Module overviews

Michael Stanborough (B.A. M.A (Victoria University) Dip Grad Education)

“Connective tissue dynamics: From health to disease

The role of mechanical force on the physiology of fibroblasts”

Massage therapists and other body workers use manual therapy approaches to address muscular and connective tissue tensions and strains in order to have a positive therapeutic effect. This traditionally has been considered from a localised tissue perspective through directly reducing muscle spasm, affecting the circulatory system with a focus on improved blood flow as well as increases in joint mobility. There has also been research into various forms of manual therapy and how they affect pain sensitisation and associated neural pathways. Desirable changes in autonomic nervous system function are also now seen as an outcome of certain styles of therapy.

In this seminar, we will examine the implications of new developments in the understanding of connective tissue function and structure, especially in the fasciae. These studies show that cells process localised mechanical stimuli and produce electrical and or chemical signals as a response. This process is referred to as mechanotransduction.

Altered mechanical forces within connective tissue, such as shear stress, compression and tension have now been implicated in the development of chronic disease conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, uterine fibroids and cancer.

Related in-vitro studies show that the application of therapeutic (very moderate) tensioning forces in the connective tissue fascia can assist cells in restoring their structural integrity while producing desirable changes in their gene expression.

These various findings have implications for all manual therapists. They provide some evidence that the use of high force soft tissue techniques can be injurious and cause undesirable changes in fibroblast physiology. The findings also point to the value of providing appropriate forces in the mobilising of restricted fascia especially in scars and chronic myofascial tensions.


Dr Deborah Pascoe Deputy Dean, Exercise and Sport Science School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University Coordinator, Clinical Exercise Physiology

“Put your foot down’ on Plantar Fasciitis”

Plantar fasciitis, although common, presents a great challenge for practitioners and patients involved in high-level activities, as well as normal daily activity. The majority of medical management centres around the management of symptomatic plantar fasciitis during the inflammatory process that triggers the pain and tightness. This presentation will provide practitioners with a thorough review of the anatomy, pathogenesis, assessment and treatment of plantar fasciitis and outline the research that demonstrates the efficacy of a range of manual and adjunct therapies including the role of exercise and stretching.

Caroline Cleary APA Titled Sports & Exercise Physiotherapist (GC-PAEDOP (grad. June 2019), MSportPhysio, MPhtySt, BHSc MST) Ed),

How to recognise a real injury from a not-so-real injury in children & adolescents”.

This presentation aims to show you the common musculoskeletal conditions and injuries in active younger age groups, which will help you determine which are “real” and “not-so-real”, and management solutions for both of these. This will include how to assess a young person in pain, what assessments to choose for each condition and global management strategies for both acute injuries and more complex injuries.

The types of injuries kids sustain

The different types of growing pain conditions

How to assess an acute injury and the growing pain conditions

How to manage an acute injury and a long term injury

How to manage child and adolescent “growing pains”

What to do when a child or adolescent has non-musculoskeletal pain after healing time-frames have been met.

Jason Stacy ATC, CSCS Mindset & Performance Coach, Soft Tissue Therapist, Speaker/Educator, Mentor

Commitment over Compliance: How to get clients engaged in the process

“Nobody cares what you know until they know you care”

Regardless of the specific field you work in or area of expertise, the one thing we all have in common, we ALL work with PEOPLE!!

It is widely agreed that our most important skill set is PEOPLE skills, and our most important product is TRUST.

The most successful practitioners spend time, energy or put value in developing their knowledge and skills in behaviour change, body language, communication, habits creation and overall, coaching skills.

To be a great Therapist/Practitioner, you must also be a great COACH!!

We will review and discuss some theory and lots of practical ways to make this happen.

I am hoping to get you excited and intrigued to want more and of course, give you tools you can apply in your personal and professional life ASAP!!!

Areas of discussion;

  • Our Approach and Response – What are we in control of and are we truly practising what we preach? Why we should be studying from other industries/fields.
  • ”Setting the Table”

And no, this is not about how to set-up your treatment rooms or tables.

This is about setting expectations and accountability from everyone,

YOU and the CLIENT.

  • Goal Setting and Habit Creation- Meet them where they are at, build confidence, and start shifting their self-image and self-belief.

Practical skills to get them moving forward and making real lasting progress.

  • Novelty in rehab and pain management – Why are we so serious all of the time?

How introducing some levels of novelty and even “competition” can get your clients more engaged and even enjoying their process.

  • Bonus Fun: You’ll have to come along to see what I have in store. Only 1 clue, this will be a movement-based bonus. Mindset and Movement are one!!!

Paul Taylor (PhD Scholar, MSpSc, MSc Nutrition, PgDip Neuroscience)

The 7 Rituals of Mental Vitality:

A stimulating blend of neuroscience, physiology and psychology this talk will cover 7 key daily practices that will have a positive impact on your body and brain by increasing your mood, energy and resilience to stress, as well as helping you to feel, perform and sleep better.