Maybe the most gentle form of massage therapy, cranial sacral release uses a variety of hold techniques to stimulate the fluid that circulates around the cranial bones, the spine and the sacrum. Gentle enough to be used on the elderly and even small children, cranial sacral therapy is often used to treat conditions such as earaches, sinus pain, insomnia, back pain and TMJ.

Give cranial sacral massage with your client face up on your massage table. Sit in a steady chair above your client’s head, a comfortable distance from the table. If combining two forms of body work, it is best to use cranial sacral therapy towards the end of your session.

Use the heel of your hands to find the flat part of the skull just above the ears and rest your hand there with your fingers stretched upwards. Relax your middle finger down, arching over the ear, and press the pad of the finger against the TMJ. If you are uncertain about your positioning, ask your client to open and close their jaw until you find the joint.

Allow your other fingers to relax gently against the skull and apply a lifting pressure towards the clients nose. Remember that cranial sacral therapy is extremely gentle and subtle. While you and your client should be aware of the upward lifting motion, it should not be visible to the eye.

Hold the TMJ compression for 1 to 10 minutes, depending on your client’s needs and comfort level. Use the hold in your cranial sacral sessions to treat restlessness, TMJ inflammation, earaches, sinus pressure and tinnitus.