International Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy, Inc.Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapy

History of the INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CORRECTIVE MUSCLE THERAPY

Contents:
The Roots

Pfrimmer Institute
Entering Academia
Going International
Legal Developments in the Field of Pfrimmer
The Birth of a New Field

 

The Roots

The International Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy (IICMT) and its predecessor, the Pfrimmer Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy (PICMT), are associated with some of the most important developments in the modern history of the field of massage.

During the 1970s Victoria Ross stumbled upon a discovery while experimenting with bodywork on a bedridden friend. Having initially worked with the principles of standard massage, Victoria found that when the body tissues were addressed in a different direction, it had a very different effect. This experiment brought about a reversal in her friend’s condition and led to Victoria’s life-long exploration into the healing potential of cross-fiber muscle therapy.

This represented a new direction in the field of massage, one that was corrective in nature rather than stress-reductive. George Hopkins, D.C., recognized this, and he hired Victoria to “coordinate a system of cross-fiber massage that would complement chiropractic.” The rationale was that since muscles attach to bones, both have to be released for a chiropractic treatment to hold. Victoria produced "Restorative Massage," a cross-fiber system of assessing and addressing soft-tissue restrictions throughout the entire body. The results of this innovative collaboration were remarkable.

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Pfrimmer Institute


Teaching-Authorization Contract Between Thérèse Pfrimmer
and Mary Kish

(PDF, 0.7 MB)

Legal document verifying original authorization of Victoria Ross’s schools
(PDF, 0.3 MB)

In 1980 Victoria went to Canada to study the work of another pioneer of cross-fiber muscle therapy, Thérèse Pfrimmer, of Ontario. While attending the course, Victoria’s ability with cross-fiber bodywork was noticed by Mary Kish, the instructor, who had been contracted by Thérèse Pfrimmer to authorize new instructors of the Pfrimmer technique (see right). This resulted in Victoria being one of only two women worldwide authorized to become master instructors of the Pfrimmer technique.

To fulfill this role, Victoria and her business partner, Mary Jo Myers (the formerly-bedridden friend), set up three separate enterprises. Together, these facilities would function as a cooperative unit, each providing a different ingredient necessary for the dissemination of this work:

  1. The Pennsylvania School of Muscle Therapy, Ltd (PSMT) provided foundational training in the basics of massage;
  2. The Pfrimmer Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy, Ltd (PICMT) provided advanced training in cross-fiber technique-work;
  3. The Deep Muscle Therapy Center, Inc, provided a fully-staffed professional clinic for addressing conditions of the public.

The Pfrimmer Institute and its associated clinic were quickly recognized by professionals in the field of neurology, chiropractic, and physical therapy as a significant resource for collaborative patient recovery. The clinic itself was a living example of this collaborative model staffed with a medical doctor, two chiropractors, a rolfer, a craniosacral specialist, and a dozen muscle therapists handling difficult cases from a broad geographical area.


Clinic Staff (1990)

School Staff (1996)


Centre for Neurological
Rehabilitation
Letter of Recommendation

(PDF, 0.4 MB)

Located in the suburban Philadelphia area, the Institute worked closely with the Centre for Neurological Rehabilitation (see right), associated with Dr. Eugene Spitz, inventor of the brain shunt. This enabled the staff at the Deep Muscle Therapy Center to work on — and to experience the results of cross-fiber therapy on — clients with severe brain injury. The Institute and its clinic created a body of experienced practitioners who would become the nucleus of the Institute's international teaching staff.

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Entering Academia

In 1992 the Pennsylvania School of Muscle Therapy (PSMT) became the first AMTA-approved (American Massage Therapy Association) school to become COMTA-accredited (Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation).

Other credentials of the Ross/Myers schools included the following:

  • IMSTAC (Integrative Massage and Somatic Therapies Accreditation Council);
  • NATABOC (National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification);
  • NCBTMB (National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork);
  • ACE (American Council on Education), which awarded Ross’s Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy program with four semester hours in the Upper Division Baccalaureate Degree category.

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Going International


Victoria Ross

Once her children were raised, Victoria left the clinic and the school for basic massage in the hands of the Pennsylvania staff and relocated to the San Francisco area. From there she focused on her vision of expanding the cross-fiber concept internationally. Starting in the year 2000, Victoria began establishing cross-fiber training programs in Israel, Italy, and the south-central and western United States. In 2010, Victoria established the International Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy, based in Northern California, named to reflect the growing international scope of the work.

 


First Class San Francisco (2000)


First Class Israel (2000)


First Class Italy (2001)


Texas Austin Community College Class (2001)

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Legal Developments in the Field of Pfrimmer


The Pfrimmer Lineage:
Breakdown of Teaching Authorization in the field of Pfrimmer
(click for larger view)

 


Victoria Ross (left), her daughter, and Ruthann Hobbs (right) - Teacher Training Canada (1981)

Just before Thérèse Pfrimmer died in 1980, she authorized Mary Kish (also of Ontario, Canada) to be in charge of selecting and training Pfrimmer teachers (see "Teaching Authorization Contract" at top of webpage). Mary, in turn, trained Victoria Ross and Ruthann Hobbs to be teachers. Eventually, Victoria and Ruthann were given the designation of the two official Master Pfrimmer Instructors. They each took the basic Pfrimmer technique that they were taught and created two independent institutes and courses, with teaching materials prepared in their own style, philosophy, and approach.



Teacher Training with Mary Kish (far left); Victoria (center) - Canada (1981)

Shortly before her death, Thérèse Pfrimmer established the "Thérèse C. Pfrimmer International Association of Deep Muscle Therapists" (TCPIADMT), also referred to as the "International Association of Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapists" (IAPDMT) or simply "the Pfrimmer Association." As with many human enterprises, proprietary inner-association politics developed early on in the history of Pfrimmer and have plagued the field ever since. This situation came to a head in the year 2009 as a culmination of the following events.

In 2002, due to health concerns, Victoria Ross transferred ownership of Pfrimmer Institute (PICMT) to her former business partner, Mary Jo Myers, and John Myers. During those years Victoria continued as an employee and consultant for the Institute (2002-2007). Upon Mary Jo’s retirement in 2007, Mary Jo, John, and Victoria jointly agreed to license the Pfrimmer teaching materials to Peter D'Orio, owner of Massage Arts Center of Philadelphia (see flow chart above).


"Consent to Use Agreement" re: use of Pfrimmer trademarks by Victoria Ross & Ruthann Hobbs
(PDF, 0.6 MB)

The Pfrimmer Association took exception to this and, in the year 2009, initiated a lawsuit to gain exclusive use of the Pfrimmer name and trademarks. While use of the name and trademarks had been legally-granted to the master teachers, Ruthann Hobbs and Victoria Ross, through a "Consent to Use Agreement" (see right), the Pfrimmer Association moved to take full and exclusive control of the name and trademarks.

Although the court case was not brought against Victoria Ross per se, in order to prevent the court case from going on indefinitely, her agreement to the settlement would be required. One of the terms of the “Settlement Agreement” was that the Pfrimmer name be removed from Victoria’s Level 1 textbook. For that reason the Pfrimmer name is no longer used to identify or advertise the Level 1 course through Victoria’s institute and her Level 1 textbook contains the name Pfrimmer only in an historical sense. In June of 2010 the case was settled. (See next subheading for status of graduates pre- and post-2010.)

(For related Additional Legal Documents)

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The Birth of a New Field

In the process of restructuring her Level 1 textbook as part of the “Settlement Agreement” terms (see previous subheading), Victoria opted to restructure her institute and all of her teaching materials to reflect a broader focus on the across-the-fiber concept and its unique power to correct.

The Institute: The Pfrimmer Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy (PICMT), having been closed in 2009, was replaced by the International Institute for Corrective Muscle Therapy (IICMT), starting in 2010.

Name of the Field: The term "Crossfiber" was coined (non-hyphenated and capitalized). The entire field and body of technique-work established by Victoria was now given the umbrella designation Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapy® (CCMT) — registered, as of 2011, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Level 1: The Level 1 course was revised and the name changed from Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy to Comprehensive Crossfiber Technique. The title earned by Level 1 graduates was changed from Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapist (PDMT) to Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapist (CCMT), starting in June of 2010.

Level 2: The Level 2 courses (and additional courses listed on the Teachers & Training page) comprise Victoria’s own original technique-work. This includes the course named Pfrimmer Muscle Isolation (which, for consistency, had in the past been included under the umbrella term “Pfrimmer”). This technique and its course were renamed Crossfiber Muscle Isolation (CMI).

Status of Former Graduates: This restructuring of the field does not affect the hundreds of former graduates of Victoria’s Pfrimmer Institute (PICMT) who graduated prior to the settlement of the court case in June of 2010 and who carry the title of Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapist. Their professional title is and always will remain intact. They together with the growing body of Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapists make up the larger field of Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapy®, all carrying out the work that they were taught under the oversight of Victoria Ross and all considered practitioners of Crossfiber Corrective Muscle Therapy®.

The Mission: The term Crossfiber is more than just a name; it is a concept. It embodies the philosophy of the pioneers of corrective bodywork who have sought to understand how the muscles, bones, nerves, and fascia work together as a unit to elicit the body’s corrective response. It is Victoria’s mission for her institute to facilitate an ever-greater understanding of the power of across-the-fiber bodywork and to highlight its potential for bringing different healthcare fields together to meet the needs of the public.

(For information on the IICMT teaching program and the individual courses, see Teachers & Training.)

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Additional Legal Documents


Legal Document law offices of Maleson, Udell and Rosenberg - Victoria and Ruthann jointly apply for Pfrimmer Trademarks
(PDF, 0.1 MB)


1996 Documents showing "Use & Ownership" of trademarks by Victoria Ross & Ruthann Hobbs
(PDF, 3.6 MB)

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