MFR and Sacral Cranial

Today I had the most interesting experience. Ten months ago I got sick, a bad infection that affected my jaw. I had surgery to drain the infection. The infection has been healed since February, but other complications have taken longer. In the mean time I have been receiving some awesome treatment from a chiropractor. I was a massage therapist for nine years. So after years of doing bodywork and caring for others I find myself on the other end.

Today I had some amazing work done. To help the healing in neck and jaw I received a myofacial release (MFR) treatment combined with a sacral cranial (neck and head) treatment. It was a gentle treatment that essentially moved my head and neck in a gentle flowing rhythm back and forth. All the while I was guiding it with my feedback about tight places or any other sensation.

I felt many things. Some of what I felt was tightness in muscles. Muscles in my neck, muscles down my spine, muscles under my scapula, muscles where my head and neck meet. Some points were very tender. My emotions were pronounced. I felt flutters of fear – flutters that are probably body memory of the illness. And some of the tender painful areas seemed like places that “held” a body memory of the surgery itself. It seemed one spot in my neck was “sore” because it was activated during the surgery, which was traumatic for me, and remembers the experience.

The thing is, just because we are sedated during surgery does not mean we do not experience the pain and trauma of it. Our muscles, our bodies, remember things our conscious minds do not. So, this bodywork today brought up the memory, and with any like, released it. Hopefully some of my chronic soreness will be healed.

Then. She did some internal work on the Pterigoid muscle, deep inside the mouth at the hinge of the jaw. WOW. My right side, where the infection was, was unbelievable…tender and filled with sore spots. The left side, virtually nothing. It was incredible body work. Really incredible.


About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
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11 Responses to MFR and Sacral Cranial

  1. Cathy says:

    Wow, I came to read your Friday Five and then read this posting on the massage— Wow — very interesting! Makes me want to have just a head and neck massage?

  2. mompriest says:

    I am always amazed at our bodies. So often our physical pain is connected to emotional pain and pain that actually originates elsewhere in the body. I know this, it is in part from our ‘connective tissue” but it always amazes me to actually feel it.This very gentle treatment was also very powerful.

  3. Katherine E. says:

    You’ve reminded me of the sacral cranial work I had done once–only once, years and years ago. It was so powerful that I never went back. Didn’t know what to do with the feelings it evoked. I’m sure I would experience it very differently today. I should try to find someone here who does that. Thanks for the post, mompriest.Praying for Ryan…

  4. Barbara B. says:

    Mompriest, do you think this would work for TMJ?(Offspring #1 has that)

  5. mompriest says:

    Barb, yes if you find one who can do the internal mouth/jaw muscle work! The woman who worked on me is a Physical Therapist with additonal training in MFR and Sacral Cranial (they each specialized body work courses). It would do wonders for your TMJ. To find some one begin by asking a chiropractor who also does accupunture or pressure. Or google or call the local Massage therapy network like the “American Massage Therapy Association” (AMTA). (you need someone accredited). katharine e, I can understand why you might not want to go back if you are not yet able to understand the whole mind-body-psyche-spirit connection. I hope you find some – check out your local AMTA for starters…or a local massage therapy school…

  6. Barbara B. says:

    thanks so much, mompriest… I will definitely check into it!

  7. mompriest says:

    you’re welcome! Let me know how it goes…

  8. RevDrKate says:

    This was great to read about. Love all the mind-body connections. That we remember all these things at the cell level just makes so much sense. I’m glad you were able to have this experience and hope it continues to be helpful.

  9. Jiff says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your experience. You’re a great writer, and though I’ve heard others speak of craial-sacral therapy as being profoundly helpful, I’ve never understood as well as I do from reading your post.Thank you!

  10. mompriest says:

    Thanks Jiff. My ministry for nine years was working as a trained licensed massage therapist. At the same time I was going to seminary. So I have lived the mind, body, spirit connection for a long time…

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