Kieferfreund Founder Julia Reindl :
My Story – Experiencing jaw dysfunction from an early age … and how it all changed
My early encounter with jaw issues
In this picture I was 14 years old. More often physically unwell than well.
From the age of 17 the jaw would become a prominent part of my life… but not for the same reasons that it is today.
I had almost daily clicking in my jaw joints and ringing in my ears (tinnitus). I experienced lock-jaw more often than I could remember… posture problems.. you name it.
… All these health issues were unusual for a teenager and none of my friends could relate to my struggle.
Today I know the root-causes and connections of what I was experiencing – but at the time all I knew was that something was ‘out-of balance’ and ‘not right’.
My teeth did not behave any better than my jaw. I had plenty of dental work done due to reoccurring teeth misalignment, which meant I had to wear braces from the age of 12 to 15.
“You’ll grow out of it” … I didn’t.
As I got older, things improved a bit – but I was certainly not ‘well’ or managed to ‘grow out of it’.
I was a teenager and young adult that was extremely ambitious – this may have looked great for people looking in from the outside…
But on the inside I was falling apart. The pressure I was putting on myself not only lead to accomplishments, but also to high levels of stress and tension… which as you can guess – manifested in my body as health issues. Maybe you can relate to that.
Exploring emotions and expressing them freely, was foreign to me. I was great at suppressing emotions. A master in fact.
Tacking life into my own hands…
Since no one could really help me figure out what was going on with my health… I felt had to take things into my own hands.
What did I do about all of this? I felt called to become a Speech and Language Pathologist & Orofacial Myologist – to get to the bottom of my jaw issues and help other people overcome theirs! I had no idea it would take me to where I am today.
After studying at University and entering the world of work, I increasingly started to understand and make sense of all the jaw and health issues I had experienced most of my life. I also saw patterns in the people I worked with. I worked with patients in hospitals in Austria and was glad I could be of help with their conditions…
…but there was only so much I felt I could do in a system that gives everyone the same old ‘tried and tested’ treatment.
Over time, I saw in my own life and the life of patients – the need to take on a holistic approach… if our goal is to truly address the health issues showing up for us. If we want to listen to our body and act on the message it is giving us.
I saw the importance of switching from looking only at how to ‘fight symptoms’ to how to listen and address the root causes. I was hungry for innovation and finding what is most effective for my patients. I had seen what I needed to see in the conventional world, and was ready to jump full force into bringing people a solution to their jaw problems that really worked! I knew I could make a huge difference in people’s lives. So I opened my own private practice.
The next chapter: holistic jaw health – here I come!
In my private practice, I was finally able to apply all the knowledge gained in the conventional world – and also dive deep into holistic methods. For example – as I had now become a different type of ‘master’ – one that faces their emotions (that was lots of work – trust me!) – I was able to support clients in facing emotions and uncovering what road-blocks were between them and wellbeing.
It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows from here… I found that although I saw again and again how learning the correct tongue posture was key in tackling the root causes of many common jaw dysfunctions and issues (as is reflected in Myofunctional Science research), my patients took a long time to learn to correct their tongue posture with the exercises I was showing them. I was starting to get frustrated… I was unable to provide my patients the results I knew were possible for them.
The birth of Kieferfreund
I still remember the day very clearly – I got home slightly frustrated from work. My dad asked me if everything was okay… so I opened up to him about how I felt….
You have to know – my dad is one of those people who were made for this modern age. He holds a doctorate degree in Business Economics and a Masters degree in Computer science… and generally just always knows how to make things more efficient. He listened carefully to what I was telling him and then responded with words that would turn out to change my life and how I was working forever:
“Julia, it’s clear – you need to automate and digitize the treatment for your patients”
I knew he was right… but I also had no idea where to start.
Something within me knew however that this was exactly what I was looking for… this could be the missing piece to bring my clients the results I really wished I could help them achieve. Plus – I could reach not only the people I was working with, but practically any person with a phone that needed help with their jaw issues. Isn’t it funny how we sometimes don’t have to look far for the answers we need…. but where to start?!
Luckily, I had gathered plenty of valuable contacts in the world of treating jaw dysfunction – which allowed me to collaborate with dentists, therapists and patients to ask questions. Lots of questions. Try out different exercises and ask for feedback.
…And I had my dad. The computer wizard and practical genius.
We got to work on ‘automating and digitizing’ my treatment.
My dad (in a fancy suit!)
After much brain-power and many long full days – Kieferfreund was born (German for ‘Jaw Friend’)
Our initial products: The Kieferfreund app and Kieferfreund Tongue Trainer (later we added the Kieferfreund Jaw Roller and more features in our Premium package).
– An app where people could do video-instructed jaw-balancing exercises in their own time and anywhere in the world! An app that tracks people’s progress and let’s them see how they can still improve. People could tap into using the power of their subconscious mind, to learn the tongue resting position and relax their jaw. We designed a powerful mindfulness-audio training to do that. All things I wish I had when I was tackling my own jaw issues.
– A tongue trainer that would easily allow people to test how they are improving in learning the correct tongue posture based on tactile points and no longer guess work!
With the app and trainer, people would not only get results much quicker – they could also save a lot of money. Going back to the Speech Therapist again and again to learn the correct tongue resting position and do jaw exercises can be a lengthy and costly process!
We now had an automated and digital solution!
I also started training other Therapists and dentists to use the Kieferfreund app & method with their clients – the network was growing!
…and then I appeared on TV.
It’s incredible what can happen when you are driven by a mission to change people’s lives and led by your heart. I managed to secure a spot on ‘2-Minuten- 2 Millionen’ (like Dragon’s Den & Shark Tank) to present Kieferfreund in front of investors on live Television!
Images: Copyright Gerry Frank
An incredible experience and I will never forget being recognized by someone in the cue at a super market who had ‘seen me on TV’ last night.
Kieferfreund: A success story
We put in the work, expended to the UK and English speaking market with the help of our UK based Product Manager Felix Neubauer – and the results started to come. Kieferfreund was starting to make a difference in people’s lives. It started to feel like I had made the right decision to go my own way and do things holistically. This was what people needed and had been waiting for.
Not only have I and my team conducted research studies to show that Kieferfeund works very effectively to tackle jaw issues such as teeth grinding, jaw clenching, TMD & jaw tension – today 1000s of people around the world have managed to achieve amazing results with our method. Some people who had been grinding and clenching for over 40 years… found relief in just weeks! – the reviews speak for themselves.
Our courses and guided jaw meditations on platforms such as Insight Timer are hugely popular and achieve great results – the reviews speak for themselves.
I’m not trying to toot my own horn here – I knew that what I discovered could help people, but I also couldn’t imagine the impact and reach the app and tools would have… I really have to thank my team and their hard work… and of course, my dad for his key piece of advice and wisdom.
Growing up and having jaw issues for most of my younger years was certainly a very challenging time… Did I wish to be ‘normal’ like everyone else? Yes… many times.
Perhaps the silver lining is that I was driven to create something that helps people get to the root causes of their jaw issues… something that works and that I wished I had access to (learning the correct tongue resting position would have been so much easier and quicker!)
I can understand my clients and their struggle and help them get in touch with their emotions and sense of expressing themselves freely again…
… who knows what my life would have looked like, if I didn’t have these challenges – all I know is that I am grateful for the lessons and I am incredibly grateful to all the lovely customers who make Kieferfreund what it is… and we are not stopping just yet!
Moving forward (Part 1)
I met my husband Reinhard Burits a former professional football player and Mind Coach and we worked hard together to fine-tune our method and deliver powerful workshops and jaw yoga instructor trainings. Our 3 year old daughter has given me more drive than ever to make a difference in the world.
I’m excited to see what the future holds for Kieferfreund and how we will be able to support you in new cutting-edge ways… never forgetting about the importance of human connection. That’s our promise to you, because we know it makes all the difference.
Moving forward (Part 2)
In January 2022 my husband passed away…
Reinhard lived for helping people courageously live out their passion & hearts desire. I certainly tried to embody the courage he always lived out and brought out of people… but honestly – it was hard. The time since his passing has been the hardest time of my life.
This is my story and I want to share it openly with you.
Life is not all glamorous, sometimes it’s really rough.
However – there are a few things I can say with a smile on my face:
– I was able to go through this challenging time and my jaw is still healthy.
– I came to understand that I can also go through emotional crises and situations with very high stress levels without developing jaw stress (And so can you!).
– Healing is possible.
– The people around you make all the difference. My dad, my 3-year old daughter, my friends and the Kieferfreund team have been instrumental in my healing…
My husband and I said to each other, that we must continue spreading the word about natural jaw health even if one of us is no longer around.
So here’s me doing just that!
I hope you enjoyed reading this raw look behind the scenes!
As a gift to you, I would like to offer you a special 10% discount in our shop. Just use code: jaw-yoga2023
Good luck & All my best,
Julia Reindl M.A (Kieferfreund Founder, Author, Lecturer & SLP)