Continuing Education Classes

CE classes at PNWSM are shorter and more flexible than the typical two- or three-day weekend CE class. Brian's Ballard classes are limited to 8-12 students, and are more personalized than larger, more formal, CE classes. The emphasis is on really learning and retaining the information, rather than just being exposed to it.

All classes are NCB approved (NCB #451040-09) unless otherwise noted, and valid for NCB, AMTA, and WA state CE Credit. You will be issued a certificate at the end of class.

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Legs & Hips (San Diego, CA)

The legs are often treated for the least amount of time in a session, yet they support the upper body and are under tremendous compressive force, whether moving or stationary. When the legs and feet are functioning properly, they are one of the fundamental anchors of our stability and support. When they're not, they are a major contributor to foot, knee, hip, and low back issues. 

In this class, you will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the muscles and fascia of the hips, legs and feet. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. We will also focus on correct body mechanics and proper use of hands, elbows, and forearms to save wear and tear on joints.

To watch a short video demo of one of the techniques covered in class (originally presented in Austin, TX), click here

"So many new, practical techniques to try! All really great stuff." -Chrisann Rauschenbach

"This was the best adductor work I've ever had." -Crystal Johnson

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8 CE hours
Date and Time: Sunday, February 25th, 9am-6:30pm 
Location: Bellus Academy, Poway, CA (outside of San Diego)
Tuition: $80 for AMTA members, and $100 for non-AMTA members.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the San Diego Unit of the AMTA. Click here to register.

Note: Class is limited to 36 students, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring a massage table, sheets, non-spilling oil/lotion/gel, bolster, and note-taking materials. 

For your comfort, dress in layers. The best clothing option for the morning (side-lying under a drape) and end of class (standing adductor work) is underwear or a bathing suit bottom; for the afternoon, we'll be working on the gluteals, so if you choose to wear underwear for this portion, it should allow access. 

Light snacks and lunch will be provided; however, you may bring your own. Folks with dietary restrictions are encouraged to bring their own food.

Questions: Contact Sarah Brekke or Meagan DePaulo at SDeducation@amta-ca.org

 

Wholeness in Body Mechanics - Developing Quality of Touch

Body Mechanics for Bodyworkers is often presented in the context of self-care and career longevity. But how can you develop your quality of touch? How do you increase your effectiveness with every stroke and modality that you apply? This body mechanics class will focus on all three dimensions, and make your massage more 3-dimensional as well.

Cultivating presence and awareness in your touch are key elements of authentic bodywork. The focus of this class will be on HOW we work, not learning a new technique. The emphasis is on developing YOU, the practitioner, the wielder of the techniques, with every stroke, every assessment, and every placement of your hands. We will develop and explore ‘soft contact’ so that you can practice with more ease and optimize your client’s ability to receive the work. When we have ease and minimize our effort, we are able to feel more, which in itself has a cascading, synergistic effect in the outcome of our sessions.

These principles will be reinforced by experiential exercises in class, as well as hands-on practice using a variety of foundational techniques you already know, including Swedish, Neuromuscular, and Deep Tissue. You will learn to clarify your intention and optimize your angle of entry with any style of technique. You’ll also have a chance to bring in your own unique challenges with body mechanics, and have a chance to apply the principles you learn in a supervised exchange, receiving individual table-side attention due to the intimate nature of the class.

Instructor: Benjamin Lee
CE Hours: 8; includes 6 hours of hands-on technique
Date and Time: Sunday, February 25th, 10am-7pm 
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $150 if registered by February 15th; $175 thereafter

Registration: A non-refundable $50 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, and QL

These muscular structures support the core--they are integral to maintaining balance, structural alignment, ease of breathing, mobility, and the ability to function without lower back pain. You will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the iliopsoas, diaphragm, QL, lower multifidus, and the lumbodorsal fascia. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice, often with profound results. There will be a concise and insightful anatomy review of these structures with an eye toward fascial continuities and the functional relationships between them. We will also focus correct placement and proper use of fingers, knuckles, and elbows for optimal results and to save wear and tear on joints.

"Finally, a class that taught me something I can use!" -Melanie Geiger

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE Hours: 4.5
Date and Time: Wednesday, February 28th, 2:30-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $95 if registered by February 21st; $110 thereafter.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register.

 

MSDT Techniques for the Torso - Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, QL & Paraspinals (Portland, OR)

These muscular structures support the core--they are integral to maintaining balance, structural alignment, ease of breathing, mobility, and the ability to function without lower back pain. In the morning, you will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the iliopsoas, diaphragm, QL, lower multifidus, and the lumbodorsal fascia. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice, often with profound results. There will be a concise and insightful anatomy review of these structures with an eye toward fascial continuities and the functional relationships between them. We will also focus correct placement and proper use of fingers, knuckles, and elbows for optimal results.

In the afternoon we will focus on some muscle-specific Deep Tissue techniques for the Paraspinals (erector spinae and transversospinalis) that are different from but complementary to what you learned in massage school or elsewhere. The emphasis will be on releasing and unbinding the erector spinae group, the transversospinalis group, the lumbodorsal fascia, and the quadratus lumborum. These muscle-specific techniques will improve the precision and effectiveness of your back massage, and can be easily integrated to your style of bodywork. Body mechanics will continue to be a focus of the class, as well as proper use of elbows, fingers and knuckles to save wear and tear on joints. Students who have taken this class have reported that they were able to apply the techniques in their practices right away and that their clients loved the results, feeling a newfound sense of freedom and ease in their backs.

"This is one of the most practical classes I've ever taken. Brian presented useful information and then taught practical application of this info. He walked us through how to find each muscle--something I have always wished other instructors would do. I left the training with expanded skills and knowledge, which I have been able to use right away with my clients." - Evelyn Bass

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 
Date and Time: Saturday, March 3rd, 8am-5pm
Location: Portland, OR (East West College of the Healing Arts)

Tuition: $125 if registered and deposited by February 17th. Register for both the March 3rd MSDT for the Torso class and the March 4th MSDT Neck class for only $195. The price for the 2-class package goes up to $225 after February 17th.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the AMTA. Click here to register through Eventbrite.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Posterior, Lateral and Anterior Neck (Portland, OR)

The neck is a strong, vulnerable and complex structure. It is the most movable part of the spine, and yet is strong enough to balance and support the head (10-11 pounds), even with chronically poor posture. Skillful deep tissue work in this area is not about brute force; it's about precision and strategy, informed by knowledge of the anatomical structures. It's rare to find massage therapists who really know how to massage the neck in a precise, specific way–especially around the small muscular attachments to the transverse processes-–even though this is often where the muscles are most frayed and/or inflamed.

In the morning you will learn specific techniques for releasing the cervical posterior paraspinal muscles (longissimus, semispinalis capitis, multifidus), suboccipital triangle, levator scapula (especially the cervical attachments), facet joints, splenius capitus and cervicis, posterior, middle, and anterior scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and masseter. 

In the afternoon we will focus on deep muscle-specific techniques for the anterior neck. Many people learned in massage school to avoid this area, but it responds safely and well to skilled and precise touch. We will focus on the scalene, suprahyoid, infrahyoid, and longus capitus and colli groups. This is really helpful work for clients who have been in car accidents, have emotional issues with their necks or throats, or use their voices professionally (eg, singers). 

These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. The work is well-suited to either treating cervical injuries or improving your spa massage, and will increase your precision, palpatory sensitivity, and effectiveness. Body mechanics will also be a focus of the class as well as proper use of fingers to save wear and tear on joints. 

"I honestly learned more in your neck class than any other CE I've taken, and I've been at it almost 13 years." -Tracey Brandt 

"This is the best neck class I've ever taken." - Barbara Rue

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Sunday, March 4th, 8am-5pm
Location: Portland, OR (East West College of the Healing Arts)

Tuition: $125 if registered and deposited by February 17th. Register for both the March 3rd MSDT for the Torso class and the March 4th MSDT Neck class for only $195. The price for the 2-class package goes up to $225 after February 17th.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Oregon chapter of the AMTA. Click here to register through Eventbrite.

 

Taxes and Tax Strategies for LMT's

The recent tax legislation will affect all of us in 2018. As a self-employed massage therapist, about 16-30% of your net income will go to taxes, including federal income tax, social security, medicare, and state and local taxes. This is a small business person's largest single expense, and it behooves us to know how to skillfully manage this expense. In class we will focus on how to "think Schedule C" and legally maximize our allowable business deductions. We will also cover form 1040, tax planning, tax estimating, avoiding audits, the pros and cons of various tax software programs, and the legalities of hiring contractors or employees.  

Besides being packed with useful information, this class is fun, entertaining, and full of tips on how to save money on your taxes--you will easily recover your tuition in tax savings. You will also receive more individual attention than in a typical tax seminar due to the smaller size of the class. A professional tax preparer will join us at the end of class to answer any questions, including the implications of the new tax law for small businesses. 

"This was a fantastic class with tons of valuable information." -Dawn Geula

"The whole class was really jam-packed with significant legal information, interesting general knowledge, and great insights and ideas for legal tax deductions." -Maureen D'Armand

"My brain wants to shut down when presented with this type of stuff, but this was extremely helpful and educational." -Jet Mullen

"I dreaded coming today because of the 'dry' content, but it was fun and informative. All my questions were answered and I learned a bunch of new things that I had no clue about." - Verena Giebels

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, March 10th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle 
Tuition: $140 if registered by March 2nd; $160 thereafter

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register.
 

Understanding the Somatic Nervous System and Proprioception

When we are at our best in a massage, we are skillfully engaged in a conversation with our client's nervous system, including the autonomic and somatic components. In this class we will focus on the somatic (musculoskeletal) nervous system, including proprioception, cortical-limbic (ie, conscious, unconscious, and emotional) influences, reflexes, guarding responses, coordination, and the gamma efferent system. This will be more than just a physiology lecture--it's a course designed specifically for massage therapists. The focus will be on implications for bodywork, and how to skillfully and effectively apply this knowledge in your bodywork practice. You will gain a deeper understanding of the somatic nervous system, and how it applies to massage and to life. The course will go beyond what is typically taught in massage schools or in anatomy and physiology courses.

"Wow! Fantastic review and new perspective on the somatic nervous system and proprioception." - Christine Pearson
"The information was presented clearly and logically, and is all useful for me in my practice. I already notice more awareness in my work. It has increased my understanding of why I do what I do when I'm working." - Jennifer Gagnon
"I loved the detail and clarity of the instruction--it blew everything I got in massage school out of the water. I think I'll be able to apply this stuff immediately, and it already helps me think of my own body differently." - Jaren Hoppe-Leonard

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Sunday, March 11th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $140 if registered by March 2nd, $160 thereafter.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. 

 

Self Care and Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Arms and Hands

Our arms and hands are tough, dextrous, and exquisitely sensitive. As bodyworkers, we often use our hands and thumbs as our primary instruments, and we use them intensively. But we receive little training on how to protect them (particularly the thumbs), setting the stage for pain, injury, and arthritis. In the first portion of the class, Rebecca Norton (OT, LMT, and Certified Hand Therapist) will review hand and thumb anatomy and common mistakes that massage practitioners make. You will then learn how to consciously use your hands and thumbs in a way that protects your joint integrity while increasing the potency and focus of your work. You will also learn exercises, stretches and self-care for the hands and thumbs, as well as treatment strategies for working with clients who have arthritis in their hands and fingers.

In the afternoon, we will focus on muscle-specific Deep Tissue techniques for the arms and hands. As massage therapists, they are perhaps our primary vehicle for sensation and communication, and we use them (and often overuse them) intensively. Our clients' hands and arms often take a beating as well, especially with so much computer use in the workplace and at home. For all the work that they do, our arms and hands seldom get the time or attention that they deserve.

In this class, we will focus on techniques for releasing the muscles and fascia of the hands, thumbs and forearms; increasing mobility in the corresponding joints; and 'deconstructing' forearm muscles that have become glued together. You will learn some simple but effective ways to make your arm massages more specific, potent and satisfying--and receive some good work yourself.

During the exchange portion of the class, Brian will monitor the effectiveness of your Deep Tissue techniques, while Rebecca observes and coaches you on your body mechanics and the correct use of your hands.

"This was such a great combination of information: getting a thorough understanding of hand mechanics, anatomy, and care; and then using this information to learn deep massage techniques for the forearms and hands. I learned valuable self-care techniques that will allow me to work without injury, and also exquisite forearm and hand massage the I can use with my clients." -Andi Pihl

Instructor: Brian Utting and Rebecca Norton
CE Hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, March 17th, 10am-7:15pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $180 if registered by February 23rd; $200 thereafter.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. 

Ethics, Supervision, Boundaries and State Law [Sold Out]

We will begin with a thorough review of state massage law, and some interesting, important, and occasionally upsetting changes to the law. After a review of professional ethics, roles, and boundaries, we will take a more personal approach to professional ethics. Ethics is a living subject and is best learned in a live, interactive format. As massage practitioners, we work closely and intimately with our clients, but we often experience isolation and burnout in our own practices. When ethical conflicts, confusions, and challenges inevitably arise, we often feel that we have no place to take them.  

In this peer supervision class, we will explore your current professional issues and dilemmas, whether they be interpersonal, ethical, financial, or other. This is not a 'you should eat your vegetables' approach to ethics, but rather an opportunity to draw support and gain insight from your peers and mentors. The class size will be quite small and intimate, with a maximum of 9 students. You will return to your practice refreshed and with a deeper sense of clarity.

"This the only ethics class I've ever taken that I wish were longer." -Mariah Vanhee
"This was the best ethics class I've ever taken." - Darcy Hovard, Erin Morgan
"This class was far better time spent than an internet facsimile of an ethics class." - Christian Green
"Masterfully organized, and complete in subject coverage, handouts, and time management." - Barbara Johnson

Instructor: Brian Utting and De'Anna Dean
Ethics CE hours: 7 ethics CE hours, meets WA state ethics requirement
Date and Time: Sunday, March 18th, 11am - 6:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $120. 

Registration: This class is sold out. If you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

For those registered, the remaining balance ($60) is due at class, payable by cash or check only, made out to PNWSM.

There is another section of this class being offered on Saturday, May 5th. You can register for the May class here.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Legs & Hips (Amsterdam, NL)

The legs are often treated for the least amount of time in a session, yet they support the upper body and are under tremendous compressive force, whether moving or stationary. When the legs and feet are functioning properly, they are one of the fundamental anchors of our stability and support. When they're not, they are a major contributor to foot, knee, hip, and low back issues. 

In this class, you will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the muscles and fascia of the hips, legs and feet. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. We will also focus on correct body mechanics and proper use of hands, elbows, and forearms to save wear and tear on joints.

To watch a short video demo of one of the techniques covered in class (originally presented in Austin, TX), click here

"So many new, practical techniques to try! All really great stuff." -Chrisann Rauschenbach
"This was the best adductor work I've ever had." -Crystal Johnson

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8 CE hours
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 28th, 9:30am-6:30pm 
Location: The Akademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tuition: €135

Registration: This class is sponsored by The Akademie in Amsterdam. To view the class listing online, please click here. If you'd like to inquire about registration, please email Petra at petra@akademie.nl.

 

In-Depth Face and Head Massage

The facial muscles hold a significant amount of tension and are the source of many problems for our clients. In addition, the face is one of the most richly sensitive and enervated regions of the body, both on the sensory and motor side. Because the facial region is often overlooked in massage, incorporating skillful work in this area can offer your clients a more complete whole-body experience, and set your practice apart—as well as feeling wonderful.

This course will focus on integrated techniques for the cranium, scalp, face, neck and upper chest, as well as muscle-specific facial massage strokes and pressure points. The benefits of facial massage are extensive, including treatment for TMJ dysfunction, congestion and sinus issues, headaches, mood elevation, relaxation, and esthetic enhancement.

Your instructor, Tysan Dutta, is a graduate of the Cortiva Institute and the Euro Institute of Skincare, has a BA from Vassar College and an MA from Antioch University. She is certified in craniosacral therapy and studied structural injury work, neuromuscular release, and myofascial massage. Tysan believes that skillful facial massage should be incorporated into more bodywork sessions, and that the facial and cranial area is just as important as, if not more important than, any other region of the body.  

"Tysan is a fantastic instructor, and I will integrate this into my work right away." - Jo Sullivan

"It's clear Tysan loves this work, and has a ton of experience behind her." -Zinnia Su

"I loved this class." - Mari McGarvey, Adriane Martin

Instructor: Tysan Dutta (MA#60443553)
CE hours: 4 CE hours
Date and Time: Thursday, March 29th, 6:30-10:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $90 if registered by March 20th, $100 thereafter.

Registration: A non-refundable $40 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

 

The Neuroendocrine System, Stress, and Massage (Amsterdam, NL)

In order to improve the quality of their bodywork, most massage therapists focus on learning new techniques to add to their tool belts. But paradoxically, the most important element in successful massage outcomes might not be WHAT techniques you do, but HOW you do them, and WHO you are when you're doing them. In other words, the kind of relatedness you establish with your clients, and your own internal state as you engage with them, may be the most important influencers on the quality and outcome of your work, as well as your clients' overall massage experience. 

Humans (and all mammals) engage in something called 'limbic resonance', where the internal state of one can deeply influence the internal state of the other, and vice versa. This can happen very rapidly, and often subliminally. To say it another way, others feel and respond to our inner states, and we in turn respond to theirs. We can actually regulate the internal state of another, and they can help regulate us. This is a fundamental and necessary part of human experience, and a huge benefit of massage, whether our clients (and we) know it or not.

In addition, as massage therapists, we are often looked upon as stress-management specialists--our clients are looking for relief from their stresses, and we are not only trying to help them, but are trying to manage our own stresses as well. But what is this thing we call stress? How do we create deep states of calm in ourselves and others? And since stress is not going away, how do we effectively work with it? 

In this class we will explore the nature of stress, some of its paradoxes, and how to skillfully work with them. We will examine the anatomy and physiology of the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the endocrine system; how those systems upregulate in times of stress, and why. We will investigate the etiology of stress-related diseases and disorders caused by autonomic-neuroendocrine imbalance; they are rampant in our culture. We will then look at how massage can remedy distress and stress disorders, and positively influence health and balance. We will also review some common (and successful) stress management approaches, including yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction, breathing, counseling, diet, biofeedback, exercise, hydrotherapy, attitude, and loving, supportive relationships. You will learn how to better manage your own stresses, and how to help your clients manage theirs.  

"One of the best non-technique classes I've attended in years. I would recommend it to any therapist looking for information related to our field." - BJ Erkan

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Friday, March 30th, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: The Akademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tuition: €100

Registration: This class is sponsored by The Akademie in Amsterdam. To view the class listing online, please click here. If you'd like to inquire about registration, please email Petra at petra@akademie.nl.

 

CTM/Bindegewebsmassage (Amsterdam, NL)

Bindegewebsmassage, or Connective Tissue Massage (CTM), is a precise and elegant way to work with the body's dermatomes and autonomic reflexes to induce corresponding autonomic changes in specific organs. The technique was developed in Germany by Elizabeth Dicke, and is widely practiced in Europe, although it is less known in the United States. Bindegewebsmassage is quite powerful, although it can appear subtle at first.

Starting with the sacrum, specific cutaneous zones are stroked with a dragging pressure in a precise and orchestrated way that can "trick" the body into responding as if specific organs or organ systems are being massaged. In response, the target organ vasodilates and its smooth muscles tissue relaxes. Bindegewebsmassage is quite effective for treating menstrual cramps, eliminating or reducing symptoms over 90% of the time. It can also be helpful with reducing the symptoms of migraines, asthma, and intestinal cramping. In addition, CTM can subtly affect the fascial layers (especially adhesions in the subcutaneous layer), increasing range of motion and flexibility, and reducing pain or tingling from tightened tissue. Bindegewebsmassage typically has a calming effect, and can be used for general parasympathetic relaxation as well.

A handful of clinical trials have shown CTM-style manipulation has beneficial effects in pain reduction, reduced depression, improved quality-of-life, and moderate short-term increases of beta-endorphins (pain-relieving neuro-transmitters). These trials add to anecdotal observations from clinicians that CTM often causes "virtually immediate relief in visceral or myofascial pain as well as general relaxation" (Prendergast & Rommer, 2013).

In this class, you will learn the "basic build-up", which primarily focuses on the sacral and pelvic areas and their corresponding target organs, and the "first followup", which focuses on the lower back and rib cage.

"That the viscero-cutaneous reflex interconnection is reversible, that is to say, that it not only leads from the internal organs to the skin, but vice versa, is a long-established fact. One of the most elegant and fundamental systems, which conforms almost flawlessly to the workings of the segmental reflexes, is connective tissue massage as prescribed by Dicke." - Hans Schliack, MD (German neurologist).

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, March 31st, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: The Akademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tuition: €135

Registration: This class is sponsored by The Akademie in Amsterdam. To view the class listing online, please click here. If you'd like to inquire about registration, please email Petra at petra@akademie.nl.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Legs & Hips (2-day workshop in Antwerp, Belgium)

The legs are often treated by bodyworkers for the least amount of time in a session. Yet they support the upper body and are under tremendous compressive force, whether moving or stationary. When the structures of the feet and legs are functioning properly, they are one of the fundamental anchors of our stability and support. When they're not, they are a major contributor to foot, knee, hip, and low back issues. In this class, you will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the muscles and fascia of the hips, legs and feet. 

The first day, we will focus on the musculotendinous layers of the feet, the deep calf flexors (tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis, flexor digitorum), the anterior compartment, quadriceps, tensor fascia latae, gluteus medius, and adductors.

The second day will focus on the posterior leg and hip, including the deep calf flexors (tibialis posterior, flexor hallucis, flexor digitorum), popliteus, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, the deep lateral rotators, and the iliotibial tract. 

These are simple, straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. Body mechanics will also be a focus of the class, as well as proper use of hands, elbows, and forearms to save wear and tear on joints.

"So many new, practical techniques to try! All really great stuff." -Chrisann Rauschenbach

"This was the best class I've taken in years." -Tracy LeMoine

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 10 total (5 per day)
Date and Time: Wednesday and Thursday, April 4th-5th, 1-6:30pm each day.
Location: The East West Center, Antwerp, Belgium
Tuition: 140€

Registration: This class is sponsored by the East West Center. Please view the website here for registration instructions, or contact Luc at luc@owc.be.

To see a full list of classes that Brian is teaching in Antwerp, including registration instructions, click here.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Cervical Ligaments (Antwerp, Belgium)

The neck is one of the most common areas of client complaint, injury and dysfunction, and it can be a challenging area to treat effectively. Injured or irritated neck ligaments can be particularly vexing; besides causing deep pain, they can provoke a guarding response in the nearby muscles, causing additional pain, tension, and limitation of movement.  

In this class we will explore the deeper terrain of the neck, concentrating on the key ligamentous and related muscular and fascial structures that, when injured, often create chronic neck pain and tension. The cervical ligaments are every bit as important as the muscles, bones, and fascia, but are often overlooked by massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.  

You will learn assessment and palpation skills that will help you to identify the ligamentous structures that need treatment, make sure it is appropriate to do so, and treat the injured structures. A primary focus of this class is to help you refine your accuracy in both palpation and treatment, and to help you develop more confidence, specificity and thoroughness in your neck assessment and treatment. Clients notice the difference right away when they feel you touch the "right spots", and their chronic pain and tension begins to dissolve from the inside out.

"This was one of the most informative classes I've taken in a long time. The material is very useful for my clinical practice." - Sabrina Sargent

"I think more than any other technique or series of movements I've incorporated, this neck work has had the most consistent and specific effects. Every person who has received the work has said they've felt lengthened, their neck felt freed and that they slept very soundly that night, often feeling very relaxed the next couple of days. Thank you!" - Dawn Geula

"This class was ridiculously useful. I will be using these techniques immediately and daily." - Robin Mayberry

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Friday, April 6th, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: The East West Center, Antwerp, Belgium
Tuition: 140€

Registration: This class is sponsored by the East West Center. Please view the website here for registration instructions, or contact Luc at luc@owc.be.

To see a full list of classes that Brian is teaching in Antwerp, including registration instructions, click here.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Chest & Side-lying Shoulders (Antwerp, Belgium)

The chest is often overlooked as a primary contributor to back and shoulder issues. It is the source of our breath and our taking in of life. These core muscles are often tight, constricting breathing, energy flow, and movement. You will learn simple but powerful methods to release the sternum and ribcage. These techniques are liberating and create a noticeable opening right away, helping your clients to breathe more deeply with less effort. They also create a foundation for a more balanced shoulder girdle. The shoulders, in turn, are meant to float freely on the ribcage, but they are often restricted, stuck down, and in pain. You will learn to effectively liberate anterior scapular muscles such as the pectoralis minor and the subscapularis, and help to give your clients a feeling ease and freedom in their shoulders that reaches all the way around to their back.

In the afternoon we will work with the shoulder girdle from the side-lying position. Besides being deeply comforting and relaxing, skilled side-lying work gives you excellent access to the structures of the shoulder. You will learn specific, effective, and potent techniques for releasing the muscles of the shoulder girdle, including the trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, levator scapula, subscapularis, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, pectoralis minor, and the surrounding fascia.  The side-lying position also gives you excellent access to some of the smaller muscles of the back, such as the transversospinalis--muscles that are fundamentally important to our posture, movement, and well-being, but that are often completely missed in a standard massage.

We sometimes think of side-lying work as primarily for pregnant women, but almost all of your clients can benefit from skilled side-lying work in this area, and it feels wonderful. The class will focus on straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. Body mechanics will also be a focus of these classes as well as proper use of knuckles and elbows to save wear and tear on joints.

"This was the best CE class I've ever taken." -Tyler Rapke

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, April 7th, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: The East West Center, Antwerp, Belgium
Tuition: 140€

Registration: This class is sponsored by the East West Center. Please view the website here for registration instructions, or contact Luc at luc@owc.be.

To see a full list of classes that Brian is teaching in Antwerp, including registration instructions, click here.

 

Ethics: Massage, Unlicensed Practice, Prostitution, Human Trafficking- What's Going On?

What is one of the fastest-growing segments of the massage industry in Washington? Massage as health care? Day spas? Massage Envy-type franchises? It may surprise you to learn that the fastest-growing segment may be illegitimate, unlicensed practice fronting as licensed, regulated massage. In addition, foot spas, massage parlors engaged in prostitution, and even human trafficking operations (using massage as a cover) have all grown at an alarming rate in the past few years. Although we would like to believe there is less confusion now than there used to be about who we are and what we do as LMT's, public confusion about massage has quietly gotten worse in the past several years.

This is why our professional associations are now getting involved in the fight against human trafficking, and to some extent, why we are facing annual licensing fee increases here in Washington for investigative and other regulatory costs. In addition, changes are coming to our massage laws with regard to draping, charting, breast massage, and more. What are the real concerns and issues with human trafficking and illegitimate massage in our communities? 

While the vast majority of us have conscientiously gone about our work as massage therapists, others have generated complaints related to unlicensed practice, sexually inappropriate behavior, and worse--all under our good name. The result? More rules, more regulations, and more costs for legitimate LMTs, not to mention continued confusion in the public’s eye about who we are and what we do. When we demand action from the DOH, we’re often told there’s little that can be done, as there are simply not enough resources to investigate all the complaints; meanwhile, more rules and regulations are being written affecting how we practice bodywork. 

This 5-hour CE class, which meets the Washington State CE and NCBTMB requirements for professional ethics, takes an in-depth, candid look at these issues. This class will support you in protecting our profession and educating our clients in an environment that can be confusing and even dangerous. A portion of the class will also specifically address personal safety for massage practitioners, including basic self defense strategies and how to minimize interfacing with sketchy and/or dangerous clients. Your instructor, Lavon Watson, is a massage therapist and retired police detective who has been studying these issues since 2008.

The challenging situation we are facing is a perfect storm of legal, legislative, economic, cultural and law enforcement issues. This class is a call to action–our response will need to be organized, nuanced, and multifaceted if we are going to disentangle legitimate massage from illicit massage and prostitution. This course will help you to understand the threat to our profession, protect yourself, and recognize the power we have to make positive changes to turn this situation around.

"From the moment the class started, I felt that my perspective was challenged. I learned so much new information on a topic I thought I knew so much about already. I'm so glad that I took it." -Jennifer Day

Instructor: Lavon Watson, LMT, Retired Police Detective
CE hours: 5; meets WA State and NCBTMB Ethics requirements
Date and Time: Sunday, April 8th, 10am-4pm
Location: Seattle (Phinney Ridge Community Center)
Tuition: $95 if registered by March 30th, $105 thereafter.

Registration: Click here to register online. 

 

The Neuroendocrine System, Stress, and Massage (Tallinn, Estonia)

In order to improve the quality of their bodywork, most massage therapists focus on learning new techniques to add to their tool belts. But paradoxically, the most important element in successful massage outcomes might not be WHAT techniques you do, but HOW you do them, and WHO you are when you're doing them. In other words, the kind of relatedness you establish with your clients, and your own internal state as you engage with them, may be the most important influencers on the quality and outcome of your work, as well as your clients' overall massage experience. 

Humans (and all mammals) engage in something called 'limbic resonance', where the internal state of one can deeply influence the internal state of the other, and vice versa. This can happen very rapidly, and often subliminally. To say it another way, others feel and respond to our inner states, and we in turn respond to theirs. We can actually regulate the internal state of another, and they can help regulate us. This is a fundamental and necessary part of human experience, and a huge benefit of massage, whether our clients (and we) know it or not.

In addition, as massage therapists, we are often looked upon as stress-management specialists--our clients are looking for relief from their stresses, and we are not only trying to help them, but are trying to manage our own stresses as well. But what is this thing we call stress? How do we create deep states of calm in ourselves and others? And since stress is not going away, how do we effectively work with it? 

In this class we will explore the nature of stress, some of its paradoxes, and how to skillfully work with them. We will examine the anatomy and physiology of the autonomic nervous system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of the endocrine system; how those systems upregulate in times of stress, and why. We will investigate the etiology of stress-related diseases and disorders caused by autonomic-neuroendocrine imbalance; they are rampant in our culture. We will then look at how massage can remedy distress and stress disorders, and positively influence health and balance. We will also review some common (and successful) stress management approaches, including yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction, breathing, counseling, diet, biofeedback, exercise, hydrotherapy, attitude, and loving, supportive relationships. You will learn how to better manage your own stresses, and how to help your clients manage theirs.  

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Friday, April 13th, 9:30am-6pm
Location: Estonian Massage and Therapy School (Tallinn, Estonia)
Tuition: $140. 

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Tallinn: April 13th, 14th, and 15th, at $140 each. Register for all three classes for $400. You can view a description for the April 14th class, CTM/Bindegewebsmassage, here, and for the April 15th class, Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage, here

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Estonian Massage and Therapy School. You can see their website here to register with them directly, and see their listing of all Brian's classes in Tallin. 

If you live in the United States, and prefer to pay in USD, you can register online here. Choosing this option will commit you to paying the entire tuition of $140 USD per class, and is non-refundable and non-transferable. Click here to register for all three Tallinn classes.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Tallinn, Estonia. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

CTM/Bindegewebsmassage (Tallinn, Estonia)

Bindegewebsmassage, or Connective Tissue Massage (CTM), is a precise and elegant way to work with the body's dermatomes and autonomic reflexes to induce corresponding autonomic changes in specific organs. The technique was developed in Germany by Elizabeth Dicke, and is widely practiced in Europe, although it is less known in the United States. Bindegewebsmassage is quite powerful, although it can appear subtle at first.

Starting with the sacrum, specific cutaneous zones are stroked with a dragging pressure in a precise and orchestrated way that can "trick" the body into responding as if specific organs or organ systems are being massaged. In response, the target organ vasodilates and its smooth muscles tissue relaxes. Bindegewebsmassage is quite effective for treating menstrual cramps, eliminating or reducing symptoms over 90% of the time. It can also be helpful with reducing the symptoms of migraines, asthma, and intestinal cramping. In addition, CTM can subtly affect the fascial layers (especially adhesions in the subcutaneous layer), increasing range of motion and flexibility, and reducing pain or tingling from tightened tissue. Bindegewebsmassage typically has a calming effect, and can be used for general parasympathetic relaxation as well.

A handful of clinical trials have shown CTM-style manipulation has beneficial effects in pain reduction, reduced depression, improved quality-of-life, and moderate short-term increases of beta-endorphins (pain-relieving neuro-transmitters). These trials add to anecdotal observations from clinicians that CTM often causes "virtually immediate relief in visceral or myofascial pain as well as general relaxation" (Prendergast & Rommer, 2013).

In this class, you will learn the "basic build-up", which primarily focuses on the sacral and pelvic areas and their corresponding target organs, and the "first followup", which focuses on the lower back and rib cage.

"That the viscero-cutaneous reflex interconnection is reversible, that is to say, that it not only leads from the internal organs to the skin, but vice versa, is a long-established fact. One of the most elegant and fundamental systems, which conforms almost flawlessly to the workings of the segmental reflexes, is connective tissue massage as prescribed by Dicke." - Hans Schliack, MD (prominent German neurologist).

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, April 14th, 9:30am-6pm
Location: Estonian Massage and Therapy School (Tallinn, Estonia)
Tuition: $140. 

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Tallinn: April 13th, 14th, and 15th, at $140 each. Register for all three classes for $400. You can view a description for the April 13th class, The Neuroendocrine System, Stress, and Massage, here, and for the April 15th class, Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage, here

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Estonian Massage and Therapy School. You can see their website here to register with them directly, and see their listing of all Brian's classes in Tallin. 

If you live in the United States, and prefer to pay in USD, you can register online here. Choosing this option will commit you to paying the entire tuition of $140 USD per class, and is non-refundable and non-transferable. Click here to register for all three Tallinn classes.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Tallinn, Estonia. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Unlocking the Shoulder and Thoracic Spine with Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

The modern world is hard on our bodies--work and device usage alone can cause a whole host of postural, structural, and mobility issues that eventually lead to pain and dysfunction. In this class, we will explore a variety of postural and functional movement assessments that can help you identify the source or sources of your clients' dysfunction in the thoracic, shoulder girdle, and glenohumeral joints.

Primarily using Muscle Energy Technique (MET), we will create a treatment strategy to address the root of the problem. MET is a non-invasive technique from the osteopathic tradition that uses muscular resistance and targeted stretching to create change in either muscle length or structural alignment. We will also integrate current research from both the neuromuscular and fascial fields.

You will learn how to identify, release and improve functionality of stubborn, painful conditions in the neck, thorax, and shoulders. In addition, you will learn some simple and effective self-care strategies so that you and your clients can get the best results.

Instructor: Matthew Sorlie (MA#12386)
CE hours: 8 
Date and Time: Saturday, April 14th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $160 if registered by April 5th, $175 thereafter. 

Registration: A non-refundable $60 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

 

Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage (Tallinn, Estonia)

The viscera are at the very core of our body, and are, along with our nervous system, a primary source of life. They are at the center of our structure, our emotions, our biochemistry, and our life energy. There are over 500 million neurons in the belly (almost 5 times more than in the spinal cord), and our enteric nervous system is a primary source of our intuition and "gut" feelings.

When we are anxious or distressed, our natural instinct is to protect our soft underbelly and "stuff" emotions there, causing multilayered problems throughout the body. The smooth muscles of the gut contract, pulling on the surrounding mesentery and fascia, causing not only gut pain, but back pain. In addition, surgery can create adhesions and multi-directional disruptions in the abdominal fascia and musculature. It is ironic that this vital healing area is often overlooked in massage.

The sensitivity and vulnerability of the belly is precisely why it is so receptive to safe, calming, and nourishing touch. We can soothe the enteric nervous system and the soft underbelly, sending waves of deep relaxation throughout the entire body. We can relax the smooth muscles of the intestines, which reduces pain, improves digestive function, and eases the fascial pull in the back and other areas of the body. We can sometimes separate post-surgical adhesions, creating balance and increased ease of movement at the very core of the body.

In this class you will learn simple and effective abdominal massage techniques that are easy to integrate into your massage practice. You will learn the basic layout of some of the area's major anatomical structures and how to identify, palpate, and treat them. This class will make your abdominal work more comforting, intelligent, and effective. You will be able to help your clients achieve deeper states of relaxation, relieve pain, improve digestive function, and help free up deep structural imbalances.

"I was expecting a belly massage class and walked away with a deep understanding of the abdomen. This class was incredible." - KC Johnston, LMP and Doula

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Sunday, April 15th, 9:30am-6pm
Location: Estonian Massage and Therapy School (Tallinn, Estonia)
Tuition: $140. 

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Tallinn: April 13th, 14th, and 15th, at $140 each. Register for all three classes for $400. You can view a description for the April 13th class, The Neuroendocrine System, Stress, and Massage, here, and for the April 14th class, CTM/Bindegewebsmassage, here

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Estonian Massage and Therapy School. You can see their website here to register with them directly, and see their listing of all Brian's classes in Tallin. 

If you live in the United States, and prefer to pay in USD, you can register online here. Choosing this option will commit you to paying the entire tuition of $140 USD per class, and is non-refundable and non-transferable. Click here to register for all three Tallinn classes.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Tallinn, Estonia. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Catching Up With the Latest in Massage Research

Key Findings and Why They Matter in Your Practice.

Most of us got a few nuggets of massage research in massage school, and we learned a lot about the effects of massage (e.g. "massage breaks up adhesions'). But based on current research, many things that we were taught are just not true, or the mechanisms are different than we thought.

What really happens when we do massage?  This 7-hour class provides you with up-to-date findings on massage therapy research and a better way to use those findings to increase your effectiveness and boost your everyday massage practice.

How does massage really work?

  • Does massage therapy "flush toxins"?  If so, which ones, and how?
  • Does massage therapy relieve muscle soreness?  How?
  • What are massage therapy's effects on pain, inflammation, and perception?
  • Surprising findings on massage therapy's effectiveness in the treatment of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, visceral adhesions, and immune function
  • Cutting-edge science on fascia: its behavior, disease processes, and diagnostics

What does this mean for my massage practice?

  • Making better treatment decisions
  • Finding the best information quickly
  • Communicating more clearly with clients and colleagues
  • Improving how you take a medical history and monitor progress across sessions
  • Using research to boost your practice and referral base
  • Building a common language with physicians and other allied providers

Instructor: Mike Hamm 
CE hours: 7 CE hours-- this class meets (and exceeds) the NCBTMB requirement for research literacy.
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 18th, 11am-6:30pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $120 if registered by April 11th; $135 thereafter.

Registration: A non-refundable $40 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Iceland is one of the most beautiful, progressive, and profoundly natural places on earth. Join Brian for three tax-deductible CE classes in Reykjavik, Iceland on April 21st-25th, 2018. 

The first class will focus on assessing and skillfully treating the ligaments of the low back and sacrum. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are more than a million workers who suffer back injuries in a year, and that they account for about 20% of the total work-related injuries. Back pain can be debilitating for many, and even when it's just a nuisance, it can significantly impact quality of life for our clients. Massage can be a helpful tool in the recovery and rehabilitation process, but it is all too common for clients to receive massage that has a minimal impact on their pain and discomfort. 

One of the things commonly missing is a better understanding of and ability to specifically palpate the terrain of the low back and sacrum, particularly connective tissue structures like the various supporting ligaments. These ligaments are every bit as important as the muscles, bones, and fascia, but are often overlooked by massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists.  

In this class, you will learn to palpate and treat some of the most commonly injured ligaments in the low back and pelvis, including the iliolumbar, intertransverse, sacroiliac, sacrotuberous, supraspinous, and interspinous ligaments, as well as a few key postural muscles. 

"I found this class extremely informative; it's something my own body needed, and I hadn't been able to pinpoint it." -Sabrina Barrera

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, April 21st, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Tuition: $160 if registered and deposited by March 31st; $175 thereafter.

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Reykjavik: April 21st, 22nd, and 25th. Register for any two of the Reykjavik classes for only $300 ($150 deposit required), or register for all three classes for only $425 ($225 deposit required). The 2- and 3-class packages expire on March 31st; registering after that date will cost $175 per class.

You can view a description for the April 22nd class, Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage, here, and for the April 25th class, Hydrotherapy Principles, Physiology and Immersions, here

Registration: To take this class a la carte, a non-refundable $75 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

In order to register for two or three classes in Reykjavik, you can pay the online deposit for each class, either individually through their links above, or by adding all three to your cart (follow instructions on any registration page).

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Reykjavik, Iceland. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

CHABA & Cannabis 101 for Washington LMTs

Is cannabis legal for massage? Is it beneficial, and if so, how does it work? What if a client asks me to use a lotion they have brought in that has cannabis in it during their massage? Will I get in trouble and will it affect me if I use it? 

In case you haven’t noticed, we’re currently in what some refer to as a “green rush” here in Washington State. The cannabis movement is happening and happening fast, and we need to keep up and be informed. As a more open view of cannabis prevails, these products are nudging their way into our treatment rooms, raising questions about application, legality, and consequences of their use.

CHABA stands for Cannabis Health and Beauty Aid, and CHABA topicals that have less than 0.3% THC are legal for Washington massage therapists to use. Although using them can be beneficial, there is plenty to explore: what brands are available, what uses are and aren’t legal (opening a cannabis spa, for example, is not), whether they have an effect on the LMT applying the CHABA, and whether you choose to use these products at all.

This class is designed to provide licensed massage therapists in Washington State with the tools and knowledge they need to stay out of trouble, and understand what can and can’t be used legally, as well as the potential benefits of these products. This fun and informative course will help you:

• Understand the history of cannabis law in Washington State
• Understand the current rules and regulations around the use of these products
• Maintain safe roles and boundaries with clients
• Understand the basics of CHABA/cannabis and its benefits
• Identify legal CHABA products available in Washington State
• Help you speak confidently about the topic to your clients/patients

Your instructor, Jennifer Chan, has been a massage therapist for 10 years and has been researching this topic since 2011. Jennifer is the first CHABA massage therapist out of the green closet in Washington State, and helped get CHABA legalized here. As a member of N.O.R.M.L. Women of WA, an organization that concentrates on normalization, education, and outreach regarding cannabis, Jennifer has been involved in a variety of educational efforts around cannabis and CHABA products here in our state.

To read a summary of an article about Jen that was published in The Stranger, click here.

"Extremely helpful and informative." -Amber Myers

Instructor: Jennifer Chan, LMT (MA# 60324770), BCTMB
CE hours: 
Date and Time: Sunday, April 22nd, 11am-3:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $80 if registered by April 13th, $90 thereafter.

Registration: A non-refundable $30 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

Note: This class is not NCBTMB-approved for CE credit.

 

Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage (Reykjavik, Iceland)

The viscera are at the very core of our body, and are, along with our nervous system, a primary source of life. They are at the center of our structure, our emotions, our biochemistry, and our life energy. There are over 500 million neurons in the belly (almost 5 times more than in the spinal cord), and our enteric nervous system is a primary source of our intuition and "gut" feelings.

When we are anxious or distressed, our natural instinct is to protect our soft underbelly and "stuff" emotions there, causing multilayered problems throughout the body. The smooth muscles of the gut contract, pulling on the surrounding mesentery and fascia, causing not only gut pain, but back pain. In addition, surgery can create adhesions and multi-directional disruptions in the abdominal fascia and musculature. It is ironic that this vital healing area is often overlooked in massage.

The sensitivity and vulnerability of the belly is precisely why it is so receptive to safe, calming, and nourishing touch. We can soothe the enteric nervous system and the soft underbelly, sending waves of deep relaxation throughout the entire body. We can relax the smooth muscles of the intestines, which reduces pain, improves digestive function, and eases the fascial pull in the back and other areas of the body. We can sometimes separate post-surgical adhesions, creating balance and increased ease of movement at the very core of the body.

In this class you will learn simple and effective abdominal massage techniques that are easy to integrate into your massage practice. You will learn the basic layout of some of the area's major anatomical structures and how to identify, palpate, and treat them. This class will make your abdominal work more comforting, intelligent, and effective. You will be able to help your clients achieve deeper states of relaxation, relieve pain, improve digestive function, and help free up deep structural imbalances.

"I was expecting a belly massage class and walked away with a deep understanding of the abdomen. This class was incredible." - KC Johnston, LMP and Doula

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Sunday, April 22nd, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Tuition: $160 if registered and deposited by March 31st; $175 thereafter.

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Reykjavik: April 21st, 22nd, and 25th. Register for any two of the Reykjavik classes for only $300 ($150 deposit required), or register for all three classes for only $425 ($225 deposit required). The 2- and 3-class packages expire on March 31st; registering after that date will cost $175 per class.

You can view a description for the April 21st class, Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments, here, and for the April 25th class, Hydrotherapy Principles, Physiology and Immersions, here

Registration: To take this class a la carte, a non-refundable $75 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

In order to register for two or three classes in Reykjavik, you can pay the online deposit for each class, either individually through their links above, or by adding all three to your cart (follow instructions on any registration page).

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Reykjavik, Iceland. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Hydrotherapy Principles, Physiology and Immersions (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Hydrotherapy has been practiced as a healing art in many cultures since the beginning of recorded history. The people of Iceland have faithfully been practicing hydrotherapy for centuries, and the country has some of the most abundant and magical hot springs of any place in the world. Hydrotherapy, like massage, supports relaxation, cleansing, detoxification, and improved healing outcomes. Used together, massage and hydrotherapy are synergistic and more powerful than either modality used alone. 

This course will focus on how massage practitioners can strategically and effectively apply hydrotherapy in massage practice and in life as a health-building form of self-care. We will start with a review of the the physiology of thermal homeostasis, and the effects hot and cold hydrotherapy on the nervous, muscular, circulatory, integumentary, fascial, and digestive systems. You will learn about the properties of water, the physics of hot and cold, and the rules and principles for safe and effective hydrotherapy. Following a survey of different hydrotherapy applications, you will learn a form of ice massage that is particularly well-suited to deep tissue work.  

You will then experience several forms of hydrotherapy at Laugardalslaug, Reykjavik's largest and best hydrotherapy facility, located within walking distance of the classroom. Its facilities include a geothermally-heated olympic-size pool, 5 hot tubs (including one feeding seawater directly from the ocean), a steam bath, a cold plunge, and a geothermally-heated children's pool with water slides. You will leave class feeling refreshed, cleansed, and detoxified. 

Join us for a tax-deductible training in one of the most beautiful, progressive, and profoundly natural places on earth. Straddling the European and North American geologic plates, Iceland is the land of fire and ice, with glaciers, waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanoes. 

"Amazing class! I feel so much more grounded in my hydrotherapy knowledge. I feel more comfortable speaking to my clients about proper hydrotherapy for their individual needs, which is exactly what I was looking for." -Ashlyn Swan

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8 
Date and Time: Wednesday, April 25th, 11am-9pm
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Tuition: $160 if registered and deposited by March 31st; $175 thereafter. Tuition includes the entrance fee for Laugardalslaug hot springs.

Brian will be teaching 3 classes in Reykjavik: April 21st, 22nd, and 25th. Register for any two of the Reykjavik classes for only $300 ($150 deposit required), or register for all three classes for only $425 ($225 deposit required). The 2- and 3-class packages expire on March 31st; registering after that date will cost $175 per class.

You can view a description for the April 21st class, Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments, here, and for the April 22nd class, Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage, here.

Registration: To take this class a la carte, a non-refundable $75 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

In order to register for two or three classes in Reykjavik, you can pay the online deposit for each class, either individually through their links above, or by adding all three to your cart (follow instructions on any registration page).

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Reykjavik, Iceland. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Legs & Hips (Akureyri, Iceland)

The legs are often treated for the least amount of time in a session, yet they support the upper body and are under tremendous compressive force, whether moving or stationary. When the legs and feet are functioning properly, they are one of the fundamental anchors of our stability and support. When they're not, they are a major contributor to foot, knee, hip, and low back issues. 

In this class, you will learn specific, potent, and effective Deep Tissue techniques to release the muscles and fascia of the hips, legs and feet. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. We will also focus on correct body mechanics and proper use of hands, elbows, and forearms to save wear and tear on joints.

To watch a short video demo of one of the techniques covered in class (originally presented in Austin, TX), click here

"So many new, practical techniques to try! All really great stuff." -Chrisann Rauschenbach

"This was the best adductor work I've ever had." -Crystal Johnson

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8 CE hours
Date and Time: Saturday, April 28th, 9:30am-6:45pm 
Location: Akureyri, Iceland

Tuition: $170 if registered by April 18th; $190 thereafter. Register for both the April 28th MSDT for Legs and Hips class and the April 29th MSDT Arms-Hands-Shoulder class for only $275. The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after April 18th.

Registration: Full payment is required at time of registration. Click here to register for April 28th, or click here to register for the 2-day package.

Questions? Contact Reginn Unason at Reginn Unason <reginn84@hotmail.com>, or contact Brian at info@pnwschool.com.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Akureyri, Iceland. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

MSDT Techniques for the Arms, Hands, and Anterior Shoulder (Akureyri, Iceland)

The anterior shoulder muscles (pectorals, subclavius, subscapularis, etc) are often chronically tight, which can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder and upper back. Releasing these muscles creates a foundation for a more balanced shoulder girdle. Ideally, the shoulders should float freely on the ribcage, but they are often restricted, stuck down, and in pain. You will learn to effectively liberate anterior scapular muscles such as the pectoralis minor and the subscapularis, giving your clients a feeling of ease and freedom in their shoulders that reaches all the way around to their back.

The arms and hands, meanwhile, are tough, dexterous, and exquisitely sensitive. As massage therapists, they are perhaps our primary vehicle for sensation and communication, and we use them (and sometimes overuse them) intensively. Our clients' hands and arms are typically overworked as well (and often injured), especially with so much computer use in the workplace and at home. For all the work that they do, our hands and forearms seldom get the time or skilled attention that they deserve. 

In this class we will focus on specific techniques for releasing the muscles and fascia of the hands, thumbs and forearms; increasing mobility in the corresponding joints; and 'deconstructing' forearm muscles that have become fascially bound together. You will learn some simple but effective ways to make your arm massages more specific, potent and satisfying--and receive some good (and much-needed) work yourself.

"All my little finger joints feel so free, and like they are lined with satin." - Melissa D'Haene

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 7 CE hours
Date and Time: Sunday, April 29th, 10am-6pm 
Location: Akureyri, Iceland

Tuition: $150 if registered by April 18th; $170 thereafter. Register for both the April 28th MSDT for Legs and Hips class and the April 29th MSDT Arms-Hands-Shoulder class for only $275. The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after April 18th.

Registration: Full payment is required at time of registration. Click here to register for April 29th, or click here to register for the 2-day package.

Questions? Contact Reginn Unason at Reginn Unason <reginn84@hotmail.com>, or contact Brian at info@pnwschool.com.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Akureyri, Iceland. If you have questions, you can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Ethics, Supervision, Boundaries and State Law

We will begin with a thorough review of state massage law, and some interesting, important, and occasionally upsetting changes to the law. After a review of professional ethics, roles, and boundaries, we will take a more personal approach to professional ethics. Ethics is a living subject and is best learned in a live, interactive format. As massage practitioners, we work closely and intimately with our clients, but we often experience isolation and burnout in our own practices. When ethical conflicts, confusions, and challenges inevitably arise, we often feel that we have no place to take them.  

In this peer supervision class, we will explore your current professional issues and dilemmas, whether they be interpersonal, ethical, financial, or other. This is not a 'you should eat your vegetables' approach to ethics, but rather an opportunity to draw support and gain insight from your peers and mentors. The class size will be quite small and intimate, with a maximum of 9 students. You will return to your practice refreshed and with a deeper sense of clarity.

"This the only ethics class I've ever taken that I wish were longer." -Mariah Vanhee
"This was the best ethics class I've ever taken." - Darcy Hovard, Erin Morgan
"This class was far better time spent than an internet facsimile of an ethics class." - Christian Green
"Masterfully organized, and complete in subject coverage, handouts, and time management." - Barbara Johnson

Instructor: Brian Utting and De'Anna Dean
Ethics CE hours: 7 ethics CE hours, meets WA state ethics requirement
Date and Time: Saturday, May 5th, 11am - 6:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $120. 

Registration: A non-refundable $60 deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the deposit online. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Posterior, Lateral and Anterior Neck

The neck is a strong, vulnerable and complex structure. It is the most movable part of the spine, and yet is strong enough to balance and support the head (10-11 pounds), even with chronically poor posture. Skillful deep tissue work in this area is not about brute force; it's about precision and strategy, informed by knowledge of the anatomical structures. It's rare to find massage therapists who really know how to massage the neck in a precise, specific way–especially around the small muscular attachments to the transverse processes-–even though this is often where the muscles are most frayed and/or inflamed.

In the morning you will learn specific techniques for releasing the cervical posterior paraspinal muscles (longissimus, semispinalis capitis, multifidus), suboccipital triangle, levator scapula (especially the cervical attachments), facet joints, splenius capitus and cervicis, posterior, middle, and anterior scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and masseter. 

In the afternoon we will focus on deep muscle-specific techniques for the anterior neck. Many people learned in massage school to avoid this area, but it responds safely and well to skilled and precise touch. We will focus on the scalene, suprahyoid, infrahyoid, and longus capitus and colli groups. This is really helpful work for clients who have been in car accidents, have emotional issues with their necks or throats, or use their voices professionally (eg, singers). 

These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. The work is well-suited to either treating cervical injuries or improving your spa massage, and will increase your precision, palpatory sensitivity, and effectiveness. Body mechanics will also be a focus of the class as well as proper use of fingers to save wear and tear on joints. 

"I honestly learned more in your neck class than any other CE I've taken, and I've been at it almost 13 years." -Tracey Brandt 

"This is the best neck class I've ever taken." - Barbara Rue

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, May 12th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $170 if registered by May 4th, $190 thereafter.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register.