Workshops Offered and Presented
by Nancy Dail

Nancy is available to travel to a variety of locations to present any of the above workshops. Contact her by email / or phone: 207-832-5531(Downeast School of Massage) to schedule a workshop; or check her schedule page for where she is presenting in the United States or Canada.

Views from the “Dimensional Massage for the Low Back” Workshop
presented by Nancy for the AMTA Arizona chapter in Flagstaff, Arizona, September 2012

Nancy giving a hands-on demonstration of techniques for low back (DMT)

Nancy with her Flagstaff assistant, Mary Avery Moon >>

Sample Syllabus

Soft-tissue Dysfunctions of the Head, Neck, and Shoulders - Dimensional Massage Therapy
With Nancy Dail
Date: March 26, 27, 2011
Saturday 10AM-1PM 2PM-5PM, Sunday 9:30AM-12:30PM, 1:30-4:30PM
12 CE hours

Course Description:

Pain and discomfort of musculo-skeletal head, neck, and shoulder conditions caused by injuries, repetitive actions, heredity, poor posture and sleep positions are the biggest reasons why millions of people seek massage therapy and other health care practitioners. This workshop will use a dimensional approach to explore, evaluate and treat a variety of common difficult head, neck and shoulder conditions. Nancy will lecture on the skeletal and muscular anatomy of the head, neck and shoulders by power point. She will also address the specific etiologies, signs and symptoms related to the pathologies of this area. Special attention will be given to discuss the history and exam findings that would warrant professional health care referrals. She will discuss headache categories, trigger points, and referred pain patterns. Nancy will demonstrate techniques used in Dimensional Massage and provide supervision for hands-on practice by participants. Dimensional Massage techniques are deep tissue strokes and methods that have been designed to balance joints by working on all the muscles that produce, assist in, or oppose the actions of, or stabilize the joint. Careful attention will be given to the execution of these techniques, specific muscles and their idiosyncrasies, and to the individual structure of the receiving person on the table.

Nancy W. Dail, BA, LMT, NCTMB has been a professional massage therapist since 1974. She is the founder and director of the COMTA accredited program at the Downeast School of Massage in Waldoboro, Maine (USA) (1980). A leader in her field, Nancy presents workshops internationally, is certified in Orthopedic and Sports Massage, and has developed the working philosophy of Dimensional Massage as lead author in Kinesiology for Manual Therapies published by McGraw-Hill. Her BA in Health, Arts, and Science from Goddard College helps her balance her administrative duties as Director with teaching Dimensional Massage, Advanced Skills, Kinesiology and related subjects at DSM.

Course Objectives:

  1. To provide a close examination of the muscular, skeletal, and nervous system structure of the head, neck and shoulders
  2. To review a variety of head, neck and shoulder conditions
  3. To explore normal and abnormal vertebral structure, and sites of nerve impingement
  4. To discuss historical considerations of aspects of disorders that would warrant clinical referral
  5. To review current research on the relief of headaches with regular massage therapy
  6. To discuss categories of Headaches
  7. To provide an in depth look at the C1 C2 relationship with the suboccipitals
  8. To take a critical look at how posture and repetitive holding patterns affect the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders
  9. To review trigger points and referred pain patterns of the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders
  10. To provide and discuss possible medical history pain questionnaires
  11. To provide a hands-on physical assessment
  12. To practice under supervision how to work with an individual who has a tension headache
  13. To practice under supervision Dimensional Massage techniques for the head, neck, and shoulders
  14. To explore ways to critically think about sequences, muscles, and techniques
  15. To answer questions in relation to the workshop
  16. To provide a Bibliography for additional reading and study


March 26, 2011, 10AM Nancy Dail

  1. Introduction
    1. Review of Outline
  2. Headaches in Brief
    1. The Problem
    2. Categories of headaches
    3. Triggers of headaches
    4. Clinical and non-clinical solutions
  3. Research
    1. Touch Therapy by Dr. Tiffany Field
    2. The study and results
  4. Contraindications
    1. Redflags and contraindications – excerpt from A Massage Therapist’s Approach to Tension Headaches
    2. Headaches are a symptom – not a diagnosis
  5. Head, Neck, and Shoulder Pain History Questionnaire
    1. Being a good detective
    2. Symptom checklist
    3. Headache log
    4. Medication log
    5. Sleep diary
  6. Muscle Specifics
    1. Posture and Repetitive Actions
    2. Muscular/skeletal explorations
    3. Trigger points and referred pain patterns
  7. Pathology
    1. Whiplash
    2. Sprain/Strain
    3. Torticollis/Stiff Neck
    4. Arthritis/Osteoarthritis/ Rheumatoid Arthritis
  8. Dimensional Massage – The Philosophy: An Art and Science Mix
    1. Pre and Post Treatment Protocols
      1. Medical History – subjective – include pain scale, objective, assessment, active and passive ROM, plan; SOAP notes for records
      2. Palpation
      3. Passively shorten muscles/ position shoulders and scapula
      4. Work superficial to deep
      5. Release hypertonic muscles
      6. Use dual hand distraction methods when possible
      7. Work individual muscles, their attachments, synergists, stabilizers, and antagonists – study the myotactic unit
      8. Do not overwork and do trigger point work last on passively
        shortened muscles
    2. First Treatment
    3. Comfort level
    4. Environment
    5. Positions
    6. Techniques for Relieving Tension Headaches

Break for lunch 1:00 -2PM

Afternoon session 2-5PM

  1. Overview of the afternoon; catch up and leftovers
  2. Sequence suggestions for stiff neck, whiplash, postural abnormalities, arthritic conditions, sprains and strains, spinal stenosis, and nerve impingements
    1. Acute, subacute, and chronic – when can I work?
    2. Ice and hydrotherapy questions
    3. Integration with chiropractic, medical and other professional health
  3. Anatomy of the shoulder
    1. Bones
    2. Joints/ligaments
    3. Neurology
    4. Muscles specifics
  4. Range of Motion
    1. Lecture Procedures
    2. Hands-on Evaluation
  5. Techniques for Shoulder Girdle - prone

Day Two – Sunday 9:30AM-4:30PM March 27, 2011

  1. Overview of the morning; catch up and leftovers
  2. Anatomy of the shoulder joint
    1. Bones
    2. Joints/ligaments
    3. Neurology
    4. Muscles specifics
  3. Pathologies of the Shoulder Joint
    1. Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
    2. Dislocations, fractures, sprains
    3. Rotator cuff injuries
    4. Tendonitis/bursitis
    5. Neurological impingements
    6. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    7. Osteoarthritis of the shoulder
  4. Range of Motion
    1. Exam procedures
    2. Hands-on Evaluation
  5. Techniques for Shoulder Joint - supine

Lunch 12:30-1:30PM

Afternoon session 1:30-4:30PM

  1. Leftovers and catch-up
  2. Practical Sessions – Dimensional Massage Techniques for the Shoulder Joint -side lying
    1. Sequence suggestions for shoulder joint conditions
    2. Acute, subacute, and chronic – when can I work?
    3. Integration with chiropractic, medical and other professional health therapies
  3. Wrap-up, Questions, and Evaluations