The first meeting I had I played my horn for my acupuncturist, and (forgive me for forgetting the correct terminology) she said the type of movement in my face is sometimes referred to as windy or winding or wind. She also noticed how the right side of my face is more tense than my left. My muscles on the right side were especially tight around my jaw and pulling my lower lip muscle to the side. She said it's probably been effecting part of my playing too. I couldn't agree more! I explained how that lower lip was causing me a lot of problems, especially in my mid-to-low range my lip quivers or spasms, but had gotten better over time with re-training.
Anywhoo, the first session we did some cupping along my back. She said I must have a lot of tension in my right shoulder because it turned bright red almost immediately and it hurt. But after she was done it felt good! Then I had a light acupuncture session, had some facial massage, and a pain-relieving type of medication applied to my face. I was instructed that I am only allowed to play 15 minutes once a week, and to ice-pack/heat-pack afterwards, along with stretches and massage.
However, the rest of the following week after my first session I had the most intense pain in my face accompanied by a headache...even though the first session was light. It lasted a couple days and I had to massage my face a lot, put on the pain relief medicine along with heat-packing/ice-packing as instructed. I felt like there was a nerve on the inside of my cheeks pulsating. It wasn't TMJ either like some people think because I've had a dentist confirm that it is not the source of my problems.
When I went in the first time the slight dullness was there in my cheek (near the buccinator muscles) and in my upper lip. But after the session ended it had moved further back near my ear, and on the top of my cheek bone, but instead of feeling dullness, I felt a soreness that developed into that intense pain. I put the pictures below showing where the soreness and sometimes throbbing felt the most intense and how it moved to different areas after every session. The remaining sessions down the road where not nearly as painful, and I felt more like soreness accompanied by blood trying to flow through my face, yet some areas it felt good and the other areas it just felt sore. I found it interesting that after the pain receded, there was much improvement in the feeling of my face and gradual physical appearances/changes.
The black circles represent the specific points where I felt soreness or a blockage before or after the sessions.
Before session one: dullness in cheek area, upper lip, and a ton of tension the chin.