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.

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. 

 

Introduction to Neurofascial Manipulation

It may surprise you to learn that some of the hard and tender knots we've furiously been working on are actually tethered, swollen, and inflamed nerves. This class will introduce you to the research and concepts behind neurofascial manipulation– working directly with the nerves and superficial fascia to restore mobility and decrease pain. Nerves control tissue tone, while tethered and overstretched nerves create pain and inflammation. Direct engagement of the neurofascia and skilled use of neural mobilization techniques can dramatically increase your level of results and set you apart. 

In this mostly lecture class, we will discuss concepts of neurogenic inflammation, ectopic firing, central sensitization, and fibromyalgia. The work is based in part on concepts from JP Barral, Alain Crobier, and Don Hazen, DC. You will learn how tethered cutaneous nerves contribute to shoulder, neck, and arm pain. We will also learn to slow down, refine our touch of the superficial layers and self-palpate several nerves in the arm and wrist. This class will provide you with a basic understanding of neurofascial work, and prepare you for Steve's neurofascial technique classes.

Instructor: Steve Evanko, PhD, Certified Advanced Rolfer
CE hours: 4
Date and Time: Wednesday, September 12th, 2:30-6:30pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $80 if registered by September 4th, $90 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. If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

 

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, September 16th, 10am-7pm 
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $150 if registered by September 6th; $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.

 

Neurofascial Work for the Neck, Jaw and Head

It may surprise you to learn that some of the hard and tender knots we've furiously been working on are actually swollen and potentially inflamed and tethered nerves. Neural mobilization skills will dramatically increase your results and set you apart. This class will be an introduction to working directly with the nerves and superficial fascia to restore joint mobility and decrease pain. 

In this class we'll explore the nerves around the neck, jaw, and head, and their relationship to thoracic outlet syndrome, forward head posture, TMJ dysfunction, headaches, dowager's hump, and ROM issues. This is a good opportunity to enhance your nerve palpation skills as well as learning a few effective self-care tips.

Some of the nerves we will cover in class include the cervical plexus (lesser occipital, great auricular, transverse cervical, supraclavicular nerve), trigeminal nerve (opthalmic, maxillary and mandibular branches), dorsal rami of cervical spinal nerves (greater occipital, lesser, 3rd occipital), and the spinal accessory nerve.

Instructor: Steve Evanko, PhD, Certified Advanced Rolfer
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, September 22nd, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $175 if registered by September 13th, $200 thereafter.

Registration: A non-refundable $75 deposit is required to save your space. In order to be eligible for this class, you need to have taken Introduction to Neurofascial Manipulation. If you have already taken the Intro class, or once you have registered for the Introductory class on September 12th, please email us at info@pnwschool.com, and we will send you the registration link to pay the deposit online.

The balance will be due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only. 

 

Evaluation and Treatment of Shoulder Injuries (Anchorage, AK)

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: 
Date and Time: Saturday, September 22nd, 10am-7pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Tuition: $175 if registered and deposited by September 10th; $200 thereafter. Register for both the September 22nd Evaluation and Tx of Shoulder Injuries class and the September 23rd MSDT for the Shoulder Girdle class for only $300 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $350 after September 10th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Cat Rose, c/o Active Health Solutions, 1000 O'Malley Rd. Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99515. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. The balance is due at class by cash or check only.

To register online for Saturday only, click here; to register for both days, click here.

Questions: Contact Cat Rose in Anchorage: alaskanbutterfly@hotmail.com, or at 907-830-1075. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Shoulder Girdle (Anchorage, AK)

The shoulders are meant to float freely on the ribcage, held in elegant suspension by 16 muscles, but very often they are restricted, stuck down, and in pain. In the morning, you will learn to effectively liberate some of the major anterior structures of the shoulder girdle (such as the pectoralis minor, subclavius, and subscapularis), and help to give your clients a feeling of 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. 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 day will focus on straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that can be immediately applied in practice. 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.

At the end of the weekend, you will know how to identify and treat the most common injuries to the shoulder, and to balance and create a supportive foundation for the shoulder girdle, as well as creating states of deep relaxation for your clients. 

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

"I haven't felt this kind of freedom in my shoulders since before massage school! I have definitely been enjoying my wings." -Amy Ross

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 
Date and Time: Sunday, September 23rd, 10am-7pm
Location: Anchorage, AK

Tuition: $175 if registered and deposited by September 10th; $200 thereafter. Register for both the September 22nd Evaluation and Tx of Shoulder Injuries class and the September 23rd MSDT for the Shoulder Girdle class for only $300 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $350 after September 10th.

Registration: To register by check or cash, send a $50 per class non-refundable deposit to Cat Rose, c/o Active Health Solutions, 1000 O'Malley Rd. Suite 102, Anchorage, AK 99515. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount. The balance is due at class by cash or check only.

To register online for Sunday only, click here; to register for both days, click here.

Questions: Contact Cat Rose in Anchorage: alaskanbutterfly@hotmail.com, or at 907-830-1075. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

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.

 

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, October 13th, 10am-7:15pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $180 if registered by October 5th; $200 thereafter. Reviewers are 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.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Chest, Diaphragm, and Shoulders (Austin, TX)

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 of 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 this class, as well as proper use of fingers 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: 7
Date and Time: Saturday, October 20th, 10am-6pm
Location: Austin, TX

Tuition: $175, or $295 if you register for both this class and CTM/Bindegewebsmassage on Saturday, October 21st.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School. Click here to register.

 

CTM/Bindegewebsmassage (Austin, TX)

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, October 21st, 10am-6pm
Location: Austin, TX

Tuition: $175, or $295 if you register for both this class and Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Chest, Diaphragm, and Shoulders on Sunday, October 20th.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Lauterstein-Conway Massage School. Click here to register.

 

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, October 24th, 2:30-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)
Tuition: $95 if registered by October 17th; $110 thereafter. Reviewers are 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.