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Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Neck and Side-Lying Shoulders (Orcas Island)


  • Doe Bay Resort Orcas Island, WA (map)
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Classes with Brian Utting at Doe Bay, Orcas Island

Join Brian for two NCBTMB-approved classes on Orcas Island, held at the beautiful Doe Bay Resort. You will learn effective techniques that you can immediately put to work in practice, while enjoying a beautiful and restorative retreat setting. Take a personal getaway, and come back invigorated and deeply refreshed.


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 Side-Lying Shoulders

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 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, as well as 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.

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

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


Lodging: Students attending both workshops and booking three nights are eligible for a 30% discount on lodging at Doe Bay. There are a variety of accommodations; see www.doebay.com for choices and availability. After booking your stay (and paying for the first night as a deposit), call 360-376-2291 and tell the front desk you’re registered in the Brian Utting classes to receive your 30% discount. You may also make your entire reservation by phone.


Instructor: Brian Utting
CE hours: 13
Date and Time: Saturday, March 2nd, 9:15am-6:15pm, and Sunday, March 3rd, from 10am-3:30pm

Tuition:  $180 for Saturday, or $120 for Sunday, if registered and deposited by February 15; thereafter prices go up to $200 and $150, respectively. Take both classes for only $250 ($140 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after February 15th.

You can view or download the flyer here.

Deposit for Orcas Island Classes (March 2-3)
from 60.00

Saturday: Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Posterior, Lateral, and Anterior Neck
Sunday: Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Side-Lying Shoulders

Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. The balance is due at class, by cash or check only, payable to the instructor. If you cancel within 48 hours of the class, you will be liable for the full tuition.

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