Project Description

Instructed by Elisa Peterson MEd, SEP, RMT
For all Manual Therapists: Registered Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Naturopaths, Physiotherapists.

April 21 & 27-28, 2024 (details below)

Sunday April 21 via ZOOM 6:30-8:30pm
Saturday April 27, in-person 9am-6pm
Sunday April 28, in-person 9am-4pm

to REGISTER visit

Trauma-Informed Practice fosters an environment where the unique story of each person’s life is met with compassion, awareness, and humility to offer care and service safely, effectively, and respectfully.

Becoming Trauma-Informed: Building Safety & Trust in Your Manual Therapy Practice  is a unique training that integrates cognitive, contemplative, and body-oriented learning to support manual therapists in building trust and safety within both the therapeutic relationship, and the practice environment, as a foundation for creating a trauma-informed practice. Prevalence of trauma in all communities makes it such that clinicians are both knowingly and unknowingly treating patients who have experienced trauma. Becoming trauma-informed begins with exploring and embodying principles of relationship, communication, and response-ability that build connection, safety, and trust.


  • Raise awareness and understanding of trauma
  • Build and embody humility and compassion for one another
  • Support massage therapists in developing regulation-informed communication skills that build safety and trust in the therapeutic relationship.


With an integrative, whole-person approach, students are offered an opportunity to explore learning with current research and theory, inner contemplative reflection, and body-oriented practices such as movement, mindfulness, and somatic inquiry. We acknowledge the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements of how we experience ourselves as human beings.



I.  Trauma through the Lens of Relationship

  • Your Brain and Trauma: Dysregulation, Regulation and Resilience
  • Neuroception: The Unspoken Nervous System Conversation of Safety
  • Threat Response or Self-Protection Cycle
  • Sources of Trauma: Early Developmental Trauma, Shock Trauma, and Intergenerational trauma

II.  Introduction to Polyvagal Theory

  • Getting to Know Our Evolved Vagus Nerve: The Social Engagement System
  • Exploring the Wisdom of Our Survival Physiology- Fight, Flight & Freeze
  • Discovering the Body’s Communication Cues of Threat and Safety

III. Physiological Symptoms of Safety and Trauma in Our Patients

IV.  The Building Blocks of Safety & Trust in the Therapeutic Relationship

  • Exploring the Dynamics, Elements and Principles of Safety & Trust
  • Building Our Felt Sense of Safety & Trust: Body Cues & Body Boundaries
  • Discovering the Benefits of Safety & Trust in Patient Health
  • Cultivating Therapeutic Presence: Learning to Listen

V.  Regulation Self-care Exercises for Manual Therapists

VI.  Possibilities for Dialogue: Sharing as a Community of Learners

  • What does meeting a patient with compassion and humility feel like inside my body?
  • What are the factors that define “the diversity of our lived experience”?
  • Why are humans wired neurologically for connection with one another?


Additional Course Information on Elisa’s website: