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Unlocking The Spine - Thoracic and Neck

Course Overview

"Unlocking the Spine" is a course designed to address the prevalent issue of poor posture of the upper back, particularly in individuals with rounded upper backs and a forward-leaning head, commonly associated with prolonged desk work. This course will aim to give you an understanding of working with clients struggling with the adverse effects of this type of posture (upper cross syndrome), such as limited rotation, chronic headaches, stress around the shoulders, and discomfort between the shoulder blades.

Participants will gain insights into the muscular anatomy surrounding the spine and develop an understanding of how these muscles work together and how to identify an imbalance. You'll be introduced to the concept of Superficial Front Line and Superficial Back Line (Tom Myers) in planning and executing your treatments.

Attendees will learn effective techniques to correct postural imbalances of the upper back, alleviate pain, and enhance overall spinal mobility. 




Course Syllabus

  • Introduction to postural assessment of the upper back (body reading)
  • Understanding locked long and locked short muscles
  • Understanding pain patterns associated with the upper back including headaches, movement restrictions, pain between the shoulder blades 
  • Muscle and boney landmark anatomy of the spine and neck
  • Understanding the effect of this posture on breathing patterns and how to improve diaphragm function
  • Hand skills and massage techniques to correct imbalances in the upper back
  • Introduction to the concept of Superficial Front Line (SFL) and the Superficial Back Line (SBL) (Tom Myers)

Assessment Criteria

You will be assessed throughout the day to ensure you are providing safe treatments. You will receive your Cotswold Academy Certificate of Attendance at the end of the day to take away with you.

Certification and CPD Points: 

Cotswold Academy Certificate of Attendance - 5 CPD points per day

Entry Requirements

In order to take part in this course, you must already have acquired a massage based diploma such as Level 3 Diploma in Massage / Aromatherapy / Sports Massage or equivalent such as Physiotherapy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic or Accupuncture. We will ask you to provide a copy of your qualification. Please enquire if you are uncertain about your qualification.

Why Train with Us

At the Academy, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality training in Complementary Therapies and Sports Massage, ensuring that each student attains the highest level of professional qualification. What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to your success.

Here's why you should choose us:

1. Guaranteed Small Group Tuition: We believe in personalised support, so our class sizes are kept small, with a maximum of 10 students per tutor. This ensures that you receive individual attention and guidance throughout your training.

2. Passionate, Experienced Tutors: Our experienced tutors are not just educators; they are industry experts committed to upholding the highest standards. You'll learn from the best in the field.

3. Free Thursday Evening Support: Your learning journey doesn't end when you're qualified. We offer free Thursday in person evening support, available both during your training and after you've earned your certification. We're here to assist you every step of the way.

4. A Positive, Inclusive Learning Environment: Our academy provides a fun and friendly atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in your studies and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for complementary therapies.

5. Exclusive student TOTUM Card Eligibility: All our courses qualify you to apply for a TOTUM card, granting you access to discounts and savings at various retailers, making your educational journey even more cost-effective.

6. Ongoing Industry Support: We are committed to your success as a qualified therapist. Beyond your training, we offer free talks on setting up your own practice, provide access to exclusive Facebook groups with job opportunities, and maintain regular contact with your dedicated tutor. We're here to support your journey into the industry.

When you choose the Academy, you're not just choosing a training college; you're choosing a pathway to a successful and fulfilling career in Complementary Therapies. Join us today and embark on a journey of knowledge, growth, and achievement.

About Your Tutor(s)

Chris Phillips


The Academy has a proud history as a private training provider in the complementary health sector for the last twenty five years.

One of my core beliefs at The Academy concerns training standards. I believe there is a real need to further raise and develop credibility in our industry, so that more clients can benefit from high professional standards. We can contribute to this by sharing our knowledge and working experiences with each other. This is the main drive behind my weekly evening groups; Thursday Evenings.

I trained as a Massage and Sports Therapist in 2000 and have been developing my private practice from my home just outside Northleach in the Cotswolds ever since. In 2006 I completed my Certificate in Further Education Teaching (CFET1) and I have been teaching Sports and Remedial Massage ITEC Level 3 & 4 here at the Academy since. I have a background of working with young troubled people and their families in a therapeutic setting, both as key worker and as a manager and supervising and training staff.

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