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Massage Educators

The purpose of this group is to invite massage educators to network and dialogue regarding issues related to massage therapy education.

Members: 323
Latest Activity: Jun 2, 2016

Discussion Forum

Massage Therapy Instructor's Online Continuing Education Course

Started by Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, BCTMB Jun 2, 2016.

Research for Health 1 Reply

Started by Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, BCTMB. Last reply by Noel Norwick May 26, 2014.

Golden Opportunities For Massage Therapy Instructors

Started by Ariana Vincent, LMT, MTI, BCTMB May 6, 2014.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Njideka N. Olatunde on June 2, 2014 at 10:54am


I have just joined your group and I wanted to introduce myself to you. I am Njideka Olatunde my modality is Reflexology. I have been a practitioner and certifying instructor for over 20 years. I look forward to supporting and working together in sharing information that can benefit and enhance professionally our modalities.

Comment by Boris Prilutsky on February 26, 2014 at 6:03pm

Hi Dawn.Professional discussions, have to be free of animosity, but must  offer mutual benefits. In my opinion Whitney, trying to manage very precise and beneficial for all discussion. I personally have no reason not to believe that you are delivering good and sustainable results. But you shall not use Western medicine language/terminology, explaining what are you doing. The main evidence is the outcome. Myself, you, and other educators shall not present not existed facts. You're right, biomedical science most likely will offer us some new data, but meantime we have undeniable very solid scientific data. Would be fair and acceptable, if you will teach your students your method, and will not offer explanations but assurance that this clinically work. During my career I saw people, having no real formal education, somehow knew to perform detailed modalities of orthopedic massage . They didn't skip introductory part, applied techniques to reduce lymphedema size, compressed trigger points, mobilized and released tension within muscles  and fascia. Of course achieved great outcome. At the time I even worked in groups with academicians /PhD who performed horrible procedure, including leading to condition aggravations. I believe there is many different massage techniques and methodologies, to achieve results, however it is impossible to use language you are using. This discussion is beneficial, for you, your students, and other  massage practitioners and educators. I mean everyone who read it will have an opportunity to make conclusions. I feel no animosity to you, more than   this, I am embracing you. For a sake of our clients ,Interest of our professional community, our personal interest, we all have to work together. Individual success promoting great name of massage therapy. We all   on one platform. I mean professional trade association, professional material suppliers etc. the main supporters is a  practitioners in fields, who are paying membership, purchasing equipment, paying for CEs, etc. how many students each of us can teach? We are not competitors. Mutual interests including well-being of our clients, have to be above personal ego and ambitions.

From the bottom of my heart I'm wishing you best wishes.


Comment by Whitney Lowe on February 26, 2014 at 4:58pm

Clarification on my previous post about cervical ligaments. Assuming we are talking about the short ligaments between adjacent vertebrae and not long ones such as the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments. 

Comment by Whitney Lowe on February 26, 2014 at 4:54pm

I hope it is clear in my points that there is a distinction between academic debate (which this is), and personal animosity or attack (which it isn't). Academic debate is a critical and essential part of learning and growth in any discipline. Einstein, Heisenberg, and Bohr, for example, had vigorous and often vehement debates about the nature of relativity which helped each of them grow in their understanding as their own theories were critically evaluated and analyzed.

I am not looking for specific language, just a physiological explanation of what supposedly happens to make a ligament shorten if the ligament doesn't have contractile power to fully shorten itself. And, similarly, what is happening to the ligament to achieve the release. You say the "fibers of the ligament are balanced" but I don't understand what you mean by "balanced". How does the ligament actually lengthen? I am fine hearing and considering your theory even if it is not proven by research yet. I am just looking for an explanation that also fits within the biomechanical properties of each tissue and is not just based on one person's visualization of what they think they feel. For example, tissue may feel like it is "melting" because it becomes softer when I work on it and there is an increased degree of warmth. I might then suggest that when I do massage work tissues are melting underneath my hand. However, we know tissues don't melt from manual manipulation so that is not a realistic explanation. 

It does seem that there are some language issues here that are making this difficult for me to understand. I think as educators we must be able to explain these things to our students. For example, you said you can "open up the cervical ligaments from the sacrum," Since none of the cervical ligaments span more than a single joint, could you explain what you mean by that? I assume this has nothing to do with the myofascial connections through the spine as you said you are working on the ligaments in isolation without working on muscular tissues. 

Comment by Dawn Lewis on February 26, 2014 at 1:58pm
From your posts, Whitney, I am getting that you need the explanation to be couched in specific language and within what is known at this moment. I will be unable to accommodate those needs, and if that loses me credibility with you, I accept that.

As for pressing through the overlying tissues of the neck to get to the ligaments, I can mobilize the cervical vertebrae and release the ligaments using the head or moving the shoulder from the axilla or a variety of other ways. I could even open up the cervical ligaments from the sacrum.
Comment by Whitney Lowe on February 26, 2014 at 11:11am


I don't doubt That you have been able to help people to improve range of motion and relieve pain with a particular technique or method you have developed. However, you can't invent biomechanical properties of tissues that don't exist and say that exist simply because you "feel" them. It is one thing if you want to say something like... "while there is not sufficient research evidence yet, here is a theoretical model for what I think is happening." Where we get into trouble and lose credibility is advocating an explanation that defies the current laws of physiology and claiming it to be a fact without any evidence. I would still welcome any explanation or theoretical model you have about  what is happening physiologically when you "release" ligaments. 

I am also curious about your statement: "I released the cervical ligaments and mobilized the cervical vertebrae for 10 mknutes. I deliberately did no muscle work." Since myofascial tissues completely cover all the ligaments in the cervical region, how are you able to work on the ligaments without affecting the overlying muscles that you are pressing through? 

Comment by Boris Prilutsky on February 25, 2014 at 11:34am

I'm glad you guys discussing this issue . Since Fascia Congress, when findings of constructible elements within connective tissue was presented , 100s “NEW” methodology to release this tension based on this data was proposed. Very misleading, and  damaging phenomena, distracting  from spending treatment time to achieve sustainable and fast results. Additional to what Whitney Lowe have said, I would like to mention that connective tissue including ligaments, even if would have sufficient quantities of constructible fibers, never would be able to constrict because there is no connective tissue /nerve junction similar to muscles/nerve junctions.

In regards to importance to address ligaments. Tension within ligaments exactly like tensions within fascia can be increased due to metabolic disturbances, and we do have to release it, but by specifically designed techniques. Mainly directly we can address supraspinous and interspinous  ligaments. When working on C/spine ask client to flex/ bend forward approximately 20-25°, placing head on  forehead. Place  thumb between 2 spinous processes, and then gradually increasing pressure perform like traction action. 1st pressure slightly must be applied against ligament, and then have to be directed against  spinous processes located above within the same segment you are addressing. Repeat the same ligament release techniques on each segment of C/spine.

Best wishes.


PS. Whitney. I'm glad you have reacted, on post. It is important issue. I just regret, when in groups I have argued the same issue, you didn't offer your opinion like  here at this discussion. Probably if you would support my similar statements like you made here, it wouldn't be an issue here. We all can contribute and learn from each other. For sake of clients and our industry we have to work together. I hope more educators will participate, and will offer opinions on wrong, misleading proposals.

Comment by Whitney Lowe on February 24, 2014 at 9:51pm

Hi Dawn:
Thanks for sending that information over. It was an interesting chapter from that book. You are absolutely correct that there is new research indicating contractile cells at the cellular level in tissues that originally were thought not to have any contractile properties at all. However, we have to be careful not to make the cognitive leap from the presence of contractile cells at the cellular level to suggesting that tissues such as ligament (which don't have strong enough contractile units) could generate enough force to actually shorten the tissue. The contractile capability at the cellular level does appear to play an important role in proprioception, but without a strong contractile unit cannot generate enough force to change the tissue length. 

Also you suggested that a lateral ankle sprain which would lead to laxity in the lateral ankle ligaments would produce a corresponding shortening of the deltoid ligament. Again, this seems to be making a leap with physiology that is not accurate. Just because one ligament gets overstretched, does not mean that the ligament on the opposing side of the joint would become shortened the way you frequently see this pattern with muscle tissue. I would love to learn more about this if you have any specific research information that shows ligaments actually contracting and causing shortening of the ligament tissue itself. 

I am also still unclear about what you say is happening physiologically when you "release" a ligament... meaning what are you actually doing to a ligament to release it. 

Thanks again very much for sharing that information. Just trying to make sure I understand your perspective

Comment by Whitney Lowe on February 24, 2014 at 10:12am

Since cervical ligaments aren't composed of contractile tissue, I am not clear about what you suggest your are doing physiologically when you "release" them. Can you explain what you mean by "releasing" the ligaments?

Comment by Dawn Lewis on January 31, 2014 at 10:42am

        I just got another email from a woman whose father had surgery, sinus surgery in this case, and has been on a catheter, unable to urinate on his own, for a year.  People have had fantastic success with the self help video on our website on how to restore bladder function after surgery.  The work is so easy, they can do it on each other, but they prefer real therapists do the work.

        This means we need to teach it to more people.  I never realized how widespread this problem was.  We get emails from all over the world from people who are desperate for help.  The ones who try the SMRT work have great results, but some have no one who can do the work for them or their people do not feel they could do the work.

        This week alone I have gotten 3 emails on this issue.  I sent one to a student in NC, one to a student in AZ, and the other is the woman mentioned above, who is in WV.  I will have to do my best to coach her through email and hope she is willing to do the work on her father herself.

        This is only one of the amazing things that will be taught in the SMRT: Hips, Lower Back, & Abdomen course in Winter Park, FL on April 4-6, 2014.


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