Seminars for Speech Language Pathologists and Voice Professionals

Welcome to the Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders page. Presented by Walt Fritz, PT, here you will find the details of a form of manual therapy/engagement that blends well into the evaluation and treatment model of the speech-language pathologist, blending current evidence along with strong nods to the second and third aspects of evidence-based practice; clinician expertise and patient values. While content is relevant to the patient population of the speech-language pathologist and voice profession, many massage therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists find the class content quite relevant to their patient populations.

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“With three decades spent as a physical therapist and nearly two and a half decades using myofascial release in my practice, the treatment to the anterior neck region remains a strong passion. After years working in a wide variety of patient populations, including pediatrics, home health, and developmental disabilities, I transitioned into an exclusive manual therapy/myofascial release-based private practice. I soon began to receive referrals from speech and voice professionals in the Rochester, NY area who had heard of the benefits of myofascial release or may have taken some training, but felt less than less than competent to use it with their patients. Though licensed to touch, many SLPs referred to their patients to me, seeking a more experienced and focused approach for their patients. With a steady referral base, I soon received exposure to a wide variety of disorders and diagnoses that gave me a better appreciation of the possibilities that touch can bring to disorders of swallowing, voice, breathing, and speech.”

“I have a keen awareness that as a physical therapist I have only a fraction of the knowledge that the speech language pathologist and voice professional possesses, but I bring to this process a unique take on manual therapy and its potential benefits in disorders not typically thought to be influenced by soft tissue tightness, neural tension, and responses to changes in autonomic tone. I teach from a perspective of modern pain science rather than outdated models still prevalent in much of the field of myofascial release. While typically metaphoric, I acknowledge the older concepts of fascial tightness and release, I am moving myofascial release forward through updated models of both pain and neuroscience and how they may influence the disorders we treat daily. I do believe that in the Myofascial Release for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders I meet the speech and voice professional in a place where they can transfer their knowledge base into even better outcomes when taught another way to touch and interact. I attempt to build a bridge, showing how manual touch and engagement may offer additional options to treatment.” Walt Fritz, PT

The Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders addresses the specific patient populations of head/neck cancer, treatment of fibrosis, issues of breath/breathing, dysphagia, dysarthria, ankyloglossia, various dysphonias, articulatory disorders, trismus/TMJ disorders, as well as practical applications for a wider range of issues and disorders. The work is also appropriate for common issues of singing and speaking. Much of this and related work is aimed at moving the patient from a negative state to a neutral state, but much can be gains moving from neutral to positive. For the non-SLP therapists, you will find that the core concepts taught in the Foundations Approach to be helpful and easy to integrate into an existing manual therapy/massage practice. Many PTs, OTs, and MTs work with the identical patient population as the SLP and the class will present ample opportunity for learning and deepening your skills.

The content of the class is based on available evidence and represents a compilation of experiential evidence in the field; this class does not teach a strict treatment model, but rather encourages the clinician to deepen/widen their own evaluation/treatment strategies by the inclusion of a manual therapy approach.
“We need a way to help. Some use exercise, others manual therapy, others a verbal engagement approach. All can be helpful, though our patient’s beliefs and preferences may play a larger role than what “tool” we choose. To me, myofascial release is my tool to reach people. In my seminar(s) you will be challenged to think about the work you do in different ways, not only in what we are targeting, but also how we are promoting change. Traditional views of myofascial release, and other manual therapies, will be addressed and deconstructed with a new model then built, one which allows possibility for change from pain science, neurological, and autonomic means as well as potential soft-tissue change. Despite decades of claims for definitive explanations of the actions of our touch, little has been completely vetted. The Foundations Approach looks at credible evidence and science to build a simple, plausible narrative and immediately apply it to evaluation and intervention.”

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Hosting

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

If you are interested in hosting this class, please call 585-244-6180 or email from the right side bar of this page. Options include private/closed trainings or classes open to the public.

An Introduction to Myofascial Release for Vocal Dysfunction

To be presented at The Voice Foundation’s 46th Annual Symposium: Care of the Professional Voice May 31 to June 4, 2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Walt’s presentation will be on Friday, June 2, 2017

For details and to register, click here

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

Los Angeles, California
August 5-6, 2017

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For details and to register, click here

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

Belleville, New Jersey
October 19-20, 2017

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

Weston, Florida
December 9-10, 2017

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For details and to register, click here

Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck and Voice Disorders

Sydney, Australia
February 17-18, 2018

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Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck and Voice Disorders

Brisbane, Australia
February 20-21, 2018

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Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminar for Neck and Voice Disorders

Melbourne, Australia
February 23-24, 2018

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

Grand Rapids, Michigan
May 4-5, 2018

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

Raleigh, North Carolina
May 18-19, 2018

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

Emporia, Kansas
June 8-9, 2018

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For details and to register, click here

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

Seattle, Washington
July 13-14, 2018

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For details and to register, click here

Past Presentations

– 2013: Chicago, IL. Listening with your Hands: Myofascial Release for Speech-Language Pathologists, co-presented with Benjamin Asher, MD
– 2013: Rochester, NY. University of Rochester
– 2015: San Diego, CA. Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla
– 2015: Chicago, IL. Northshore Hospital, Chicago, IL
– 2015: Baltimore, MD. Focus on Myofascial Release for Head and Neck Disorders™ for Speech Pathologists: Voice, Speech and Swallowing. One-day seminar presented as part of the GBMC and                   The Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head & Neck Center 18th Annual Head and Neck Conference: Focus on Rehabilitation
– 2016: Charlotte, NC. Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates
– 2016: Milwaukee, WI. Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital
– 2016: Houston, Texas. North Cypress Medical Center
– 2016: Buffalo, NY. Mercy Hospital and Partners in Rehab
– 2016: Boston, MA. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital
– 2017: Scottsdale, AZ. Mayo Clinic Scottsdale
– 2017: Vancouver, WA. Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy and Massage
– 2017: Dallas, Texas. Integrated Sports Institute
– 2017: Duluth, Minnesota. Essentia Health
– 2017: Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Institute for Voice Care at the University of IL-Chicago
– 2017: Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Sanford Health

Interested in bringing this seminar to your facility?

For information, please contact us using email and I will share the Host Packet with you info@waltfritz.com or call 585-244-6180

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As most who read this page is keenly aware, issues of swallowing, voice, speech, etc., are complex are best addressed through a multidisciplinary perspective. Manual therapy, myofascial release and touch are lesser used tools in the SLP and voice community, which may be due to a lack of foundational research.  Circumlaryngeal massage has shown to be effective in in the clinic and I believe that the myofascial release technique I present to be a more broadly-based extension of that work. While circumlaryngeal massage typically involves repeated movement to mobilize/stretch the anterior neck region, my approach to 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. The short video below shows one small aspect of this approach.

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

This two-day, highly interactive class will provide the speech-language pathologist (SLPs), as well as PTs, OTs, and MTs 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 speech 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. The participant will leave this course prepared to utilize a myofascial release-type intervention on his or her first day back to clinic.

The Neck, Voice, and Swallowing Disorders Seminar has no prerequisites and is directed toward health professionals working within the areas of speech, swallowing, and voice, but is also appropriate for therapists with an interest in these areas and is open to SLPs, MTs, PTs, and OTs. This is a two-day class. ASHA (1.45) Physical Therapy PT CEUs in many states (please inquire) and massage therapy (NCBTMB, 14.0 CE Hrs) are approved. Others may be available but requests must be made in advance.

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Disclosures

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.

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, 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 I wrote, “Fitting myofascial release into an evidence-based culture”, by clicking here.

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Seminar Pricing and CEUs

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

$400 if registered 2 months prior to the class date
$450 if registered 3 weeks prior to the class date
$500 if registered last 3 weeks

Each seminar will be offered for up to 1.45 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area) and 14 CEUs through NCBTMB, including NYS MTs. It is approved for PTs/PTAs in Texas and Wisconsin, as well as states covered by reciprocity approvals. See this document for details. Other CEUs are available, but must be requested well in advance.

Cancellation/Registration/Refund Policy

Enrollment at all seminars is limited. Fee includes the course syllabus, which is distributed electronically approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the class date, seminar instruction, hands-on workshop training, and seminar certificate. You have the option to download the syllabus to an electronic reader, laptop, ipad, etc, or print it out for use in the seminar. You will not be provided a hard copy at the time of the class unless you notify us in advance of the class.

We reserve the right to cancel any seminar based upon minimum class enrollment requirements, in which case the tuition fee will be returned in full. Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars is not responsible for any guaranteed/prepaid airline/hotel reservation.  You may contact me before finalizing your travel. If any hours or days of a seminar are missed, no refunds will be given and partial credit/CEUs will not be provided.

Confirmation will be sent via email after payment is received to our office. You may cancel your registration up to 14 days before the seminar. Your registration fee will be refunded less a $50 processing fee. If you need to cancel less than 14 days prior to the seminar you may transfer your registration to another seminar of your choice, otherwise you will forfeit the full registration fee.

Any grievances or concerns regarding Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars should be made to:
Foundations in Myofascial Release Seminars
980 Westfall Rd
Suite 105
Rochester, NY 14618
585-244-6180

We strive to make your learning experience the best and will do our best to make you happy.

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