In NVR Part 1, we will teach neurovascular release techniques for the nerves and arteries of the neck, chest, and “roots of the arms,” including vertebral and carotid arteries, internal thoracic artery, arteries to shoulder muscles and lungs. brachial plexus, dural restriction, and vagus and phrenic nerves. You will learn a neurovascular approach to helping your client or patient who has a forward head posture and an injury history that has left lingering movement restrictions. Helpful for neck stiffness and restriction related to old whiplash injuries and problems that haven’t resolved with other manual therapy techniques. With judicious use, this can be extremely helpful in addressing more recent cases of whiplash too.

Prerequisites: Professional training in physiotherapy, massage, osteopathy, or another form of manual therapy. Massage therapists should have three years of experience with clinical practice. (See FAQ—frequently asked questions: Which course series is for me? What are the qualifications to enroll?)


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Speaker: Kirstin Schumaker

Kirstin Schumaker is able to help clients find long-lasting relief from pain, discover life-changing improvements in posture, and ultimately move through life with greater energy and ease. She offers a gentle and specific approach to Anatomy Trains Structural Integration through her specialization in neurofascial release. (In 2006, she began studying manipulation of peripheral nerves with Christoph Sommer. Since then she has also studied with Don Hazen and assisted Jon Martine in teaching neurofascial work). Her own kinesthetic understanding of the body has developed through participation in martial arts, a variety of sports, and diverse physical work experiences. Her current exercise interests are yoga, contact improvisation, and ecstatic dance, and she appreciates watching all forms of dance and movement.

Date: 17-20.10.2019

Location: Toruń, Poland

Tuition: 3600 PLN, 3900PLN after September 17, 2019 (non-refundable deposit 1000 PLN )

tel. +48 606 813 382

Organizer: Wojciech Cackowski

Class Times: 8:30am-5:00pm


Practitioners entering the NVR learning track do not need to have taken Anatomy Trains Structure and Function (ATS&F—a three-day fascial anatomy course) before taking Part 1 of the NVR course series, but it will be helpful to take ATS&F sooner rather than later during the NVR course series.

In both the NVR and NVR-SI learning tracks, we will focus attention on improving structural and functional balance, and we will utilize the Anatomy Trains terms “shift, tilt, bend, and rotate” to describe relative position of one body part relative to another. With this language, and with some basic skills in reading structural patterns (these are introduced in the ATS&F course), practitioners can better predict where to look for the fascial restriction of neural and vascular structures.

ATS&F is required before NVR Part 5, and strongly recommended before NVR Parts 2, 3, and 4. Throughout the NVR course series, we will look at common patterns of injury and disfunction that arise from trauma to the neural, dural, and vascular systems, and we will relate these typical patterns and our observations to the Anatomy Trains model for assessing structural balance.


Neurovascular Release - NVR program overview

This nearly equivalent course series, also supported by Thomas Myers and the Anatomy Trains Faculty, leads to Anatomy Trains Certification in Neurovascular Release. It is designed for the practitioner who wants to study neurovascular release in the context of the Anatomy Trains model, but who is not interested in taking on a full structural integration certification pathway. There are four technique courses and one clinical course in the NVR series. Part 5 is essentially the same in both learning tracks (see full course description), therefore it is possible for practitioners in the NVR track to choose to take either NVR-SI Part 5 or NVR Part 5, whichever class best fits into their schedule. It will take 1.5 to 2.5 years to complete the NVR course series. The entire NVR program is comprised of five courses, 109-141 total hours of class instruction.

Please see full course description for details. Parts 2-4 will will be immediately followed an optional 3.5 hour (half-day) clinic, a time to receive and observe full sessions given by the lead instructor. The total number of hours of class instruction will depend upon whether courses are translated from English. In translation, Parts 1-4 will be four days long, rather than three, to allow for the extra time needed to explain techniques in two languages. Part 5 will be of regular length, three days.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How are the two learning tracks different from one another?

Although the techniques taught in each course series are essentially the same, the course material is organized differently according to the practical needs and goals of the practitioners in each track.

In the NVR track, discussions about applications for the techniques may focus around clinical concerns, since we will orient our discussion around the individual practitioners’ questions and practical experiences. (Clinicians working within the medical model will bring different questions and experiences to the classroom than the structural integrators whose practices are framed in the context of an SI practice.)

In the NVR-SI track, techniques are presented in the context of the goals and practices of structural integration. We will discuss applications for injury-oriented work, but we will learn the techniques in a sequence that will best help SI practitioners to meet the broad pattern-specific goals of SI. From the first morning of the first class, stuctural integrators will be able to apply the NVR techniques to their SI series work. In the NVR-SI course series, we will talk about the practice of SI, and our discussions will assume that practitioners understand well the classic structural integration series.

In both tracks, practitioners will be learning vascular release techniques alongside neural and dural release, because in practice one usually needs to toggle back and forth between neural and vascular work, depending upon what is the primary restriction of the moment. However, the course material in the NVR track is organized regionally, and sequenced in such a way that it will be the most useful to osteopaths, physiotherapists, and clinically oriented massage therapists who are practicing outside of the SI paradigm.

How will this NVR program help my practice?

Learning to work with the vascular system will entirely change the flow of your work with your clients and patients. In conjunction with dural and neural release, this will open up new opportunities for you in your practice: NVR will improve your efficiency and success in working with the most challenging cases; it will raise your curiosity about clinical problems that typically have been slow to respond to therapy; and it will renew your interest in working with structural patterns that have been perplexingly resistant to change.

After each class, you will return to your practice with fresh ideas for working with “unchanging” or slow to change cases. Your existing clients will learn to eagerly anticipate your return from the next NVR course.

How is this program of study different from the neural and vascular courses offered by osteopaths?

In the NVR program, techniques for the neural and vascular systems are studied concurrently. This is helpful, because arteries are often the first thing that needs attention. Additionally, the patterns of dysfunction and restriction that we find in the neural and vascular systems are studied in the context of the fascial anatomy and its function. This is a significant way in which the NVR curriculum differs from neural manipulation and viscero-vascular manipulation courses taught elsewhere. The NVR program bridges the structural integration approach and the traditional osteopathic approach. Techniques learned in this program will enhance the practices of structural integration, physiotherapy, osteopathy, and clinical massage therapy. In this program, even in the clinical track, we approach our work with the perspective of structural integrators. You will practice using broad differentiation strokes, active client participation, and the Anatomy Trains approach to postural analysis. Practitioners who are not trained in structural integration will find that their work becomes flavored by the approaches and perspectives that SI offers.

We help you to develop or refine your subtle perception and manipulation skills, teaching you to work in a detailed manner with a variety of tissue types, yet we do this while keeping in mind our bigger postural and functional goals. and our goal of helping the clients’ grow their ability to sense and appreciate their own bodies.

The style of work that Kirstin Schumaker practices and teaches is generally more “direct” than “indirect” (these are osteopathic terms), although all the handholds, techniques, and conceptual approaches that she shares can be used with an indirect style of practice as well. The style of “general listening” that Kirstin uses (general listening is a subtle assessment skill used to determine where to work) is a bit different from that which is taught in the Barral-style neural and visceral classes. With Kirstin’s style of general listening, she is able to teach practitioners to build their subtle assessment skills very gradually, in steps that give the learner confidence and a sense of success.

Which course series is for me? What are the qualifications to enroll?

Participants in the NVR-SI learning track need to be graduates of an IASI-recognized structural integration training program. (The International Association for Structural Integration is abbreviated IASI.)

A structural integrator who is no longer doing series work and whose practice is oriented primarily around clinical concerns (injury rehabilitation) may enroll in the clinical NVR technique classes (Parts 1-4), however the NVR-SI series is strongly recommended. If the SI practitioner takes the NVR series, they will need to take NVR-SI Part 6 in order to earn the Anatomy Trains Advanced Certification in Neurovascular Release for SI.

Massage therapists enrolling in the NVR courses will need to have an established clinical orientation in their practice and preferably at least three years of experience. This is because practitioners in the clinically-oriented NVR track (osteopaths, physiotherapists, doctors, and clinically-oriented massage therapists) will naturally want to discuss clinical applications and injury-oriented therapy, therefore it will help the flow of the class if all participants are wellversed in clinical approaches to injury and structural dysfunction.

Massage therapists or physiotherapists who are thinking about becoming structural integrators or who are part way through their SI training should complete their SI certification before entering the NVR program. The SI certification is a great platform to jump off from for studying NVR, and it won’t serve you well to study NVR before SI. (The NVR clinical track is for practitioners who know they do not want to take an SI training.) However, if you have a great desire to begin your NVR studies earlier, you may take NVR Part 1 (head and neck) as a stand alone class, and then after you complete your SI training, you may begin your NVR studies again with NVR-SI Part 1 (which is a completely different course from NVR Part 1.).

Experienced acupuncturists with a special interest in fascial manipulation and structural balance, and also a strong knowledge of Western anatomy terms, would be welcome to study in the NVR learning track, even though the lens through which they view disease and physiological dysfunction is completely different.

A very experienced craniosacral therapist might be a good candidate for the NVR program, even though we have the guideline that participants have a “clinically oriented practice.” If you are uncertain, you can try out NVR Part 1 to see if this is a good program of study for you. (In the examples above, with the acupuncturist and the craniosacral therapist, an experienced practitioner with refined touch skills would have a head start in learning the hands-on aspect of this work, which will help them not be overwhelmed by the newness of the theoretical content —their refined touch skills and perception could balance out having less experience with injuryoriented therapy.)

If you are uncertain about whether your experience and training provides you with enough background to feel successful in this course of study, please contact us.

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