Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders



Walt Fritz


December 10 – 11, 2016


Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Cafeteria, 7th floor
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114

Class Size Limited

Limited to 32 participants due to constraints in space and the hands-on practicum nature of the training.

Course Description

This is a foundational course for learning how to implement myofascial release (MFR), when appropriate, as part of the treatment plan for neck, voice, and swallowing disorders. The history of manual therapies and MFR in particular will be taught. There will be hands on training for specific treatment techniques and the course will include opportunities for all participants to demonstrate techniques while receiving guidance to improve effectiveness.

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Learning Outcome

After completion of this seminar the therapist will show the ability to understand and use myofascial release treatment in the remediation of pain, movement disorders, and voice/swallowing and related disorders.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this workshop, the therapist will:

  1. Explain the history of myofascial release and similar manual therapies and their usage in the treatment of neck, voice, and swallowing disorders.
  2. Understand the strengths and limitations of the traditional “fascial-based” explanatory model of change in myofascial release.
  3. Understand and explain various explanations of neurological change with respect to myofascial release and manual therapy.
  4. Understand and explain how palpatory pareidolia may cloud our belief in tissue-specific effects.
  5. Appreciate the value of applying a filter of critical thinking to current and future practice.
  6. Understand and name a few of the absolute and relative contraindications for myofascial release/manual therapy, including the treatment of scar tissue.
  7. Understand the strengths and limitations of a postural/biomechanical evaluation and treatment-based approach.
  8. Understand and apply an effective method of myofascial release evaluation.
  9. Understand and explain why deeper pressures are not necessarily more effective than lighter pressures and apply them to the practice of myofascial release.
  10. Appreciate the potential influence of the autonomic nerve system and apply this to treatment.
  11. Describe and demonstrate the various treatment options in a myofascial release session, including cross handed, single handed, compression, gathering/lifting, and traction.
  12. Discuss options and apply effective treatment for the remediation of pain, movement disorders, and potential autonomic dysfunction in the region of the lower thoracic region.
  13. Discuss options and apply effective treatment for the remediation of a wide variety of pain, movement related disorders, and voice/swallowing and related disorders in the head and neck regions.
  14. Explore the potential for manual therapy options in conditions where this sort of approach is not the norm.
  15. Be able to critically assess, respect, and self-reflect on the concepts of professional boundaries and scope of practice limitations in the myofascial release treatment setting.

Participants will be observed and assessed during the hands-on lab portion of the class, as well as monitored for participation and understanding during the lecture/demonstration portion of the class to determine whether the stated objectives have been successfully met.

Course Agenda

Day 1

8:30–9:00 am: Registration
9:00–10:00 am:
Introduction, Concepts of Evaluation, Clinical Applications
of Treatment
10:00–10:15 am:
10:15–11:30 am:
Evaluation Basics/Hands-on Lab
11:30 am–
12:30 pm:
Respiratory Diaphragm
12:30–1:30 pm:
Rib Cage/Thoracic Outlet Region
1:30–2:30 pm:
2:30–3:30 pm:
Anterior Shoulder/Upper Chest Region
3:30–3:45 pm: 
3:45–4:45 pm: 
Infra-Hyoid Region
4:45–5:45 pm:
Hyoid and Supra-hyoid Region

Day 2

9:00–10:15 am: Anterior Cervical/Retro-esophageal Region
10:15–10:30 am:
10:30–11:30 am:
Anterior Cervical/Retro-esophageal Region
11:30 am–12:30 pm:
12:30–1:30 pm:
Posterior Cervical/Occipital Region
1:30–2:30 pm:
2:30–3:30 pm:
3:30–4:30 pm: 
4:30–5:30 pm: 
Putting It All Together/Q&A

This course is offered for 1.45 CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area)


Walt Fritz has the following relevant financial relationship to disclose: He receives royalties from similar course content delivered through Medbridge Massage and Touch U. He has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.