press on a muscle;
Knowing where, how and why,
and what happens
when we do
is the difference between good intentions
George S. Pellegrino and Victoria L. Magown
Victoria L. Magown, CMTPT, LMT, RMTI
My path to Myofascial Therapy was personal. My mother had a spinal
fusion, L4-L5-S1, when I was thirteen years old. I would watch her
every morning, on her back, doing double legged straight-leg raises,
which she had been told to do. Her low back pain continued long
after the surgery, and she lived on pain medication. Even at that
young age, I thought there had to be other ways to manage pain.
At thirty-one years old, living in Boston, I saw Bonnie Prudden
leaning her elbow into someone’s buttocks, saying you can get rid
of back pain. I was intrigued. I went to her five-day workshop which
included learning about Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy and exercising
to music (way before the days of aerobics to music). It was like
“coming home”. There was something I could personally do with my
hands to help people decrease or eliminate their pain. And to this
day, I still enjoy giving people their lives back.
I graduated as a Myotherapist and Fitness Instructor from the
Bonnie Prudden School of Physical Fitness and Myotherapy in 1983.
In January 1984, I opened the NM Myotherapy and Exercise Clinic
in Albuquerque, NM. Today, MyoRehab enjoys having multiple Certified
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists on staff and has been going
strong since 1994.
I became a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist in 1990
(the first year the exam was given). Later, in 1996, I became a
Licensed Massage Therapist (#4498) and Registered Massage Therapy
Instructor (#I-0373) shortly thereafter.
In 1984, I helped establish the National Association of Myofascial
Trigger Point Therapists and held almost every position on the board
during the ensuing years.
During this same time, I went to every lecture or seminar I could,
given by Janet G. Travell, MD and/or David G. Simons, MD who wrote
our “Red Bible,” Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, The Trigger Point
I had the privilege of enjoying a personal relationship with
Dr. Travell and she stayed in my guest room, swam in my pool and
sat in my Jacuzzi when in her early nineties. I have wonderful “gems”
from personal conversations with her that I include in the seminars.
As one of the early members of the American Academy of Pain Management
(1989 to present), a multidisciplinary organization, I have presented
lectures on Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction; and continue my membership
to the present. I held a seat on the Board of Advisors for several
years, representing Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, the same seat
Dr. Travell held.
I also belong to the MYOPain Society whose members present the
latest scientific research on Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction and
In October 2007, George S. Pellegrino, LMT, CMTPT and I attended
the First International Fascia Research Congress when scientists
from all over the world presented the then new and exciting information
about Fascia at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.
In March 2012, I attended the Third International Fascia Research
Congress in Vancouver, Canada and participated in a two-day cadaver
lab, as well as attending lectures and workshops for the remaining
four days, about the latest research on fascia. Fascinating.
Melissa Hernandez, LMT, CMTPT, RMTI
Health & fitness have always been an integral part of my
life. As a child, I participated in gymnastics, tap, jazz &
ballet. While attending high school in the '80's, I frequently attended
aerobics classes at the gym and developed a strong passion for weight
training. In 1987, I took 2nd place in an amateur bodybuilding competition.
Human anatomy & physiology fascinated me and I was enamored
with the body's ability to adapt & change.
Driven by my interest in the muscles of the human body, I attended
the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics, and became a Massage
Therapist in 1990. I also attended UNM and received my bachelor's
degree in Health Education in 1995.
I was frustrated in my massage practice, when I realized that
to reduce my client’s pain, they also needed specific stretches
and exercises which they found challenging to perform on their own.
I became a Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise
Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2002,
so that I could work closely with my clients, improving their posture
and movement. I recognized on an even deeper level that there was
a very direct correlation between postural imbalances and pain in
Up until this point, I had worked in a variety of settings as
a Massage Therapist, including day spas, rehab clinics and private
practice. I had also worked at fitness facilities as a Personal
Trainer. Eventually, I opened Full Circle Wellness Center in 2003,
and our staff and I provided a range of services including massage
therapy, nutrition services, acupuncture, personal training, group
fitness classes and beauty services.
Despite my education, training and experience, I had a nagging
sense there was still more to know. I felt as if I didn't quite
have all the pieces to the puzzle when it came to understanding
pain management. Well, my prayers were answered.
I was in a severe motor vehicle accident in 2005, and was rear-ended
by a vehicle going approximately 50 mph. After that accident, I
had severe constant upper back pain, neck pain and headaches. I
had to prop my chin in my hand if I had to lean forward for any
reason, due to severe neck pain. At times the pain in my neck was
all-consuming and incomprehensible. MRI's showed a bulging disc
pressing anteriorly into my spinal cord at C3-C4. I couldn't hold
objects because my hands would go numb, and it interfered with my
ability to work. I tried chiropractic and ultrasound, but it didn’t
help. I desperately knew I had to do something more, so I asked
my physician for a referral to MyoRehab.
My therapist evaluated my range of motion, charted my pain patterns,
treated my muscles, and gave me stretches to do at home. By the
fifth treatment, I felt better than I did before the accident and
by the tenth treatment, I was pain free. When I asked my therapist
how I could learn this therapy, he told me the American Institute
for Myofascial Studies (AIMS), which teaches Myofascial Therapy
seminars, was beginning a certification program to train health
practitioners to become Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.
I signed up for all of the seminars!
As I attended the seminars and began applying the treatment protocol
in my practice, I felt as if I had been given the key to a lock,
a key that unlocked the mystery of muscles. I was on top of the
world! I was astounded at the improvements I saw in my patients.
The material presented in the seminars includes the latest scientific
research, and I thrived in the challenge of mastering the information
and making it my own.
I was in the first graduating class for the Certification program
in 2007 and am now a Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist.
I have since become an instructor for AIMS and I now also treat
patients at MyoRehab, where it all began.