Shin Tai: A Natural Prevention of Orthodontics
Shiatsu Shin Tai treatments can be a natural prevention of orthodontics in adolescents. There are several ways that shin tai techniques can change patterns of restriction and misalignment in the whole body, and also specifically in the jaw and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
First of all, stress patterns in the meninges and soft tissue system exert force throughout the body. This often creates compression and asymmetries in the cranial bones. This can lead to a cramped palate, unbalanced movement of the maxilla, and disfunction of the TMJ, all of which can be reasons to recommend orthodontic intervention.
Also, there are correspondences between the hip structure and some of the cranial bones - the mandible, maxilla, occiput, temporals, and sphenoid bone in particular (see Secrets of the Skeleton by Dr. Mees for wonderful photos that illustrate this). As puberty unfolds, compressive forces in the pelvic region due to different physical and emotional stresses can amplify, creating a mirror of tension patterns up in the cranium.
The 8 year old girl (Ana) in this video was told she would probably need braces soon in order to make more space for her adult teeth. To try and prevent this, her mother is going to bring her for a series of treatments. We have had good success with this approach in the past. Even two of our own children were able to avoid orthodontic work that had been deemed necessary!
What kind of treatment strategy works best?
The treatment in this video shows a series of central channel releases, and then specific work on some of the cranial bones. More treatment will be needed. An optimal schedule would be 3-5 sessions within a 2 week period, and then once a week for a few weeks.
The cost and effort needed to get a series of shin tai treatments is MUCH less than getting braces. Many people are not programmed to think of it in this way, so it is a good idea to offer this information so that parents can make an educated decision of where to invest their time and money. Even if an adolescent still needs orthodontics after a series of treatments, there is a very good chance that treatments will lessen the time the braces are on, and the degree of change that will be needed.
Client feedback is important!
Interesting to note that near the end of this session (around 20:20) Ana tells Saul her mouth feels "relaxed, and not so cramped as it always does." Already she could feel a difference, even though she wasn't told specifically what the treatment was for. She also mentions that when she wakes up she feels aching in her body, especially her ankles. The ankles are a reflex area for the pelvis; let's see if freeing up stress patterns in her pelvic structure help to relieve this aching in her ankles.
Other things to observe in this video are different motions and phases of motion that show up during the treatment. The expanded frequencies in the room (atmosphere shift - a Phase III indication) become quite pronounced several times, and this comes through on the video. After the treatment Ana did not want to leave and proceeded to snuggle up on the BodyCushion for quite awhile while her sister received some bodywork.
Identifying specific motions, and also really feeling the general environment of Ana's system and the room during the video is a wonderful way to improve your skills as a practitioner.