Medical Massage, Health and Holistic Healing

CranioSacral Therapy Benefits for TMJ Syndrome

TMJ-DTemporomandibular Joint Syndrome, also known as TMJ-D develops from the dysfunction of the joint between the jawbone and the skull, specifically the connection of the mandible to the skull’s temporal plate. This joint is equipped with an articular disc, which allows for the jaw to open and close smoothy, for talking and chewing.

Sometimes there is a misalignment of the jaw or teeth which can lead to pain. In more serious cases, the cartilage may break down causing the bones to rub together. Plus, this TMJ-D can affect the body in many difficult ways, and it can be caused by trauma, or injuries anywhere in the body, and can even be caused by an old childhood slip and fall injury.

The stress of simply clenching or grinding of the teeth while you sleep, can lead to TMJ-D known as “bruxism”.  And, loose ligaments surrounding the jaw can result in excessive movement between the bones, which can damage the cartilage and lead to a dislocation of the Temporomandibular Joint, creating a dysfunctional bite, called “malocclusion”. And, it is important to realize that there is a high probability that the jaw’s misalignments is caused, by some other area of the body, CranioSacral Therapy can get to the root cause of TMJ Syndrome. TMJAnatomy

Underlying problems that contribute to TMJ dysfunction and secondary symptoms are frequently found in the craniosacral, nervous, musculoskeletal, myofascial, and masticatory systems; (Upledger 2002).

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on method for evaluating and enhancing the body’s own natural healing systems, and it is a safe effective treatment for TMJ-Syndrome.

The focus of this work is on the brain and spinal cord’s protective membrane system to locate movement restrictions, that impede upon the cerebrospinal fluid’s natural rhythmic flow. The membrane and soft-tissue restrictions, can lead to a direct negative effect upon the central nervous system which can lead to a TMJ-Syndrome. Left untreated the body’s own adaptations, self-corrective mechanisms begin to fatigue and can lead to a serious decline in health.

According to the late Dr. John E. Upledger, DO, OMM; who was the founder of the Upledger Institute International and the developer of CranioSacral Therapy, (CST); CST uses gentle joint mobilization techniques to release and rebalance the mandible joint bilaterally by easing tensions along the muscles and tendons of mastication, which help address effectively “bruxism”, TMJ dislocation and compression strains.

In many cases of TMJ’s temporal plates are the offenders, rather than the mandible; therefore Craniosacral Therapy aims at releasing the temporal bones to restore normal function, regardless of the primary cause, (Upledger, 2002). For this reason, CranioSacral Therapy 10 Step Protocol is the foundational work, before TMJ mobilization is undertaken.

Note: CranioSacral Therapy is contra-indicated for anyone who maybe negatively affected by a slight increase in internal cranial pressure. Always consult with your medical doctor for any type of head trauma.

Chronic stress can also lead to clenching of the jaw, and CranioSacral Therapy rebalances the autonomic nervous system to reducing the sympathetic nervous tone, the “Flight or Fight” reflex, by inducing the body’s relaxation response.

For my research and development information about CranioSacral Therapy go to


  • “TMJ Syndrome & CranioSacral Therapy” (Tompkins & Thomson 2009)
  • “TMJ: Primary Problem or Tip of Iceberg?” MassageToday – (John Upledger, DO, OMM 2002).

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Location: Garland, TX and Rockwall, TX. Call for and appointment, the location and directions will given to you at that time.


Claude Barrett, LMTI, CST

Call 214 232-5278

© 2017 Claude Barrett, LMTI, CST – All Rights Reserved.

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