association of massage therapists

Conference Workshops

Lumbar Pain – a back causing pain or a back that feels painful?

Presented by Aran Bright

Lumbar pain is a huge burden on society, monetarily, socially and physically. Anyone who experiences long-term back pain knows how much of an impact it has on their life and the others around them. As massage therapists, we see a lot of back pain so we need to be armed with the best knowledge about what is going on with clients’ backs and what we can do about it.

This course we will examine four topics:

  1. Armed (with knowledge) and not dangerous - The real story about back pain, what does the research tell us, what is going on with backs in Australia and what can we do about it?
  2. Interconnectivity – how the professional connection between therapist and client is at least as important to client outcomes as the physical treatment. How do you establish this connection ethically and safely, and “work it” for both client and therapist outcomes
  3. Manual techniques for lumbar pain – working from neurological principles to manage pain, instill confidence and minimize physical stress on the client and therapist. Direct and indirect methods will be explored, including soft tissue and joint focused techniques
  4. Movement based approaches for lumbar pain – using movement to build confidence and resilience to reduce pain and the likelihood of disability. When should we reduce movement and when should we encourage it?

Manual Lymphatic Drianage (MLD)

Presented by Michelle Vassallo

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a highly specialised technique that can be used to treat many injuries and pathologies. MLD not only stimulates the vital functions of the skin, tissues and internal organs, but also serves to eliminate cellular waste and stimulate the parasympathetic relaxation response inhibiting muscle tonus and pain. It provides an excellent tool for massage therapists when regular massage is contraindicated.

This workshop covers the many dimensions of Manual Lymphatic Drainage and will include:

What lies beneath: a clinical approach to treatment of the neck and shoulder

Presented by Lily Chiu

Our hands are frequently in contact with the soft tissue of the neck and shoulder. But have you stopped to think about how well we know what lies beneath?

In this hands-on workshop, we will review the palpation of surface anatomy and assessment techniques of the cervical spine and its relationship with the shoulder girdle, and how they may contribute to dysfunction.

We take a few steps back from the techniques we have learned to refresh our palpation of the anatomy, unlock the secret to how to access deeper structures safely, applying assessment techniques so that we can use the techniques we already know.

Improved palpation of the anatomy and understanding the anatomical areas to avoid will give depth to our practice, a refreshed view of treatment strategies and associated pathologies such as TMJ syndrome, carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome and radicular pain.

Better anatomy better palpation will lead to better practice.

Post-Conference Workshop

Interoception – why you are the best person you could ever hope to meet

Presented by Aran Bright and Colin Rossie

Interoception is the term used to describe the internal sensory experience of your own body. A burgeoning body of research is beginning to show links between interoception and wellbeing. It has become a field of vast interdisciplinary inquiry, from neurophysiology, to somatic anthropology and mind/body medicine.

In this workshop, we will look at how you can reconnect or grow your connection to your internal interoceptive world and then how you can work with massage therapy to help your clients deepen their internal connections.

To explore this process, we will be looking at activities that will include:

This will be development for both you as a therapist and techniques you can use for your clients.