Myofascial Release and Other Manual Techniques in Dysphagia Management

This interactive two-day workshop for rehabilitation teams will address evaluation and current treatment techniques appropriate for soft tissue and joint limitations that contribute to an abnormal swallow. The lecture reviews muscular and fascial anatomy tying kinesiology into a discussion that relates specific soft tissue mobilization techniques appropriate to improving all stages of the swallow; oropharyngeal, hypopharyngeal and pharyngesophageal. A thorough discussion will relate the impact of scar tissue formation and immobility on mechanical and neurological aspects of the functional swallow. Interpretation of common pathology and symptomatology on both bedside exam and MBS review are introduced.

Additional course objectives include postural impairment, functional anatomy and biomechanics of the temporomandibular joint with an informative and focused laboratory component providing OTs, PTs and SLPs with basic practical skills in palpation, seating and positioning and soft tissue assessment and mobilization as it pertains to dysphagia in clinical practice.

The majority of this course will be in functional, hands-on application with frequent case study discussion to identify impairments and exemplify the use of manual therapy through myofascial release techniques. The emphasis of this practical seminar is placed on the relationship of soft tissue and joint articulations whereby applying theory to practical intervention with manual therapy adds a whole new dimension to patient care.

Pediatric Therapists: This course presents the anatomy and kinesiology of a normal adult swallow and labs evaluate and treat dysfunction. The pediatric swallow is, as you know, different than the adult and this class is taught with the adult in mind. However, many pediatric therapists have taken the course and used the techniques with the little guys.

PREREQUISITE: Course registrants must successfully complete the 4 hour online Anatomy of Swallowing course prior to attending the live Myofascial Release course so it is fresh in your mind. The online Anatomy of Swallowing course will be added to your cart at no additional charge when registering for the live Myofascial Release course.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Course Instructor(s)

John Kelly


A graduate of the University of St. Augustine’s graduate Physical Therapy Program. John has over 17 years’ experience with acute inpatient and hospital-based outpatient rehabilitation and currently an outpatient clinical director for Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. John continues to balance full time patient care with administrative responsibilities. John is NDT certified and an experienced manual orthopedic therapist working toward his clinical doctorate and manual therapy certification. John is a certified VitalStim® Instructor and has taught orthopaedic and electrotherapy courses across the country. John is an accomplished clinical instructor and consistently is recognized for his exceptional patient rapport and strong evaluations from course participants.

Financial Disclosure: John is a salaried employee for his position at Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital. John Kelly receives honoraria from CIAO Seminars for the presentation of his live courses. He also receives royalties for the purchase of his recorded course(s)
Non-financial Disclosure: No relevant non-financial relationship exists.

Course Agenda

Day 1

07:30 - 08:00
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
08:00 - 08:15
Introductions and program overview
08:15 - 10:00
Anatomy refresher and kinesiology of deglutition
10:00 - 10:30
Review normal and abnormal swallow, dysphagia problem set
10:30 - 10:45
Morning Break
10:45 - 11:00
Laboratory: palpation and myofascial assessment
11:00 - 12:00
Normal and abnormal physiology of the myofascial system, dysphagia focus
12:00 - 01:00
LUNCH (on your own)
01:00 - 03:00
Laboratory: myofascial assessment and techniques of the anterior neck and oral cavity
03:00 - 03:15
Afternoon Break
03:15 - 03:30
Special topics: Salivation and lymphatics
03:30 - 04:00
Laboratory: enhancing salivation
04:00 - 04:30
Case study; incorporating manual therapy into dysphagia treatment; Questions and closing comments

Day 2

07:30 - 08:00
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
08:00 - 09:00
Postural dysfunction and its influence on swallowing with MBS review
09:00 - 09:15
Laboratory: palpation posterior cervical, thoracic and shoulder girdle
09:15 - 09:30
Anatomy and biomechanics of the TMJ and cervical spine
09:30 - 10:00
Laboratory: gentle mobilization of the TMJ, dysphagia focus
10:00 - 10:15
Morning Break
10:15 - 12:00
Laboratory: myofascial assessment and techniques for seated positioning
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 01:30
Muscular trigger points and myofascial pain syndrome, dysphagia focus
01:30 - 02:00
Laboratory: myofascial assessment and trigger point release
02:00 - 02:15
Case study; incorporating manual therapy into dysphagia treatment
02:15 - 02:30
Topics in documentation, successful goal setting and reimbursement: Questions and closing comments

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 12.0 hours
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (1.2 ASHA CEUs) Bubble sheet required
  • ASHA CE Provider Approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #4119 (1.2 AOTA CEUs)
  • AOTA Classification Codes Domain of OT: Client Factors OT Process: Intervention
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (15 PDUs - Clinical Lab Assessment)
  • CIAO is an Illinois Approved Provider for PT/PTA Continuing Education
  • CIAO is recognized as an Approved Provider for PT/PTAs by the NYSE Dept State Board for PT
  • This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #2502009#TX
  • This activity meets the continuing competence requirements for PT/PTA license renewal in TX
  • The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes CIAO Seminars as an Approval Agency to Approve Providers Offering Continuing Competency Courses
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California has determined that CIAO meets the standards set forth in section 1399.95 of the CA Code of Regulations
  • CIAO is a Rule Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Physical Therapy
  • CIAO is a PT Approved Provider #BAP202310092 for the Oklahoma Medical Board. All PT courses for the 2022-2023 reporting period are approved.
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Approved Hours:
  • 14.4 Hrs. PT/PTAs in NY
  • 14.0 Hrs OT/COTAs and PT/PTAs in FL (CE Broker #20-475620)
  • 12.0 Hrs PT/PTAs in CA(CIAO23-74), IL, OK(#BAP202310092), TX (APTA TX #2502009; 12 CCUs)
  • 12.0 Hrs. Registered with CEBroker for OT/COTAs in AL, AZ, GA, LA, MS, SC, TN
  • 12.0 Hrs. Registered with CEBroker for PT/PTAs in AZ, GA, OK, SC, TN

Course meets requirements for:

  • PT/PTAs in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MT,
  • PT/PTAs in NE, NH, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
  • OT/COTAs in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, LA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT,
  • OT/COTAs in NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

  • The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

    CIAO is recognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)

    Intermediate Level
    1.2 ASHA CEUs

    CIAO Automatically reports to CE Broker for Florida Occupational and Physical Therapists and Assistants. Florida SLPs can either use the ASHA CE Participant Form (Bubble Sheet) or self-submit through CE Broker.