Therapy Notes – Masseter

Therapist Notes include:
Anatomy review,
Syndromes and Conditions,
Assessment notes,
Treatment Preparation,
NMT protocols and more…

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This is a strong, thick 3 bellied muscle that closes the jaw. You can read more about it in this post about the masseter muscle.

After writing about and teaching NMT techniques for TMJ, I learned, and eventually started teaching, craniostructural techniques. Every therapist that took both courses agrees that the TMJ trigger points release more easily, and cases have a much higher success rate when the craniostructural imbalances are addressed before the trigger points treated.

If you don’t know craniostructural work, make sure that you take care of upper cervical imbalances before addressing TMJ dysfunction.

Treatment Preparation

Atlas mobilizations change the balance of the TMJ mechanism. Evaluate and balance the atlantooccipital region before continuing on to direct TMJ treatment.

Treatment of the Masseter

External masseter work is often enough to release the pain patterns and provide lasting relief, especially after it follows Functional Integration through craniostructural work.

Even without craniostrucural work, this work, followed by the stretch routine below is a solid treatment approach.

Internal masseter work is advanced work that can be intense but allows for a more complete release of the musculature. I always assess the results of other treatment before deciding o continue on with internal work.

Gentle stretching of the upper cervical and TMJ after trigger point work helps to balance and calm the TMJ musculature for greater relief and longer-lasting results.

This post has some gentle TMJ stretches for the client that are a great way to end the session. Assisting the client with these stretches and The Box offers a quick, methodical self-care for reducing imbalances in the upper cervical and TMJ musculature.

This collection has a more complete list of posts related to TMJ dysfunction, including other patterns, self-care, therapist notes, and more.

This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began improving the format. We are also adding more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We appreciate your input and feedback. You will see us adding posts and updating older posts as time permits.

Weekly Featured Post

This post is about the watershed moment that changed the direction of my bodywork. People would say that it is about treating at the source. I’d say that it is about understanding the governors and accessories in a pattern. This gives the therapist and client choices on how to plan on treating for relief or treating to create a body that is self-correcting.

Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.


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