Course Description

2- NCBTMB Approved Ce's. In this pre-recorded, video-based course, Dr. Julie Zuleger and Mary Biancalana will be teaching the concept of tension length relationships and how these relationships can negatively impact muscle and fascial function. In manual therapist terms, this means that if you want to actually make CHANGES to local biochemistry in muscle and fascia, the patient/client must be actively engaged and participating in the treatment. 

We will discuss key concepts within the stretch/ contract/ hold/ relax/ further stretch model. This has been called many things; “PNF”, “Reciprocal Inhibition”,” contract/relax”. No matter what it is called, IT REALLY WORKS! Incorporating active stretch/ contract/ further stretch techniques into an already good massage therapy practice can mean the difference of the client becoming pain-free. In terms of athletes or exercisers, these contract/relax techniques can improve strength, function, power, and endurance in muscles. As Mary Biancalana always says; “We need to be long to be strong, and we need to be loose to be long!” 

This course is a series of interesting and fun videos that will take you step-by-step and teach you how to apply PNF techniques within your massage practice, to muscle groups in the upper body and lower body. This course is based on the body of knowledge within the 7-step myofascial trigger point therapy treatment protocol. Learners will get an interactive study guide, all video recordings, research papers for reference and a quiz at the end.  

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Practical Application of Stretch/Contract/Relax/Stretch PNF Techniques Handout with QR codes

    • Dr Julie Zuleger; Power Point Presentation for Stretch/Contract/Relax/Stretch; PNF Techniques

    • Sarcomere Length-Tension Relationship Circulatory System Physiology NCLEX-RN Khan Academy

    • Introduction to Chapter 17 from the book The Complete Guide to Massage

    • Chapter 17 from the Book; The Complete Guide To Massage

    • Study Guide for Key Concepts; Print this Guide to Help you Follow Along with the Class

    • Video Lesson; Review of Research Papers Demonstrating the Effectiveness of PNF on ROM and Muscle Function

    • Research Article NOT Required Reading; Journal of Sport Rehabilitation] The Effectiveness of PNF Versus Static Stretching on Increasing Hip-Flexion Range of Motion

    • Research Article NOT Required Reading; PNF and Its Mechanisms and Effects on ROM and Muscle Function

  • 2

    Videos: Application of PNF Techniques

    • These Four Videos Will Demonstrate Various PNF Techniques

  • 3

    Side Lying Position

    • Side Lying Position; Hip Abduction

  • 4

    Supine Position

    • Supine Position; Latissimus Dorsi

    • Supine Position; Hamstrings

  • 5

    Prone Position

    • Prone Quadriceps with Self Care

    • Prone Position; Improving Knee Flexion with PNF Techniques

    • Is Stretching For Everyone?

    • Understanding the Role Of Hypermobility in Myofascial Pain

  • 6

    Conclusion to Stretch/Contract/Relax/Stretch; PNF Techniques to Improve Muscle Function and to Reduce Myofascial Pain

    • Let's Wrap This All Up! Short Video of Mary Biancalana Summing Up Key Concepts Presented in this Course.

  • 7

    Final Exam

    • Final Exam for Stretch/Contract/Relax/Stretch; PNF Techniques to Improve Muscle Function and to Reduce Myofascial Pain

Objectives & Outcomes

Learning Objectives

1. The student will understand how the contractile element in the trigger point complex includes some lengthened sarcomeres and some shortened sarcomeres that are stuck in the biochemically altered regional trigger point complex. 

2. The student will be able to actively demonstrate the stretch, contract, relax, further lengthen technique to muscles in the body to elicit normal resting length in muscles. 

3. The student will be able to discuss the concept of length tension relationship. 

Learning Outcomes

1. The student will understand how the contractile element in the trigger point complex includes some lengthened sarcomeres and some shortened sarcomeres that are stuck in the biochemically altered regional trigger point complex.

2. The student will be able to utilize the stretch, relax, further lengthen technique to the major muscle groups in the upper body to elicit normal resting length in muscles.

3. The student will achieve at least 70% passing score on the final exam.


Dr. Julie Zuleger, PhD, CMTPT, CSCS, LMT

Julie is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education. Her Wisconsin State License number is #146-4418. She has extensive training and interest in human movement, anatomy, kinesiology, and corrective exercise therapies. Julie is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a retired ATC, Board Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist, Certified Yoga Teacher, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, and holds a Ph.D. in Education.

Owner & Director of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy for Chicago Center of Myofascial Pain Relief

Mary Biancalana

Mary Biancalana, Owner & Director of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy for Chicago Center of Myofascial Pain Relief, has excelled in the fitness and education field since 1983. A lifelong athlete and exerciser, Mary possesses a unique blend of skills and training that sets her apart. She holds a B.S. from DePaul University in Teaching Physical Education and a Master’s Degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. She also holds four State of Illinois teaching licenses and is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer, a Nationally Board-Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist, and a Licensed Massage Therapist.

FAQs and Important Course Information

What can I expect from this class? 

You can expect to learn the most up-to-date information on applied manual therapy techniques and trigger point pressure release techniques. This course focuses on the category of PNF or stretch/contract/relax/ and further stretch techniques. All our techniques are aimed at restoring normal resting length in contracted muscle fiber bundles that contain trigger points. Within the course, there will be some written material that you will read, and the remainder of the material will be taught via digitally recorded video.

Will this class provide me with my NCBTMB continuing education hours?

Absolutely. Yes! Mary Biancalana, Dr. Julie Zuleger, and all and Muscle Health LLC  instructors are NCBTMB approved providers of continuing education for massage therapists. Our approved provider number is 451298-10

Once I start this online class, can I stop and start up again later?

Yes, our website education host allows you to stop and start anytime, and you can pick up again where you left off. You can even start the programming on one device like your cell phone, then you can log back in on your laptop and pick up where you left off on your cell phone.

Will there be a quiz associated with this class?

Yes, in order to receive NCBTMB continuing education credits, this course will be providing a  multiple-choice quiz at the end. The quiz questions are based on the material that is provided during the course. You are welcome to use the study guide provided you in the course to follow allow with the materials, and in finishing the quiz.

How long will it take me to complete this course?

Based on the guidelines provided by NCBTMB, this is a three-hour continuing education course, that should take you 3 hours to complete.

Is there any required equipment?

It would be best if you were able to acquire at least a tennis ball that you can place into a long sock. Other equipment that will be demonstrated within this training program includes. A 5-inch FitBall, the Backnobber II, Tiger Tail 2.5 on a rope, Tiger Tail Curveball, and Tiger Tail 5 inch ball. All of these brand-name self-care tools can be purchased online.

Do I need to complete this course in one sitting?

No, you do not need to complete the course all at one time. You can stop and start at any time. And when you log on the education software will bring you back to where you left off.

What happens if I do not get a passing score on the quiz?

According to NCBTMB regulations, participants need to pass the provided quiz with a minimum of 70% correct. If you do not score a 70% on the quiz, the education software will bring you back to the beginning and allow you to retake the quiz until you are able to achieve a passing score of 70.

Will I receive a continuing education certificate upon completion of this course?

Yes, Once you complete the quiz questions to a 70% passing score, you will be allowed to download a PDF of your course certificate providing proof of 3 hours of NCBTMB approved continuing education. At the completion of the course, you will receive a PDF of your CEU Certificate attached to an email. Be sure to save this certificate, as we will charge you $15.00 if you need another copy of it at a later date.

Course Expiration:

Once you pay for this online course, you have one year to complete it. Then at the end of one year, the link will shut down and you will not be able to retrieve the course.


NCBTMB Course Approval:

This course,(both instructors), and the provider;  Muscle Health, LLC (owned by Mary Biancalana) is an NCBTMB approved provider of continuing education. Our Provider number is 451298-10 

 Mary also teaches live, hands-on seminars under the same NCBTMB Approved Provider status, so contact us if you are interested in live, in-person training courses. 

[email protected]      Clinic ph #: 773-628-7654


Copyright Note: 

The material within this course and the way in which it is organized and taught as well as the image and videos of Mary Biancalana and the voice of Mary Biancalana are copyright by Muscle Health, LLC. The videos, Mary’s voice, or the description of any of the particular techniques taught in this way by Mary Biancalana cannot be taught within other for-fee seminars unless permission is requested of us and granted by Muscle Health, LLC and Mary Biancalana.  Many of our videos are for personal and public use on our YouTube channel;   Chicago Center for Myofascial Pain Relief.


Disclaimer Note:

This online training course should in no way serve as a substitute for qualified medical care. If you have pain or discomfort in any of the areas described, it is your responsibility to seek the advice of a qualified medical professional. Muscle Health LLC, Mary Biancalana, and other instructors will take not any liability for any injuries or discomfort acquired during the application of these techniques. It is your duty as the student to make your choice together with your healthcare provider as to whether or not you are healthy enough to participate in application of these techniques included but not limited to trigger point pressure release.



In alignment with the AMTA’s online refund policy, Muscle Health, LLC will not offer any refunds 

to our online courses.