosen BetterMe

BetterMe created a Better Me

I downloaded this app for the summer 28 day challenge. I completed and then put it to the side but now repurchased for the somatics challenge because I’ve been looking for just that! Thank you!

I am not a person who will do the hard…

I am not a person who will do the hard gym work, and I really need to let go of negative energy, because of that I do gain weight. Im a beginner in somatic trainings and im excited to see the result, I love this app also because all is in one, meal ideas, weight control, listen to the book to focus psychologically on your health, and also intermittent fasting. Thank you🙏🏻

Im one month in on the somatic plan and…

Im one month in on the somatic plan and down 17lbs and 7"off my waist. People keep asking what I'm doing and BetterMe is my answer