By Michelle Stoppi, MA, LMT, CranioSacral Therapy Program Director at CE Institute LLC, Miami FL
“A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home.”
The Vietnamese & Tibetan Buddhist Monks speak of the “inner smile”– allowing a gentle softening & spreading of the upper palate that helps the flow of energy in meditation.
The bones in your face that comprise the upper palate are the Maxilla bones. In the science of the Craniosacral System, healthy Maxillae physically swing open and spread into what can be described as a motion forming the shape of a smile in palpable micromovements along with the Craniosacral Rhythm every 6-8 seconds. I believe the meditative practice of finding the inner smile is related to healthy cranial movement of the Maxilla Bones.
According to Hugh Milne in the book “The Heart of Listening Volume 2”, Maxillae are the keystone of the face, for all other facial bones connect to them. Portions of the Maxillas make up the upper palate, the floors of the eye orbits, and the sides and floor of the nasal cavity. They also contain the sockets of the upper teeth. They are the largest bones in the face.
He says that etiology, the maxillae are where we experienced our first cry and the suckling of mothers milk. Evolutionarily, the mouth is used for expression, physical protection and defense.
He further describes the Maxilla as dynamic bones that are part of the throat soul. "The throat soul is where we connect what we see (at the sphenoid/AKA the third eye) with what we say, and also with what we feel (at the heart)“…Maxillae in a less then optimal state can hold anger, bitterness or feelings of superiority… Restricted Maxillas can come into play in co-dependent relationships.
The Maxillas can get "thrown off” of their natural axis and freedom of movement in the dance of the CranioSacral rhythm by stress, anxiety, TMJ, any dental & orthodontic work, dental decay, rhinoplasty (nose jobs), injury and other traumas to the mouth, neck & head. Faulty Maxillas are responsible for sinus problems, frontal headaches and migraines. Children with orthodontic devices and braces can suffer from headaches, neck and backaches from the braces “locking down” the rhythm in one or both Maxillae. The pain that results can manifest immediately or, more often, 20 years later as Tempero-Mandibular Joint Disorder.
By the use of manual assessment and manipulation of the Maxilla and surrounding bones and soft tissue, CranioSacral Therapy can help bring back that inner smile once again:-)
To learn about this concept and more, please click HERE to view available CranioSacral Therapy Classes with Michelle at CE Institute LLC, Miami FL