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, even with chronically poor posture. The neck is also one of the most common areas of client complaint, injury and dysfunction, and can be a challenging area to treat effectively. 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 and ligamentous attachments--even though this is where the muscles and ligaments are most commonly frayed and/or inflamed.
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).
On Day 2, we will explore the deeper terrain of the neck, concentrating on the ligamentous structures that, when injured, often create chronic neck pain and tension. The cervical ligaments are highly enervated and extremely sensitive, and when they are irritated or inflamed, they will activate splinting responses and muscle guarding in the surrounding musculature. Despite being every bit as important as the muscles and the bones, these ligaments are often overlooked by massage therapists, chiropractors, and physical therapists. You will learn a variety of palpation skills that will help you to safely and effectively identify and treat the specific ligamentous structures of the neck. Clients often notice a decrease in pain, increased mobility, and a sense of lightness and freedom in their neck.
These are straightforward, 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. A primary focus of this class is to help you refine your accuracy in both palpation and treatment, and to help you develop more confidence, specificity and thoroughness in your neck massage and treatment. 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
About the Instructor:
Brian Utting founded the Brian Utting School of Massage (BUSM) in Seattle, WA in 1982 and was BUSM's Director, Director of Education, and a lead instructor there for 26 years. Brian developed and refined the curriculum at BUSM and taught many subjects, including anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, contraindications, business skills, communication skills, hydrotherapy, and a variety of massage techniques. His 1000-hour COMTA-accredited school was considered one of the best massage schools in the country.
Brian designs his classes and programs so that the students really get the material and can take it home and apply it in their practice, rather than just being exposed to it. He teaches with a rare blend of knowledge, passion, precision, humor, common sense, and depth. Brian was awarded the AMTA's Robert N. Calvert Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009, and was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame in 2014. Brian now owns and operates the Pacific Northwest School of Massage. Visit Brian's website at www.pnwschool.com