A client shows up with an intimidating diagnosis and a stack of X-rays, and most bodyworkers assume they can’t do very much to help him.
Sometimes it gets a little better, but that never lasts. He’s increasingly frustrated with his lack of progress, and starting to worry about how this will affect his career. His marriage.
The rest of his life.
Neither of you want that, but you’ve tried every technique you can think of, and nothing seems to make a lasting difference.
In the end, you decide this issue must be outside your scope of practice, beyond your level of expertise. You believe what modern medicine wants you to believe—that a diagnosis is indisputable, the end-all-be-all, and that you are under-equipped to do anything to help this guy.
But you’re not.
Modern medicine views most pain as resulting from a condition: an “-itis,” or nerve damage, or an injury. In other words, pain originates from the outside→in.
And yet, nobody questions it, because we’ve all been taught to believe the party line about pain:
But it is possible.
Current pain research shows that pain is a sensation generated by the central nervous system, in response to “danger” signals it receives from various points of input throughout the body.
I get it.
You believe in your teachers; you’re inspired by your mentors. The notion that they could have been wrong about something so elemental—or that you have a gap in your knowledge despite your extensive training— it’s uncomfortable.
It makes us feel defensive. I felt that same way, at first.
So before we go any further, consider this:
Every day, you hold space for people in pain—physical, emotional, both. You lay hands on their knotted, stress-wracked bodies, you do your best to melt away their edges.
If they can walk out of your clinic feeling even a tiny bit better, you’ll have made a profound impact on their lives. That’s why they keep coming back. And nobody is trying to take that away from you.
It’s time to throw open the doors, you guys. Healing pain is possible—IF you know how to identify and treat it at its source.
Which I do.
And I can teach you how to do it, too—if you’re willing to question what you’ve been taught to believe about pain.
I started practicing traditional Thai massage in the early 2000s. A few months after opening my clinic, I had to admit an uncomfortable truth—I didn’t know how to help people with pain issues.
Thai techniques are really cool. In fact, they turned out to be a crucial missing piece of the pain puzzle (more on that later). But at the time, techniques were all I had. Clients would show up with these official-sounding diagnoses, and I had no idea what to. I was stymied by my lack of formal anatomy training, and the last thing I wanted to do was make the pain worse. There were NO existing theories or modalities available to help me help these people.
It was frustrating.
But when I set out to fix what I assumed were just my own personal knowledge gaps, I discovered something even more alarming—
My teachers never taught me how to pinpoint and treat the true sources of pain, because they didn’t know either.
I spent the next two decades immersed in research and clinical study. I combed through a multitude of modalities and theories, teaching myself functional anatomy along the way, trial-and-error-ing my findings on real people in my clinic.
Eventually, I zeroed in on the forgotten intricacies of trigger point therapy, which seemed to really work (until it didn’t).
So I added some of my movement-based Thai techniques into the mix, and that seemed to work even better! (Until it didn’t.)
Then I came across this guy, who had some verrrry interesting things to say about where pain really comes from. But even he had some missing pieces.
After twenty years of study and experimentation, I finally figured it out.
A groundbreaking new methodology for understanding and treating the true origins of pain
I named my new method Coaching The Body™, for reasons I’ll explain in a sec. This approach is designed to root out pain at its source—and treat it—in a way that’s effective, fast, and long-lasting.
The root cause of most chronic and/or severe pain is NOT that we’re profoundly injured; it’s that we’re stuck in a neurological loop of pain adaptations.
A steady stream of “danger!” inputs can lead the brain to interpret a situation as painful and “lock down” that area of the body, rendering pain-free movement impossible. Over time, this pain pattern can become the “new norm,” and pain signals can continue to flow long after the initial problem has been resolved.
It’s like the nervous system gets stuck in a pain-response loop, and the body doesn’t know how to turn it off.
Most of the experts in this field are getting impressive results by addressing these patterns as a way to alleviate pain—but even that is an outside in understanding of pain.
What they’re missing is what’s causing those inputs in the first place.
The trigger point techniques most of us learned in school are:
Mainstream teachings only present a fraction of the trigger point picture, and most practitioners (including those who’ve studied them extensively) have a limited understanding of referral patterns—especially satellite referrals—and their role in the pain response.
This is where most of the inputs that cause a neurological pain response come from. But even the most comprehensive trigger point therapies are still missing a vital component. That’s why we refer to our methods as Trigger Point Therapy “2.0.”
Releasing the taut fibers caused by trigger points and calming down the central nervous system are crucial to long-term pain relief.
But they’re like two-thirds of a wheel—without the missing section, we can’t get very far.
The final piece was what I had when I first started out—movement. In order to dissolve pain (even the severe, chronic kind) at its source, the affected muscle needs to move through its natural range of motion without experiencing pain. In this way, we’re able to show the body and brain that “lockdown mode” is no longer necessary.
Using intentional, guided movement, we’re able to eradicate pain quickly, safely, and without the discomfort associated with most existing treatments.
Pain doesn’t come from the outside-in, as most of us believed. It originates from the inside-out, in an intricate pattern of inputs and responses.
In order to free the body from pain, then, we need to coax it out of those pain patterns, by gently nudging back into healthy ones. The body must be an active participant in its own healing.
It just needs a little help. You know—a coach. Like you.
In the last few years, Coaching The Body™ has been nationally recognized as one of the most effective ways to resolve pain at its source.
And we’re not trying to keep it a secret, either—as soon as we had the basic techniques and methodology figured out, we started teaching them to other practitioners. We’ve been doing that for over ten years now.
Our students (current and former) are practicing all across the country, and include massage therapists, yoga instructors, personal trainers, physical therapists, nurses, and MDs.
And while we offer plenty of in-person trainings in our hometown of Chicago—with no plans to slow down anytime soon—we can only reach so many people that way.
But I want everyone to know how to treat pain.
Our lessons are structured in small-bite sequences that focus on one muscle group at a time. We take you through a series of specific protocols for each group, so you don’t have to spend two decades figuring it all out. (I already did that part for you.) You’ll be able to tackle most major pain complaints by simply following the protocols.
Yes, we have a proprietary tool that’s specifically designed to facilitate Coaching The Body™ treatments. We’ll talk about it in a minute.
But the tool ONLY WORKS when the proper theory and analysis are put into practice as well. We’ll never sell the tool without the training, because a) we know it won’t work, and b) we’re not okay with that.
This isn’t the Shamwow. If all you want is the tool, you’re in the wrong place.
Practice laws vary from state to state, as does the enforcement of such laws.
I *could* go on a rant about how the mainstream medical industry puts these laws in place to intimidate practitioners, or how much money these institutions would lose if those same practitioners were able to resolve pain for good—without expensive, invasive surgeries or addictive narcotics… but that wouldn’t be helpful.
This is an issue we’ve struggled with for years, and will continue to struggle with, until the laws change. That said, we have successful students practicing in at least 17 different states, from a variety of backgrounds (yoga, fitness, etc.), all of whom have figured out a way to make it work.
Our program is designed to give you direct access to both your instructors and your fellow students—and we’re ALL driven to help as many people as we can. Because there’s such disparity from one state to the next (and on top of that, different professions are regulated differently), there isn’t one blanket answer I can give you here. But what I CAN tell you is that we’re constantly working on this, and you have our full support.
When we first started doing this work, we did it all with our hands—and we saw dramatic results every time. But it took a long time to address every potential source of satellite referral, check all the functional relationships between muscles, and complete the actual techniques.
The very nature of manual therapy is limiting—you can only do so much by hand before you have to give your thumbs and shoulders a break, and it’s only able to create a minimal amount of neurological distraction.
We knew that certain “therapeutic vibration” tools (more on these below) could accelerate treatment time, save our bodies, and provide optimal distraction.
So we started looking for a handheld tool that could be adapted for Coaching The Body™.
*NOTE: We wanted a tool that would facilitate Trigger Point Therapy 2.0—NOT massage. What we do is not a form of massage.
The Muscle Liberator™ is a small, hand-held tool that allows for multiple hand positions and angles, while providing sufficient power and variable speeds. It has soft, custom designed silicone heads that range in size to pinpoint specific taut fibers throughout the body, last for years without needing replacements, and can run safely over bone.
We designed it by adapting an existing handheld power tool—not because we wanted to be cool (although we know it looks that way), but because we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. These compact power tools are designed to be operated with one hand. They already have the ideal motor, mechanisms, variable speed and RPMs.
You can spend $1,000 on fancy standing mixer, but if you don’t understand the chemistry of baking, your cake is a Pinterest fail waiting to happen.
In other words: this isn’t about getting a “better tool,” or any other silver-bullet approach. Chasing after the latest greatest gadget—without addressing where pain really comes from—is just another version of “rubbing where it hurts,” which doesn’t work. Tool or no tool.
The Muscle Liberator™ is only one component of the larger methodology, and when you learn with us, you’ll learn how to treat pain manually BEFORE incorporating the tool.
For that reason, we only make the Liberator available to Coaching The Body™ practitioners and members.
The existing paradigm is to fill your practice with weekly clients, whose treatment plans never end. This limits the amount of people you can see to those who can afford you, and fosters a defeatist attitude about treating pain—it’s something to manage; not eliminate.
In the early stages of my practice, I worried about this a lot. What would happen when I eradicated my clients’ pain for good? If I resolved all their issues, they’d leave!
They left, and they told anyone who would listen about how their lifelong lower back pain was gone (yes, gone). They sent me their grumbling dads. Their hurting friends. Their complaining coworkers.
Those people got results, too. And they talked about it. A practitioner who can make pain go away for good doesn’t stay a secret for long.
Because I offered a proprietary technique (and a cool gadget) that wasn’t available anywhere else, I could charge premium rates. Because of that, I was able to offer a sliding scale so I could also see clients who were on a limited budget.
I was able to treat more people, because my treatment cycles were shorter—especially after bringing the Liberator into the mix. Clients were happy, because they were getting results, and I was happy, because I was doing what I’d wanted to do all along—helping people.
When you become THE expert at treating pain, your rates can and should reflect that. Your clients will gladly pay for something if it works—and they’ll be grateful they don’t have to commit to an indefinite treatment plan.
They won’t be in pain anymore, and you’ll be able to see and help more people than you ever could before.
Valerie came to me with two frozen shoulders at the same time. (I know; ouch.) She was having a lot of trouble keeping up with her work, because of severe pain and limited range of motion. Using Coaching The Body™ methods, I was able to help her significantly in her very first session.
Any practitioner can learn to utilize Coaching The Body™, no matter what your background is in.
“Rubbing where it hurts” is not an effective way to resolve pain. It may feel better for a short time (like a few hours), but the pain will inevitably return—because where it hurts is usually not where the source of the problem lies—and until you begin to address THAT, the pain is going to stay put.
Pain is complicated. You can spend twenty years studying what causes it (ahem), but that still has to translate into an effective 60-90 minute treatment session. Without some support around how to design your treatments to get results, you might as well be flying blind.
In any one group of muscles, there are many different factors that can contribute to the pain response. In a single session, there’s nowhere near enough time to test and eliminate every possible cause—let alone treat it!
Also, with so many potential sources of satellite referral, it’s easy to miss something important.
Take my client Alyssa, who came to me with severe migraine headaches. Using traditional trigger point techniques, I treated what I thought was the root cause—but her headaches kept coming back.
Eventually I came across some information on satellite referral from a much-overlooked muscle in the shoulder complex. I treated it—and her headaches went away.
When treating pain, it’s vital that you hit EVERY muscle that could remotely affect the issue—in a specific, sequential order.
That’s why we’ve distilled our years of clinical research and experimentation into a series of intelligent protocols—step-by-step sequences to assess and treat the most common pain complaints (and lots of less common ones, too).
In this way, we’ve taken the guesswork out of treating pain. Each step builds on the one before it, so you’re still responding to the unique symptoms of each client—without having to reinvent the wheel every time.
“I’ve had shoulder pain for two and a half years. Never went to the doctor. I have been treating it weekly with massage therapy and range-of-motion exercises, and while I had some relief I never seemed to be able to regain my full ROM without pain. OMGoodness I just self-treated my serratus with the CTB shoulder protocol—and I have full ROM without pain! I’m absolutely amazed! I keep checking it and it’s still gone!! Thank you.”
– Nancie Fox, LMT, CTB Member
Pain is an inside→out phenomenon; an opinion generated by the central nervous system in response to various inputs throughout the body.
Working backwards from the initial complaint (neck pain, sciatica, etc.), Coaching The Body™ practitioners move through a meticulous sequence of protocols, addressing each muscle that could be relevant, to treat the pain at its source.
This intensive online training is structured according to the pain. We start with the most common and intimidating pain issues—which also happen to be the most impactful*—and walk you through the treatment protocols for each of the muscle groups involved.
*frozen shoulder, we’re talking to you!
We’ve set this up so you can start working ASAP—but we’re also not going to overwhelm you with too much information all at once.
Lessons are dripped out in an easily digestible, weekly format that’s been intentionally curated in a specific, logical order. As soon as you’ve completed a lesson, you can put your learning into practice.
Lessons will be added to your member dashboard, where you can watch and re-watch them as many times as you want, whenever you want, for the rest of your natural-born life. 😉
Even if you decide not to renew your membership at the end of the year.
Throughout the year, my team and I host live workshops and demonstrations. You’ll be able to ask questions in real time, and stay in the loop as we continue to fine-tune these groundbreaking techniques.
In addition to that, you’ll have two ways to interact with faculty and your fellow students:
It’s one thing to sit in your office and watch some training videos. It’s quite another to work with an actual human being who’s experiencing severe pain.
We’re constantly putting these ideas to the test with real clients. And we record all our treatment sessions.
As a member, you’ll have access to these recorded treatment sessions via your member dashboard. You’ll see us working on a range of pain issues, body types, and personalities.
First and foremost, we want you to understand the overarching methodology and techniques of Coaching The Body™. The way this training works, you’ll learn the protocols without the tool, and then see how to incorporate it if you wish.
The tool will improve your efficiency, and for some practitioners, it may expand the types of clients you’re able to see. The lessons in this program will teach you how to practice with or without it.
That said, each lesson includes special training devoted to the Muscle Liberator™.
Each weekly lesson begins with the assessments and analysis you’ll need to perform in order to determine the proper treatment protocols.
The bulk of each lesson will focus on these protocols. Using video demonstration and other visual aids, we’ll walk you through exactly what to do in what order, specific to each muscle group.
Each section includes a review of what you’ve learned, a look at perpetuating factors (i.e. why the pain showed up in the first place), and the self-care recommendations you’ll need—so the pain stays away once it’s gone.
Shoulder pain is hands-down our most commonly treated issue, and pain in this area can originate from any number of trigger points and referral patterns. We’ll start with protocols for treating the rotator cuff, and move outward from there. We even have lessons devoted to treating frozen shoulder and rounded shoulder posture.
We start with an overview of the common symptoms and root causes of this painful condition, and demonstrate treatment protocols for all the muscles involved, including satellite referrals and all relevant functional relationships.
Working our way down from hips to ankles, we’ll examine every possible contributor to chronic knee pain, and how to treat it. This section also includes recommendations for rehab protocols.
Weeks 45-52: Hip, Thigh, & Groin Pain
We’ll finish the year with a detailed exploration of some of the more specific complaints and muscles related to the hips, thigh and groin.
After your first year, you’ll have all the tools and resources you need to treat many of the most common pain issues you’ll encounter in your clinic. As we move into year two, we’ll dive into low back pain, foot and ankle pain, and more.
We offer specialist certifications throughout the year that focus on specific pain areas. As a member, you’ll receive a discounted rate on these workshops, and upon completion you’ll be added to our directory of certified practitioners. We get many client inquiries about specific pain conditions, and we’ll be able to refer them to you.
It’s saved my hands. Even though I use my elbows, feet and knees a lot, there’s still a lot I was doing with my hands and thumb. Now I don’t have to . . . and people LOVE it!
If in the first 30 days, “Coaching the Body” isn’t working for you, or if you aren’t happy with the content or product, I will refund you 100% of your payment. I am so confident that my techniques work, that this is an easy guarantee to make.
We’ve tested these methods out with many clients and students, and they’re constantly blown away at the results we’re able to provide.This is a revolutionary way to completely eliminate pain from the body.
Cancel at any time prior to the yearly renewal.
You will always retain access to the lessons that you’ve already paid for.
Or that there was a way to help that one heartbreaking client you just couldn’t crack—you just didn’t know it existed.
Questioning a longstanding, pervasive worldview is no small task. It’s scary and risky to defy what everyone else is saying—especially when “everyone else” includes MDs and spinal surgeons.
Reexamining all the things you thought you knew, contemplating the notion that there might be another (better) way than what you were taught—that takes courage. Trying something new, something nobody else is doing—that’s an act of bravery.
A leap of faith.
But you’ve already taken a leap of faith—when you left your corporate job to become a massage therapist. When you opened your own clinic instead of working for someone else.
And you take another leap of faith every time you welcome a hurting client into your space.
You’re a pro at being brave.
Now you can be a pro at treating pain, too.
Sometimes it gets a little better, but that never lasts. He’s increasingly frustrated with his lack of progress, and starting to worry about how this will affect his career. His marriage.
Yes! Once you become a member, the videos you receive access to each week will always be yours to watch.
The membership is a guided series of lessons, one per week, on how to treat the significant pain symptoms of the body. Think of it as an ongoing course that guides you step by step through our amazing Coaching the Body approach, with muscles and topics covered in the most logical order – starting with shoulder pain, the most common complaint that we see. You will get slides, videos, downloadable materials and more! Much of this material is only available via the membership. JOIN US!
We are an NCBTMB-approved CE provider. We’re in a process of applying for CE credit for the weekly lessons, and this will be available retroactively if you are currently a member.
While we love the Muscle Liberator and all it can do, it wouldn’t be the tool we know it to be without the knowledge and understanding we have of not only Trigger Point Therapy and pain referral in the body, but also the use of reintegrative movement, post-isometric relaxation (PIR) and breathing techniques, and our extensive body area protocols. In other words, we cannot guarantee success with the Muscle Liberator without the Membership. Using a tool like this to simply “iron muscles” loses 90% of the benefit.
Absolutely! Consider this program an easily accessible, topically oriented tour through the body, starting with the most common pain complaints you are likely to see. The membership will always include our most up to date and current techniques. Much of the material will ONLY be available through the membership, such as the Muscle Liberator-focused material. Existing students in our certification programs are eligible for discounts on the membership, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
With the CTB Membership, we will show and teach you what you need to know about body mechanics/techniques and Trigger Point Therapy to get significant benefit for your clients and your own body. While our program uses techniques from Thai bodywork, these are taught as needed, and you will not need a prior background in any type of bodywork to benefit. Most techniques are easily adaptable to the table.
A portion of the material will be entirely unique to the membership. While some material from the online library may be reused in the membership content, the sequencing, presentation and curation alone are worth the cost. We present the material in an order that makes sense within the larger topics that we’ll be covering, one muscle or grouping at a time. In addition, we have ongoing opportunities for members to interact with teachers, including a private Facebook group and regular live webinar events.
People are often surprised to find out that the Muscle Liberator can even be used in delicated areas of the body. It can be used on even sensitive muscles like the serratus anterior – the issue is more about technique than the tool itself. The beauty of this tool is that it can be used solely for distraction and without any weight behind it, so the effect on the muscle is more like rapid vibration. Muscles like the serratus anterior respond remarkably well to this type of distraction.
Areas that we don’t recommend include areas with delicate neurological or vascular structures like the anterior neck or brachial plexus, where there is little or no protective muscle layer. We also advise care around delicate bony structures in the cervical spine and the skull.
The Muscle Liberator provides simple percussion, with no rotation or lateral motion on the skin. This makes it usable in all areas of the body, and allows for precision use with smaller head sizes. Pressure and speed can be varied through a wide range by the operator.
The Muscle Liberator is a professional, high build quality, variable-speed percussion tool that administers percussion and vibration at a rate of up to 2800 percussions/minute or 46 per second. Pressure can be varied from very minimal, providing only vibratory distraction, to more percussive for larger clients and muscles.
When we have Muscle Liberators in stock we are able to ship within 2-3 business days. When we have back-orders, the shipment can take up to 10 days. Once you’ve ordered, if your shipment will be delayed past 3 days, we will email you.
This is a comprehensive training in which we cover the use of both bodywork techniques and the Muscle Liberator in each area of the body, including working muscles short, long and finding trigger point areas. The material is presented without expectation of prerequisites, and we build from the ground up, so anyone can absorb it.
Founder, Coaching The Body™
Chuck left a lucrative (but soul-sucking) career in software development to pursue training in traditional Thai massage. He opened his first clinic, Thai Bodywork, in 2001, and quickly became frustrated with the lack of resources available for deep, long-term pain relief.
During his decades-long quest to understand the true nature of pain, he rediscovered the forgotten nuances of trigger point therapy, and realized he could integrate that with his training in Thai techniques. He developed Coaching The Body™ through years of research and clinical study, and has been teaching it since 2005.
Chuck’s in-person and online teaching has now achieved international recognition as one of the most sophisticated and successful approaches in the world for treatment of pain and dysfunction.
Certified Advanced Practitioner
Doug was a yoga instructor (and a musician, and a graphic designer, and a soccer player) with chronic back pain. As long as he was practicing yoga, he wasn’t in pain.
But he found himself unable to help his students with their chronic and severe pain. He felt frustrated by his lack of knowledge in functional anatomy and kinesiology.
Doug explored a myriad of learning opportunities—but after a life-changing experience with Thai massage, he decided to enroll in Chuck Duff’s Level I training program. And we still can’t get rid of him. 🙂
Three years later, Doug quit his job in digital publishing to pursue full-time bodywork. He’s been teaching alongside Chuck since 2014, and he now sees clients at his Highland Park clinic in addition to his training and curriculum development at CTBI.