Hello everybody, it’s Dr. Emily Hurley. I am going to talk to you today about the next level of the dynamic body balancing series that I have been taking over the last two years and level two, meaning the second weekend of trainings that I went to with Dr. Carol Phillips was the cranial work. If you guys have been following along, I first got into this work and sought out the dynamic body balancing series to take because I love cranial work and I wanted to learn more. The second weekend that I attended a couple of years ago, it was really what I was excited for to be learning. I have been able to use it on many, many, many patients of all ages, day one brand newborn babies, and I believe my oldest patient was 93 that I have done this beautiful, gentle, safe and effective cranial work on. It is really effective for first things we think of patients with headaches, patients with migraines, especially that pressure pain behind the eye. That is from our sphenoid bone that’s in the center of the skull behind the eyes, shifting out of place puts pressure on that eye.
TMJ if you have jaw pain, clicking, popping, locking of the jaw, that’s a TMJ issue. We do a lot of work on the adjusting and chiropractic side, I always balance out the spine of the neck and I can even adjust the jaw. But we cannot forget about the T part of TMJ. TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, the temporal bone being the bone in your skull that your jaw fits into. I always have to balance the skull first and unwind the temporal bones, balance those out before I start working on the jaw. TMJ responds great with the cranial work. Vertigo actually can be helped by the cranial work as well. Also, adjusting that C1 vertebrae can really help with vertigo. But if that doesn’t do the trick I balance the cranials especially again back to the temporal bone, because the temporal bone is where our inner ear is sitting. Vertigo responds great. This time of year I’ve been using it a ton for my patients with sinus pressure, sinus congestion, sinus infections. There’s also some additional sinus relief and sinus drainage techniques that I do, but I always start with balancing the cranials.
If we can get the cranials balanced, we can get everything moving better and flowing better. One of the things that I… I never know how to explain this to people, because the last thing I ever want to do is make someone feel judged or criticized. But I will say that in some people I can see a very significant difference from one side of their face to the other. Maybe one eyebrow is a lot higher, one eye looks a lot bigger, maybe their nose is diagonal to the side, or their jaw is sitting one way. I’m actually now I’m looking at my own face in the camera, which I try not to do because then I get distracted. I have some imbalances in my face too. When I see those significant differences from side to side in the face, that’s something I go okay the cranium is twisted, the face is rotated and there’s probably a lot of tension and unwinding that needs to be done in there. Especially people I know really well like my sister for instance.
I can look at her and know she’s about to get a headache, or she just started to get one, because one side of her face will drop down, one eyebrow looks much lower and one crease beside her nose is a lot deeper. I know like something just happened, her whole cranium shifted and she’s about to get a bad migraine. One of the things that I actually hear a lot and it is very, very true, I always thought it was kind of a myth or one of those wives’ tale things, but the weather changes, and we’ve had crazy, crazy weather changes lately. That can make a big impact when the different pressures change abruptly and certain pressure systems come through. It can true trigger those migraines and headaches for those people, or vertigo for the people that are sensitive to it. But I’ve learned in those people where the weather is usually a trigger, if we can unwind and open up the cranium, get it moving the way it’s supposed to, then they’re a little less susceptible to those drastic pressure changes. Their body is able to adapt to the changes in their environment better.
That’s really what chiropractic and body work is all about, is helping the body to… Our bodies should be able to adapt to changes. Our bodies shouldn’t crumble every time we have a little bit of stress, or we get a little less sleep or the weather changes, and yet those things can take us down when our body is locked up and in a stressed state all the time. So look at your face, does your face look like it could use some balancing? If you’ve ever had head trauma, whiplash in a car accident, if you played sports, those are all times that your cranium might lock down and stay stuck or imbalanced, and the cranial work is amazing to open that up and to do the unwinding. I’ve even had some really cool success with some crazy cases. I had a patient for years she has these episodes she calls them of these crazy stroke-like symptoms, where her whole face will go paralyzed and she can’t talk, which is horrible and scary. She’s been to a million doctors and they’ve done every test and they’ve diagnosed her with anxiety for that.
Side note, she is the third patient in a year that has told me that she has stroke-like symptoms like paralysis or passing out or cannot speak, and was diagnosed with anxiety for it and sent home and dismissed. That’s my side note of anger for when we are dismissed as patients. If I can help you advocate for yourself in those scenarios please let me know, I always want to encourage you. You know what no, that doesn’t sound right, go back and seek out a different doctor and ask these questions. I always try to advocate for my patients in those ways, because anxiety in a normal healthy person that never had anxiety before will not usually drop you to the floor or paralyze the entire right side of your face and body. That was a side note, little rant. Sorry about that soapbox. Actually after doing some of this cranial and facial work with her, her episodes became much less frequent and less severe, which has been very cool. She actually did remember after we started working on all this, oh yeah I had a trauma to that side of my face when I was young.
That made sense why doing that cranial and facial work for her may have reduced the symptoms that she was having of this issue. That is still undiagnosed, unless you believe it’s anxiety, but she is not suffering anymore and she’s able to have those episodes be much less frequent and much less severe, which has been very cool. This cranial work I do this with all my babies, every single baby that comes in, I’m always checking the head. So when babies are born, when they go through the birth canal, their cranial bones are designed to overlap. Actually let me back up. I said something earlier about making sure the cranial bones are moving properly in adults, right? Sometimes my patients say what do you mean by that? Because we think about our skull as being one big blocky bone, right? It’s one big bone it encases our brain and it’s hard and it shouldn’t move right? But between each of those cranial bones is a suture. It’s a suture line, it’s a joint line of fibrous connective tissue. Those sutures should be slightly flexible.
The reason that’s important is because as we breathe, our cranial bones should move [inaudible 00:09:21]. It is very slight, they should pump slightly. That’s what pumps our cerebral spinal fluid. It pumps that CSF that fluid throughout our brain, down our spinal cord and back up again. That’s our cranial sacral part of this. It’s called craniosacral therapy because it’s pumping from our brain all the way down our spinal cord to the sacrum and back up. That is crucial for delivering nutrients and removing toxins from the brain. It’s our waste removal system and our nutrient delivery system to our brain. So super important that the cranials are all moving correctly, that none of the sutures are jammed or cranium overlapped. Then when we say that we’re unwinding the cranium, what I’m really talking about is that connective tissue that’s under the skull that is wrapping around our brain, that’s called our dura, dura mater.
That dura is a really strong tough connective tissue that wraps around our brain, and then it wraps around our spinal cord and it goes and it encases all of it. That is just like when we talked about the myofascial system that wraps our muscles, and how when it gets twisted everything underneath it can be restricted and locked down. When the dura has tension in it or is twisted, it can affect everything else as well. We’re working on balancing the dura, the dural system that is right inside of our skull and around our spinal cord. That was a side note, I wanted to backtrack a little bit and explain a little more about the cranial work, cranial adjusting and the craniosacral therapy and the unwinding and how they all work together. Going back to our little babies, our little babies’ heads they are not fused yet with those fiber sutures yet, they’re kind of free floating.
That is on purpose that our bodies are so amazing and smart, that knowing that they’re going to have to squeeze through a birth canal, those cranial bones actually overlap each other they’re supposed to, so that they can squeeze through the birth canal. When they exit the birth canal and there’s a sudden release of that pressure, there’s supposed to be what’s called a cranial blowout, all of their cranium expands, and then the cranial bones are supposed to settle back together about perfect. Then they grow and grow and grow, the brain grows, they’re all supposed to be balanced and perfect and then you have a perfect shaped head as an adult. That does not always happen for lots of reasons. What sometimes happens is maybe it was the angle the baby came down, maybe it was the birth circumstances, maybe they had to use a vacuum or forceps or pull a lot to extract the baby, or they had a C-section. Lots of different reasons, even in a perfectly natural birth, maybe the baby’s position was in such a way that there was more pressure on one side of the cranium than the other.
For whatever reason, if the cranium stays stuck or the cranial bone stays overlapped or there’s ridging, that can cause the cranium to get stuck and to stay stuck, and as the brain grows the cranium is not molding and growing and expanding as it should. You’ll see lots of different things. Look at your little babies’ heads, is there ridging, is there overlapping? Is there a flatter spot? Is there a bulging spot? One of the ways you can see if there’s a cranial distortion is if the forehead looks very round and the occiput, which is the back of the skull looks very round. Or maybe it’s the opposite, maybe they look like they’re spread really far this way. They have a really wide head and face, and more short from back to front. That’s a cranial distortion. Maybe you’re told that your baby has a flat spot in the back of their head, and they need a helmet to help to mold this. I would highly, highly, highly recommend first of all, just bring your babies in on the first day and let’s just check them up front.
But if you do get to the point where your babies have not been checked and they are told they need a helmet, if you’re able to try some cranial work first. Because if we can help to open up that cranial suture, if we can unwind the tissue that is restricted or twisted underneath, then the brain might be able to help to mold it on its own as it grows, and the cranium can balance out on its own. Those are all reasons that I do cranial work on babies. Other times I see cranial work really well with babies is when they’re having nursing issues, latching issues, or they’re not, they don’t have a good suck. If moms tell me the baby’s chomping more than they’re sucking, or they don’t seem to have a good suck reflex, they can’t keep in their pacifiers very well, they’re not latching or sucking the breast into their mouth well, they’re just kind of chomping at it. That tells me one of two things. Well, there’s a few things. Two of the things I’m going to talk about right now is the babies might have tension in their TMJ.
Just like we talked about adults can have TMJ, you probably had it since birth. Maybe not, maybe there was some orthodontia or trauma that happened, but maybe you’ve had TMJ issues since birth. Maybe your mom says you wouldn’t breastfeed we had to give you a bottle. Or you wouldn’t take a pacifier it’d always s[ill out of your mouth. Maybe there was some tension in the jaw that kept the baby from opening well, from getting a good latch, from being able to suck because the jaw is stuck. So I always check the cranials, the atlas, that C1 vertebrae again and the jaw. But also the suck reflex one, if they’re just not sucking on anything even when it’s being put directly into their mouth, that tells me that the suck reflex is missing. It makes me worried that the cranial nerves that exit the skull, exit the neck and that come to be in charge of that suck reflex that are in control of that sucking reflex, maybe those are being affected.
So the cranial work can actually help to take pressure off of those nerves and help to restore the sucking reflex. I have seen some good success with that. It’s not the answer for everybody, but it’s such a gentle and wonderful technique to try, babies usually love it. They often settle right in when they’re being adjusted or when we’re doing the unwinding. It’s very comfortable, gentle and easy for them to experience. Those are all great reasons that babies should have their cranials checked as well, and I always do the cranial unwinding with my babies. I think that’s all the things I was going to talk about. Obviously I get very passionate about the cranial work side of things, I absolutely love it. If any of these things are things that you’ve been experiencing or your child or baby has experienced, let’s check it out. Thanks everyone.