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 Work for the Back and Paraspinals (Guadalajara, Mexico)

Cuando nuestros clientes acuden a un masaje, lo que buscan es casi siempre un buen masaje en la espalda. Desafortunadamente, muchos terapeutas masajistas nunca aprenden realmente cómo dar un masaje de espalda excepcional. En esta clase, te enseñaremos cómo hacerlo.

Construiremos una base sólida al repasar los músculos de la espalda – dónde se ubican, qué hacen, qué causa el dolor y el estrés y cómo podemos ayudar. Aprenderemos una serie selecta de frotes que harán que tus masajes de espalda sean más fluidos, más efectivos y más satisfactorios. Estas técnicas son calmantes, purificantes, agradables y profundamente relajantes.

Durante el segundo día, nos enfocaremos en técnicas de Masaje de Tejido Profundo Específico Muscular para la espalda. La frase “Trabajo en Tejido Profundo” es usada tan comúnmente que ya es difícil saber qué significa realmente. Para algunos profesionales masajistas “tejido profundo” simplemente significa aplicar presión profunda. Para otros, tiene connotaciones más fasciales, miofasciales o estructurales. El trabajo de Masaje de Tejido Profundo Específico Muscular (MTPEM) sigue trabajando la fascia, y utiliza la presión profunda cuando es apropiado, pero es más enfocado y preciso. Tal como el trabajo miofascial, tiene su estrategia, pero lo logra al liberar los músculos individuales así como la fascia.

El trabajo de Masaje de Tejido Profundo Específico Muscular  no sólo se ocupa de la relación entre los músculos, sino que llega hasta los puntos de estrés más pequeños que comúnmente son pasados de largo en un masaje común y corriente. Es  liberador y el cliente siente maravilloso cuando todo está suelto y trabajando en harmonía, crea estados de alivio, equilibrio y relajación profunda. El trabajo también purifica los músculos y la fascia y refuerza la circulación local. 

En este curso de introducción, nos enfocaremos en las técnicas de Tejido Profundo para la espalda que son diferentes, pero complementarias, a lo que típicamente enseñan en la escuela de masaje y demás lugares. El enfoque será en soltar y desatar los dorsales del tronco, el grupo de transversospinalis, la fascia lumbodorsal, el músculo cuadrado lumbar y el serratus posterior inferior. Estas técnicas directas y específicas para los músculos permiten incrementar la precisión y la efectividad de tu masaje de espalda, y se puede aplicar inmediatamente en la práctica. 

Los músculos pequeños de la espalda (los cuales son fuertes y comúnmente tensos) responden bastante bien al trabajo de Masaje de Tejido Profundo Específico Muscular ya que existen más de cien músculos que viven el uno al lado del otro y que raramente (si no es que nunca) se estiran y separan el uno del otro. Adicionalmente, hay cincuenta huesos (incluyendo las cabezas de las costillas) y más de ciento veinte articulaciones que se benefician de tener movimiento una vez que las estructuras fasciales y musculares (tanto superficiales como profundas) de la espalda se liberan. Todos necesitamos que estas estructuras se balanceen y se “limpien” de vez en cuando, así como cuando vamos al dentista a limpiar nuestros dientes. 

Esta clase de dos días te ayudará a mejorar la precisión y efectividad de tus masajes de espalda (o cualquier masaje), y puede ser fácilmente integrado a tu estilo de trabajo corporal. Los alumnos que han tomado esta clase de introducción reportan que les ha ayudado a aumentar la precisión, la sensibilidad de palpación y la efectividad de sus masajes de espalda. Sus clientes están encantados con los resultados, y sienten una renovada sensación de libertad y alivio en sus espaldas. 

Adicionalmente, nos enfocaremos en las mecánicas corporales correctas, así como el uso correcto de tus dedos y codos para resultados óptimos y evitar el desgaste de las articulaciones. No sólo aprenderás una variedad de técnicas útiles para el trabajo corporal, sino también recibirás técnicas de auto-cuidado valiosas.

"Esta es una de las clases más prácticas que he tomado. Brian nos presentó información muy útil y luego nos enseñó cómo hacer la aplicación práctica de esta información. Nos enseñó la manera de encontrar cada músculo, lo cual es algo que siempre he querido que los demás instructores hicieran. Salí del entrenamiento con habilidades y conocimiento expandido, los cuales pude utilizar inmediatamente con mis clientes." - Evelyn Bass, EEUU

"Your classes improve LMTs' skill level immensely...there's so much mediocre Continuing Education out there; it feels like finding a rare gem in a pile of gravel." -Sarah Roeder

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday & Sunday, December 1st & 2nd, 10am-2pm
Location: Lake Chapala (near Guadalajara), Mexico
Tuition: $100.

Registration: Tuition is non-refundable and due at the time of registration. Click here to pay the tuition online. If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

Please note that you are responsible for arranging your own transportation and lodging, and all costs associated with travel. 

The class will be held in a beautiful home in Lake Chapala, but you are not required to stay at the house to attend. For more information on lodging, contact Laureen MacDonald at janreen16@hotmail.com. 

 

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

What are the largest segments of the massage industry in Washington? Massage as health care? Day spas? Home practice? Massage Envy-type franchises? It may surprise you to learn that one of the largest segments is illegitimate, unlicensed practice fronting as licensed, regulated massage. In 2018, legitimate, licensed massage therapy 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 what massage is has quietly gotten worse in the last several years–and our exposure to risk is increasing. 

While the vast majority of us have conscientiously gone about our work as massage therapists, others continually generate complaints related to unlicensed practice, sexually inappropriate behavior, and worse--all under our good name. The result? More rules, more regulations, more charting, new draping policies, and more costs for legitimate LMTs; not to mention continued confusion in the public's eye about who we are and what we do. What are the real concerns and issues with human trafficking and illegitimate massage in our communities, and how do they intersect with our actual needs and issues?

Many therapists and regulators fear that new federal legislation around online advertising of sexual services may drive more sketchy clients to seek sexual services from legitimate, licensed massage therapists, but is this really the case? 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 known practices typically used by sexually motivated consumers.

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

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

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

Instructor: Lavon Watson, LMT, Retired Police Detective
CE hours: 5; meets WA State and NCBTMB Ethics requirements
Date and Time: Sunday, December 2nd, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $95.

Registration: A non-refundable $45 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.

 

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, December 8th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by November 30th, $190 thereafter. Save $45 if you register for both this class and Assessment and Treatment of Neck Ligaments on Sunday, December 9th. 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, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th, 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, December 9th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by November 30th, $190 thereafter. Save $45 if you register for both this class and MSDT for the Posterior, Lateral, and Anterior Neck on Saturday, December 8th. 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, December 8th and Sunday, December 9th, click here.

 

The Neuroendocrine System, Stress, and Massage

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: Saturday, December 15th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $140 if registered by December 7th; $150 thereafter. 

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

 

Ethics, Supervision, Boundaries and State Law

We will begin with a thorough review of our state massage laws, which have changed significantly in the last two years. You will learn about important, interesting, and occasionally upsetting changes to current massage 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 is 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 (and exceeds) WA state ethics requirement
Date and Time: Saturday, January 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. If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

 

Assessment and Treatment of the Lumbar and Sacral Ligaments

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

"This class was taught by experienced instructors who had really thought through the progression of the class--the content made sense and flowed well, lending itself to really retaining the knowledge." -Meredith Condon

"Brian's teachings are intelligent, precise and effective. After receiving the work yesterday, my back feels more fluid and happy, and during the treatment, I went to that deep place of relaxation where drool happens." -Jen Elden

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 8
Date and Time: Saturday, January 12th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Tuition: $170. Save money if you register for both this class and MSDT for the Back on Sunday, January 13th. 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, January 12th and Sunday, January 13th, 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.

"I absolutely love this work. I can hardly wait to bring it into my practice." -Hannah LePiane

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 4.5
Date and Time: Sunday, January 13th, 10am-3pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Tuition: $95. Save money if you register for both this class and Assessment and Treatment of Back Ligaments on Saturday, January 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, January 12th and Sunday, January 13th, click here.

 

Neurofascial Manipulation 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, January 19th, 9:30am-6:30pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $175.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Neurofascial Manipulation

Registration: To attend this class, you must have completed the Introduction to Neurofascial Manipulation class. If you have completed the prerequisite, please email info@pnwschool.com to register online, and we can send you the link to pay the $75 deposit online. 

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Torso and Neck (Auckland, New Zealand)

Join Brian for two tax-deductible CE classes in Auckland, New Zealand on January 19-20th, 2019, during the peak of the Austral summer. The days will be long and warm, and Auckland is a cosmopolitan, world-class city, and a gateway to the South Pacific.

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Torso (Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, QL and Paraspinals)

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

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: 16 (NCBTMB-approved)
Date and Time: Saturday and Sunday, January 19th-20th, 9am-6pm each day
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuition & Registration: $275 USD ($400 NZ) for both days if registered by December 31st, 2018, with a $125 USD non-refundable deposit. The price goes up to $300 USD thereafter. You can register online here

The early registration balance of $150 USD or $230 NZD will be due at class. If the link is showing sold out, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

If Registering in New Zealand: This class is sponsored by the New Zealand College of Massage. Click here to view their posting, or register with them directly by emailing info@nzcm.ac.nz.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Auckland. If you have questions, you can contact NZCM at info@nzcm.ac.nz, or contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

MSDT Techniques for the Neck, Chest, and Shoulders (Christchurch, NZ)

Join Brian for two tax-deductible CE classes in Christchurch, New Zealand on January 26th-27th, 2019, during the peak of the Austral summer. The days will be long and warm, and Christchurch is beautiful, cosmopolitan, and close to the Pacific Ocean and abundant outdoor activities. 

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

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

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

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 16 (NCBTMB-approved)
Date and Time: Saturday and Sunday, January 26th-27th, 9am-6pm each day
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand

Tuition & Registration: $275 USD ($400 NZ) for both days if registered by December 31st, 2018, with a $125 USD non-refundable deposit. The price goes up to $300 USD thereafter. You can register online here

The early registration balance of $150 USD or $230 NZD will be due at class. If the link is showing sold out, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

If Registering in New Zealand: This class is sponsored by the New Zealand College of Massage. Click here to view their posting, or register with them directly by emailing info@nzcm.ac.nz.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Christchurch. If you have questions, you can contact NZCM at info@nzcm.ac.nz, or contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

 

Treatment of Shoulder Injuries and MSDT for the Shoulder Girdle (Te Anau, New Zealand)

Join Brian for two tax-deductible CE classes in beautiful Te Anau, New Zealand (near Milford Sound and Fjordlands National Park), on January 30th-31st, 2019, during the peak of the Austral summer. The days will be long and warm, and the surroundings are gorgeous. 

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

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Shoulder Girdle

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. 

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

View the flyer here for a full class description and registration details.

Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 16 (NCBTMB-approved)
Date and Time: Wednesday and Thursday, January 30th-31st, 9:30am-6:30pm each day
Location: Te Anau, New Zealand

Tuition & Registration: $275 USD ($400 NZ) for both days if registered by December 31st, 2018, with a $125 USD non-refundable deposit. The price goes up to $300 USD thereafter. You can register online here

The early registration balance of $150 USD or $230 NZD will be due at class. If the link is showing sold out, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

If Registering in New Zealand: View attached flyer (see link above) for registration instructions, or contact Rachael Brown at teanaumassage@hotmail.com.

Please note that you are responsible for your own travel and lodging arrangements for your stay in Te Anau. If you have questions, you can contact Rachael Brown at teanaumassage@hotmail.com, or 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 NORML 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

"I feel extremely prepared and informed of current laws and how to communicate to my clients." -Kethry Boettcher

Instructor: Jennifer Chan, LMT (MA# 60324770), BCTMB
CE hours: 
Date and Time: Saturday, February 2nd, 10am-2pm
Location: Seattle (West Seattle area)
Tuition: $90 if registered by January 25th, $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 (credit cards will not be accepted). If the link shows sold out, and you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact info@pnwschool.com.

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

 

Taxes and Tax Strategies for LMT's

The recent federal tax legislation will affect all of us when we file our 2018 tax returns. 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, February 10th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)
Tuition: $140 if registered by February 1; $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: Saturday, February 23rd, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (North Seattle area)

Tuition: $140 if registered by February 15th; $160 thereafter. Save $25 if you register for both this class and Evaluation and Treatment of Shoulder Injuries on Sunday, February 24th. 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, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th, click here.

 

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: Sunday, February 24th, 10am-7pm
Location: Seattle (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by February 15th; $190 thereafter. Save $30 if you register for both this class and Understanding the Somatic Nervous System on Saturday, February 23rd. 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, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th, click here.