Structural Relief Therapy

Structural Relief Therapy (SRT), according to Taya Countryman, “is an advanced massage technique that stops involuntary muscle contraction, restores joint function (ROM), instantly changes posture, and dramatically decreases pain in the first treatment”.

I had been aware of Taya’s classes for a number of years, and was always interested in them, but never took any because they were usually so far away.

In 2008, Taya brought the SRT classes to Tacoma, WA (which is close to where I live in Lacey, WA), so I eagerly signed up for the whole series!

As with most classes, there is an incredible amount of information to absorb, new techniques to practice, and sometimes, new ways of thinking/looking at things.

I like Taya’s comment that “The Body is the Boss”. In other words, while we might think we know what is needed, or the position that is needed, ultimately, it is the body that will let us know that. Sometimes with this technique, the exact opposite of what you think should work is the way to go.

So what is Structural Relief Therapy?

The therapy itself is a blending of different techniques that Taya has studied over the years, and also from what her patients have taught her. Those techniques include: Positional Release Therapy, Strain and Counterstrain, Muscle Energy, and fascia release.

I find that it is a simple, easy way to get clients out of pain fast, even chronic pain that has been around for a long time. Another thing that Taya mentions is that her patients say, “It’s like magic, my pain is gone!”

In the short time I’ve been using Structural Relief Therapy on my clients, I’ve had similar comments. People are amazed at how it seems like doing nothing gets them out of chronic pain.

The protocol is to find the SRT tender point, then position the body so that the pain of the tender point is turned off. That position is held between 90 – 120 seconds, and then slowly returned to neutral.

This is not the normal relaxation/stress relief/wellness type of massage that I do, but rather a specific treatment technique. I find that it is easy to incorporate parts of it into a regular massage session, especially arm/shoulder/neck issues.

For more information about Taya Countryman, and her class schedule, see her website at

Return to Lacey Massage Therapy home page.