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.

Neurofascial Work for the Neck, Jaw and Head [Sold Out]

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: 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 ($100) is due at class, payable by cash or check only, made out to PNWSM.

 

Evaluation and Treatment of Shoulder Injuries (Anchorage, AK) [Sold Out]

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: This class is sold out. If you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact Cat Rose in Anchorage: alaskanbutterfly@hotmail.com, or at 907-830-1075. You can contact Brian in Seattle at info@pnwschool.com.

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

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Shoulder Girdle (Anchorage, AK) [Sold Out]

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: This class is sold out. If you'd like to get on the waiting list, please contact Cat Rose in Anchorage: alaskanbutterfly@hotmail.com, or at 907-830-1075.

For those registered, the remaining balance ($125 or $200) is due at class, payable by cash or check only.

 

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: 7
Date and Time: Saturday, September 29th, 11am-6:30pm
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-6:30pm
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

"This class has not only improved the work I offer my clients, but given me better hand mechanics and bodywork techniques to use on my own hands and forearms, relieving pain and prolonging my career." -Rebecca Albert

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.

 

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

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 Matthew Sorlie
Ethics CE hours: 7 ethics CE hours, meets (and exceeds) WA state ethics requirement
Date and Time: Sunday October 14th, 11am - 6:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $120

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

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

There is another section of this class being offered on Saturday, November 3rd. You can register for the November class here.

 

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 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: 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 Sunday, 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 Saturday, 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.

 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Side-Lying Shoulders (Mount Vernon)

Besides being deeply comforting and relaxing, skilled side-lying work gives you excellent access to the structures of the shoulder. In this class 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. Our shoulders are meant to float freely on our ribcages, held in suspension by 16 muscles, but very often they are restricted, stuck down, and in pain. You will learn to effectively liberate any glued-down scapular structures and give your clients a feeling ease and freedom in their back and shoulders. 

You will also learn some focused, muscle-specific work to release bound up erector spinae and transversospinalis muscles. These muscles are often glued down and are a major source of pain and limitation for our clients. The side-lying position gives you excellent access to some of the smaller muscles of the back (and their fascial wrappings)--structures 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

"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: 5 CE hours
Date and Time: Saturday, October 27th, 12-5:15pm
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
Tuition: $120 if registered with a $60 non-refundable deposit.

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.

 

Intraoral Certification: Structural Work for the Head, Neck, and Jaw

This class meets the 16-hour Washington State Intraoral Endorsement Requirement.

The jaw and neck hold tension and dysfunction for a very large percentage of the population, but few massage practitioners know how to specifically and effectively address it. This 16-hour class will give the most useful details of anatomy, ROM testing, structural assessment, and palpating and treating the most important and elusive regions. Specific content includes:

  • Specific anatomy of the upper cervical spine, TMJ, and jaw and cervical musculature
  • Visual ROM assessment for the neck, jaw, and face
  • Myofascial work for the cervical and jaw regions
  • Intraoral work for the temporal and pterygoid muscles
  • Discussion of the common symptoms for whiplash and TMJD

Instructor: Pat O'Rourke
CE hours: 16
Date and Time: Saturday and Sunday, October 27th and 28th, 9am-6pm
Location: 328 NW 46th St, Seattle, WA 98107
Tuition: $275 if registered by October 15th, $325 thereafter.

Registration: A non-refundable $100 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: The location is in a home, and cats will be present. If you have an allergy, please reach out to Pat, the instructor, at <craniopat@earthlink.net>.

 

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

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 November 3rd, 11am - 6:30pm
Location: Seattle (Ballard area)
Tuition: $120

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

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

 

MSDT Techniques for the Torso - Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, QL & Paraspinals (Maui, HI)

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

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

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8 CE hours
Date and Time: Sunday, November 11th, 9:30am-6:30pm 
Location: Maui Academy, Kihei, HI

Tuition: $180 if registered with a $80 non-refundable deposit by October 31st; $200 thereafter. Register for both the November 11th MSDT Torso class and the November 12th MSDT Side-Lying Shoulder class for only $250 ($140 non-refundable deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after October 31st, 2018.

Registration: For Sunday, a non-refundable $80 deposit is required to save your space. To register for Sunday only, click here to pay the deposit online. To register for both Sunday, November 11th and Monday, November 12th, click here. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only. If the registration 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 Side-Lying Shoulders (Maui, HI)

Besides being deeply comforting and relaxing, skilled side-lying work gives you excellent access to the structures of the shoulder. In this class 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. Our shoulders are meant to float freely on our ribcages, held in suspension by 16 muscles, but very often they are restricted, stuck down, and in pain. You will learn to effectively liberate any glued-down scapular structures and give your clients a feeling ease and freedom in their back and shoulders. 

You will also learn some focused, muscle-specific work to release bound up erector spinae and transversospinalis muscles. These muscles are often glued down and are a major source of pain and limitation for our clients. The side-lying position gives you excellent access to some of the smaller muscles of the back (and their fascial wrappings)--structures 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

"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: 5 CE hours
Date and Time: Monday, November 12th, 10am-3:30pm 
Location: Maui Academy, Kihei, HI

Tuition: $120 if registered with a $60 non-refundable deposit by October 31st; $140 thereafter. Register for both the November 11th MSDT Torso class and the November 12th MSDT Side-Lying Shoulder class for only $250 ($140 non-refundable deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after October 31st, 2018.

Registration: For Monday, a non-refundable $60 deposit is required to save your space. To register for Monday only, click here to pay the deposit online. To register for both Sunday, November 11th and Monday, November 12th, click here. The balance is due at class, payable to the instructor, by cash or check only. If the registration 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 Legs & Hips

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

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

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

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

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

"This was exactly what I was hoping for – super great, specific work." -Leah Grossman

Instructor: Brian Utting 
CE hours: 8 CE hours
Date and Time: Saturday, November 17th, 10am-7:15pm 
Location: Seattle, WA (Wallingford area)

Tuition: $170 if registered by November 9th; $190 thereafter. Save $45 if you register for both this class and Introduction to Visceral and Abdominal Massage on Sunday, November 18th.

Registration: This class is sponsored by the Therapeutic Training Center. Click here to register. To register for both Saturday, November 17th and Sunday, November 18th, click here.

 

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.