Most manual therapy techniques I use have roots in the osteopathic medicine founded by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD, DO.

Brain Curriculum: I felt like I was coming home when I took my first class in Brain Curriculum from Dr. Bruno Chikly, MD, DO, LMT, and saw how his detailed knowledge of brain anatomy provided the underpinnings of this high-precision manual therapy.

Craniosacral Therapy: Just about everyone who finds their way to my massage table becomes deeply relaxed and often falls asleep while I provide craniosacral therapy. Within that state of deep relaxation, old patterns of tension can be encouraged to release and newer, stronger rhythmic movements of the body’s tissues can be nurtured. The training I received was developed by Dr. John Upledger, DO, OMM.

Visceral Manipulation: The fundamental premise of this technique is that all of the body’s organs and tissues must move in order to have optimal health. Easy to understand when we consider the beating of our heart and the expansion of our chest while inhaling, complex when we begin to consider the contractions of organs like the stomach and gall bladder and the pulse of blood flowing through arteries, and practically mind-blowing when we realize the many layers of body tissues that need to slide across each other to accomplish a simple movement. Jean-Pierre Barral, DO, MRO (F), PT first described this compelling model and he, at times with collaborators, developed techniques to address many body systems.

Fascia: The body’s network of tissue that never got no respect for hundreds of years is now the subject of interesting research which may indicate a role for fascia in many physiological processes and in manual therapy. A great resource is the Fascia Research Society and Congress, the book Fascia: The Tensional Network of the Human Body: The Science and Clinical Applications in Manual and Movement Therapy (1st ed.) and other works by the editors, Schleip, Findley, Chaitow, and Huijing.

Manual Therapy Research: a few of the journals that publish manual therapy research include Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy, International Journal of Massage Therapy and Bodywork, Manual Therapy Journal, and Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy.

Essays on Massage Therapy and Bodywork: Dale Favier provides insight into manual and massage therapists’ perceptions and motivations. Definitely worth the read.

Neuroscience: Huge topic ranging from basic research about how brain cells work, to clinical care for individuals with nervous system problems. For a taste, try Nature Neuroscience, The Journal of Neuroscienceand the website Neuroscience For Kids.