Paula Anderson, R.D.H.
Craniosacral Therapy and Myofunctional Therapy
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
There are some things in life that just go together well; PB& J, salt and pepper, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart. Well Myofunctional therapy and Craniosacral Therapy are just like those other famous pairs except they can help you feel better than a PB&J ever could. Lets take a look at each and then we will get into how they compliment each other.
Myofunctional Therapy: What is It?
Myofunctional Therapy, which is also known as Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, is used to treat weak tongue and jaw muscles. This results in better tongue posture, increased suction, healthy lip seal, better swallowing and elimination of airway blockages. These blockages are can be harmful to our health, and detrimental to our development from a young age. Many patients who undergo myofunctional therapy may also suffer from underdeveloped palate, sleep disordered breathing or a tongue tie so it is always important to have a one on one consultation with a Certified Orofacial Myofunctional Therapist before beginning treatment. Practioners of myofunctional therapy are typically RDH (Registered Dental Hygienists), OMT (Orofacial Myofunctional Therapists) or SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists) and many practice two or all three of these fields even!
Craniosacral Therapy: What is It?
Craniosacral Therapy is gentile touch body massage that focuses on the Synarthrodial Joints of the cranium. This allows the dozens of little bones and tissues in our cranium and head to align back to their normal positions. This specific therapy type is designed to relive stress and tension and promotes feelings of overall wellness and stress relief. Studies indicated that craniosacral therapy is most effective in children and infants who are still developing, however even adults can see the benefits of this type of therapy. It is primarily practiced by chiropractors and craniosacral therapists.
Myo + Cranio: The Fascia Blasters
So now that we covered the basics of these two types of therapy let's talk about how they are great compliments for each other in so many ways.
The body is so interconnected by many systems, nervous, cardiovascular, muscular, but one area most patients aren't made aware of is our fascia. This is a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds our entire body, much like our skin. When this fascia is tight or "bound down" it can cause tension, reduction in flexibility, tightness of the muscles and other types of general discomfort. With something so important for our day to day well being it is sometimes shocking to see how little patients are informed about the effects of fascia on the body.
Well, as a Myofunctional Therapist I know all to well that there is not enough info so I am out her to spread the word. And one of the main reasons for this is that many times the tongue is a primary culprit. As individuals go through myofunctional therapy exercises they are not just strengthen their tongue muscles but releasing bound fascia as well. No is this more apparent then when an patient gets their tongue tie released. Individuals who opt for myofunctional therapy, tongue tie release or both will often notice better standing and sitting posture because and heightened flexibility.
Craniosacral Therapy can help cement and expand on these positive changes. By targeting certain points on our heads with this therapy, the newly mobile tongue and unbound fascia of the mouth allows years and decades of bound fascia in the head to be more responsive to massage and bodywork. It is for this reason that so many patients become excited about craniosacral. It is not an overstatement to say that the sense of wellness someone can have by combining both myofunctional therapy, and craniosacral therapy into a wellness plan can make them feel like a new person.
While I work with specific craniosacral therapists in my home market area of Easter Iowa, I am happy to refer you to craniosacral specialists wherever it is most convenient for you as a patient.
If you have any questions about craniosacral therapy, myofunctional therapy or any other topic that I can help send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as possible.