Class Offerings

2019:

Functional Anatomy Series: Leg, Ankle and Foot – $300
Dates/ Times: October 5th and 6th – 9:00am to 5:00pm (2 Days)
FiveTenDekum Classroom – 510 NE Dekum St. Portland, OR 97211

Functional Anatomy Series: Knee – $150
Date/ Times: November 3rd – 9:00am to 5:00pm (1 Day)
FiveTenDekum Classroom – 510 NE Dekum St. Portland, OR 97211

Functional Anatomy Series: Hip and Pelvis – $300
Dates/ Times: December 7th and 8th – 9:00am to 5:00pm (2 Days)
FiveTenDekum Classroom – 510 NE Dekum St. Portland, OR 97211

To register for any of the classes listed above please email Amy directly at amy@elementalbodywork.net or call 503.781.3886.

Class Testimonials

“I enjoyed Amy’s dynamic teaching style, in which she used scientific articles, visuals, personal anecdotes, and time for discussion. She also provided plenty of hands-on feedback to help solidify the techniques. The class definitely helped me feel more comfortable working with the hip and pelvis.”

Amanda Carey, LMT

“Amy’s framework of looking at things from the big picture while also finding the details feels supportive and holistic. In class Amy finds time for both the simple and complex sides of bodywork, and we can appreciate how these are connected. Including ethics discussion and practice throughout the class is such a useful way to engage in ethics; I found this method of ethics credit and study more interesting, engaging and applicable than any other ethics class I’ve taken. I use technique from the torso class most days, while working with back pain, shallow breath, painful ribs, and neck pain and am excited to take more classes.”

Kyra Plume, LMT

“I have taken several of your classes because the deeper understanding of anatomy and effective techniques I learn make me a better practitioner. I appreciate your approach that bodywork is a conversation with the body, and that when we put out less noise (pressure), we can hear more signal (information from the body we’re treating). I appreciate the many carefully chosen anatomy slides and patient and clear teaching of techniques, repeated as needed for each student during hands-on practice. I have used your nerve techniques with my chronic pain clients, and they have felt an immediate difference. Clients are loving the side-lying rib work, too.”

Sonia Connolly, LMT (Portland OR)

“With 20 years of experience as an LMT I thought I knew human anatomy. Amy’s classes have expanded my understanding of the fascia but more important: it translates directly into my existing technique. Her approach rekindled my curiosity and catalyzed my effectiveness as a body worker.”

Tye Van Schoiack, LMT

“This was a great class. I am inspired with both new and refreshed techniques as well as a much improved understanding of the nerve pathways and anatomical structures of the forearm and hand. I love the detail and relevancy of ALL your course materials and I appreciate that you take the time to lay the philosophical foundation and define all terms clearly. The rhythm of the demo/practice/demo throughout the day was really conducive to learning. It was so good to be reminded of the ways we can be even more frugal and focused in our efforts toward therapeutic change The class size was perfect and the classroom space is welcoming and functional.”

Marta Lange, LMT (Portland, OR)

“I love Amy’s Functional Anatomy classes! I have taken the Ankle/Foot and Hip/Pelvis workshops so far, and am looking forward to working my way up the body with her in the future. These classes left me with a renewed sense of curiosity combined with practical applications of techniques that were easy to work into my treatments right away. I continue to implement what I gleaned from her classes into my massage sessions every day!”

Miranda Morehouse, LMT (Portland OR)

“I have studied with Amy Bennett several times over the years. I love her ability to make complex anatomical ideas both accessible and interesting.

She has a wealth of knowledge, curiosity and passion that makes her instruction very inspiring and engaging. I also quite enjoy her delightful sense of humor. I always walk away from Amy Bennett’s workshops newly inspired about body work with plenty of new tools to explore with my clients and massage practice.”

Nathan Mills LMT

“I can’t say enough good things about Amy Bennett and her Functional Anatomy classes. Her thirst for knowledge is constantly pushing her to ask questions that no one else is asking. She has revolutionized the way I look at the body and how it works. I love the way she organizes classes with lecture punctuated with practical demonstrations and lots of hands on practice time. She teaches with an honest enthusiasm and a great sense of humor. I plan to take every class she offers.”

Theresa Braunstein, LMT

A note to prospective students:

My goal with all of my classes is to delve into "anatomy as architecture". I hope to provide folks with a deeper/ broader comprehension of how we move, how structure dictates and guides function and how function can create structure and "shape". I strive to provide a framework wherein students are able to begin "seeing" structure more effectively and to deepen skills of observation and assessment.

I have arranged classes in such a way that the main parts will be some lecture, specifically an anatomy focused, tensegrity based view of structure, touching on nerve anatomy, exploring themes of proprioception and interoception, some movement exploration and then of course soft tissue hands-on techniques. In this, I believe that bodywork, "technique" is communication, a type of language, and that the application of techniques can be demonstrated and practiced but that true effectiveness comes when we recognize the relationship and the communication coming back to us. This begins by asking lots and lots of questions. How do we determine what is working? How do we know what is needed? How do we know when we are done? What are we actually doing? How do the models that we utilize to explain things to ourselves and our clients mold our work? What are the strengths and failings of these models?

So, if you love anatomy (who doesn't?) have a desire to question and wish to develop your vocabulary with the medium that is the human body, please be in touch with me directly to register.

Class sizes are limited. All classes are held in the FiveTenDekum Classroom in Portland Oregon.

 

The Classes

All classes followed by an * are in development and will be available soon.

Functional Anatomy Series: Basics of Structural Bodywork*

How does Structural Bodywork differ from Deep Tissue and other forms of treatment-oriented bodywork? How does this way of viewing systems and working with soft tissues help to create lasting balance and ease for our clients?

In this 6-hour class, concepts of holism and tensegrity will be fully explained and explored. We will discuss (and possibly debate) the definition of “fascia” and it’s role in our work. We will spend a few hours refining our skills of palpation and work to refine our tactile vocabulary. Big picture concepts of where structural bodywork falls within the Biopsychosocial framework of providing care, the tensegrity model and the role that peripersonal space plays in how we relate to our clients and how they relate to the world at large.

Ethical Considerations for the use of Language in Therapeutic Bodywork*

In this 4-hour Ethics class, we will (re)introduce the concept of holism as a theoretical framework for a bodywork practice. We will discuss the ways in which language plays a role in promoting “wholeness” to our clients and explore strategies for utilizing language in a more intentional manner within the context of our work. Borrowing from the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology we will discuss ways to create a safe, neutral environment for our clients within the framework of our practices.

Functional Anatomy Series: Gait in the Wild (Learning to See)

In these short (2-hour) “mini-classes” we spend an afternoon together, out in the world, observing real people in motion. Our goal will be to gain insight and learn to recognize common movement patterns and their implications for human function and structure and for our role as bodyworkers. We will be looking at the movement patterns in the foot, ankles and knees and relating those to the pelvis and low back. We then move our attention to the pelvic girdle, hips and low back as well as movement patterns of the shoulder girdle, upper thoracic region and the head and neck. Consideration of how these patterns relate across the entire system will be discussed.

We will be observing people outdoors doing a variety of activities but our focus will predominately be on walkers and runners. The primary goal is to be able to observe large numbers of people and wide variety of functional movement patterns in a neutral environment. These mini classes translate well to any of the Functional Anatomy Series classes in terms of deepening our visual assessment skills.

If you would like to devote some time "learning to see" movement patterns in the human form, these classes are for you. In addition to observation we may discuss the more specific biomechanics and related anatomy relevant to the movement patterns we observe. Please note that this is not a hands-on/ bodywork technique class. Classes are held in public areas where large groups of humans gather or pass through such as Portland Waterfront Park.

Functional Anatomy Series: Leg, Ankle and Foot - Fall 2019


This class provides an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of the musculoskeletal anatomy of the lower leg and foot including bones, major ligaments, musculature and major nerve and artery pathways. In this two-day class we will review and strengthen skills related to the observation of posture and movement of the lower extremity. We thoroughly explore the basics of foot biomechanics and the (often overlooked) role of the intrinsic musculature of the foot. We will delve into new bodywork strategies and tools to address observed functional limitations and common pathologies of the lower extremity. Come prepared to deepen your understanding and appreciation of the feet!

Functional Anatomy Series: Knee - Fall 2019

In this one-day class, opportunities for students to advance their knowledge of the musculoskeletal and functional anatomy of the knee abound. Anatomy of major ligaments, musculature as well as major nerve and artery pathways are covered. We will review and strengthen skills related to the observation of posture and movement of the knee joint. We will thoroughly explore the basics of knee biomechanics and role of the ankle and the hip in knee health and function. We explore new bodywork strategies and tools to address observed functional limitations of this important joint! Come prepared to deepen your appreciation of the knees!

Functional Anatomy Series: Hip and Pelvis - Fall 2019

In the Functional Anatomy Series two-day Hip and Pelvis class, students will explore the interconnected anatomy and functional relationships of the pelvis in relation to the femurs. Expect a solid anatomy review, movement exploration and gait observation as well as multiple hands-on strategies to address functional imbalances in this region of the body. We will dip into the realm of working with nerve and artery pathways and the role that our nervous and vascular systems can play in movement and postural patterns. This class includes 4 hours of ethics in the form of lecture, discussion and interaction within the context of a bodywork session. We will explore and practice the use of “ethical language”, clear communication based on the concepts of Trauma Informed Care and the idea that Informed Consent is an ongoing and evolving framework.

Functional Anatomy Series: Pelvic Patterns*

In this two-day class students will build upon their understanding of functional movement patterns of the pelvis. By developing a more nuanced awareness of intra-pelvic movement and how this relates to the lumbar spine and to the rest of the body, we can learn to identify more useful strategies for helping our clients find balance and ease in their bodies. Anatomy relating to the sacrum, pelvis and lumbar region will be thoroughly reviewed and special attention will be paid to the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor musculature. Movement exploration and gait observation as well as multiple hands on strategies to address functional imbalances in this region of the body will be presented. Nerve and artery pathways will be considered and basic strategies for addressing this anatomy will be covered. This class includes 4 hours of ethics in the form of lecture, discussion and interaction within the context of a bodywork session. We will explore and practice the use of “ethical language” and clear communication based on the concepts of Trauma Informed Care and the idea that Informed Consent is an ongoing and evolving framework.
Prerequisite: FAS: Hip and Pelvis or instructor approval.

Functional Anatomy Series: Spine*

In the Functional Anatomy Series two-day spine class, Attention is focused on understanding joint mechanics of the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spinal segments. We will practice “seeing” structure as well as spend time honing our palpation assessments skills. Exploration of spine and ribcage relationships when addressing dysfunction in the thoracic region will be covered.

Rotational patterns, side bends and other fixations at the joint level will be discussed. Hands-on techniques to address sacral torsions will be covered. Nerve and artery pathways and the role that our nervous and vascular systems can play in movement and postural patterns will be explored as well. While there are no prerequisites for this class FAS: Torso – Abdomen and Thorax is strongly suggested as a foundation.

Functional Anatomy Series: Torso – Abdomen and Thorax

In this two-day class we explore the interconnected anatomy and functional relationships of the entirety of the torso (Pelvis to Shoulder Girdle). We will look at breathing mechanics, explore the multiple horizontal diaphragms and how they relate to one another and create balance and contribute to function or dysfunction in this region of the body. Rotational patterns, ribcage to pelvis relationship and what we actually mean by “core” will all be addressed.

This class will include a solid anatomy review, movement exploration and gait observation as well as hands-on strategies to address functional imbalances and movement limitations in this area of the body. Nerve and artery pathways and the role that our nervous and vascular systems can play in movement and postural patterns will be explored as well. This class includes 4 hours of ethics in the form of lecture, discussion and interaction within the context of a bodywork session. We will explore and practice the use of “ethical language” and clear communication based on the concepts of Trauma Informed Care and the idea that Informed Consent is an ongoing and evolving framework.

Functional Anatomy Series: Head, Neck and Jaw*

This two-day class provides an opportunity for deeper exploration of the musculoskeletal as well as the basic nerve and vascular system anatomy of the cervical region and the head. The anatomy and functional relationships of the head, neck and jaw as they relate to the rest of the system are discussed and strategies for addressing common pathologies will be presented and practiced. Relevant spinal mechanics will be covered.

The focus of this class is to provide ample time for development of palpation precision and practice of techniques related to this Region. Strategies for working safely and communicating fully with clients will be practiced and discussed. This class includes 2 hours of ethics in the form of lecture, discussion and interaction within the context of a bodywork session. We will explore and practice the use of “ethical language” and clear communication based on the concepts of Trauma Informed Care and the idea that Informed Consent is an ongoing and evolving framework.

Functional Anatomy Series: Shoulder and Shoulder Girdle

In the two and a half day Shoulder and Shoulder Girdle class, we review regional anatomy and the function of the shoulder "girdle" and the glenohumeral joint. Relevant neuro- and vascular anatomy as well as explore the functional/ structural relationships of the shoulders to the neck, low back and pelvis will be introduced and discussed,

In this class we will practice and strengthen skills related to the observation of posture and movement of the entire upper extremity.  We will thoroughly explore the interconnected anatomy and biomechanics of the clavicle, scapula and shoulder joint. We will explore how functional limitations proximally can create or contribute to compensation patterns and pathologies “further down the chain” into the elbow, forearm and hand.

We will have plenty of time to practice hands-on techniques that address observed functional limitations as well as postural and movement dilemmas with the goal of creating balance and ease in this complex and fascinating area of the body!

Functional Anatomy Series: (Elbow) Forearm and Hand

The Functional Anatomy Series – (Elbow) Forearm and Hand class provides an opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of the functional, musculoskeletal and neuro-anatomy of the distal upper extremity.

In this one-day class we will review and strengthen skills related to the observation of posture and movement of the elbow, forearm and hand. We will thoroughly explore the interconnected anatomy and biomechanics of the forearm and hand, the relationship with the shoulder and shoulder girdle and how functional limitations distally can create compensation patterns “further up the chain”. We will delve into new bodywork strategies and tools to address observed functional limitations and common pathologies of the elbow, forearm and hand.