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.

Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments

The 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, July 21st, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170. Save $25 if you register for both this class and Assessment and Treatment of the Neck Ligaments on Sunday, July 22nd. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd, click here.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Cervical Ligaments

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: Sunday, July 22nd, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170. Save $25 if you register for both this class and Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments on Saturday, July 21st. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, July 21st and Sunday, July 22nd, click here.

 

Professional Ethics: Human Trafficking, Illicit Massage 101, and Staying Safe in Your Workplace

Legitimate Massage is facing complex, nuanced challenges from criminal enterprises engaged in everything from unlicensed practice to human trafficking. 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 LMTs, public confusion about massage has quietly gotten worse in the last several years, and our exposure to risk is increasing. 

Many therapists fear that new federal legislation around online advertising of sexual services may drive more sketchy clients to seek sexual services from legitimate, licensed therapists, but is this really the case? What are the real concerns and issues with human trafficking, illegitimate massage, and personal safety? And, more importantly, what practices do you have in place or need to shore up to counter this problem if and when it might happen?

The 2017 Federation of State Massage Therapy Board’s Human Trafficking Task Force identified massage therapist safety as the most significant concern resulting from illicit massage businesses: “The most concerning impact of trafficking on the profession is that it endangers therapists and the public.” Understanding how this safety issue manifests itself in legitimate massage practices is critical, as is countering practices typically used by sexually motivated consumers.

This 4-hour CE class, which meets the Washington State 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 at times. A portion of the class will also specifically address personal safety for massage practitioners, including strategies to minimize interfacing with sketchy and/or dangerous clients. Your instructor, Lavon Watson, has a combined 40 years in massage and and law enforcement, and has been teaching and consulting on these issues since 2010.

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

"This subject is not addressed in depth anywhere else." -Kristopher Bondeson

"Best ethics class I've taken! Thanks!" -Robin Mayberry

Instructor: Lavon Watson, Retired LMT and Police Detective
CE hours: 4; meets WA State Ethics requirements, including professional roles and boundaries.
Date and Time: Wednesday, July 25th, 5:30-10pm
(Note: There will be a 30-minute meal break around 7:30pm; we ask that you not eat during class.)
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $80.

Registration: Click here to pay the tuition online.

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

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Cervical Ligaments (Bozeman, MT)

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: Saturday, July 28th, 10am-7pm
Location: Bozeman, MT (Health Works Institute)

Tuition: $175 if registered and deposited by July 18th; $200 thereafter. Register for both the July 28th Assessment of Cervical Ligaments class and the July 29th CTM/Bindegewebsmassage (description here) class for only $295 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $340 after July 18th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Tamara Leach, 2000 Fairway Dr. Suite 108, Bozeman, MT 59715. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. To register online, click here for Saturday only, or click here to register for both days.

Questions? Contact Tamara Leach in Bozeman: tamaraleachmassage@gmail.com, or at 406-220-5533. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

CTM/Bindegewebsmassage (Bozeman, MT)

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: 7
Date and Time: Sunday, July 29th, 10am-6pm
Location: Bozeman, MT (Health Works Institute)

Tuition: $150 if registered and deposited by July 18th; $175 thereafter. Register for both the July 28th Assessment of Cervical Ligaments class (description here) and the July 29th CTM/Bindegewebsmassage class for only $295 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $340 after July 18th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Tamara Leach, 2000 Fairway Dr. Suite 108, Bozeman, MT 59715. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. To register online, click here for Sunday only, or click here to register for both days.

Questions? Contact Tamara Leach in Bozeman: tamaraleachmassage@gmail.com, or at 406-220-5533. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

In-Depth Face and Head Massage [Sold Out]

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, August 2nd, 6:30-10:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $95 if registered by July 18th, $110 thereafter.

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.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Chest, Diaphragm, and Shoulders

The chest is often overlooked as a primary contributor to back and shoulder issues, and is the source of our breath and our taking in of life. These core muscles are often tight, constricting breathing, energy flow, and movement. Learn and review simple but powerful methods to release the diaphragm, sternum, ribcage, and shoulder girdle. These techniques are liberating and create a noticeable opening right away, helping your clients to breathe twice as deeply with half the effort.

In the afternoon we will focus on side-lying work for the shoulder girdle. We often think of side-lying work as primarily for pregnant women or clients who are for some reason unable to lay face down, but almost all of your clients can benefit from skilled side-lying work of the shoulder--it's uniquely effective, and it feels great. You will learn to release 12 muscles around the shoulder girdle including the trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior and posterior, levator scapula, subscapularis, supraspinatus, pectoralis major, and the pectoralis minor.

These are 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 course lifts massage therapy to a higher level. The chest work was amazing--my range of breathing went waaaay up." -Lise Orye

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 
Date and Time: Saturday, August 11th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by August 3rd; $190 thereafter. Save $25 if you register for both this class and MSDT Techniques for the Back on Sunday, August 12th. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, August 11th and Sunday, August 12th, click here.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Back

We will focus on some precise, muscle-specific Deep Tissue techniques for the back that are probably different from, but complementary to what you learned in massage school and elsewhere. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that will improve the precision and effectiveness of your back massage, and they can be immediately applied in practice. The emphasis of techniques will be on releasing and unbinding the erector spinae, transversospinalis group, lumbodorsal fascia, quadratus lumborum (QL) and serratus posterior inferior from the prone position. You will also learn some powerful seated Deep Tissue techniques to release the fascia of the trapezius, rhomboids, and levator scapulae.

Students who have taken this class have reported that it helped to increase their precision, palpatory sensitivity, and effectiveness with their back massages, and that they were able to integrate the techniques into their practices right away; client response was strongly positive. Body mechanics will also be a focus of this class, as well as proper use of fingers and elbows to save wear and tear on joints.

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 4.5
Date and Time: Sunday, August 12th, 10am-2:30pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $95 if registered by August 3rd; $110 thereafter. Save $25 if you register for both this class and MSDT Techniques for the Chest & Shoulders on Saturday, August 11th. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, August 11th and Sunday, August 12th, click here.

 

Taxes and Tax Strategies for LMT's (Juneau, AK)

The recent tax legislation will affect all of us in 2019. 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: 6
Date and Time: Friday, August 24th, 10:30am-6pm
Location: Juneau, AK
Tuition: $100 if registered by August 15th, $120 thereafter.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 non-refundable deposit to Evelyn Bass, 2967 Nowell Ave, Juneau, AK 99801. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. To register online, click here

Questions? Contact Evelyn Bass in Juneau: evelyntherese@gmail.com, or at 907-957-6459. 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: Saturday, August 25th, 2-6pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $90 if registered by August 16th, $100 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.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments (Juneau, AK)

The 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, August 25th, 10am-7pm
Location: Juneau, AK

Tuition: $180 if registered and deposited by August 15th; $210 thereafter. Register for both the August 25th Assessment and Treatment of Low Back Ligaments class and the August 26th MSDT for the Arms & Hands class for only $250 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $290 after August 15th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Evelyn Bass, 2967 Nowell Ave, Juneau, AK 99801. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. To register online for Saturday only, click here; to register for both days, click here.

Questions? Contact Evelyn Bass in Juneau: evelyntherese@gmail.com, or at 907-957-6459. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Arms and Hands (Juneau, AK)

Our arms and hands 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 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 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 glued 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: 
Date and Time: Sunday, August 26th, 10am-3:30pm
Location: Juneau, AK

Tuition: $110 if registered and deposited by August 15th; $125 thereafter. Register for both the August 25th Assessment and Treatment of Low Back Ligaments class and the August 26th MSDT for the Arms & Hands class for only $250 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $290 after August 15th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Evelyn Bass, 2967 Nowell Ave, Juneau, AK 99801. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. To register online for Sunday only, click here; to register for both days, click here.

Questions? Contact Evelyn Bass in Juneau: evelyntherese@gmail.com, or at 907-957-6459. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Manual Therapy Applications for the Lower Abdomen and Pelvis

This course will begin the process of looking at the pelvis 360 degrees – including the bony and muscular frame of the pelvis, pelvic organs, and visceral ligaments. We will skillfully locate, create, and practice treatment plans for the sigmoid colon and cecum (large bowel), urinary bladder, prostate gland, uterus, and coccyx.  

Hands-on work will address core relationships between the pelvic organs and low back pain, pelvic pain, elimination challenges, pelvic congestion and prolapse, and fertility challenges. Common clinical presentations such as dysmenorrhea, BPH and prostatitis, interstitial cystitis, bladder incontinence, and tailbone pain will be discussed and treatment protocols practiced.

Marty Ryan is the director of Love Your Guts Seminars, and has taught abdominal massage and palpatory anatomy seminars internationally since 2003. His private practice is in Pittsburgh / Seattle / Louisville where he focuses on digestive and reproductive system optimization and post-abdominal surgery rehabilitation. 

In addition to teaching and mentoring manual therapists, Marty outreaches to the broader community of health care providers including acupuncture, the movement arts, colon hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, and naturopathic medicine about the therapeutic benefits of manual therapy and the abdomen. Marty has actively pursued his clinical treatment style through his full time practice over the last 20 years. His classroom teaching style is regarded as an open and fun learning environment where everyone has the opportunity to participate, learn and be heard.

Instructor: Marty Ryan
CE hours: 6
Date and Time: Saturday, September 1st, 10:30am-5:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $150 if registered by August 15th, $170 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.

 

MSDT Techniques for the Torso - Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, QL & Paraspinals (Missoula, MT)

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, September 8th, 10am-7pm
Location: Missoula, Montana

Tuition: $175 if registered and deposited by August 25th. Register for both the September 8th Torso class in Missoula and the September 9th Back Ligaments class in Columbia Falls for only $300 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $350 after August 25th.

To learn more about the September 9th Back Ligaments class in Columbia Falls, click here. 

Registration: A non-refundable $50 per-class deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the Missoula deposit online, and/or click here to register for Columbia Falls. The balance is due at each class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only. If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact Sarah, below.

Questions: Contact Sarah Roeder at gaialaughs@gmail.com, or at 406-544-0292.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments (Whitefish, MT)

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than a million American workers 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 people, and even when it's just a nuisance, it can significantly impact their fundamental quality of life. Massage can often be a helpful tool in the recovery and rehabilitation process, but, unfortunately, it is also quite common for clients to receive massage that has a minimal lasting impact on the source of their pain and discomfort. 

One of the elements commonly missing when working with back injuries 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: Sunday, September 9th, 10am-7pm
Location: Columbia Falls, Montana

Tuition: $175 if registered and deposited by August 25th. Register for both the September 8th Torso class in Missoula and the September 9th Back Ligaments class in Columbia Falls for only $300 ($100 deposit required; please note that you have to register for each class separately). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $350 after August 25th.

Please note that prior attendance in the MSDT Torso class is recommended before attending the Back Ligaments class, but not required. Learn more about the September 8th Torso class in Missoula here. 

Registration: A non-refundable $50 per-class deposit is required to save your space. Click here to pay the Columbia Falls deposit online, and/or click here to register for Missoula. 

The balance is due at each class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only. If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact Casey at 406-249-8685, or email info@pnwschool.com.

You may also send a non-refundable $50 check made out to Casey Sullivan, PO Box 4510, Whitefish, MT 59937. Please send the Columbia Falls Back Ligament deposit only, and not the full amount. 

 

Evaluation and Treatment of Shoulder Injuries

A lot of our clients suffer from chronic rotator cuff injuries that seem to stubbornly persist using conventional massage techniques. Learn precise and specific orthopedic assessments and thumbs-free techniques to identify and successfully treat some of the most common injuries to the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, long head of the biceps and acromioclavicular joint. The class will include a review of rotator cuff anatomy, palpation of the rotator cuff muscles and related structures, and instruction in appropriate treatment massage techniques to treat the soft tissue lesions. You will also receive a detailed 30-page handbook for future reference.

"This shoulder class was the best class and instruction I've ever had." - Deborah Luger

"This is the best Continuing Education workshop I've taken, out of 120+ CE hours." - Julio Otazo

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, September 29th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by September 21st, $190 thereafter. Save $30 if you register for both this class and CTM/Bindegewebsmassage on Sunday, September 30th. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th, click here.

 

CTM/Bindegewebsmassage

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: Sunday, September 30th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $140 if registered by September 21st, $160 thereafter. Save $30 if you register for both this class and Evaluation and Treatment of Shoulder Injuries on Saturday, September 29th. Reviewers are also eligible for a reduced price; see registration link below for details.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th, click here.