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MFR for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders
Issues of swallowing, voice, speech are complex are best addressed through a multidisciplinary perspective. Myofascial release is a gentle approach that utilizes a slower, more nuanced pressure and stretch, one that seeks out areas of tightness that the patient reports have a familiar aspect to their issues. This workshop will show how MFR can be an effective treatment of voice and swallowing-related disorders. The workshop will focus on supervised hands-on practice to develop comfort and expertise in performing these techniques for patients with specific types of voice disorders, dysphagia, head and neck cancer rehabilitation, and issues surrounding the jaw, mouth, and tongue. Sydney 7-8 August 2019.
This two-day, highly interactive class will provide the speech-language pathologist (SLPs), as well as Physiotherpaists, Occupational Therapists, and Massage Therapists with an interest in pathology/dysfunction in the upper thorax and neck regions, a solid grounding in the use of myofascial release (MFR) and other manual therapies for the treatment of voice and swallowing-related disorders. The evidence-base and science-base will be reviewed, as well as the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, the fascia, and corresponding muscle groups it supports.
The majority of the course will be spent on supervised hands-on practice to develop comfort and expertise in performing these techniques for patients with specific types of voice disorders, dysphagia, head and neck cancer rehabilitation, and issues surrounding the jaw, mouth, and tongue. Appropriate patient selection will be reviewed and comparison will be made between various techniques to achieve optimal results for each patient, based on his or her presenting symptoms. The addition of myofascial release to an existing clinical skill set will allow the therapy professional to provide intervention to patients in novel ways. Of note is the high level of hands-on training/time provided.
The 14.5 total contact hour workshop consists of an introductory lecture, lasting approximately 2 hours, that introduces the professional to the background science and evaluative methods used to support this model of manual care, followed by over 12 hours of region/disorder-specific demonstrations and one-on-one hands-on learning experiences designed to provide the therapist with the skills and confidence to begin utilizing a myofascial release-type intervention on their first day back to clinic.
The Science and Evidence to Support Myofascial Release in the treatment of Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders
Myofascial release has a limited evidence base to establish credibility for its use in the field of speech, voice, and swallowing, through evidence does exist. There is extensive conversation during the seminar about the established historical narrative used to describe myofascial release as well as newer, more plausible models that may more accurately describe the mechanism of action of our hands-on work. Myofascial release and other forms of manual therapy share many inherent similarities, though most seek to distance themselves from each other. I believe that myofascial release for swallowing disorders share similar aspects of effect as circumlaryngeal massage, with the difference being less than many believe.
The current body of literature currently used to validate this seminar is listed here, (updated 04/20/18) though changes will be ongoing. I look at myofascial release as simply a name for the manual care/touch I have provided my patients for over two decades rather than the with the belief that I can isolate and “release” fascia in isolation to all else. While I believe our primary effect is more on the nervous system, I continue to call what I do myofascial release. I hope you will forgive me this nod to the inherited, historical narrative that I was taught.
You can also read a recent online article, “Fitting myofascial release into an evidence-based culture”, by clicking here.
This class is appropriate for speech-language pathologist, physiotherapists/physical therapists, massage therapists, occupational therapists, and other health professionals with an interest in working within the areas of speech, swallowing, and voice.
About the Instructor
Walt Fritz, PT has taught this work to hundreds of speech-language pathologists, voice, professionals, as well as MTs, PT, and OTs across the United States and Australia and is a course-content expert. His approach to manual therapy in the treatment of voice, swallowing, neck, and related issues facing is supported by a robust reference list of current evidence, as well as through the experiential feedback of the many hundreds of professionals who have taken his seminar. is easily implemented into clinical practice immediately following the completion of the seminar. He offers a comprehensive support mechanism after the completion of the seminar through a special Facebook group which contains all of the hands-on seminar content preserved in video format and available free on the group. The group also serves as a central meeting place for questions, feedback, and interaction with other professionals who have taken his training.
Date & Location
7-8 August 2019, 9am to 6pm every day, Sydney, Location: TBA
Terms and Conditions
- Workshop sizes are limited and reservations will be accepted in the order in which they are received.
- Refund with $50 admin fee, if cancellation is notified at least 6 weeks before the workshop
- 50% Refund if cancellation is notified 3 weeks or later before the workshop
- Non-refundable if cancellation is notified 2 weeks (or later) before the workshop
- Full refund if we, for any reason, cancel a workshop.