Air Flow and Autonomics: Using Respiration to Tune our Interoceptive Sense

In collaboration with the AAPMD, Jennifer Smart, PT, DPT  will be presenting this Free Webinar on June 19th, from 9:00 – 10:00 PM EDT

The Autonomic Nervous System, and especially how it integrates with the Central Nervous System, can be a daunting topic. This conceptual presentation, based extensively on current research, is designed to give a clinically applicable overview so that all attendees, whether dentists, movement specialists or clients, gain an understanding of:

  • What tensegrity means and the interoceptive role it plays in autonomic variability
  • How upright humans can use phases of respiration to “tune” their autonomic state
  • How functional “over tuning” (hyperinflation) may contribute to convergence (or lack of alternating lateralization in the mouth, in the body and in the brain).

Jennifer Smart, DPT, PRC earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland in 1985 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina in 2009. Early on she worked in England, balancing her time between working in a Rehabilitation facility that specialized in treating adults with Hemiplegia and an orthopedic outpatient clinic. What Jennifer noticed was that the hemispheric differences that were so obvious and accepted in people who had had strokes, were also present, albeit to a lesser extent, in most of her orthopedic patients. She even presented research at a symposium on the ‘Biomechanics and Orthotic Management of the Foot,’ where she questioned why they consistently found relatively more baseline pronation in the left foot of their healthy control subjects.  

Jennifer’s clinical career continued to ping pong between neurologically and orthopedically defined worlds, from working with Olympic Heavy Weightlifters and competitive cyclists to taking a deep dive into the treatment of people with Parkinson’s Disease. She became LSVT, PWR! and Rock Steady Boxing certified, she attended the Parkinson’s World Congress (twice), she developed a tandem cycling program and a Parkinson’s Exercise Retreat. 

Through researching Parkinson’s Disease, Jennifer began to appreciate predictable neurological behaviors that also seemed to be driving so many of her other “normal,” orthopedic patients. In 2012 Jennifer was introduced to Postural Restoration (PRI), which provided her with explanations and scientific support for the patterned asymmetries that she had been seeing. She became PRI certified in 2015, she presented at a PRI Symposium on Basal Ganglia Disease in 2021 and the following year Jennifer was invited to join the PRI faculty to teach Cranial Resolution, a course that covers how nasal respiration influences (and integrates) our autonomic and central nervous systems.  

Jennifer continues to teach (and constantly learn) while working with a variety of patients at a small, outpatient clinic in Oriental, NC. She also remains a boxing coach for people with Parkinsons. And, after having spent years sailing small boats across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, she is now more content sailing locally, while doing her more extensive traveling by bicycle

Register Here: