Why work inside the mouth?
There are a number of reasons. Firstly, there are aspects of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that you can’t access from the outside. These structures are just as important in the balance and function of the jaw and throat, and if there are restrictions present, releasing them will yield good results. If you are someone who deals with headaches, jaw pain, or chronic neck issues, working inside the mouth is incredibly beneficial.
Secondly, when you work with the hard palate, you are touching the brain. The hard palate gives you indirect access to the body of the sphenoid, the beautiful pterodactyl shaped bone behind your eyes.
The sphenoid comes in contact with the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. For a bodyworker like myself, treating concussion is much easier if I have greater access to the tissues involved. If my primary focus with a client is shutting down sympathetic overdrive, mouthwork can also help balance the nervous system and keep excessive responses in check.
Thirdly, the mouth is part of how we communicate. Dr. John Upledger, one of the forefathers of craniosacral therapy and co-founder of the Upledger Institute, called the mouth and throat the “avenue of expression”. In chakra land, a place I have grown to love, the fifth chakra (vishuddha) is located at the throat. Vishuddha’s domain is that of communication and self expression. Opening this area can truly facilitate speaking your truth, finding your purpose, and discovering a more authentic way of living.