I have been going for upper body deep tissue massage for years and it has been a tremendous help in loosening muscles in my neck, shoulders, and scapula. When my therapist left last year, I started seeing another woman (Julie) in the practice who happens to specialize in headaches and TMJ. (I was diagnosed many years ago and usually wear a night guard, but only had occasional pain associated with my jaw & some visible clicking on the left side.) I woke up yesterday with incredible pain, clicking, and could not close my mouth all the way. I had a 1 hour massage session scheduled for later in the day so I didn't panic. In the past, Julie had worked on the muscles in the front of my neck & exterior jaw. Interestingly enough, she always finds the masseter on the OPPOSITE side of my click/pain to be more tense.
My daughter also has TMJ & Julie has done jaw adjustments inside her mouth with great results. I agreed to have this last night for the first time. Basically, she uses a gloved hand and presses different points inside my cheek with her finger, while massaging the outside of my jaw with the other hand. Julie prepared me that it wasn't comfortable, but it only lasted 10 seconds. I am sore today, but my jaw is back in with no clicking & I can close my mouth all the way. Yippee! I think anyone who has been contemplating surgery for TMJ should try this first.