Category Archives: massage education

Hip Treatment Part 2

A demonstration for hip pain and massage therapy/movement treatments for runners or general public in Flagstaff, Arizona.  Geoffrey Bishop of Stay Tuned Therapeutics demonstrates.

For more information or book a session at Stay Tuned Therapeutics contact Geoffrey at 928-699-1999

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Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff massage therapy, Flagstaff pain relief, Flagstaff Running, flagstaff sports massage, hip pain, massage education, Myoskeletal Alignment, pain management

Thanks Whitney

I think you may have misinterpreted what I (and many others) are advocating. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that techniques shouldn’t be taught. Techniques are like tools. You can’t do good work without them. But just having a good tool does not make you a good craftsman. You have to know how and why you use it. The “how and why” are the critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills that others advocate.

The problem I see is that most educational programs emphasize only the tools (techniques) themselves as the answer to all clinical problems. Without the clinical reasoning process (knowing and understanding why you do what you do), your techniques will not be as effective as they could be.

It is like the craftsman who has a chisel, saw, and router. They are all great tools, but if you don’t understand when to use each one to their most appropriate use, you certainly won’t do the best work you could be doing.

This concept is an important aspect of what you and Erik teach in your assessment methods as well. Determining the nature of the client’s pathology is critical thinking and clinical reasoning. From that point you choose an appropriate treatment strategy. You then apply the appropriate techniques that are most likely to produce effective results. I would assume you don’t just start doing a random series of techniques you have learned for that region of the body.

My argument has been that we need to teach much more clinical reasoning to balance the content that leans toward to tools (techniques).

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Announcing #bw20



20 Questions.

Join Geoffrey Bishop and guests in these clear and concise twitter interviews (twitterview).  The hash tag is #bw20.

Many of the worlds leading professionals in the massage and bodywork profession are to be my guest, as well as athletes, docs, movement professionals and who knows who else.  The interviews will be categorized and transcripts will posted on this very blog.  Be sure to follow myself and the guest on

Questions will be posted by myself, guests will answer questions, share links to information they find useful, or not.  Videos, pdf files, blogs, etc.  In 140 characters.  Guests will be announced on twitter and here on this blog.  Beginning May 2010.  Stay Tuned……..

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Gil Hedley’s Deep Fascia and Muscle

Movie Night at Stay Tuned Therapeutics.

403 West Birch Ave, Flagstaff, AZ.

Date: March 31, 2010 Time: 4:30 pm.

Our next film will be one of my favorite anatomy films, from Gil Hedley; Deep Fascia and Muscle.  Please RSVP by e mail at if you are interested in the viewing and discussion.  Subject ‘movie night’.

See what you touch.
Rare visions of the human form explored through dissection.
Program running time: @1 hour, 50 min.

Vol.2 Description:

In this volume the whole body continuities of deep fascia and muscle are demonstrated in detail and dissected on camera to demonstrate their relationships to underlying and overlying structures. Following through with themes initiated in the first volume, visual presentations and discussions of the practical implications for professional practice of the layer by layer demonstration of human form are carried deeper into the body. The first volume creates the material and visual context for understanding the layers explored in this volume.

A comprehensive understanding of these deeper layers requires a thorough understanding of the more superficial ones. All are strongly encouraged to engage the material in Vol. 1 to achieve a full appreciation and understanding of Vol. 2. The material found on these disks is unique, cannot be found in books, and represents a leap beyond established regional perspectives.

Series Overview:

Each volume of this series presents the anatomy of human form, layer by layer, from an integral, whole body perspective. The DVDs in this series systematically document tissues and dissection perspectives missing from the established anatomical texts and videos. Skin, superficial fascia, deep fascia, muscle, visceral wrappings and viscera are dissected and demonsrated on camera as whole body layers in a series of truly unique and revealing sequences available nowhere else. In these DVDs, the viewer is brought directly into the laboratory as a first-hand eye-witness to the dissection and discovery process.

Because regional anatomy moves through the multiple layers of one region without ever exploring each layer across all regions simultaneously, the vision of the whole is lost, along with the advantages of comprehending the “big picture.” Integral anatomy, with its whole body, layer by layer approach, stresses anatomical continuities and relationships previously overlooked or underdescribed in regional presentations. Integral anatomy is complementary to the essential and important study of regional anatomy. Both are needed and valuable, like different lenses in a professional camera bag, each capable of demonstrating a different perspective.

The visual proof and profoundly practical implications of this new approach can now be applied by professionals across a broad range of modalities. This series leads the viewer well beyond the boundaries of medical school anatomy and texts. The series is a must-have for any medical, allied or alternative health professional or student who wants their patient evaluations and treatments to be based upon a truly comprehensive knowledge of the human body.

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Hamstring Adhesions

As noted by Erik Dalton, PhD., in his Volume IV Myoskeletal Alignment DVD set, a common dysfunction with the hamstring muscle group is ‘fascial bag adhesions’, rather than contracture, or chronic shortening in the hamstrings.

A few simple techniques can be administered by soft tissue therapists to help separate these fascial adhesions between bicep femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus, additionally creating room for the sciatic nerve to slide around.  Your soft tissue therapist may ask for movement, by way of your muscular contraction, to enhance the central nervous system perception of the ‘new’ resting length in the tissue, as we now know, connective tissue is highly innervated.

Here are a few examples of Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques used at Stay Tuned Therapeutics to bring relief to tired, achy, bagged up hamstrings…

Shorten...Seperate. Internal & external rotation of fibula may be helpful.

By ‘shortening’ the tissue, we take tension out of the distal attachment of bicep femoris, allowing the therapist to sink to the restrictive barrier.  Recall gastrocnemius runs deep to hamstring attachments.

Broad palmar pressure may reduce protective muscle guarding.

As your therapist ‘pins’ into the tissue, external rotation of the femur helps separate the medial fibers of  semimembranosus and semitendinosus from bicep femoris.  The short head of the bicep femoris is often exquisitely tender and caution must be taken here.


Shortening the hamstrings group once again, providing movement re-educates the tissue.  As the therapist drops the leg down toward the table, they may introduce gliding strokes up the thigh, or maintain a solid pin hand to really lengthen and separate the fascial adhesions.  In some schools of thought, this may increase contactability of the tissue.  Imagine that, if it is not bound to its neighbor,muscle may have increased function?  But I have no proof, that’s just what I hear from clients.

Lengthen. Just feel 'good'.

This video features some of the hamstring techniques.  Not just for ‘runners’.

Stay Tuned…..


Filed under Flagstaff Arizona massage, flagstaff sports massage, massage education, Myoskeletal Alignment

What is Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques?

From Erik Dalton, PhD, founder of Freedom From Pain Institute, creator of Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques.

What makes MAT Special?

Well-documented theories explain how joints become fixated from myofascial stressors; yet relatively unknown in the massage therapy community is how joint dysfunction creates protective muscle spasm and dysfunctional strain patterns, such as forward head postures, slumped shoulders and scoliosis. This reflexogenic relationship between muscles and joints is the foundation of the Myoskeletal Alignment Technique and is considered not only uniquely different from traditional thinking, but possibly an important next step in addressing abnormal strain patterns caused by muscle/joint imbalances.

Massage therapists can now safely address all soft tissues, including ligaments, nerve dura, fasciae, discs and joint capsules, responsible for much of the pain previously blamed on muscles alone. Osteopathic methods, such as muscle energy, strain-counter strain and mechanical link, are also designed to relieve muscle/joint dysfunctions, but the MAT method complements today’s bodywork practices as it was specifically designed to fit a massage-therapy format.

One distinguishing goal that establishes the MAT method apart from other techniques is its dependence on identification and correction of joint fixations. This is accomplished by systematically releasing deep spinal muscles, ligaments and fibrotic joint capsules that torsion and compress spinal joints. In some cases, a bodyworker may apply direct pressure to bones to release fibrotic muscles that create joint blockages, but the intent is always soft-tissue work.

Posture’s Roll

Most manual therapists today agree that no therapeutic approach to neck/back pain is complete unless body posture is generally improved. Whatever the root of the client’s condition, special attention must be dedicated to posture-especially the correct positioning of the pelvis. Many therapists complain that postural assessments are often too complex, too time-consuming, too clumsy-in a typical massage setting with the client draped.

The MAT method lessens assessment anxiety with an efficient five-minute hands-on evaluation that quickly identifies gross body asymmetries, such as pelvic tilts, short legs, sacroiliac dysfunctions, scoliosis, facet restrictions and hip-capsule adhesions. MAT also incorporates Vladimir Janda, M.D.’s upper-and-lower crossed visual assessment method for easy recognition of muscle-imbalance patterns that cause neck and low-back pain. Combining these hands-on and visual assessment techniques allows the therapist to immediately tell which muscles are tight and pulling unevenly on the body’s bony framework, and which weak muscles are permitting the asymmetry. Janda’s muscle-imbalance research has gifted bodywork practitioners with a remarkably useful model for explaining how predictable muscle imbalances cause predictable faulty postural patterns, such as slumped shoulders, forward heads, swaybacks and dowager’s hump. (Hands on procedures using Janda’s formula are detailed in Part II of this series.)

Ultimately, for long-lasting relief of chronic neck/back pain, the MAT system works to achieve these goals:

balancing the head on the neck

balancing the neck on the shoulders

balancing the shoulder girdle on the rib cage

balancing the pelvis on the femurs

restoring pain-free movement

Recent studies have confirmed a noticeable reduction in noxious neural input entering the spinal cord and brain when the postural goals listed above are met. In 1979, biomechanical researcher J. Gordon Zink, D.O., coined the term “common compensatory patterns” to describe routinely found postural patterns in the neuromyofascial-skeletal system. His studies were the first to validate how structure and function play a dual role in posturally initiated pain syndromes. Eventually, he concluded that postural muscle stress leads to chronic, recurrent central nervous system irritation initiated by sensory receptors, such as mechanoreceptors, nociceptors and chemoreceptors.

Postural muscles are structurally designed to resist fatigue and function in the presence of prolonged gravitational exposure. If their capacity to resist stress is lost, the postural muscles become irritable, tight and shortened. Fortunately, as balance and function are re-established in distorted myofascial structures, hyperactivity in agitated joint and muscle receptors rapidly dissipates. Zink’s conclusion leads to the underpinnings of the client’s outcome: less sympathetic muscle spasm, less limbic system activation, less stress-and less pain.

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Filed under Arizona Massage CEU, Flagstaff Arizona massage, Flagstaff deep tissue massage, Flagstaff pain relief, flagstaff sports massage, Flagstaff therapeutic massage, High Altitude massage, Massage CEU Arizona, massage education, Myoskeletal Alignment, Myoskeletal Alignment CEU, pain management

Baltimore 2008

Freedom From Pain Institute is conducting the final workshop of the year, and what a doozie!  We have 70 participants enrolled for the:

Myoskeletal Alignment Workshop for Neck, Sciatic and Shoulder Pain

Massage therapists learn innovative approaches for advanced neck, shoulder, and pelvic stabilization. Workshop on myoskeletal tissue techniques for massage clients suffering neck, shoulder, and low back pain.

70% Hands on Workshop: Human dissection videos and “lively” demos teach innovative ways to “Find and Fix” tendon, ligament, joint capsule, and nerve impingements. Erik will demo on class participants for the following


  • Neck “Cricks”
  • Facet- Rib Pain
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Scoliosis
  • SI Joint Pain
  • Piriformis Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Low Back Dysfunction

To register call Michael at 800-766-1942 or register at Takemyregistration

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Filed under Arizona Massage CEU, massage education, pain management

Pain Managment in Paradise 2008

What a wonderful trip the 6th Annual Pain Management in Paradise turned out to be. Erik Dalton brought along the originator of Active Isolated Stretching, Aaron Mattes, for a fun filled and informative week of 26 hours of continuing education.

Many of the workshop participants experienced a life alteration. This 26 hours of education coupled with the tranquil setting of Pura Vida Resort and Spa provided an opportunity for therapists to study theory of new concepts, practice techniques and reflect on why we do what we do.

Many new relationships were built over the seven days in Costa Rica. For those of us who had met before it was an opportunity to expand our personal and professional relationships. For me, getting to know Aaron and Judy Mattes a bit better was one highlight. What great, honest and caring people the two of them are.

Over the past 45 years, Aaron Mattes has spent well over 250,000 hours developing AIS in sports participation, sports and health instruction, rehabilitation, athletic training, adapted physical education, sports medicine, training and prevention programs. This man is the real deal, and his wife Judy, god bless her, has to reign him in at the end of the day, he is fully committed to helping people understand and use the techniques.

He is a registered Kinesiotherapist (#449) and a certified member of the American Kinesiotherapy Association. He is a licensed Massage Therapist (#3864) and a member of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association and the American Massage Therapy Association (#3864). Mattes is a member of the Association of Medical Rehabilitation Administrators, and the National Rehabilitation Association (#039204).

Mattes lectures internationally at sports medicine clinics, medical seminars, and massage therapy conventions. He provides continuing education to personal trainers, nurses, strength trainers, athletic trainers, physical therapists, massage therapists, coaches and athletes. Mattes serves as a consultant to sports clubs, high school, college and professional athletes and teams. He has rehabilitated thousands of subjects including famous politicians, entertainers, and hundreds of Olympic and professional athletes.

Mattes is co-author of two books: Pre-Condition, Re-Condition, Re-Habilitation: Shelton, Greninger and Mattes and Nutrition Therapy For Massage and Physical Therapy Patients: E. Leslie Knight and Mattes. He is the sole author of a number of books on stretching including his 2000 text “Active Isolated Stretching: The Mattes Method”. Mattes is internationally recognized for his techniques in treating pain, scoliosis and major spinal distortions, post polio, parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, spinal cord problems, and joint replacements.

Some therapist’s may try to emulate his life, his commitment, and even his teachings, but there is only one Aaron Mattes, and what an honor it was to work along side him and assist him in his work over this unforgettable week. Thanks Aaron.

hope to see you soon…….

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Sedona, Phoenix, Sedona, Home…Costa Rica

Up coming schedule…..

Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques, NAMTI, Sedona
Sunday, April 6, 10am-6 pm
Monday, April 7, 6pm-9:30pm
Wednesday, April 9, 6pm-9:30pm
Friday, April 11, 6pm-9:30pm (Phoenix, Ironman Arizona, 8am-2pm)
Sunday, April 13, 10am-6pm
Monday, April 14, 6pm-9:30pm
Wednesday, April 16, 1:30 -5pm, 6pm-9:30pm
Thursday, April 17, 9am-5pm
Friday, April 18, 6pm-9:30pm
Monday, April 21, 9am-5pm
Tuesday, April 22, 9am-5pm
Wednesday, April 23, 9am-5pm
Thursday, April 24, 9am-12:30pm

1st group
2nd group

Thursday, April 24th, Fly out for Myoskeletal Alignment 6th annual retreat with Erik Dalton and Aaron Mattes at Pura Vida Resort in Costa Rica.

Click the purple links to find out more……

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Muscle Preparation

As I prepare for a long weekend snowboarding in Idaho, I feel like it is important to give my muscles a bit more attention. I have put together a short routine for the muscles where I feel the ripping and shredding the most. These are a few of the rolling techniques I have been using. You may find them useful as well. You carving, you carve, you carve, you carve, no slide…..even if it’s icy.

(fig. 1.) Gluteal muscles. These guys get fatigued a bit in the squatting position used frequently in snowboarding. While in the squat, we are using our back foot to maneuver the tail of the board for steering. This position on the foam roller puts glute max on a bit of a stretch , as we roll the tissue all around the sacrum we also touch on the long dorsal sacroiliac ligament. This is crucial in having freedom of movement in the SI joint. In my opinion, it is a wise idea to do some type of straight leg extensions after “opening up” and “turning on” this tissue. This can be done by lying face down and doing straight leg raises.

(fig.2.) Heinemann, or DH danceman, says he’s been getting it in his quadriceps muscles. I agree. Here we roll from above the knee to the hip and back. Easy enough. If you have not used a foam roller in the past, you may be surprised at the depth of pressure you can achieve. Tilt your body left and right a bit to get the lateral and medial tissues of the thigh. An attempt should be made to push the lateral tissues back up to the middle of the bone. Separate the bellies of the 4 quads.

(fig. 3) Knee pain may be resolved to some degree by paying special attention to the connective tissue around the knee. Just below the knee, on the outside, is the attachment of bicep femoris. This hamstring muscle has been known to cram the tib fib joint closed, reducing the available slide, shock absorbing element of this part of the “knee” joint.

Use your upper body to provide movement from the knee to the hip. At the top of this movement do get into the tissue of the TFL, tilt slightly forward, All around that IT band tissue.

(fig. 4) Lats. Latissimus dorsi that is. Very interesting muscle. This dude is attatched to the arm, the low back, and the hip. So it helps in feeding, walking, rotation of the spine, side bending, so we see how this is important in snowboarding. have to eat ya know!

With the arm over head and externally rotated, we roll from around the arm pit, down to the ribs. Watch those floaters at the bottom of the rib basket. The intent is to pull the tissue back to the back to the beat. Get on the back of the “rotator cuff” high at the arm pit. I like to add an enhancer here, internal and external rotation of the humerus.

I hope you find these foam roller techniques useful. If you do not have a roller, you may find one at your local PT department, many massage therapist, running stores, and yoga studios may have them as well. This is a great device to have between massage appointments for at home care. They are cheap, fun, feel good and help create bodily awareness. Have fun with this stuff. Try some balance work. Squats while standing, arms out front. Stand erect doing overhead extensions. Lay on your back, foam roller length wise under spine. try to lift one foot then the other. What do you find. Core.

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