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A  I  M  S
American Institute for Myofascial Studies





“Anyone can press on a muscle;
Knowing where, how and why,
and what happens when we do
is the difference between good intentions
and appropriate treatment.”

George S. Pellegrino and Victoria L. Magown

Victoria L. Magown, CMTPT, LMT, RMTI

Portrait of Victoria Magown

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 Manual.

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 Fibromyalgia.

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

Portrait of Melissa Hernandez

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 the body.

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.


AIMS has been providing educational opportunities
for healthcare professionals since 1999.

American Institute for Myofascial Studies, LLC
4273 Montgomery NE Suite 130 East
Albuquerque, NM 87109 [ map ]
phone  505-872-3100
fax  505-872-2600