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A guide to incorporating Belly Work into your Massage Practice
With Sandy O’Brien, CLT, LMT

This course is designed to help massage therapists become more familiar with doing “Belly work”. In many massage practices work below the clavicle and above the inguinal ligament is restricted/forbidden. Because of the “visceral” nature of belly work many therapists are dissuaded. Often this work becomes lost, as therapists are not performing it on a regular basis. This class is intended to break the “Leg-Leg-Arm-Arm–Back, Leg-Leg-Arm-Arm Neck” sequence of massage and to introduce therapists to the effectiveness of working the muscles of the core regularly.

• Participants will become more proficient in the anatomy of the thorax.
• Participants will learn the contraindications of massaging the thorax.
• Participants will learn the anatomy of the organs in the thorax and how to work around/with them.
• Participants will learn to recognize key words and phrases to identify possible muscle restrictions in clients. For example: “I’ve been coughing like crazy”, “I have a desk job”, “ I am a runner”, “and my low back is killing me!”
• Participants will learn to evaluate client posture and assess client complaints.
• Participants will learn how to create effective treatment plans based on client evaluations.
• Participants will learn how to communicate with clients effectively about belly work, its benefits and how it is done.

There will be an exam portion at the end of this class.

As a long time massage recipient, Sandy O’Brien utilized massage to help with chronic back pain and migraine for over twenty years. After a bout with breast cancer in 2011, Sandy decided to learn more about the modalities that brought her so much comfort through uncomfortable times. Graduating from Cortiva Institute of Massage Therapy in 2014, Sandy opened a massage studio in Conshohocken where she practices numerous types of massage and energy work.  Modalities include Thai Massage, Deep Tissue, Gua Sha, Mu Xing (hot bamboo), Pre-natal, Manual Lymph Drainage, Sports Massage, Medical Massage, Reiki, Trigger Point Therapy, Active and Passive Release Techniques, and the tool box just keeps growing as Sandy’s passion for massage keeps her wanting to learn more whenever she can.

As part of her practice Sandy also helps clients through crisis. Having survived cancer, divorce, tragic loss, and other life altering misfortunes, Sandy learned not only how trauma affects the body but how to stay positive and manage a way through to a better circumstance. Often times this included fear, doubt and lonely moments as well as physical discomfort and pain. Modalities and conversations are used to help clients achieve releases within their bodies. She is a resource for clients who need a body worker, a healer, friend, hand to hold, while transitioning through a rough patch. This is a way for clients to learn to navigate their own emotions and affects on their bodies, to become more aware of the mind-body connection and to find comfort in knowing they are not alone.

Always looking for a positive spin, a silver lining, the better of two evils, stems from Sandy’s optimistic view of rain, which she calls  “Liquid Sunshine!”