2021 ArticlesGillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy Articles

Infant Neck and TMJ Pain

Note from Dr. Barry Gillespie: All of these posted stories are derived from my practice in the Philadelphia suburbs. If I were to practice anywhere in the world, I would find similar conditions. We all spend time in a uterus, and we all go through the birth process.

The problem: The negative effects of soft tissue birth trauma are ubiquitous.

The solution: Newborns need to be freed at birth.


A five-week-old presented recently with nursing issues. Since he could not latch on after birth because of oral restrictions, he had a tongue-tie revision. He did well immediately, but within a week he was back to having latching difficulty.

On examination his body was relatively loose. But I found severe soft tissue restriction in his right neck and TMJ area. When a TT revision helps an infant only temporarily, you need to address an underlying fascial strain(s) for a more complete resolution.

His first session went well as his zero-second brain cycle opened beautifully. When strain presents in adjacent areas, I cannot discern if the neck is pulling on the TMJ or the TMJ is straining into the neck. It really does not matter as long as the fascial web releases cleanly.

Seeing adult TMJ patients with neck pain as a periodontist in the 1970s, I realized by experiencing the Lancaster infant research fifteen years ago that this problem started as birth trauma for most patients. I trust that pediatrics and dentistry will connect these dots someday. In my perfect world this strain pattern would have been cleared on day one in the hospital.

Thank you Gillespie Approach therapists for your infant work. You are the masters of something new. You engage in something greater than yourself. This life-changing work can make you feel like all things are possible.

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Dr. Barry Gillespie

Dr. Barry Gillespie founded Gillespie Approach–Craniosacral Fascial Therapy, which provides patients with a freely moving brain, spinal cord and fascial web, all critical to optimal health. Dr. Barry Gillespie also created the Baby Brain Score and discovered effective therapeutic techniques for newborns and infants. Read more about Dr. Barry Gillespie.

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