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CranioSacral (SM) Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy is a massage form that targets the skull and spine.

Does craniosacral therapy help tmj?

Dmitriy Greenberg (Louisville, KY) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, I would help you with TMJ problem - Feel New Today!
Kymberly Kula (Lakewood, CO) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes it does. That is in fact one of the main things Crainial Sacral is used for.
Jessica Arnold (Los Angeles, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, TMJ is most often caused by clenching or grinding of the teeth and jaw. The muscles inside your jaw primarily the masseter become tight, connected to this muscle is the posterior temporalis which surrounds part of your cranium. With craniosacral massage these muscles including your masseter should be worked on to loosen tense muscles and allow circulation to flow.
Jessica Arnold (Peoria, AZ) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, TMJ is most often caused by clenching or grinding of the teeth and jaw. The muscles inside your jaw primarily the masseter become tight, connected to this muscle is the posterior temporalis which surrounds part of your cranium. With craniosacral massage these muscles including your masseter should be worked on to loosen tense muscles and allow circulation to flow.
Paula Harmon (Columbia, MO) on Oct 14, 2012
TMJ is a very serious condition and it would depend on the severity of your condition. Massage can help with the symptoms that many sufferers experience, ie: neck, shoulder, and headaches. It definately can help relax the muscles surrounding the joint, but again, this would depend on the severity of your condition. In some cases the joint can be damaged to such a degree that applying any amount of pressure to the immediate surrounding muscles would be counter effective. I can only say with certainty that massage can help the symptoms surrounding this condition and it will benefit you in that you will sleep more soundly as well, which could prevent teeth grinding.
Detra Rose (Altadena, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
I just asked a friend of mines who has just completed her craniosacral therapy classes because I also suffer from tmj. What I have research is craniosacral therapy does help a lot. Craniosacral therapy helps with jaw popping, facial pain and any other condition related to jaw area.
Detra Rose (Altadena, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
I just asked a friend of mines who has just completed her craniosacral therapy classes because I also suffer from tmj. What I have research is craniosacral therapy does help a lot. Craniosacral therapy helps with jaw popping, facial pain and any other condition related to jaw area.
Lisa Machala (Birmingham, MI) on Oct 14, 2012
As a fellow TMJ sufferer, I can say without equivocation that YES, CranioSacral Therapy is very effective at managing pain and even helping reduce the occurence of TMJD. Cranio-Sacral is a very gentle light touch method where we tune into the rhythm of the craniosacral fluid (spinal fluid) and gently guide the cranial sutures into better mobility and alignment. The sutures are comb-like structures where the various bones of the skull meet. Under normal conditions these sutures move microscopically to adjust to pressure arising from movement of the spinal fluid. When sutures are 'stuck' pressure has no where to go and compensation mechanisms take over. I highly recommend CST for TMJ and I encourage you to give it a try. Hope this anwers helps.
Jesse Freeman (Mansfield, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes craniosacral therapy can help with TMJ along with light stretching of the scalene muscles of the neck and Shiatsu face massage.
Bonnie Holzman (Miami, FL) on Oct 14, 2012
Norma Segovia (San Antonio, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes it does, it'll help relax all the muscles at attachment point, release the perital bones, and help rebalance all the bones of the skull (head and face). I would also work the neck front and back of it as well to keep all muscles loosened and the inside of the mouth as well.
Anna Waggoner (Indianapolis, IN) on Oct 14, 2012
Craniosacral massage probably wouldn't do much to help with TMJ. When someone has TMJ their temporal mandibular joint (the hinge joint that joins the bottom jaw to the top, or the cranium) is uneven, or it can be caused by bruxism (grinding of the teeth). Massage applied directly to the temporal mandibular joint does bring relief, and also will release the muscles of the jaw.
Katherine Turner (Schertz, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
yes it can. heres how-- CST addresses major muscle groups as well as the bone structure and soft tissue of the joint.
Dora Vazquez (Palm Desert, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes obcourse it would help.
Dora Vazquez (Palm Desert, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes obcourse it would help.
Joe Provider (New York, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
J. Tim Cochran (Hendersonville, NC) on Oct 14, 2012
Possibly. I use manual therapy, wearing a surgical glove, with a Hot Stone on the outside and a finger or thumb on the inside. It takes about 10 -15 minutes to massage the masseter, bucinator, lateral and medial pteragoid, and then on the outside work on the SCM.
Robert Schwartzwalder (Columbus, OH) on Mar 21, 2013
It can but a direct massage orally or in the mandibal (jaw bone) would be more effective.
Nancy Paul (River Forest, IL) on Jan 13, 2013
Yes! There are specific treatments for Temporomandibular Joint disorder in Upledger's 10-step protocol. There are also self-treatment options that can be taught. The techniques involve gently easing restrictions at the joint.
Debbye Hughes (Colorado Springs, CO) on Jan 7, 2013
Yes! I personally experienced healing with a bite and speech problems. I went to 5 different doctors (ie dentists, orthodontists and even a chiropractor!) Most of them had no idea or clue about what was going on or what to do. One even put me in a night guard! I was finally treated with craniosacral by a Naturopath. My symptoms disappeared after several treatments. That was 2 years ago and I am still doing great! Since then I have had training in this incredible modality and have shared the healing with my clients.
Vladimir Batista (Miami Beach, FL) on Jan 7, 2013
The cranio-sacral system comprises the membranes (meninges) which surround the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), the bones of the cranium and sacrum which attach to these membranes, the fascia which radiates out from the membranes to all parts of the body (enveloping every nerve and nerve pathway), and the cercbro-spinal fluid, which is produced within the central nervous system and transmitted via the neurological pathways, throughout the body. All of these structures pulsate in a symmetrical, balanced and rhythmic motion (the cranial rhythm) which also reflects out through the fascia to all parts of the body. In treating the cranio-sacral system, the practitioner is seeking out and identifying areas of restriction, compression or tension through the body which may in turn be impeding proper function of organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and body tissues in general. These restrictions may be the result of injury, infection, inflammation, erncstional tension or underlying pathologies. They may also be caused by the compressive pressures of the birth process. How cranio-sacral therapy works
Nicole Keane (Anchorage, AK) on Jan 7, 2013
Yes, it can help TMJ. So can myofacial release. Try to find someone that specializes in this area. Good luck!
Sarah Van Deren (University Place, WA) on Jan 6, 2013
Intra oral work is great for TMJ issues, which depending on the LMP can include cranial sacral in the session.
Carol Stuhmer (Miami, FL) on Jan 6, 2013
Clients have had great relief from TMJ issues with CST. You definitely want a CS therapist with CST II & SERI or higher training (the mouth work is taught in these two seminiars) -Carol Stuhmer
Abi'l-Khayr (Albany, NY) on Jan 6, 2013
I use myofascial release to help resolve tmj issues, with positive results. There are some similarities between MFR and craniosacral therapy, but since I do not use CST in my practice per se, I cannot answer your specific question from experience. At a theoretical level, tmj issues involve excessive tension in the fascial web, which is then pulling the skeletal structure out of optimal alignment. Any realignment of the structure in the face and head which craniosacral work induces would hold the likelihood of shifting the pattern of tension -- and hopefully resolving the issue.
Herman Crespo (Miami, FL) on Dec 23, 2012
five modalities is particularly valuable when treating jaw pain: 1.Neuromuscular Therapy – The application of ischemic pressure to trigger points in the jaw muscles (temporalis, masseter, lateral pterygoid, and medial pterygoid) can help relieve their spasms. 2.Cranial-Sacral Therapy – In addition to activating the classic stillpoint, adjustments to the mastoid, temporal, zygomatic and sphenoid bones can provide enormous TMJ relief. 3.Post-Isometric Relaxation – Using isometric contraction to actively stretch tensed muscle fibers, adding minimal resistance for a further stretch, followed by relaxation allows for enhanced relief of the targeted muscle. This technique can restore the range of motion that typically regresses with TMJ disorders. 4.Acupressure – Massaging the meridians, both distally and locally, that wind around the jaw can bring increased circulation and thus relief to TMJ. The primary meridians to the jaw are Gallbladder, Stomach, Large Intestine and Triple Warmer. 5.Swedish Massage – The relaxation that results from a full-body Swedish massage should not be underestimated. Since stress is a major contributor to TMJ disorders, initiation of the relaxation response can have a significant impact in reducing tension held in the jaw.
Renee Mysliwiec (Evanston, WY) on Dec 18, 2012
Yes, Cranial Sacral Therapy is known for helping TMJ. Because this therapy focuses on the cranial bones,spine and sacrum, it is the perfect therapy to help relieve the pain of TMJ; often times relieving the symptoms all together. Here is a link to an article from my website, explaining Cranial Sacral Therapy and it's benefits. Have a healthy, healing and blessed day!! Renee Mysliwiec LMT HHC Healing Energies Health Coaching "Dedicated to Your Health and Wellness" Call to schedule your FREE Health Consultation today!! 435-531-0366 Check out my new websites,blog and Facebook page!
Carrie Landry (Sarasota, FL) on Dec 11, 2012
There is a different type of cranial therapy called Cranial Structural Release that helps TMJ dramatically. CSR is part of Structural Energetic Therapy ( because it releases the restrictions in the structure, not just the cranial sacral fluid. I would suggest a combination of CSR and deep tissue massage to the head, neck, and shoulders as well to release the tightened muscle tissue or only one part of the problem will be addressed.
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on Dec 11, 2012
Craniosacral therapy is based on the mistaken belief in an undocumented "craniosacral rhythm" in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, and on the mistaken belief that the cranial bones can be mobilized individually. However, it can be a relaxing massage for the head and neck if you ignore the ridiculous claims. TMJ syndrome is caused by tension on the muscles of mastication, and wear or strain on the delicate joint surfaces. If it were me, I would find a good massage therapist to relax the facial and jaw muscles directly, and to relax my head and neck in general. You could repeat the same steps at home for self-care. You may also talk to your doctor or dentist about getting a bite splint, if you are clenching your teeth at night, as some people say this helps with their TMJ pain.
Krystina Morris (Louisville, GA) on Dec 10, 2012
Yes it does!
James Jordan Harrell (Pensacola, FL) on Dec 10, 2012
Yes! Craniosacral therapy is wonderful for TMJ! It will free up the restrictions in the body that cause the discomfort in the jaw. When the cranium is freed from certain patterns, it has a synchronous effect with the rest of the body helping overall discomfort... good luck!
David Murphy (New York, NY) on Dec 3, 2012
Yep, it can make a huge difference: calms the nervous system and realigns the cranium in a very subtle non-invasive way.
Kristin Uchida (Thornton, CO) on Nov 23, 2012
Cranial sacral is great for TMJ. Cranial Sacral therapy works with the bone structure of the skull and will help create a correction of the bones and structure of the skull. Cranial Sacral therapy is very relaxing and can be a great modality to help ease tension.
Kristin Uchida (Brighton, CO) on Nov 23, 2012
Cranial sacral is great for TMJ. Cranial Sacral therapy works with the bone structure of the skull and will help create a correction of the bones and structure of the skull. Cranial Sacral therapy is very relaxing and can be a great modality to help ease tension.
Kristin Uchida (Thornton, CO) on Nov 23, 2012
Cranial sacral is great for TMJ. Cranial Sacral therapy works with the bone structure of the skull and will help create a correction of the bones and structure of the skull. Cranial Sacral therapy is very relaxing and can be a great modality to help ease tension.
Kristin Uchida (Brighton, CO) on Nov 23, 2012
Cranial sacral is great for TMJ. Cranial Sacral therapy works with the bone structure of the skull and will help create a correction of the bones and structure of the skull. Cranial Sacral therapy is very relaxing and can be a great modality to help ease tension.
Heather Park (Sandy, UT) on Nov 19, 2012
Yes, it works. It can take up to several sessions to completely retrain muscles to stay and relax. My experience is about 3-4 sessions.
Nicole Scruggs (Detroit, MI) on Nov 13, 2012
Cranial Sacral will definitely aid you in your tmj ... it will relax the muscles of the face and restore proper rhythms of the blood and cranial fluid. Along with myofascial release. N.Sala 313.444.5731
Eva Galindo (Canoga Park, CA) on Nov 7, 2012
TMJ sufferer, Yes craniosacral can help tmj. It's actually a very gentle alternative therapy and deeply relaxing. By gently creating fluidity in the facial bones they can shift right into there natural state of being. But it may take at least a half hour for the shift to occur. sana-ib
David Barr (Seattle, WA) on Nov 3, 2012
Short answer, Yes. Long answer. Cranio Sacral therapy includes a number of techniques to release tension in and around the jaw muscles (including intraoral work, which is done very carefully and with gloves on, as necessary). It does require a reasonably advanced practitioner, but the results from this kind of work are frequently tremendously effective. I would add that TMJ is rarely an isolated condition, and that treating only the TMJ without addressing other areas of stress and tension in the body may be less effective. Of course, every client and every situation is different, so it is important to be able to communicate with your massage therapist.
John Romano (Oakland Park, FL) on Nov 1, 2012
It can, So can MPS therapy Both work or rebalancing the gait through work on or muscles surrounding the sacrum.
Justin Roberts (Jupiter, FL) on Oct 30, 2012
Absolutely. There are a combination of techniques that release the TMJ along with cranial bones that allow for tension to release and function at optimum performance. There are also self help techniques that one can do to ease TMJ syndrome. Consult with a therapist that practices CST to ensure proper pressure and delivery are administered to prevent chances of further discomfort.
Magga Canino (Sandusky, OH) on Oct 28, 2012
It will bring more blood to the area but having work done inside the mouth would be much more of a benefit.
Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Oct 27, 2012
Yes, many times cranial sacral therapy will help the tension that is present in TMJ if it is a muscular issue. Thank you for your Inquiry.
Bonnie Scarlett (Colorado Springs, CO) on Oct 26, 2012
~Yes Definitely!! try Craniosacral therapy to help your TMJ.. ~also look into NMT!! ..Paul St Johns NeuroMuscular Therapy.. he has a class that studied the correlation between TMJ and your hips.. very helpful relief.. B Scarlett
Karen Bronson (Bothell, WA) on Oct 24, 2012
Cranialsacral may help, but I would recommend intra-oral massage by a certified massage therapist in intra-oral therapy.
Dionna John (Atlanta, GA) on Oct 21, 2012
I am so sorry to hear of your discomfort. However, I am very happy to know that you already know which path to take in order to alleviate your symptoms. Craniosacral therapy is an awesome way to go. I would be very happy to come to your home and give you a 45-minute session along with a 30-minute reflexology session to move harmful lypmh out of your system. Yours truly, Dionna John
James Kennedy (, ) on Oct 20, 2012
Absolutely, Or at least I made it work. Cranial sacral is so relaxing, It helps a client relax, then if you can use deep tissue or sweedish and readjust the jaw and chin. I used it many of times. Yes, cranial sacral.
Alexander Zivian (Woodstock, NY) on Oct 20, 2012
Yes ! It is especially helpful to find a specialist that performs inner mouth work.
Halle Clarke (New York, NY) on Oct 19, 2012
Yes, Cranio-sacral therapy can be very helpful in unwinding and releasing the muscular tension around the jaw that contributes to TMJ. If the root cause of the TMJ is misalignment of the cranial bones ( the Temporal and Sphenoid bones in particular) then Cranio-Sacral can be very effective. Cranio-Sacral can also take down the sympathetic (fight or flight) nerve tone in the body and this helps reduce any psycho-emotional stresses that may causing jaw tension. In the end, it certainly can’t hurt and at the very least you’ll leave a lot more relaxed and grounded then when you came in.
Ellen A. Scurich (Fort Lauderdale, FL) on Oct 18, 2012
Yes, it can. Your Dentist should have a referral for you.
Robert Conroy (San Diego, CA) on Oct 17, 2012
It can. My wife had diagnosed TMJ with really bad headaches. Hot Stone massage really helped her and she also found an Osteopath (bone doctor) in Portland that after 4 treatments, cured her TMJ completely. He used a series of stretching exercises. It can be related to wisdom teeth extraction too, which we think was her case, and can take a few years to manifest.
Effie Hall (Charlotte, NC) on Oct 17, 2012
CranioSacral Therapy techniques can help with TMJD. The internal mouth work helps to reduce the restriction in the TMJ along with reducing the chronic pain. If addressed early and with sufficient sessions, life style changes in structural integrity and attitude... different levels of relief is possible.
Erica Pennington (Baltimore, MD) on Oct 16, 2012
Craniosacral Therapy can provide relief of TMJ syndrome. craniosacral therapy balances the autonomic nervous system. Balancing this system decreases muscle tension and provides the person with TMJ syndrome with more rest. Using only 5 grams of pressure, your therapist can successfully decrease the pain in the TMJ without being too invasive.
Barry Cooper (St. Petersburg, FL) on Oct 15, 2012
Hi! Stacy Foust Renz here from Living Room Yoga. I am actually answering this question under my Love, Barry Cooper's, account since I do CST and he does not. YES! CST can certainly help with TMJ. Many times restrictions in the soft tissue ELSEWHERE in the body can lead to issues, such as TMJ. It is not always a problem merely with the jaw. Because CST uses the body's own guidance and wisdom, it is possible to discover where the restrictions by feel so it can be addressed. Another modality that I strongly recommend is yoga therapy. A good grounding practice in yoga can bring energy down into the legs from where it is bunched up at the head, neck, and shoulders. This in and of itself can begin to relieve TMJ. It has for me ....
Joseph Parham (Naples, FL) on Oct 15, 2012
craniosacral therapy is excellent for TMJ. I have had many clients with TMJ problems who were satisfied clients. Craniosacral mouth work works miracles.
Joseph Parham (Naples, FL) on Oct 15, 2012
craniosacral therapy is excellent for TMJ. I have had many clients with TMJ problems who were satisfied clients. Craniosacral mouth work works miracles.
Joseph Nader (Livonia, MI) on Oct 15, 2012
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. It causes sharp and often severe pain in the costosternal joint (where the ribs connect to the sternum), sometimes mimicking a heart attack. While the cause of this condition is not know, medical massage therapy focused on the breathing muscles and other muscles that attach to the thoracic cage (rib cage) has been shown to be an effective treatment for the pain associated with costochondritis. Costochondritis can be treated with medical massage therapy: Be sure to assess all muscles of inhalation as well as any other muscles which attach to the thoracic cage or thoracic spine. While all muscles are important to assess and treat if needed, specific muscles which should not be overlooked are; the sternocleidomastoids, scalenes, obliques, rectus abdominis, internal and external intercostals, pectoral major and minor, diaphragm, serratus anterior, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius. Muscles on the posterior of the body must be addressed even though symptoms may only present themselves at the costosternal joints because of the pressure these muscles exert on the thoracic cage. You may experience difficulty in palpating and releasing deeper muscles until the more superficial muscles are released.
Shane Stout (Anaheim, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
Yes a cranial sacral along with a temple and mastoid area massage. I would suggest a face massage along with the cranial sacral, and a chiropractor can actually adjust the jaw which can all give you pain relief.
Joseph McCoy (Muenster, TX) on Jan 7, 2013
I know cranial work does help with TMJ disorder, but we also have to check if the patient has a short leg, because that imblance and compesation pattern can cause misalignment all the way up to the jaw and cause biting problems. I would just do TMJD and Facial work as well as well as intra-orally to get the best results.
Peggy Richards (Scottsdale, AZ) on Oct 15, 2012
I believe that Cranio Sacral therapy relieves the tension that is associated with tmj by freeing the whole cranium or head. I also feel that Structural Integration, also known as Rolfing, helps to relieve it through a more direct approach. Rolfing is done through a series of 10 sessions and the 7th hour focuses on work in the nasal passages and the inside of the mouth where the jaw hinge is addressed. I would definitely look into having either one of these techniques of done as an alternative measure or in addition what your dentist recommends. General massage can even give you head the release that encourages tmj symptoms to lessen.
Vernon Burgess (Colorado Springs, CO) on Oct 15, 2012
Craniosacral will help. Also a simple facial may help was well. I have many clients that came to me with tmj issues. After the first session you will feel a huge difference. Please book a session with me so i can give you more information.
Paul Simmons (Lotus, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
While craniosacral can be of help, there are other therapies (not particularly comfortable) which are more effective. I would recommend a multi-pronged approach to TMJ, including craniocaral, muscle-balancing-related techniques, and close coordination with a dentist, depending on the nature, severity and, ultimately, cause of the problem.
Catherine Schneider (Toledo, OH) on Oct 15, 2012
Yes, CranioSacral has been very helpful for my clients with TMJ dysfunction. True, a large variety of factors can contribute to TMJ dysfunction, but CranioSacral often helps the client find at least some relief in a fairly short amount of time. Go to and find a therapist who has taken at least these 3 courses: CSI, CSII, SERI, but even beginning therapists have learned basic TMJ techniques. NOTE: CranioSacral does not address symptoms directly. By releasing restrictions throughout the body (some of which contribute to poor posture with the jaw "hanging" incorrectly), the jaw often "falls" into better position, relieving pain.
Paula Reeder (Katy, TX) on Oct 15, 2012
No one, of course, can guarantee that ANY type of treatment will be beneficial for any particular problem, but I would certainly give it a try!
Deneb Romero (South Gate, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
yes it does.depends on MT how they work on it.
Jon Stange (Santa Monica, CA) on Oct 15, 2012
Yes, absolutely. The cranium holds tremendous tension and pain associated with invasive dental work, teeth grinding and facial trauma. Osteopathic cranial work might be better to asses the whole body pattering causing the TMJ symptoms.
Douglas Chu (Brooklyn, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, craniosacral therapy has been found to be helpful in treating tmj. Within the domain of CranioSacral Therapy, one of the things that can be addressed is the balancing of all of the muscles of mastication. This means that bruxism, disc position and TMJ compression are all addressed effectively.
Mario Messina-Azekri (Portland, OR) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes. I participate in the allternative medicines research for TMJ. I used a combination of cranio-sacral therapy and massage whcih it was very effective with the pain. Another technique for TMJ is Bowenwork a neuro-muscular technique. Both very effective for TMJ.
Kate Reust (Seattle, WA) on Oct 14, 2012
Evening, Cranioscaral may give you some assistance but I recommend working with someone like myself that is trained and endorsed for Cranial IntraOral therapy. This type of massage works more specifically with the structures of the head, jaw and neck. Yes it's an area of specialty for me. I'd love to help if you're in the Seattle / Puget Sound area. Kate Reust MA0005185 Omsho Crysalis . com
Theodore Schiff (Northampton, MA) on Oct 14, 2012
CranioSacral Therapy is an extremely non-invasive and effective way to treat and eliminate TMJ. The work itself is incredibly relaxing and extremely gentle by nature. In this work the therapist is assisting the Central Nervous System to eliminate restrictions within the dural tube or those tissues that surround and bath the spinal cord. Advanced CranioSacral Therapy Work with TMJ includes inter-oral work with an emphasis on helping to reduce internal pressures in the jaw and bones of the face. Inter-oral work is done using sterile gloves worn by the Practitioner and is absolutely amazing work, despite the fact that we are working in extremely tight quarters and personal space. I highly recommend this work to anyone suffering from TMJ and or recurring headaches.
Jason Zwickler (Norwalk, CT) on Oct 14, 2012
The human brain makes rhythmic movements at a rate of 10 to 14 cycles per minute, a periodicity unrelated to breathing or heart rate. Small cranial pulsations can be felt with the fingertips. Restriction of movement of the cranial sutures (where the skull bones meet) interfere with the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) and cause disease. Diseases can be diagnosed by detecting aberrations in this rhythm. Pain (especially of the jaw joint) and many other ailments can be remedied by pressing on the skull bones.
Kim Greenlee (El Paso, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
Craniosacral therapy probably would help. Neuromuscular massage therapy can also help.
Kelly Call (Springville, UT) on Oct 14, 2012
It does when I do it! I have helped many people with tmj. Tmj is largely caused from emotional tension. The key is resolving the emotional tension and returning to peace. You must understand that with all emotional release work, there is an emotional resolution process that involves your learning how to do an emotional skill that has not yet been mastered. Then the tmj will heal and the soreness will pass but not when it is continually being irritated by the underlying emotional tension. I work with people to help them resolve the tension and release the pressure. Releasing the muscle tension then becomes easy once you are not so prone to the underlying triggering emotional state. Then the soreness will cycle thru it's healing process unaggravated, the physical problems can be assisted by massage and the tissue can heal. Understand that a physical problem like this exists as an outcome of underlying conditions that I have described. Healing it involves addressing each level underlying and also the top level which is the physical tissue itself. Don't just think of physical problems as one dimensional but multidimensional including the levels of physical, emotional and thought, work and behavior habits that create the emotional. You do have some choice at each level and you can learn to have more power of choice at each level and to master skills of thought, emotion and the result is that the physical level will be nurtured where it was overstressed in particular areas like the tmj. You bring me any particular focused pain like this and I can walk you thru and give you the understanding of each of these levels and suggestions for resolving and improving the health of the area. Craniosacral is one part of the eclectic application of techniques I use to do this.
Karen Orlosky (Lafayette, CO) on Oct 14, 2012
CST will help TMJ, as there are many techniques to utilize in the treatment protocol. This involves working inside the mouth as well as with the bones of the head.
Wendy Faber (Westlake, OH) on Oct 14, 2012
I have heard that cranio-sacral can help with TMJ, but you also have the option of a more direct approach with a therapist that specializes in TMJ massage, which goes right to the source.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Oct 14, 2012
Big time. If I add Cold Laser Treatment with Craniosacral Therapy, you will be instantly benefited. My personal success rate is as high as 80%
Jason Markowitz (Tempe, AZ) on Oct 14, 2012
yes. craniosacral helps with TMJ. during the massage you want the targeted area's to be the temples, the zygamatic bones and the sterno cleido mastoid muscle. stretching the neck and shoulders during the session will assist the treatment as well. tmj is caused mostly by daily stress. though sometimes it is hereditary. the best thing for the patient to do, to help rid TMJ is to not intake too much caffine, don't smoke, and to actively stretch their jaw bones during the day. any questions or help please contact me. jason markowitz: 973-580-7556. thank you
Rob Hundley (Broomfield, CO) on Oct 14, 2012
Absolutely! In my experience TMJ issues respond very well to the subtle pressure of craniosacral work.
Nancy Web (Pawtucket, RI) on Oct 14, 2012
CST helps to realign the jaw and release surrounding tension that often causes TMJ. The Cranio approach is different then other massage approaches that work the jaw externally. An advanced CST practitioner is taught how to release tissue within the mouth. The practitioner wears gloves and works within the mouth to release the TMJ joint and realign the entire upper and lower jaw. This can also be helpful for relieving tinnitus, ear aches and headaches. I would also suggest being conscious of your chewing patterns. Grinding the teeth during sleep and if you always chew on the same side it causes an imbalance in the jaw that may lead to TMJ. This is usually an unconscious pattern. The goal is to retrain yourself to chew more balanced. Stress can also be a factor in Developing TMJ. If you hold tension in the jaw because you can't speak your mind or express your truth it is felt in the joint. Stress relieving techniques such as meditation, yoga, tai chi all can help.
Kweli Ya-Saleem (Latham, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
This question is best answered by the developer of Cranial sacral Therapy, John Upledger. Massage Today August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08 TMJ: Primary Problem, or Tip of the Iceberg? By John Upledger, DO, OMM The diagnosis of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome came into its own in the 1980s, and still remains popular today. A myriad of mechanical devices have been placed in people's mouths to alleviate the painful symptoms of TMJ dysfunction. The success rate of the singular use of such devices, however, leaves much to be desired. All too often, symptomatic relief is only partially achieved, and leaving treatment dependent upon the ongoing use of the intraoral devices. In other words, when the "splint" comes out, the symptoms return. My own experience with TMJ dysfunction leads me to believe that the condition is often a secondary or tertiary manifestation of another problem somewhere in the body. Underlying problems that contribute to TMJ dysfunction and secondary symptoms are frequently found in the craniosacral, nervous, musculoskeletal, myofascial and masticatory systems. TMJ syndrome may also be secondary to - or receiving significant contributions from - previous or current traumatic injuries anywhere in the body, and/or from stress. In addition, there may be systemic disease processes in the background, along with allergic and/or nutritional factors that can significantly contribute to the presenting TMJ syndrome. I have assigned the majority of contributing factors of TMJ dysfunction and the resulting syndrome to the following major categories: craniosacral system dysfunction; stress; neurogenic problems and dysfunctions; posttraumatic problems and residua; structural/somatic problems and dysfunctions; degenerative problems and diseases; and dental problems. I'll discuss several of these categories, including suggestions for the efficacious use of different treatment modalities. Craniosacral System Dysfunction: The craniosacral system is composed of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. It extends from the bones of the skull, face and mouth - which make up the cranium - down to the sacrum or tailbone area. The bones of the skull most directly involved with the temporomandibular joints are the temporal bones and the mandible. In the case of TMJ dysfunction, the temporals are the most likely offenders directly related to craniosacral system dysfunctions. The temporomandibular joints are located two-to-four centimeters anterior to each temporal bone's axis of rotation. Because of that articulating relationship, they are commonly involved in TMJ problems. Since the joint surfaces of the temporal bones are located in eccentric positions, when the temporal bone or bones are restricted into asymmetrical positions in relationship to one another, they provide malaligned joint surfaces for the temporomandibular joints on both sides. This malalignment results in mandibular imbalance and undue wear and stress upon the joints. Temporal bone dysfunction can result from almost any problem within the craniosacral system, be it osseous or membranous. Only a thorough evaluation of the craniosacral system and the whole-body contributions to craniosacral system dysfunction will yield the primary cause of the problem. This can be accomplished through CranioSacral Therapy, a gentle method of releasing restrictions in the craniosacral system. Remember, temporal bones can also be forced into abnormal positions when the muscles and ligaments that attach to them present with abnormal strains and tensions. CranioSacral Therapy aims at releasing temporal bones to restore normal function, regardless of the primary cause of the TMJ dysfunction. The mandible, the other bone that contributes directly to the temporomandibular joints, is a single bone with one joint on each end. Therefore, you cannot distort one joint without causing a problem with the joint at the other end of the mandible. CranioSacral Therapy uses techniques to release and balance the joints at both ends of the mandible. It also releases undue muscle and ligament tensions upon this lower jawbone. The hard palate is at the mercy of the sphenoid bone with which it articulates at both sides and, via the vomer, in the middle. Since the sphenoid is a major player in the craniosacral system, it is also important to evaluate the system's effect on the function of the hard palate. Distortions in sphenoid function or position often cause hard palate malalignment, which results in malocclusion of the teeth and secondary temporomandibular joint problems. Within the domain of CranioSacral Therapy, we also have the balancing of all of the muscles of mastication. This means that bruxism, disc position and TMJ compression are all addressed effectively. Stress: Stress can be caused by a number of factors. Physiological stress might be imposed by problems such as gallstones, kidney dysfunction or arteriosclerotic heart disease. Stress also can be induced by poor posture secondary to a shortened leg, for example. Psychoemotional stress, yet another category, is due to life frustrations, neuroses, or harbored destructive emotions like chronic anger. Environmental conditions - breathing polluted air or working in a noisy environment - produce stress as well. No matter what the cause or type, stress exacts a toll from the body, as vital energy is required to cope with these conditions. While it's well-known that chronic stress may cause a range of health problems, stress has not been thoroughly considered as the root of TMJ problems (surprisingly). Teeth or jaw clenching is a natural response to increased stress, which compresses the temporomandibular joints and, in turn, causes the joint surfaces to be placed in jeopardy. When excess stress is a factor in TMJ dysfunction, we must consider the use of stress management techniques. Among these modalities are therapeutic massage for relaxation and release, CranioSacral Therapy to reduce sympathetic nerve tone; SomatoEmotional Release to alleviate traumatic tissue memories and psychoemotional problems; hypnotherapy and/or biofeedback to develop conscious control of muscular hypertonus; and psychotherapy or counseling. Depending on the patient and the availability of therapeutic modalities, any or all of these techniques should be considered along with similar ones. Dental Problems: I hesitate to discuss how dentists should treat TMJ syndrome. I only know that when direct orthodontic, occlusal and/or surgical interventions are put into play before the craniosacral system is functioning at its optimal level, the dental work must often be redone. Why? Because the involved structures change in response to the craniosacral work and other types of bodywork. In CranioSacral Therapy, we specifically mobilize teeth in their sockets and encourage them to find their natural position in the mouth. When this happens, it changes the occlusion more toward what nature intended. Dentists should not be excluded from being a part of the therapeutic team; however, they must recognize that occlusions, temporomandibular joint vitality, bruxism and compressive forces related to the masticatory system will most likely be changing as a result of the non-dental work. Therefore, the interventions imposed by dentists should be temporary and complementary to the holistic approach. These examples show that TMJ syndrome may be the primary problem, or it may be just the tip of the iceberg. The condition is a part of the whole person, and the whole person must be evaluated to solve it. Biographical information on John E. UPLEDGER Dr. John E. Upledger (D.O., O.M.M., D.Sc.) is a Certified Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy, an Academic Fellow of the British Society of Osteopathy, and Doctor of Science. His specialties include Osteopathic Manipulation, CranioSacral Therapy, Somato-Emotional Release, Acupuncture, and Preventative Medicine. Throughout Dr. Upledger's career as an osteopathic physician, he has been recognized as an innovator and leading proponent in the investigation of new therapies. His development of CranioSacral Therapy, in particular, has gained him an international reputation. Although much of his experience was garnered through private clinical practice, Dr. Upledger served from 1975-1983 as a clinical researcher and professor of biomechanics at Michigan State University. It was during those years that he supervised a team of anatomists, physiologists, biophysicists and bioengineers in exper-iments testing the existence and influence of the craniosacral system. As a result of their scientific studies, the function of the craniosacral system and its use in evaluating and treating poorly understood malfunctions of the brain and spinal cord were explained. It was also during this time that Dr. Upledger developed and refined the techniques of CranioSacral Therapy which today are taught through the Upledger Institute's educational program to a diversified group of healthcare professionals, including osteopathic physicians, medical doctors, psychiatrists, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and massage therapists. Dr. Upledger's books include CranioSacral Therapy, Cranio-Sacral Therapy II- Beyond the Dura, SomatoEmotional Release and Beyond, and A Brain is Born. Click here for previous articles by John Upledger, DO, OMM.
Chris McCarty (Tempe, AZ) on Oct 14, 2012
Absolutely Cranial Sacral can assist with TMJ. Subtle release of the bone structure within the facial skeleton can create room for the jaw. Advanced holds from inside the mouth can be done to assist in releasing the hinge. It isn't the most comfortable but can give great relief of tension in the jaw. This is a wonderful option in assisting with TMJ related discomfort! :)
Liz Yerkes (Longboat Key, FL) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, it is one of several types of therapy that should be helpful, since the whole skull is involved in this disorder. I have had TMJ problems on and off for over 20 years. What helped me the most was finding a top dentist who can make sure your bite is correct.This may also involve wearing a bite guard. If you have had orthodontics, crowns, etc, your bite was probably altered. Once the bite is corrected, find a massage therapist who specializes in treating jaw issues. This will include all the muscles of mastication: masseter, temporalis, medial and lateral pterigoid muscles, among others. Then, after this process, the cranialsacral therapy can fine tune everything and lead to long term relief. There are several books out with more information that you may want to read. Good Luck!
Paula Irwin (Del Mar, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
Hello Year, cranial sacral works beautifully in treating tmj. Tmj is a build up of stress patterns from how you use your jaw from chewing, clenching and even smiling. Cranial sacral can be combined with other modalities such as myofacial release and activated stretching to expand balance. I would be happy to work with you as U have had great success in treating tmj. Paula
Sherry Glover (Austin, TX) on Oct 14, 2012
Although I don't do craniosacral therapy I have been told that it does help with TMJ. I do rehabilitative massage and have worked with a number of people with TMJ with great success. I would be glad to talk to you personally to discuss your situation and how what I do may help you.
Nic Scogna (Skippack, PA) on Oct 14, 2012
Does craniosacral therapy help tmj? It has been shown to help. But this isn't a modality I practice. I prefer to work a myofascial release technique and of course a range of other methods to help with this issue.
George Marlow (Phoenix, AZ) on Oct 14, 2012
i know it can relieve pressure when do release of frontal of skull and face muscle decompression moves
Raymond Ramirez (Tucson, AZ) on Oct 14, 2012
I have never had a craniosacral treatment. I have however performed interoral trigger point release and that made a world of difference. I firmly believe in trigger point therapy and have a great track record with it. I would look for someone who specializes in trigger points and knows how to do the interoral work( with gloves)
Cheri Baum (New York, NY) on Oct 14, 2012
I am not a CST therapist, but from what I've read and feedback from clients it is helpful. There are some chiropractors that are trained to do CST, I would recommend going to one.
Deborah Hill (Oakland, CA) on Oct 14, 2012
Yes, by gently manipulating the Temporomandibular joint and making space in the rest of the cranium, many people have experienced significant relief of pain.
Robbin Phelps (Takoma Park, MD) on Oct 14, 2012
Cranio-sacral therapy can be very helpful for TMJ. It helps bring ease to the whole jaw structure, and helps the joint find its healthy movement. I suggest finding a cranio-sacral therapist who has worked with TMJ before. Good luck!