Posts by James Anderson

 Josh Olnick, DPT, PRC was an excellent host at Steps for Recovery for the most recent Installment of Impingement and Instability. Being with Josh is always a treat for me because of his valuable insights and thoughtful contributions. This trip to his clinic reminded me of a trip I made to Wake Forest back when Josh was a new clinician where I was snowed-in in Minneapolis on Friday and didn't arrive until noon on Saturday. We had to get right to the point and modify things a little bit during the presentation to give the attendees the best experience possible on a modified schedule. Josh has since commented that the modified approach to the Myokinematic Restoration material that weekend was a super learning experience for him and he loved the modified format.

Well, this Impingement and Instability course was also unique in several ways. First, because there were 9 PRCs/PRTs in the room and 4 of those were fellow faculty or affiliate faculty members at the institute, Jen Poulin, Dan Houglum, Lisa Mangino, and Advanced integration speaker Jean Masse. The rest of the course attendees had been to multiple courses, so we had a very seasoned PRI group to say the least.

I love the Impingement and Instability material because it allows us to explore the application of the PRI science at a secondary level, beyond the introductory level so many people are familiar with from our introductory courses. It allows us to address several myths that emerge from the introductory material, that may seem true at an introductory level, but prove false at a secondary or advanced level. 3 myths that were discussed with this group are which side is truly the problem side? Do we seek to flex or extend? Is the right upper trapezius a problem or an important part of the solution? We had a refreshing and inspiring discussion on all of these topics and we were able to advance the thinking of a very forward thinking group. Some of the feedback from PRCs includes: "This is my third I&I and it is clearly evolved, targeted and refined- tremendous emphasis on left posterior mediastinal expansion", "Loved James' version and simplification of difficult integrated concepts. My best understanding of femoral instability and posterior mediastinal expansion importance in all non-manual techniques" and "Great clarity on the sequence of left low trap vs right low trap. My favorite course in all the PRI courses".

Thanks to everyone. it was great being there with all of you. And a special thank you to my new friend Isabella, daughter of PRC Jaime Blanton. Not only did she bring the smiles, the artwork and serve as a model for our new upcoming PRI Integration for Pediatrics course, she took the I&I group picture, all by herself. Way to go Isabella!!

Posted April 18, 2019 at 9:17PM
Categories: Courses

I had a great time with Brian Benjamin, DPT, PRC and the team at ProActive Physical Therapy teaching the new and improved Postural Respiration course. It was great having a number of experienced PRI clinicians present in the class to set the tone and help guide the new attendees, like Lisa Kelly, PT, PRC, and both Joshua Merrick, DPT and Rachel Kroncke, DPT, who have each attended 9 previous PRI courses. Those with experience were helpful for the 12 first time attendees in many ways, asking appropriate questions, providing guidance in the lab and overall just helping to make it a fun and rewarding experience for everyone.

The new research articles and references included in this course really made the first part of Day 1 interesting and educational. It was powerful to take a close look at the important relationships between static asymmetry, dynamic respiration and patterned respiration. Experienced PRI clinicians as well as the first time attendees really benefited from the discussion with the material organized in this way. It was nice to redirect the focus back to the classic PRI concept of Left Posterior Mediastinal Expansion, something that has been a priority at this Institute for years, but can be overlooked if we're not careful.

Other highlights of the course include the new explanatory sections for the AIC and BC tests, as well as the new Posterior Mediastinum Respiratory Reach Test. It was good to clear up the details of why we use a balloon for respiratory training with the new Standing and Seated PRI Balloon Techniques. It was also good to spend time with each of the newly organized Inhibition sections, for the Right Intercostal, Left Pectoral, Paravertebral, Anterior Neck, Right Latissimus and Left Posterior Mediastinum. And besides the Right BC Treatment Guidelines training, it was nice to have 2 full case studies in the appendix to help with practical application of the material.

Overall a great weekend in a beautiful place focusing on PRI fundamentals, as I was honored to teach the flagship course of this Institute with a great group of professionals. It was meaningful for me to strengthen old relationships as I built new ones with some amazing people, who I am now grateful to call friends and associates.

James Anderson teaching Postural Respiration in Fort Collins

James Anderson with course attendees following Postural Respiration in Fort Collins

Posted March 5, 2019 at 4:06PM
Categories: Courses

A great weekend in Chicago at Pilates Central with Donna Byrne, PRC and her awesome team of Physical Therapists, Athletic Trainers, and Pilates/Yoga Instructors. Dan Houglum, PRC served as a capable lab assistant and the entire Pilates Central Team were warm and welcome hosts. Besides Donna and Dan, we were grateful to have 3 other PRCs in the course: Jesse Ham, PRC, Alex Maag, PRC and Jill Maida, PRC.

Pilates Central - PRI Integration for Geriatrics Course

Of the 32 people in attendance, 4 of them were first time attendees, and we had fun getting to know them. When you attend an Affiliate Course as your first PRI course, you are an instant VIP and we make sure you feel welcome and that you are not left behind on any of the new concepts. We checked in regularly with the first timers and we were able to stay on track for them throughout both days. In fact, as it turned out, these 4 VIPs ended up having some of the best questions and concept summaries of the entire group. Yes, I'm talking about you Candis. You made Rapid City, South Dakota proud (even though I know you are a transplant). Beyond tailoring the course to first timers, it was great to also expand on some interesting principles for those with more PRI experience. Always fun to keep it simple and also strengthen the experienced.

James Anderson, PRC Instructing a PRI non-manual technique, PRI Integration for Geriatrics course

 The group was grateful for the simplified explanation of AIC patterned development, ZOA acquisition, lateralized frontal plane performance, integrated upright standing dynamics, and gait performance. The use of the PRI Integration for Geriatrics Tests in sidelying and sitting provided some great assessment options for the immobile, frail and chronic, while keeping our focus on gait deficits specific to each side of the body. The Positioning Techniques, the Group Exercise Techniques, the Functional Routines Handout and the appendix full of useful Geriatric exercises were a big hit. The functional bed, recliner, seated, transfer and standing sections in the appendix were a great resource for clinicians working with this type of patient.

James Anderson, PRI Integration for Geriatrics Course

Besides there being 6 PRCs in the room throughout the weekend, there were many in attendance who had been to several PRI classes and had lots of experience using traditional PRI tests and techniques. One of my favorite things about the Affiliate Courses is that they provide a fresh approach and innovative ideas, even for seasoned PRI practitioners. I was reminded of this fact when I received the following message from a fellow PRI Faculty Member and PRC and good friend Jesse Ham: "James, clinically, I am loving the ability to achieve left laterality into the back seat with the posterior mediastinal feel/sensation in seated and being able to reposition a pelvis in hook-lying with alternating respiration. Thank you for adding layers of understanding to what I already knew and appreciated about PRI." You're welcome.

PRI Integration for Baseball (Glendale Arizona) - Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona was the site of this year's PRI Integration for Baseball course and it was a beautiful setting and a great course. Jimmy Southard, ATC was an excellent host. He took the extra time and energy to make sure everyone felt welcome and had everything they needed during both days of the course. I was grateful to have been able to co-teach this course again with Ben Hagar, PT, PRC. Ben is an excellent instructor that not only cares about getting it right, but makes sure questions are answered in such a way that course attendees get the most benefit from the discussion. We also appreciated having Kris Naig, PT, PRC with us to help out during lab as a lab assistant.

Roughly 1/3 of the class were first timers at a PRI course and I loved having the interaction with such a fresh group. First and foremost, we respect and appreciate that so many new professionals were willing to invest their time and resources into learning about the science of Postural Restoration. The first half of the first day was completely devoted to properly introducing fundamental principles and concepts to this new audience so we were all on the same page as we moved forward into the performance component of the material. We discussed human respiratory asymmetry, the patterns associated with this asymmetrical respiratory drive and how these patterns relate to phases in the gait cycle. We further discussed appropriate ways to minimize these patterns so movement pathways become unrestricted for baseball performance.

Then Ben moved the group into an interactive discussion around phases of early and late throwing mechanics, complete with a breakdown of slow motion video for each component of throwing. After bringing the group up to speed on the desired movement outcome for each phase of throwing, Ben was able to highlight compensatory movement tendencies for both right and left handed throwers because of the L AIC/R BC pattern. His mechanical breakdown of the throwing sequence was further expanded to include reciprocal movement assessment of the wrist, forearm, elbow and shoulder in three dimensions. These patterned considerations were also applied to early and late hitting mechanics to end the afternoon session on day 1.

Day 2 was all about thoracic performance, objective testing and treatments for Superior T4 Syndrome, a common presentation in baseball. I started the morning discussion with right vs left sided considerations for the abdominal wall, lower trapezius and serratus anterior. I also went into the rotational considerations across the axial skeleton for a R BC athlete vs a Superior T4 Syndrome athlete and discussed limitations with rotation commonly seen both before and after addressing the L AIC/R BC pattern. Ben then took over and guided the group through lecture and lab for the 3 baseball specific performance tests used in this course. It was nice to go through the testing process together in each of the lab groups and to take the time to analyze the testing results and to begin to make treatment decisions. He then took the testing information into a discussion of treatment and focused on the baseball athlete with Superior T4 Syndrome.

It was encouraging for the class to stay so focused on this particular category of rotational overhead athlete for a couple of reasons: First, because such a high percentage of baseball players develop Superior T4 Syndrome and second, because a full correction of Superior T4 Syndrome patterned and non-patterned rotational limitations corrects so many other things, for both right and left handed athletes. After learning and practicing these treatment techniques together in lab groups, Ben finished the second day outlining training considerations for both a right and left hander during stride to cocking and during acceleration to follow through. A welcome compliment to the detailed throwing analysis completed with all the slow motion video on day one. Overall, a great course with a great group of baseball professionals, that certainly helped all of us become better at what we seek to be good at.

Posted November 27, 2018 at 10:23PM
Categories: Courses

Impingement and Instability (Lima, Ohio)- Enjoyed my first trip to the historic city of Lima in Northwest Ohio and it was a fun interesting weekend. Thank you to Alex Maag, DPT, PRC for your generosity as our host site coordinator and to the entire Lima Memorial Hospital rehab team for making the visit such a nice one.

I learned some cool things about Lima Ohio, before even getting there. Several people who knew I was going to Lima had the same question for me, "while you are there, are you gonna go to Kewpee Burger?" I didn't know much about it, but enough people asked me about it and shared their enthusiasm for the place, I knew I had to visit the historic burger joint while in town (twice :). I learned the small burger chain began in Flint Michigan in 1923 and it was named after the Kewpee Doll, originally being called the "Kewpee Motel Hamburg". The burgers were square and tasted a lot like a Wendy's hamburger and they were offered with chocolate shakes that tasted a lot like a Wendy's Frosty. C'mon Dave Thomas (headquartered in nearby Columbus), come clean and acknowledge that your great idea for a burger chain may not have been that original. And to Kewpee Burger, thank you for all the great innovative ideas and for your tasty offerings.

 Impingement and Instability, ... speaking of innovative ideas and useful offerings. In this case the innovation and usefulness was designed for the world of rehabilitation and performance medicine. I have been grateful to Ron Hruska for putting this body of work together since i first had exposure to the material back in 2004 (the first formal I & I course was actually taught in 2007) and I appreciate the honor he has given me to teach it. It is the course that keeps on giving. I have attended and taught this course more than probably anybody else, except maybe Mike Cantrell, MPT, PRC and I learn something new each time I teach it. I can't believe how truly innovative this material was 14 years ago when I was first exposed to it and it continues to challenge and impress me to this day.

The course is all about neurological awareness and sense of three things: 1) breath, 2) body position and 3) upright frontal plane control of center of gravity in space. When you lose these senses and/or the neurological awareness of these senses, instability can emerge in several different areas. This course goes over the neurological reference centers needed to minimize instability at the calcaneus, femur, ilium and scapula. The course then goes on to provide treatment recommendations for stabilization of the foot and ankle, tibia, femur, ilium and scapula, designed to be superimposed on top of the good preliminary work of AF and TS repositioning and stabilization, learned in PRI's introductory courses. Thank you Ron for an awesome body of work that continues to challenge and inspire.

Posted November 13, 2018 at 9:08PM
Categories: Courses

Grateful to be able to teach Postural Respiration this last weekend in Lincoln at the Postural Restoration Institute. Especially grateful that Ron was not traveling this week and that he was able to join me for the presentation. It reminded me of the early years of PRI when Ron brought me along to co-teach with him as he mentored me. I remember him taking the lead in those early courses and letting me chime in as I became more knowledgeable and confident. It was truly an honor this time around for me this be able to take the lead and to have Ron there to chime in to support what I was saying. Truly humbling and also very fun.

Besides getting to teach with Ron again, it was a cool weekend blending old relationships with new ones. I got to see Tim Newman, a neuromuscularly minded LMT I have known since the early 2000’s. It was also fun to see Tricia Athans, PT, PRC from Sandhills Sports Performance in North Carolina and Michelle Spicka, DPT, of Husker Rehabilitation and Wellness Center in Lincoln. Thanks for your support Michelle and for bringing 4 of your co-workers. Also appreciate Nick and Travis at Athletes Performance Center in Omaha for sending 5 members of your physical therapy team. Great to have them all there with us.

And thank you to a new friend, Nick Monzu, who was very generous serving as the demo for non-manual and manual techniques to give people insights on how the treatments look and “feel”. Also fun to have Lori Thompson, MPT, PRC in the house to support the class as a lab assistant and to make things better just because she was there. I always learn a lot when I listen to, learn from and have the opportunity to share with Lori.

The content of this Postural Respiration course provides an opportunity to delve into fundamental PRI concepts and explore both non-manual and manual treatments for thoraco abdominal patterns and patho-mechanics. Concepts like the ability to sense a respiratory breath from both sides of the diaphragm, the ability to achieve posterior mediastinal expansion sense on the left side and properly sequenced apical expansion on the right side were explored on both days. The power of a properly postured diaphragmic breath, the respiratory pause and use of lateralized airflow training to minimize patterned airflow were also discussed. Having Ron in attendance allowed clarification on all the principles being discussed and connection to the many research articles referenced throughout this manual, with the prospective of the institute’s founder.

Posted November 2, 2018 at 5:26PM
Categories: Courses

PRI Integration for Geriatrics (Minneapolis, MN)- An awesome weekend in the Twin Cities of Minnesota with the great team at IMPACT Physical Medicine and their course coordinator, Christie Amundson, PT, DPT, HFS, PRC. Their owner, Mr. Stan Babel is a long-time friend of mine and both a gentlemen and a scholar, simply stated. I have been fortunate enough to work with their clinic over the last 17-18 years teaching and consulting and Stan has always treated me with the upmost kindness and respect (and for the record, he takes me to the best restaurants in St. Paul). This weekend reminded me of all my friendships over the years within this organization and the many memories I've been able to make over the different generations of IMPACT employees during this time. A big thanks to all of you, past and present.

There were a lot of great people from the Midwest in attendance, and I want to thank my two lab assistants, Christie Amundson, PT, DPT, HFS, PRC and Tom Tardiff, PT, DPT, CSCS, PRC for helping make the experience great for the class. You two were very helpful. Beyond all the great Minnesota people in attendance, I was especially appreciative of Matt Rosenboom, OT, for traveling all the way from New York City. I appreciate Matt for a couple of reasons, first because he was willing to travel away from the large coastal cities to attend a course like this in the Midwest, secondly, because he is an Occupational Therapist, and lastly, I love that he has already created collaborative learning with a hand full of PRI experienced people, including an old Protege of mine, Minh Nguyen, OT, PRC.

I highlight the fact that Matt is an OT, because this course has Occupational Therapy written all over it. Besides Matt, there were 9 other Occupational Therapists in attendance and the Physical Therapists got to take time to explore the world of OT, not the other way around. This is meaningful for us because PRI has always been a big fan of interdisciplinary work and appreciating everybody's contribution to the "whole" team. The "Gerald" handout of patterned and preferred "Functional Routines" we discussed on the second day really sums up the functional objectives of this course and helps make the material very practical.

This course has been a gem to share over the last 5 years, especially since completing the updates to the techniques section 2 years ago. People continue to love the exercise appendix, organized into bed, recliner, chair, transfer and standing sections. A couple of you have seen both versions of this course and provided us some valuable feedback on the updates. Thank you in particular, Stephanie Boespfug, PTA, PRC for your valuable insights and the positive feedback on how these new updates have helped you with clinical application working with Geriatrics. It was fun to have you there with us again.

Another reason this course is so fun to present is that it serves as a great introduction to the science of PRI and helps connect people to our fundamental concepts in a simple and non-confusing way. One course attendee wrote, "as a more experienced PRI clinician, I appreciated the amount I still learned exploring basic PRI concepts in this course." Another attendee from last weekend reported, "I am excited to get back to using PRI. I feel like I had stopped, but this course pulled some pieces together for me that I was definitely missing. Thank you." Another course attendee wrote, "Overall, one of the best courses I've been to. Great clinical application for all clinicians working with Geriatrics, not just home health. Pleasantly surprised with my ability to apply this in an outpatient setting. Thank you."

Posted October 22, 2018 at 7:24PM
Categories: Courses

Impingement and Instability (Everett Washington) - A beautiful weekend exploring PRI's secondary level course Impingement and Instability in the northern corridor of the Greater Seattle Area with the good folks at ATI in Everett. A big thank you to Alexa Degel, DPT for handling all the host site coordination issues and making sure I had all that I needed to pull off a great presentation. Your extra effort throughout the weekend made all the difference and was greatly appreciated.

I would like to take the time to thank two attendees who traveled all the way from Singapore, Malaysia and one attendee who traveled all the way from Seoul, South Korea to be with us. David Lee, Wee Ho Lim and JangKeun Kye, you have my respect and appreciation for traveling so far to be with us. Two of the three attended as a direct result of an early trip Ron Hruska made to Seoul back in 2008. JangKeun, thanks for your pioneering spirit and for inviting your friend David to learn about PRI by traveling to America.

And thank you Wee, for exploring the science of PRI and beginning your journey online (including through PRI home study courses), and now by attending actual live courses. I appreciate you being the demo for lateralized respiratory and airflow patterns and showing us how some of the techniques look when carried out with full respect for diaphragm dynamics. It was cool to see your amazement when your right HGIR and left Hor Shoulder Abd was restored to full and equal and full rotation was restored to your neck, after those same measures have not been fully restored at any time in the past. It was also fun to see how surprised you were when an old man (me), was able to drop into a full range of motion overhead squat right in front of you. You made me smile when you said, "I didn't see that coming".

As a class, we learned how to go through a valuable check list of neurological reference centers ("brain"), lateralized performance criteria ("lane") and respiratory performance issues ("breathing"). The autonomic nervous system was very responsive to the brain, lane and breathing approach to balancing axial performance as we worked to minimize instability across the calcaneus, femurs, ilia and scapula. As I noted at the beginning of the course, this Institute is appreciative of each one of you and your journey to get through the introductory coursework and get to this point. I hope you found the journey well worth the effort and felt rewarded by your secondary level coursework experience.

Posted September 28, 2018 at 7:11PM
Categories: Courses

Myokinemetic Restoration (Covington, LA) - Glad to be in the Bayou State. This weekend, I taught PRI's first course in the great state of Louisiana. Ron and Mike have both consulted and taught private course offerings in Louisiana in the past, but this was our first formal course open to the general public and it was a great experience.

Thank you Chris and Karlie McDougall at Renew Physical Therapy in Covington for hosting and making sure the experience was fun for everyone. Thanks for inviting your staff and also for inviting a local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Joey Bonvillain. Our course was better because he stopped in. Your passion for neurology, respiration and biomechanics is palpable and you're helping to spread the news across Southern Louisiana by starting to host PRI courses at your facility.

You guys made everyone feel welcome and you also gave me some top notch recommendations for food and entertainment. Your recommendation to go to the annual White Linen Art Festival in downtown Covington was a great idea for my Saturday Night entertainment and I loved it.

And thanks for introducing me to Cajun seasoned Oysters on the Half Shell, those perfectly spiced Boudin Balls, Crayfish and Fried Alligator. I fell in love with The Chimes and called it my new favorite restaurant, until I realized most all the food in Southern Louisiana tasted that good. And the Pralines you gifted me from the French Quarter Candy Market, forget about it, I'm all in.

Dave Giardina is an Athletic Trainer and Therapist on the Renew team who actually was Chris McDougall's little league baseball coach. Dave, it was great to have you there, for more than one reason. First, you are seasoned enough to get my jokes, smiling and laughing when some of the younger clinicians look at me like I just said something totally out there. But mostly because your comments and questions were so valuable and your example of being a lifelong learner inspired us all. Thanks for being you Dave.

Also thanks to our model patient, Allison Roux, who helped demonstrate the exercise progressions for the class with growing confidence. Thanks for your questions, but mostly for your feedback to the group on how the exercises felt to you. You and I are the same age and when you said your left hip stopped clicking and felt secure after literally clicking every day since you were 19 years old, you made me stop and think about how many steps I've taken since I was 19 and what a frustration that might have been. The concept of "Ligamentous Muscle", as taught in this Myokinematic Restoration course can truly be life changing. Thanks for reminding me of that fact and helping the rest of the class realize how powerful it can be when applied correctly.

And thank you Jeff Bangs for bringing your enthusiasm to the class and your helpful insights as an Athletic Trainer in professional sports. Thank you to your mentor and my friend Navin Hettiarachchi for recommending that you come to this course and for being such an inspirational leader for everyone on the Wizards staff. And so you know Jeff, I did follow up with Navin and he confirmed that you did indeed gave him that big hug I requested you give him from me. Thanks for following through on that. You're a great young talent with an obvious passion for continued learning and you're going to go far.

Posted August 23, 2018 at 4:27PM
Categories: Courses

Northeastern University hosted another wonderful weekend on their beautiful campus in the south end of Boston. Grateful to have such awesome hosts as we were honored to present our secondary level course, Impingement and Instability, to a wonderful group of professionals from several disciplines. Nate Bocko, Michelle Boland, Mike Anderson, Justin Parent, Dan Sanzo and Dan Adamietz, you guys were first class and represented Northeastern Sports Medicine very well. Your support for the science of PRI is appreciated and means a lot. Loved the discussion about athletic training and strength and conditioning application in collegiate athletics. Thank you for your willing participation throughout the weekend.

And thank you to Hannes Bartz, a motivated Physiotherapist who traveled all the way from Germany to attend this class. Awesome to have you there with us. As an American, I have never traveled to Europe to participate in continuing education, so I always tip my hat to professionals who make this kind of a commitment to be with us. Thank you for being such an attentive student, listening to and asking really good questions in a second language. Sorry I didn't know more Deutsch. Your candid and honest approach to learning was both refreshing and humorous.

It was also really cool to have 4 PRCs in attendance (including myself). Thank you Donna Behr, Anita Furbush and Karen Taylor-Soiles for adding your experience and insights to the course experience. And special thanks to you Donna Behr, for your past presentations to the sports performance staff at Harvard University. Were it not for your mentoring mentality, we may not have had Yumi Kuscher and Andrei Tarsici in attendance from the Athletic Training Staff at Harvard. Where would we be without all of Andrei's great questions? And sorry I kept calling you Andrew for the entire first half of the first day Andrei. Your questions were great.

The class established some powerful themes the first day that we were able to maintain throughout both days to help provide more clarity with clinical application. Neurology, frontal plane Lateralization and the management of hemispheric performance during rotational activities. Thank you guys for working with my analogy of getting ticketed on Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard when I was a young student at UNLV. For those of you who did not attend the course, I can't say anymore than that. You know what they say about "What happens in Vegas,...".

I really loved the comments from so many of you stating that this course really opened up key application principles of PRI, beyond just the basics of the 3 introductory courses. Its great to re-look at all 3 of those courses with a different set of lenses, figuratively and literally. The complexity of PRI really does start to become simple when hemispheric lateralization and the autonomic nervous system are fully respected.

Posted June 14, 2018 at 1:44PM
Categories: Courses
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