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Strain Counterstrain Technique Certification

Approved for 8 Online Continuing Education Units/Credits (CEU's) for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists

Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.

Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience. 


Strain and counterstrain is a passive positional procedure that places the body in a position of greatest comfort and thereby relieves pain and dysfunction by halting the inappropriate proprioceptor activity that maintains somatic dysfunctionsSomatic dysfunction is defined as the impaired or altered function of related components of the somatic system, including the skeletal, arthrodial, and myofascial structures and their related vascular, lymphatic, and neural elements.1

Strain and counterstrain can also be defined as a mild overstretching applied in a direction opposite to that of the false and continuing message of strain that the body is experiencing.2

To understand the history behind strain and counterstrain, one must understand its developer, Lawrence Hugh Jones, doctor of osteopathy and fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy. I was very fortunate to learn strain and counterstrain from Dr. Jones. I was also very fortunate to travel with him as he taught courses across the United States and to listen to him teach during the day and then share dinners with him after class. This chapter contains many anecdotal statements that Jones passed on to me during our classes and talks. Jones was raised in a Christian Science home in Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s. Jones told me that, as a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, he believed that only God and the person’s relationship with God can actually cure illness.

As a teenager, Jones was working in an apple orchard when he happened to encounter the practice of osteopathy. A fellow apple picker fell out of a tree and lay at its base unable to move. Dr. Holt, a local osteopath, came to the aid of this gentleman. He brought a folding table into the field and performed manipulations on the injured man that allowed him to return to the tree to collect apples. At this point, Jones knew what he wanted to do with his life—become an osteopath.

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the founder of osteopathy, established a college of osteopathy whose aim was “to improve the current system of surgery, obstetrics, and treatment of diseases generally, and place the same on a more rational and scientific basis and to impart that information to the medical profession.”3 This new school focused on manipulative methods and the use of the hands to help provide relief to patients, for whom the orthodox medicine of the time often failed. My own personal synopsis of Still’s primary philosophical tenets as told to me by many is as follows:

1. The body is a unity and must be treated as a whole.

2. The body contains within itself every drug and chemical necessary for maintenance of health and recovery from disease when free of restrictions.

3. Any disease will manifest itself in alteration of the musculoskeletal system, and correction of these alterations will remove impediments to the body’s internal innate healing system. Structure dictates function. 350This is true all the way down to the individual cell and up to the macrostructure of the entire body. If the structure of the body is not precisely correct, then the function of the body will not be correct.

4. The use of a drugless system of manipulative therapy removes any and all restrictions to normal human structure and function.

The philosophy that humans are God’s greatest creation and are able to heal themselves with the removal of restrictions fit well with Jones’s upbringing. Jones graduated from the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons in Los Angeles, California, in 1936 and established a small practice in Ontario, Oregon.

To hear Jones describe himself as an early osteopath, one would think that this brilliant man was a failure. As a student of his, I remember him telling us many times that he was very frustrated with what he was able to do with his hands as an osteopathic physician. He told us that he had learned some rudimentary massage and myofascial techniques, mostly low-amplitude, high-velocity thrust techniques. But many times he was frustrated with the lack of success that he could achieve with these methods. He took many continuing education courses, such as Functional Technique taught by Dr. Harold Hoover and cranial classes given by Dr. William Sutherland’s group. However, he did not feel readily able to use them through his hands and subsequently always reverted back to his thrust manipulation. It was not until two specific events occurred that Jones discovered the technique of strain and counterstrain.

The certification process for providers of strain and counterstrain treatment is a dynamic one. When I became certified to teach strain and counterstrain, it was basically upon the approval of Dr. Lawrence H. Jones himself. The Jones Institute, as the teaching arm for the strain and counterstrain technique, then established a teaching course for certification and bestowed on those who passed the designation of Jones Strain and Counterstrain Certified Instructor (JSCCI). Once the institute had certified instructors, the process of certifying practitioners began. The certification process was a very lengthy one, and those who completed it had much to be proud of. The certification process took 2 days and consisted of a 200-question written test, an oral examination, a diagnostic evaluation comparison, evaluation of the applicant’s performance of the technique, and a teaching component. During the teaching component, the participant was assigned a random area of the body and had to describe all the tender points and treatments, as well as anecdotal experiences with the technique. With recent advances in the technique, including the development of fascial counterstrain, the certification process must necessarily change again. The Jones Institute is currently trying to develop multiple levels of certification that 361would include the original techniques of Jones and all the recent developments. In addition, the Jones Institute is trying to develop a way for clinics that use the strain and counterstrain technique to be recognized and certified according to their level of proficiency in the technique. The Jones Institute has also established Jones Institute Europe and is launching Jones Institute Australia. For updates on classes, certification, and new developments, go to www.JISCS.com or www.JISCS.eu.

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Receive Your 8 CEU's Now

Approved for 8 Online CEU's for Pennsylvania Licensed Massage Therapists. Cost $100.00 / Certificates Awarded Upon Completion.

Please allow time for your purchase to process. We will contact you via email with instructions to access the online course as soon as your payment is complete. Please make sure your email address is correct. Thank you for your patience.