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Aug 19, 2022

A client is sore and has joint pain in multiple locations. She is easily triggered into painful spasms.

And . . . she has an unusual form of spina bifida.

What is spina bifida? What makes this person’s experience of it unique? And what opportunities are here for massage therapy to be helpful?




Books of Discovery:  




Host Bio:        


Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at And more information about her is available at   


Recent Articles by Ruth:       


“Unpacking the Long Haul,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2022, page 35,


“Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Massage Therapy,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 33,


“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,    




Pocket Pathology:


CDC (2020) What is Spina Bifida? | CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: (Accessed: 8 August 2022).


Sencen, L. (no date) ‘Spina Bifida’, NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). Available at: (Accessed: 8 August 2022).


Spina Bifida Causes, Treatment, Symptoms, Types & Life Expectancy (no date) eMedicineHealth. Available at: (Accessed: 8 August 2022).


Tethered Spinal Cord Syndrome | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 8 August 2022).


Podcast on Chiari Malformation:


About our Sponsor:


About Til Luchau and  

As a Certified Advanced Rolfer™, Til was on the faculty of the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute® for 20 years, where he served as Coordinator and Faculty Chair of the Foundations of Rolfing Structural Integration program. The author of the Advanced Myofascial Techniques textbook series (which has been translated into 6 languages), his regular Myofascial Techniques and Somatic Edge columns have been featured in Massage & Bodywork magazine since 2009, and (along with Whitney Lowe) he co-hosts the popular Thinking Practitioner Podcast. He is the Director of which since 1985 has offered short, credit-approved professional trainings and certification for manual therapists of all types, in person and online.