Posts by RJ Hruska

Over the past several months we were given the opportunity to get to know Ron and Gabe Adams as we prepared for their visit to Lincoln, and eventual presentation at the 10th Annual Interdisciplinary Integration Symposium. To be completely honest it is difficult to put into words the effect that our time together had on not only the Staff here at the Institute, but also our course attendees and family and friends who were able to hear Gabe’s Story.

Gabe was born in Brazil with Hanhart Syndrome, leaving him with no arms or legs. The Adams family, residing in St. George Utah were not currently looking to add another family member as Janelle Adams was expecting her 11th child at the time, however after hearing about Gabe it was impossible for them to stop thinking about him. He is now a 19 year old young man, and is one of thirteen children raised by the Adams’. He is entirely independent in his daily life, but the journey from where he began to where he is now is full of falls and failures, that ultimately made him who he is today.

The focus of this year’s symposium of ‘Postural Restriction’ provided a great foundation for Gabe’s presentation, as he has overcome restriction every day for 19 years. Having both Gabe and his father Ron present, allowed us to hear both their perspectives of how Gabe was raised and how he overcame his struggles. Gabe’s Mom & Dad believed that in order for Gabe to ever be fully independent as an adult he had to become fully independent as a child. For Gabe the only way this was going to happen, was by failing, repeatedly, over and over again. He was restricted by literally every single task that you and I take for granted and he learned to do them all. Most of us would have likely given up. Maybe not right away but eventually. Instead Ron and Gabe and the entire Adams Family, embraced them. The struggles changed from day to day but one thing remained the same. He never stopped smiling.

During his presentation, he had the entire room smiling as well. Besides showing us how he performs everyday tasks, such as dressing himself, brushing his teeth, combing his hair etc. he broke out into a dance routine which none of us would ever succeed at! Dance is a big part of Gabe’s life and allowed Gabe to prove to himself and the community that not only could he do it, but he could do it well! Gabe was on his high schools dance team for several seasons, and continues to enjoy it into his adult life.

Gabe’s 19 year journey of overcoming obstacles is profound, and we can never understand the trials and tribulations that he has gone through, but the most exciting thing about Gabe is what’s yet to come. It is easy to focus on how he has gotten to where he is today, but his plans for the future are just as bright. Gabe has a strong desire to one day be able to drive, allowing him to become fully self-sufficient and mobile. His motivational speaking has taken off since graduating high school and he plans to continue sharing his story as opportunities arise. Gabe also dreams of becoming an interior designer and would love to create and design personal spaces for others.

It was a tremendous honor to get to know Gabe and Ron, and as we got to know them it became very clear that Gabe is perhaps the most un-restricted 19 year old we know.  Often many of the problems that your patients or clients may have, stem from their extremities. The in-ability to sense and successfully manage these extremities often leads to further issues. For Gabe, none of that is a problem. Although he has the same dominant patterns as you and I, he was forced from birth to learn to manage them and in some cases use them to perform everyday tasks. Gabe has plenty to manage throughout his day, but without extremities in his way his future is truly “Limibitless”.

(Gabe showing the group how he writes)

(Course attendees trying to write like Gabe)

Click HERE to watch Gabe's story at Shriner's Hospital

Click HERE to watch Gabe on the Maury Show

Click HERE to watch Gabe Dance

Facebook: Limbitless Gabe

YouTube: Gabe Adams

Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:41PM

In the fall of 2017, Jen was contacted by Jessica Tidswell, PT, ATC, SCS, PRT, assistant professor for the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training programs at the University of Utah. We have requests for information, providers, course questions and many other inquires on a daily basis, but the request Jess had was different. She has the pleasure of working closely with the graduate athletic training students, and instructs several graduate courses while remaining clinically active through the University. She typically offers an Independent study as part of this course work and had a strong desire to somehow include PRI concepts as part of her 2017 fall semester. Jess has taken several PRI courses including all three primary courses as home studies, and after her conversation with Jen it was determined that our home study would be the perfect fit. Jess decided to focus the entire semester’s independent study on Pelvis Restoration. We were thrilled to have our course be the focus of a graduate level review and after a few more conversations with Jess, we had them up and running. Not only was this the first time the Home Study was used in this way, but she later decided to follow-up the fall semester this spring with the Myokinematic Restoration course for another semester long independent study. Jess is a pioneer in more ways than one. Receiving a Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2002, Jess was clinically active for several years before deciding something was missing. Her background and passion in Exercise Science and Athletic Training led her to return to school, as a student, seeking her second Bachelor’s degree in Athletic training. Jess recently completed her PRT credentialing and is the first DPT, ATC to be credentialed in our  Postural Restoration Trained™ (PRT) credentialing program. Highlights from several of the students who were a part of this Independent study can be read below, and an interview of PRT Jessica Tidswell can be read HERE.

Thank you to Jess, and the students from the University of Utah, who continue to seek a better understanding of our science, and make these semester reviews a success. If any educators are interested in setting up similar Independent Study courses, please feel free to contact me!

Student Reviews:

Upon signing up for this semester-long independent study Pelvis Restoration home study course, how much knowledge of Postural Restoration® did you have if any? If this was your first exposure to the science, what stood out the most to you about this novel way of looking at human asymmetry?

“This was my first exposure to Postural Restoration, and being able to look at postural muscles in a different way and how they affect the innominate bones changed the way I treat my athletes and improved my outcomes.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

“Prior to signing up for the independent study, I had previously taken the in-person postural respiration course. I was first exposed to PRI from an athletic trainer and mentor during my first job after graduating from undergrad. It immediately peaked my interests due to its holistic view of the human body. The concepts described by the institute on how our inherent asymmetries relate to dysfunction were initially hard to grasp as a young clinician. However, the more I asked questions and critically applied the science, the more that I knew this was going to be an essential part of my career. Initially, much of my treatment focus was on the location of the injury itself. The Postural Restoration Institute provided the big picture and not only altered how I care for my patients, but also totally revamped the way I view human anatomy.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“The semester-long independent study of Pelvis Restoration was the first time I had been introduced to PRI. I appreciated how the PRI approach has a strong focus on the kinetic chain bilaterally. PRI showed a unique perspective to optimize total body function by addressing the inhibition and facilitation needs on each side of the body individually.” - Julia Villani, ATC

As you got closer to the end of the semester did the course material challenge your thinking, or way of looking at certain injuries or dysfunction, that you encounter as an Athletic Trainer? What are some of the ways that you plan on implementing this material, or how do you see this material being utilized in your setting in the future.

“PRI changed the way I treated my athletes, I went from using a lot of muscle energy techniques for short term relief, to putting athletes on PRI programs to actually resolve the underlying issues. Working with hockey players, I see a lot of chronic hip and low back pain. Due to the mechanics of skating hockey players are prone to being in a PEC pattern, so I see myself using PRI on a broader scale in the future, implementing these techniques team wide.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

“The course material throughout the semester was both challenging and eye opening. Learning about the intricacies of pelvic motion, how pelvic position relates to asymmetry and dysfunction, and how I can use the Postural Restoration® science to make a long term impact on my patients was career altering. I work with college softball players and often times they complain of shoulder pain, but after taking a more extensive history, I learn that they also suffer from chronic low back and/or knee pain. While doing exercises on the lower extremity as part of an upper extremity rehabilitation program can often seem strange to my athletes, after taking the pelvis course, I know that this approach is essential for long term, total body health. In the future, I hope to implement PRI as a part of my pre-participation physical examinations to screen my athletes and get them started on a Postural Restoration® program prior to competition.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“Absolutely, my view of overuse injuries and dysfunctional movement has changed. Now, I not only address the chief compliant but I take a much more detailed look at the pelvis and how it may be influencing the issue. I plan on incorporating PRI techniques in most of, if not all of my overuse injuries and dysfunctional movements. I have yet to find an athlete that would not benefit from some level of PRI exercise.” - Julia Villani, ATC

Overall would you recommend an independent study PRI home study course to other graduate students? How did your view of the science of Postural Restoration® change from the beginning of the semester, once you had completed the course? (Any additional feedback or comments are welcomed below)

“I would absolutely recommend a directed independent study focused on PRI to any graduate level AT. I feel that this was the best way to be introduced to PRI as we had Jess directing us and always willing to answer any questions we might have had. The environment also allowed us to work together as graduate students and better understand the language, the science, and the implementation of PRI. As the semester progressed and I got more of a grasp on the concepts and science behind PRI, I was able to start implementing PRI programs in the clinic. In the independent study set up, I was always able to address any questions or problems I might have had with Dr. Tidswell.” - Bryan Erspamer, ATC

I would strongly recommend the independent study PRI home study course to other graduate students. Taking this course alongside my classmates has created a collaborative learning experience that extends beyond the classroom. Throughout the semester, my classmates and I would meet in the clinic to either talk through questions we had from the course, or practice the special tests and exercises we learned during class time. I think the best part of taking this course as an independent study was that even once the class ended, a sort of PRI culture was created amongst the students who took the class. We all still make a point to check in with one another to discuss how we are applying the material and how we might be able to improve the way we utilize the concepts with our patients. We also have an online group where we share research, videos, and other useful material related to PRI. The independent study PRI home study course has fostered an environment of continuous learning and has changed the way we treat our patients.” - Chris Michaels, LAT, ATC

“I have no hesitation recommending a home study course to other graduate students. In my experience, newly certified athletic trainers have a limited number of tools in their toolbox to address overuse injuries and dysfunctional movement. This course not only helped me deepen my knowledge of pelvic anatomy, but also how imbalances in the core and pelvis reflect through the kinetic chain.” - Julia Villani, ATC

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