Reasons people got Craniosacral Biodynamics (summer 2022)

What is Craniosacral Biodynamics? The name may not mean much if you are unfamiliar with this type of hands-on therapy.

It helps to share why people seek it, so I write these seasonal summaries of what my clients are seeking.

Craniosacral Biodynamics is different from most types of bodywork in that it works from the inside out, with internal rhythms and patterns, rather than working from the outside in, like massage therapy.

It can help with a wide variety of issues.

In every session, receivers shift into a deeply relaxed state in which the innate intelligence in their system can pause, reflect, and reorganize their tissues, fluids, and energies toward greater health.

One of the benefits of this modality is that it affects specific physical issues as well as whole body issues. The deep relaxation that clients experience empowers the body’s innate healing abilities for all kinds of issues.

Some clients come in with one issue, others with three or four. Often there’s a mix of specific physical issues and whole body issues.

Changes occur during sessions and continue afterwards. Sometimes clients notice a week or so later that an issue has disappeared.

The work is also cumulative. Often issues do not reoccur, and in subsequent sessions the work addresses deeper strain patterns and imprints of overwhelm, releasing these bound energies to return you to greater wholeness and vitality.

Specific physical issues

tension in thoracic inlet
atlanto-occipital joint tension
pain around C1 transverse process
frontal headache
tight cranial bones
mid-back strain
chest and upper back tension
neck, shoulder/s pain or tension
jaw tension or pain
sacrum unbalanced
dysfunction from old knee injury
structural asymmetry from playing a musical instrument
energy block at back of heart
vestibular cranial nerve and brain stem issues
foot pain
hip joint popping

Whole body issues

healer burnout
work-related stress
long-term stress
dysfunction from trauma
deep attachment trauma
reorganizing after releasing deep attachment trauma
fixations from Enneagram type
post-partum recovery
overwhelm from mothering young children
insomnia
anxiety
depression
PMS
overwhelm from excessive heat

Here’s the list for spring 2022.

Reasons people sought craniosacral biodynamics (spring 2022)

Here are some reasons people have come to me for Craniosacral Biodynamics sessions in the past few months. Most of the time, people had multiple issues going on. I’ve consolidated them into general categories.

You can see that the range is wide.

  • breathing issues
  • muscle tension and/or pain (neck, throat, shoulders, upper back, lower back, chest, jaw, face, hip, glute, calf)
  • muscle twitching
  • migraine, chronic headaches, chronic migraines
  • fatigue, chronic fatigue
  • restlessness
  • nerve energy, nerve damage
  • integration after trauma, recovery from multiple traumas, physical and emotional childhood trauma
  • re-regulation after long COVID, reset after multiple challenges during pandemic
  • sadness, grief
  • emotional upheaval, severe emotional shock after break-up, feeling unsettled from work
  • managing bipolar condition
  • empty feeling at solar plexus, chaotic feeling at solar plexus, engaging personal power instead of hiding
  • insomnia
  • better heart rate variability
  • stress, anxiety, wanting to feel secure and relaxed, anxiety about upcoming presentation
  • auto-immune issues
  • holding heaviness in part of body
  • adjusting to new nightguard
  • wonky atlas, cranium feels unbalanced
  • withdrawal from psychiatric drug while waiting for new one to kick in
  • reset after various health issues
  • addressing a layer of inertia
  • three past untreated concussions

You may be curious how one bodywork modality can work with so many different issues.

The simple reason is that Craniosacral Biodynamics augments your own system’s ability to heal, no matter the cause of dysfunction. Everything in your system has a pattern, and sometimes patterns become unbalanced or strained.

Practitioners trained in Craniosacral Biodynamics can help your system move these patterns toward resolution — if they are ready to change.

We all have multiple strain patterns, and there is always something ready to transform.

How does it work? During a session we both get very quiet and still. You sink into a state of deep relaxation. Some people fall asleep. Others stay awake enough to feel shifts occurring within.

I tune into your system, and with attention and support, it pauses, gathers potency (intelligent energy), and starts reorganizing the patterns that are ready to optimize.

This work continues after you leave my office.

Here’s my list for the winter of 2021-22.

Using energy hands for distance healing

When I started doing distance sessions at the beginning of the COVID lockdown in March, I would feel energy pouring out of my hands just as I would when doing bodywork with someone in my office, even though the receivers were now at a distance, sometimes in other states.

I didn’t know what to do with it at first with no body in front of me, but I definitely understood it was an indication of me being in a resourced state for healing.

In the 27-hour intensive course I just completed in Long Distance Healing, the instructors called this phenomenon “energy hands”.

Courtesy of namastest.net.

It’s fairly common for bodyworkers to experience this energy flowing out their hands, especially when the type of bodywork they practice includes deep listening with their hands, as do craniosacral therapy and Reiki, or if they are also trained in some types of yoga or meditation that cultivate this kind of awareness.

(By the way, distance healing is not craniosacral therapy, which always includes physical touch, but some craniosacral skills transfer over to distance healing.)

With my distance receivers, I started placing my energized hands on the area of the body the receiver had identified as wanting attention. Usually these identified areas are experiencing some form of disconnect from the healthier parts of the body.

Receivers would begin to feel sensations of change in that area: for example, the area would change shape, color, or temperature, pain would lessen or disappear, tension would soften, and sensations would become more diffuse, possibly move to another area, or even bounce around (“Hey, you’re finally looking at me! Yippee!”).

Although our bodies are constantly healing themselves below our level of awareness, in these sessions, receivers sense the healing as it occurs.

To be clear, I don’t heal you. Your own cellular intelligence is the healing power. I show up for you in a resourced state (built on years of yoga, meditation, and studies in how healing works), which your system can entrain to. I show up with presence, curiosity, and some suggestions, as an ally and a witness, with an intent (shared with you) for healing to take place, but no agenda about how that will happen, because it’s your body, your history, your awareness, and your healing.

I have not yet worked with anyone who did not experience a change for the better. I’ve worked with people trying their first energy healing session after Western medicine was unable to help, and I’ve worked with people who are deeply experienced in their own somatic awareness.

Courtesy of psychiclibrary.com.

We practiced with partners during the training, placing energy hands on our partner’s shoulders and having them say when they felt them and whether they wanted the touch to be more intense or diffuse, and then disconnecting and switching partners.

We also did this with the adrenals, which pump adrenaline and cortisol into our systems, since most of us are feeling some stress and anxiety because of COVID, the economy, our culture, the future, etc.

When my partner held my adrenals, after about a minute, I felt my autonomic nervous system down-regulate into a deeper parasympathetic (rest and digest) state.

That’s another benefit of working with energy hands. I can put my energy hands inside your body, not just on the skin.

I want to do more distance healing sessions. These sessions are collaborative, empowering, use a lot of dialogue, and are based on consent. I cannot do anything to you that you do not allow.

If you’re wondering what it’s about and would like to try it, I’m offering sessions on a donation basis for a limited time. Look at what it’s worth to you, what you can afford, and donate accordingly.

After half an hour, if you don’t think it’s doing anything for you, we’ll end the session without your donation.

Click here to schedule a session.

If you’d like to talk first, you can schedule a 15-minute phone consultation. Click here to schedule a phone consultation.

Join our class, Relaxed Jaw: Learn How to Unwind Tension, Pain, and Grinding

Siri Scull, certified hypnotist, coach, and nutritionist, and I (MaryAnn Reynolds, LMT, board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork, provider of TMJ relief sessions) are offering a free class on April 1, 7:30-8:45 pm at Soma Vida.

This first class is free, and we ask that you claim a ticket on Eventbrite so we can be sure to have enough seating for everyone.

This (optional) class serves as an introduction to our 4-class series offered remotely via Zoom on April 8, 15, 22, and 29 at the same time period.

This 4-class series includes:
~ Hypnotic visualizations to help you unwind tightness
~ Specialized exercises and techniques to soften the jaw
~ Nutritional & supplement suggestions to promote relaxation
~ Best sleep practices to promote a relaxed jaw
~ Ongoing support as you change habits on a conscious and unconscious level

The tuition is $149 for the 4-class series taught over Zoom. Save $25 if you bring a friend! You may pay MaryAnn via PayPal (paypal.me/maryannreynolds) or Venmo (www.venmo.com/MaryAnn-Reynolds-1) at the April 1st meeting or before April 8 to secure your spot.

Class is taught by Mary Ann Reynolds, MS, LMT, board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork, providing TMJ Relief sessions and packages, AND Siri Scull, NC CHt, certified Hypnotherapist, Coach, and Nutritional Counselor specializing in habit change.

Learn more about the instructors at maryannreynolds.com and siriwellness.com

Contact me, MaryAnn Reynolds, at mareynolds27@gmail.com or (512)-507-4184 (leave VM or text) if you have any questions.

We hope to see you at our informational meeting on April 1, or via Zoom for the class series, or both!

Treating TMJ Issues: choose a practitioner who works on your lateral pterygoids

Recently I’ve had two clients come in for TMJ relief sessions who have previously seen multiple practitioners who worked inside their mouths. Between them, they have seen chiropractors, chiropractic neurologists, Rolfers, dentists trained by the Las Vegas Institute (LVI), and/or other massage therapists.

These clients both told me, “No one has ever touched me there,” after I worked on their lateral pterygoid muscles.

That surprised me.

These small muscles are hard to access, being nearly surrounded by bones (cut away in the image below so you can see the two-headed muscle), and in my opinion, they are often the keys for releasing jaw tension and also for relieving clicking and popping noises. (Notice that the upper head is attached to the articular disc that separates the temporal bone and the mandible —the two bones of the TMJs.)

anatomy of the jaw muscles

It’s not that the other jaw muscles don’t contribute. They do. I’ve found tension in the temporalises, trigger points in the masseters, and taut bands in the medial pterygoids.

I usually save the lateral pterygoids for last when working on someone’s internal jaw muscles, because they are harder to access. It helps to have tiny pinky fingers, and even then sometimes I need to ask a client to shift their jaw to the side so I can reach them.

Sometimes I can’t reach them on the first visit, but any release of tension in this area near the joint is therapeutic.

People are not aware that there are jaw muscles here! I’m touching in a place where people never get touched. This area can be sensitive.

When I get on or near a lateral pterygoid, it can be a revelation. “That’s the place!” they exclaim when I remove my finger.

Once I get there, I don’t need to stay long.

It’s not that these other intra-oral practitioners mentioned above (at least in these two clients’ experiences) have nothing to offer. I’m not familiar with all of them, but chiropractors, Rolfers, and massage therapists have all helped me.

But if jaw pain and tension are your major complaint, and you’d like a sense of spaciousness in your jaws (if you can even imagine how great that would feel), find a practitioner that works on the lateral pterygoids.

I hope this information helps you ask informed questions when choosing a practitioner to relieve your jaw tension and pain.


What to do if you have jaw issues? I offer a 30-minute in-person TMJ consultation to gather information and evaluate your issues. I also teach clenchers an alternative to clenching and provide known ways to stop grinding, from those who succeeded.

These habits are major contributors to TMJ issues, and you can change them.

If you’re not in Austin, I can do the above as well as help you learn what to ask about when seeking TMJ relief near you. Just let me know if you need a phone or Zoom consultation.

I offer a combination TMJ Consultation plus TMJ Relief session in person in Austin, Texas, and in Taos, NM, in sumemrs. The consultation serves as an intake, so I have a better idea of what your issues are and how we’ll measure progress. Your consultation is free when combined with your first TMJ Relief session. This is a two-hour session.

To be fair, when you’ve had TMJ issues for a long time, or they are acute, you may need multiple sessions to retrain your system to retain the ease and alignment, along with doing your homework to stop clenching or grinding your teeth.

I offer a package of four TMJ Relief sessions for 10 percent off single sessions, best done a week or two apart. These sessions are 90 minutes and integrate various bodywork modalities — including work in your mouth — so that you feel great when you get off the table. They are best done over 4 to 6 weeks.

If you’re really adventurous, you can schedule a 75-minute Self-Treatment for TMJ Issues session on Zoom where we’ll do an intake and I will teach you how to work on releasing the tension patterns that cause problems, including working in your own mouth. You’ll need clean hands and short nails. It’s really not that hard! Learn more about it here.