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
Tuition: $175 if registered by June 15th; $200 thereafter. Register for both this class and Assessment and Treatment of Cervical Ligaments on Sunday, June 30th, for only $300. Price for the 2-day package goes up to $350 on June 15th.
Registration: This class is sponsored by the Port Townsend School of Massage. Contact them directly at 360-379-4066 or at email@example.com to register.