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Simple Contact: Manually Managing People in Pain
A workshop presented by Barrett L. Dorko, P.T.

Two Day Simple Contact Workshop

This two day lecture and hands-on practicum includes what I've come to understand about manual care the past 30 years. It is neither basic or advanced, but simply a presentation of relevant research along with the manual techniques and exercises I employ daily. I'm convinced that all effective technique is the end result of an understanding of the materials, and that is what I teach.

I'm readily available to present a course in your area. Questions about sponsorship and content may be addressed to me by email .


A workshop presented by
Barrett L. Dorko, P.T.

          The challenge of manually managing painful conditions has produced a variety of techniques. This workshop proposes that technique must flow from our knowledge of the materials we handle and that because the human body often responds to touch in unique and unexpected ways, our technique must be potentially harmless.

          Simple Contact is an increasingly popular manual care technique that emphasizes the reflexive reaction of the body to gentle touch at specific sites. It begins with the premise that the body's own corrective processes are generally sufficient to produce enough mechanical force to reduce pain and normalize function. Since this process is unconsciously motivated, technique must support and encourage the patient's ongoing activity.

          Barrett Dorko, a therapist with 30 years of experience in manual care, will introduce you to "Simple Contact" through a mixture of lecture, demonstration, supervision of technique and ample lab time. He is known to challenge some of physical therapy's long-held notions about evaluation, diagnosis and principles of care. Besides sharing his experiences with other prominent clinicians and his daily patients, he also cites numerous references ranging from refereed journals to classic literature. Barrett offers an alternative to the protocols for diagnoses that may not honor the unique nature of each patient or the creative abilities of the caregiver.

          This program provides instruction in manual care designed to assist in the correction of dysfunction secondary to abnormal neurodynamics and increased sympathetic tone. All lectures are supplemented with reference lists and essays written and previously published by the instructor. Exercise and stretching regimes to maintain correction are also demonstrated and provided in written form.


          Explain the contribution of abnormal neurodynamics to typical pain syndromes.

          Explain the cellular mechanics of touch and its relation to the reflexive effects of manual care.

          Discuss the relation of autonomic balance to chronic pain and recovery.

          Instruction in manual techniques designed to examine and restore normal mobility.

          Instruction in specialized exercises that may be employed in a variety of syndromes.

You will learn how to: 

Use historical details and physical assessment to help plan the appropriate use of manual care 

Handle parts distant from the area of pain in a way that provides relief where desired

 Identify instinctive movement toward correction, normal function and pain relief 

Speak to patients and colleagues about pain theory in understandable terms 

Distinguish between productive and creative movements for pain relief and increased function 

Provide specialized, effective exercises for use in the clinic as well as home

Hours 1 & 2 Introduction: Distinguishing Pathologic and Non- pathologic Processes Leading to Pain; "Abnormal Neurodynamics As A Common Factor in Chronic Pain"
Lecture with slides.
Hours 3 & 4 Simple contact; a technique for examination and treatment.
Demonstration and lab.
Hours 5 & 6 Sensing Neural Tension, the perspectives of the patient and therapist.
Hours 7 & 10 Simple contact in the cranium proper.
Demonstration and lab.
Hour 11 "Fractal Geometry and Nervous Irritation, Understanding Chaos in the Body"
Lecture with slides.
Hours 12 & 13 Specialized exercise regimens for abnormal neurodynamics
Demonstration and lab.
Hour 14 "Manual Contact and Reflexive Effect.
Lecture with slides.
Hour 15  Simple Contact in the extremities and trunk.
Demonstration and lab.