Post-graduate Massage Workshops

John runs post-graduate massage workshops for massage therapists.

They include:

  • Neck and Headache Pain
  • Curly Customers, Muscles that Confound
  • Shoulder Pain and Scapular Stability
  • Wetsuits, S-Bends, Bones and Pulses
  • Arm and Hand Pain
  • Massage for Breathing Pattern Disorders
  • Lower Back Pain, Hip Pain and Pelvic Stability
  • Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome
  • Helping the Hamstrings
  • Leg and Knee Pain
  • Knee Pain and Treatment

The above workshops are of one-day duration, usually from 8.30pm to 4.30pm.
Comprehensive notes encompassing techniques and soft tissue conditions are provided for each workshop.

Accreditation: Workshops are accredited by the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS) for Continuing Professional Education (CPEs).

Enrolment: View the WORKSHOP CALENDAR page for dates, venues and costs, and information about how to enrol.

Workshop Techniques

All workshops are predominantly hands-on. Techniques that aim to treat the fascia of the body form the core of treatment approaches. A variety of other techniques are used, including oil-based massage, trigger point therapy, Muscle Energy Technique, Positional Release, transverse friction massage and digital ischaemic pressure.

Neck and Headache Pain

This workshop delves into soft tissue components of neck pain and headaches. The referral patterns of muscles that create headaches are studied, postural influences are considered, and a variety of treatment techniques are employed. The main category of headache treated will be tension headaches involving muscular referrals. Other types of headaches will be discussed.

Curly Customers, Muscles that Confound

Some unhappy muscles can interfere with the autonomic functions of the body, or possibly upset proprioception. Sometimes muscles may create symptoms that can be misdiagnosed as being created by other systems of the body.

The interesting aberrant characteristics of a variety of stressed muscles are discussed. A number of techniques will be used to address these soft tissues. Muscles that are studied and treated include the sternocleidomastoid, suboccipitals, masseter, pterygoids, sternalis, serratus posterior superior, serratus posterior inferior, and the thoracic multifidi.

Shoulder Pain and Scapular Stability

Posture and the stability of the scapulae have an effect of the efficient functioning of the shoulders. Weak scapula stabilizers may need to be retrained in very subtle ways at first, and some exercises that can help with retraining stabilizing muscles are explored. A variety of soft tissue approaches that can help alleviate shoulder pain will be introduced.

Wetsuits, S-Bends, Bones and Pulses

In this workshop the focus is on ways of influencing fascia. The ‘wetsuit’ of our skin and superficial fascia can be influenced via techniques of lifting and twisting – ‘S-bends’. Superficial and deep fascia meet at bony prominences – by treating ‘bones’ at a bony prominence we may influence the fascia and related tissues that are some distance away. Subtle pulsed MET – ‘pulses’ – can be combined with fascial techniques to actively involve the nervous system in the treatment.

Arm and Hand Pain

In this workshop a number of conditions that occur in the arm are discussed, and treatment possibilities explored. Sites of possible neural entrapment that may contribute to crush syndromes are studied and treated. Included is a review of muscles in the shoulder, neck and chest regions that may refer pain and symptoms into the arm and hand.

Massage for Breathing Pattern Disorders

Some of the problems that can occur with breathing are presented in this workshop. Asthma is well known, but not chronic hyperventilation. Quite a number of our clients with ‘intractable’ conditions may be breathing with this aberrant pattern. Chronic hyperventilation can be involved in symptoms such as widespread muscle pain, the development of trigger points, tiredness and fatigue, exercise intolerance, anxiety and foggy thinking. It can affect most systems of the body, and causes significant chemical changes in the blood over time. Most sufferers do not know that anything is wrong with their breathing.

The chronic recruitment of secondary muscles of respiration leads to their overuse, which in turn can compound some of the symptoms experienced. Massage can be an important part of the treatment of chronic hyperventilation and other breathing pattern disorders.

Lower Back Pain, Hip Pain and Pelvic Stability

The influence of poor pelvic stability on lower back pain will be discussed, as will the concept of subtle approaches to activating weak muscles that may be contributing to the pain problem. Muscles involved with pelvic alignment will be assessed and treated, with an emphasis on muscles that may create or aggravate lower back pain and hip pain.

Sciatica and Piriformis Syndrome

Sciatica can be debilitating, and there may be many causes contributing to this condition. Piriformis syndrome can create diverse and unusual symptoms, and several nerves other than the sciatic nerve can be involved. In this workshop, sites of likely neural entrapment will be discussed and addressed. Particular attention will be paid to muscles that can restrict the glide of the sciatic nerve. Muscles of the lower back, pelvic region and thigh that refer pain and symptoms that are often broadly labelled ‘sciatica’ (but are involved in pseudo sciatica) will be included.

Helping the Hamstrings

There are many reasons why the hamstrings are often tight. This workshop introduces a variety of ways in which massage therapists can create greater range of motion and ease of movement in the hamstrings. Ways of treating the hamstrings will be explored, but the accent will be on many other soft tissues and postural habits which help, or hinder, the easy range of motion of the hamstrings.

Leg and Knee Pain

As well as treating problems that can occur in the lower limb, this workshop has an emphasis on how massage therapists can assist patients with knee pain. Soft tissue problems may cause or exacerbate knee pain, or the soft tissue may become problematic due to knee pathology. This workshop concentrates on the knee and its adjacent structures, as well as addressing postural and alignment problems further afield.

Knee Pain and Treatment

New workshop with two presenters, Martina Larsen and John Bragg.

The knee is a complex structure and is often a challenge to effectively treat. This workshop will look at how massage therapists can help the knee function in the best way. Included in the workshop will be overall postural considerations, revision of the knee joint and its soft tissue structures, palpation of the bony landmarks, conditions of the knee and special tests. A variety of remedial soft tissue techniques will be addressed, with concentration on the knee and adjacent tissues. The aim of the workshop is to assist with the reduction of pain and in improving the quality of movement for knee pain sufferers.