Back to All Events

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Work for the Back and Paraspinals (Guadalajara, Mexico)

When our clients come for a massage, they almost always are looking for a good back massage. Unfortunately, many massage therapists never really learned how to give an outstanding back massage. In this class, we will teach you how. 

We will build a solid foundation by reviewing the muscles of the back – where they're located, what they do, what causes their pain and stress, and how to help them. You will learn a select set of Swedish massage strokes that will make your back massages more fluid, more effective, and more satisfying. These techniques are calming, cleansing, pleasant, and deeply relaxing. 

On the second day, we will focus on muscle-specific Deep Tissue techniques for the back. The phrase ‘deep tissue work’ is used so often that it’s hard to know what it means anymore. To some massage practitioners, ‘deep tissue’ simply means deep pressure. To others, it has more fascial, myofascial, or structural connotations. Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue work (MSDT) still works with the fascia, and uses deep pressure when appropriate, but is more focused and precise. Like myofascial work, it has a strategy, but it gets there by releasing the individual muscles as well as the fascia. 

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue work not only addresses the relationships between the muscles, but gets to the smaller stress points that are often passed over in an ordinary massage. It’s liberating and feels wonderful to our clients when everything is released and working in harmony, and creates states of ease, balance, and deep relaxation. The work also cleanses the muscles and fascia, and supports improved local circulation.

These Deep Tissue techniques for the back that are different from, but complementary to what is typically taught in massage school or elsewhere. The emphasis will be on releasing and unbinding the erector spinae group, the transversospinalis group, the lumbodorsal fascia, the quadratus lumborum, and serratus posterior inferior. These are straightforward, muscle-specific techniques that will improve the precision and effectiveness of your back massage, and  can be immediately applied in practice.  

The small muscles of the back (which are strong and are often quite tight) respond extremely well to Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue work; there are over 100 muscles living alongside each other that rarely (if ever) get stretched and separated from each other. In addition, there are 50 bones (including the rib heads) and over 120 joints that benefit from having motion introduced into them once the fascial and muscular structures (both superficial and deep) of the back are unglued. We all need to have these structures balanced and 'cleaned up' from time to time, just as we periodically go to the dentist to get our teeth cleaned. 

This 2-day class will improve the precision and effectiveness of your back massage (or any massage), and can be easily integrated to your style of bodywork. Students who have taken this introductory class have reported that it helped to increase their precision, palpatory sensitivity, and effectiveness with their back massages. Their clients loved the results, feeling a newfound sense of freedom and ease in their backs. 

In addition, we will focus on correct body mechanics, as well as proper use of your fingers and elbows for optimal results and to save wear and tear on joints. You will not only learn a number of useful bodywork techniques; you will also receive some valuable self-care. 

"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

"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

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