Sutherland-Chan School of Massage, Sunday May 7, 2017; 9:30 - 5:30. 

Assessing the Shoulder – Orthopaedic and Motion Testing with David Zulak RMT

The files below are for those who attended the workshop.

Enjoyed it immensely. Great Participants! Thanks so much for attending! 

Treating Headaches and Migraines: Guelph Fall 2016 - 2 day course

        The PDF's for download of the PowerPoints used in the course have been removed

Treating the Shoulder in Motion

Guelph ON, January 25 2016 - completed! Really enjoyed the day...discussions were great...I learned a lot! Thanks.

Downloads:- expired.


Had a wonderful time in Regina. Meet a lot of great therapists from across the province! Thanks

Treating Headaches and Migraines  Regina, Saskatchewan Nov. 14 & 15 2014

Presented by Massage Therapy Association of Saskatchewan.

This two-day course looks at practical techniques available for the treatment of headaches in general, and migraines in particular. Includes extensive handout.

Day 1: There will be short discussions during demonstrations and between table-work, concerning what structures in the neck and shoulder girdle have to be addressed and taken into consideration when treating headaches and migraines; either in between episodes or during a headache/migraine. The course is meant to be practical, and so attendees should be ready to start working on each other soon after the seminar starts. The techniques demonstrated and practiced come from a variety of disciplines, and are chosen for their safety, ease of use, their ability to fit neatly into any therapist’s style, and above all, for their effectiveness!  

Day 2: We will expand on the structures (articular, muscular, vascular and neurological) being treated, and how  to affect in a positive and healing way the function of these various tissues. Therefore, lots more demonstration and practice happens on day two as well.





Assessing and Treating the Pelvis through Motion  Guelph, ON, February 3, 2014

Date: Monday, February 3, 2014 Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm  CEU's: 3.25
Cost: $160.00 (includes lunch)

This workshop has already happened: I enjoyed meeting some former colleagues and former students  and meeting new ones! The workshop went very well, a busy day and well received by those in attendance. Thanks everyone, and thanks Sarah for the fabulous lunch!

This one-day workshop will provide you with some powerful tools to assess and treat the pelvic complex by integrating motion-palpation and a variety of treatment techniques that employ rhythmic motion. This will include some simple but effective techniques for treating the entire pelvic region along with approaches that the therapist can use to address nerve, blood and lymph flow impairments to the pelvic organs. This unified approach is highly effective in helping to address pelvic dysfunctions and (chronic) pelvic pain syndromes.

The modalities chosen come from various manual therapy traditions and are meant to be simple, effective, and blend easily with every massage therapist’s choice of techniques. The course will be mostly hands on, with some short periods of essential anatomy review.

Bring sheets and pillows so that these motion techniques can be combined seamlessly into a traditional Swedish massage treatment. You will also be able to use these techniques with clients who are loosely dressed for on-site treatments..

Course Location:  Dublin St. Church  68 Suffolk St. W  Guelph, Ontario
Phone:  519-821-0610 Email:

 Courses to Nurture Your Organic Growth as a Therapist

For more information on these courses go to:

When teaching courses to massage therapists over the last decade, My preference is to teach very practical techniques, based on an understanding of anatomy and function, which the therapist-student can learn and apply immediately in their practice. Moreover, I like to demonstrate techniques that are meant to compliment any tools that any therapist already has in their toolbox, rather than provide routines or recipe treatments that ask the therapist to replace their current skills with a brand new set. I believe that all good massage therapists come about by an organic growth, not by a ‘surgical’ removal of some values and techniques, and a make-over by implanting different values and techniques.

 Three-day Modules

  • Designed to be useful to either the new graduate or the experienced professional.
  • The topics or structures grouped together in the module have been chosen to be taught together because of their close inter-relationships in both normal function and in dysfunction.
  • Most are designed so that a therapist may take the three-day course to learn how to assess and treat the area under consideration to achieve maximum benefit.
  • On the other hand, participants can take the one-day course by itself or the two-day course by itself.

Module 1Treating the Cervical Spine and the Shoulder Girdle

Day One: Treating the Shoulder

The purpose of this course is to assess and treat the shoulder as an integral component of the upper body. Usually we assess the body in a static way, yet we can learn a great deal more when we palpate the body in motion. This (one-day) course will teach you some specific techniques to assess and treat the shoulder as one fluid unit instead of a collection of parts. We will explore how such a unified treatment can address all the usual suspects: rotator cuff dysfunctions, frozen shoulder, tendinosus of the biceps etc., postural imbalances, and so on. You will immediately be able to take this information and apply these techniques with your clients the very next day.

The therapists should have available attire that permits free movement and as much visibility of the shoulder and thoracic & cervical spine as is comfortable. Be prepared for a hands-on day.

Day Two & Three: Treating the Cervical Spine

This two-day presentation explores the anatomy and treatment of the neck. Understanding the unique structure and function of the upper cervical spine (occiput to C2) as well as the lower cervical spine (C3 down to T2) will enable the participant to apply the wide variety of techniques taught in a knowledgeable and efficient way. You will no longer be guessing what to do in acute or chronic states, hoping for the best. You will know what techniques and modalities are appropriate at any given time, and how to provide maximum benefit.  The techniques taught are practical and easy to understand.

Techniques include positional release, muscle energy, ligamentous articular release (‘unwinding’), cranial osteopathic applications (specifically related to blood and CSF flow in and out of the cranial vault), and myofascial release. Further, this course will show you how to maximize your basic Swedish techniques through alternate positioning.

We will also explore the neurological and vascular implications of appropriately treating the cervical spine. A partial list of these is the impact on the vagus nerve (parasympathetics), the eye, ear, sinuses and the role of the suboccipital area in contributing to migraines and other headache complaints. And yes, you can treat migraines as they are occurring!



Module 2Treating the Lumbopelvic Complex

Day One: Treating the Hip (Innominate) and the Sacroiliac Joints

This one-day presentation focuses on correction imbalances around the hip and levelling the sacral base, upon which the spine sits. Without ‘levelling the base’ any corrections to the spine, shoulder, girdle or head and neck, not to mention your work on knees and ankles, will often be thwarted. We cannot, in one day ,go into detail about sacral function and testing, but we can learn simple oscillatory, joint mobilization and muscle energy techniques that can address many sacroiliac joint impairments and innominate imbalances.

Day Two & Three: Treating the Lumbar Spine

A two-day course designed to provide a deeper understanding of how the lumbar spine functions, how to test by motion palpation, and treat using a variety of techniques. Low back pain is one of the most common complaints that clients of massage therapy present with. Yet it is estimated, that only in 20% of cases can orthopaedic physicians and physiotherapists find the cause of the pain and other dysfunctions. Motion palpation assessment and treatment has great success in finding the various impairments that make up these ‘unknown dysfunctions.’ In turn, by clearing away numerous ‘red-herrings’ and compensatory issues the real cause can often be found and be treated successfully.  Specific techniques for scoliosis, hyper- or hypolordosis and facet joint dysfunctions are taught and practiced.


Module 3Treating the Thoracic Spine & the Rib Cage


Day One & Two: Treating the Thoracic Spine

A two-day course designed to provide a deeper understanding of how the thoracic spine functions, how to test by motion palpation, and treat using a variety of techniques. The thoracic spine is intimately connected with the sympathetic nervous system and therefore dysfunctions in the thoracic spine can affect the neural, vascular and lymphatics of the head and neck, the upper limb, and the organs.  Affecting the thoracic spine, and modulating the sympathetic chain can therefore increase the body’s self healing capacity.  Motion palpation assessment and treatment has great success in finding the various impairments can be found in the thoracic spine. Specific techniques for scoliosis, hyper- or hypokyphosis and facet joint dysfunctions will be taught and practiced.

Day Three: Treating the Ribs

Rib dysfunctions can be particularly hard to treat by the usual Swedish massage techniques. This one-day course provides instruction in how to address many rib dysfunctions with gentle techniques, along with variations on classic rib springing methods. We will explore the practical implications that appropriate rib mobilization has, and not only to breathing alone, but to fluid movement within the body as a whole.


A Three Day Course:

Treating the Pelvis: A Detailed Assessment and Treatment of the Sacroiliac Joints and the Pelvic Girdle

This module presents a much more detailed examination for the therapist who wishes to treat those difficult sacroiliac cases and pelvic pain issues or syndromes. The participant will learn how the sacrum and pelvis function as a unit in concert with hip joints (and the lower limbs) and the lumbar spine (and the upper body). Further, we will look at the motion of the pelvis during gait, and so help those with difficulty walking or running whether they be children, seniors, or athletes trying to improve their performance. There are roughly equal amounts of lecturing and hands on in this module, with the emphasis on understanding what is wrong (assessing) and how to address the issues found (treating). The instructor’s purpose is not to just show how he would treat but also give you the ability and skills, along with understanding, so that you can devise your own unique treatment plans specific to each client, and invent your own techniques!