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Massage New Zealand Conference: Bindegewebsmassage, MSDT Torso, MSDT Neck (Hamilton, New Zealand)

  • Wintec Rotokauri Campus 51 Akoranga Road Hamilton New Zealand (map)

Hamilton, NZ

Join Brian for three tax-deductible CE classes in Hamilton, New Zealand, at the Massage New Zealand Conference on September 20th-22nd, 2019. Hamilton is known for its gardens, cafes, and nightlife. It is an hour away from Auckland, one of the most vibrant cities in the world.


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 muscle 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. 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

It's fantastic to have new tools to treat migraines and menstrual pain, and give ease to an often 'stuck' area".  - Rachael Brown, Tea Anau, NZ

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Torso (Iliopsoas, Diaphragm, QL and Paraspinals; sold out)

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

Muscle-Specific Deep Tissue Techniques for the Posterior, Lateral and Anterior Neck (sold out)

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: 7 each day (NCBTMB-approved)
Date and Time: 
CTM/Bindegewebsmassage: Friday, September 20th, 9am-5pm (part of the Pre-Conference)
MSDT Techniques for the Torso: Saturday, September 21st, 9am-4:30pm
MSDT Techniques for the Neck: Sunday, September 22nd, 9am-4:30pm

Tuition: If you are an MNZ member, the pre-conference is $180 NZ and the conference is $350 NZ, if registered by July 20th; thereafter, prices go up to $210 NZ and $450 NZ, respectively. If you are not an MNZ member, the pre-conference is $250 NZ and the conference is $500 NZ.

Registration: These classes are sponsored by the Massage New Zealand Conference in Hamilton, NZ. To attend the classes, you must register for the Conference Event and/or Pre-Conference Event (attending a single day is available upon request). To see the full conference schedule, including lunch breaks, speaker events, and social events, please click here.

To register or view a more detailed price breakdown, please visit their website, linked here. Please note that you will have to create or log into your MNZ account to register.

Questions: Please contact

Please note that you are responsible for your travel and lodging arrangements in Hamilton. The Conference website offers suggestions here. If you have additional questions, you can contact MNZ at, or contact Brian in Seattle at