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Understanding the Somatic Nervous System and MSDT for the Chest and Shoulders (Juneau, AK)


Join Brian for two tax-deductible CE classes in Juneau, Alaska, on August 24th-25th, 2019. If you’ve never been to Juneau, it’s a land of mountainous, thickly forested islands, water, and fjords. It’s teeming with life, both on land and in the sea.


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. Why do our clients hold themselves and move the way that they do? How can we efficiently help them to let their muscles go? What can we do to help them optimize their (and our own) movement and relaxation patterns, and efficiently learn new motor skills? How can we make the benefits of our massage as lasting and effective as possible?  

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 college anatomy and physiology courses.

"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

"Wow! Fantastic review and new perspective on the somatic nervous system and proprioception." - Christine Pearson


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, ribcage, and diaphragm. 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 from the supine position, 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 was the best CE class I've ever taken." -Tyler Rapke

"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: 16 (NCBTMB-approved)
Date and Time: Saturday and Sunday, August 24th-25th, 10am-7pm each day

Tuition:  $125 for Saturday, or $175 for Sunday, if registered and deposited by August 10th; thereafter prices go up to $150 and $200, respectively. Take both classes for only $250 ($100 deposit required). The price for the 2-class package goes up to $300 after August 10th.

You can view or download the flyer here.


Deposit for Juneau Classes (Aug 24-25)
from 50.00

Saturday: Understanding the Somatic Nervous System and Proprioception
Sunday: Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Chest, Diaphragm and Shoulders

Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable. The balance ($75, $125, or $150) 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.

To register by check or cash, send the non-refundable deposit ($50 or $100) to Evelyn Bass, 2967 Nowell Ave, Juneau, AK 99801. Please send the deposit only, and not the full amount.

To register online, please use the drop down menu below.

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