Courses

Divergent Physical Therapy and Wellness in Wellesley,MA just out of Boston proper was the location for Cervical Revolution on Oct. 22-23, 2022.  Cervical Revolution is the introduction to "top-down" PRI concepts of neurology especially autonomics and how the cervical spine at the atlas and occiput directs the cranium and ultimately occlusion. Since this is a complex system, there is also a connection on how occlusion and the cranium can also direct the entire body and all of it's postural and physiologic systems especially when the sphenoid becomes "fixed" and oriented while the rest of the axial skeleton compensates when in a pathologic state. The A/O runs the show until over-referencing with occlusal and cranial consequences drive pathomechanics.

 


What a great group and facility. Wellesley is a beautiful town and was surrounded by forested neighborhoods turning fall colors. Divergent is a state-of-the-art therapy and training center and lends itself to a perfect environment for learning.

This course was unique in that we had 7 PRC/PRT's that made for high level clinical discussions. There were students that were local from the east
coast as well as SoCal, Honolulu and even Alabama. Shout out to Alan, Cody and Paige for the long travels and especially Cody from Honolulu and a 10 hour flight. Neil Hallinan, PRT came up from  'Jersey and always has his expertise and knowledge that adds to the discussion. Thank you to Mike, Connor, Garrett and Cameron for providing their facility to all of us. Big thanks to Louise Kelley, DPT, PRC who brings energy, needed details and technique application to the course. And last but not least, thank you Karen Taylor-Soiles, PT, MA, PRC for providing a warm home, wonderful food and a seasoned provider's insight to the weekend. Louise and I are grateful to you and all in attendance.

Posted November 1, 2022 at 9:02PM
Categories: Courses Clinicians Science

No one could have chosen a better place than Alpine PT in Seattle to initiate my presentation of Cranial Resolution. Although the content of this extensively researched course remains the same, the institute is turning the delivery of the material over to a clinician, someone who has spent nearly four decades integrating the concepts behind this course into her practice. And, fortunately, the people attending this past rendition of the course in Seattle appeared to truly embrace this transition.

The evolution of the questions they asked and the comments they made over the weekend, from both the repeat and first-time attendees, reflected a progressive understanding of:


•    How postural compensations of the body relate to lateralized physical, physiological and psychological adaptations of the brain;
•    How oscillatory frequencies influence the ANS and, subsequently, the CNS;  
•    How poor pressure regulation can lead to dysafferentation and over-convergence of occlusion, hearing, sight, and sound production; and,
•    How, why, when and which non-manual techniques (and some manual techniques featured in the manual) can be used to influence these systems.


It was worth flying across the country, from the eastern seaboard of NC to the Pacific coast, to join Ron in teaching this course, even if the 3-hour time zone difference wreaked temporary havoc with my own ultradian rhythms. I met so many remarkable people: The owners of Alpine PT, Eli, Jeremiah and Murph, could not have been kinder, sharing local coffee and their local bridge troll. Eva, who works at Alpine, made an excellent lab specimen, allowing us to clearly demonstrate both the negative and positive effects biased nasal respiration has on autonomics. And having a dentist, Dr. Jason Pehling, present was such a plus since discussions of patients he shares with several of the local PRI therapists truly brought the course concepts to life. Brandon, Lucas, Paige and Matt all asked such insightful questions and Kevin, who spoke of how he planned to use the concepts from this course to treat crazed horses, were all wonderful to meet. And Kelsey, who took this course to be able to integrate the material into a fitness program she runs for clients with Parkinson’s Disease, touched my heart since it was through my extensive work with this population that I first discovered the role posture and pressure played in the dysfunctional oscillations that are associated with the development of dysautonomia, dystonia and dyskinesia. And, Zac, who gave me the biggest confidence boost of all when, being someone so seasoned in PRI, he came up to me and told me that one of my illustrations regarding how sensory perception affects our autonomic tension "was pure gold." It meant the world to me to hear this from him.

It was my first outing in delivering this material, thanks to everyone for being so kind and giving me such constructive feedback. We will all improve as a result of this experience.  

Posted November 1, 2022 at 7:56PM
Categories: Courses Clinicians Science

Participating with attendees who are interested in latero-trusive function offered by teeth for cervical and podal oscillatory oscillation, is a dream of mine, that has come true. It requires years of work and effort to reach the natural level of biologic non-denominational behavior offered by an Institute or culture of people who believe in the benefits of balancing biased biologic behavior for optimal growth and development. Skip George and I have often discussed the need to develop “non-denominational” minded practitioners in a society where participation is restricted if specific education and doctrine is not abided by or adhered to. This Occlusal course, is a course that was designed for any person or discipline, who does not need to follow or adhere to a specific tooth occlusal denomination. In other words, having nine dentists whom I have not met before, show interest in this Institute’s mindset on how teeth regulate autonomics, podal pressure, occipital-atlanto oscillation resonance and palatopharyngeal patency is so refreshing.

This is not a course one will find in a dental school or program. It is a course that I developed around tooth ‘trusive’ interferences that are associated with oral and non-oral muscular or postural behavior and respiratory flow. Use of PRI appliances and techniques, that I designed to disrupt teeth interferences that ‘lock’ cortical and cranial bones in unilateral positions of functional dominance, allows dentists to become better interdisciplinary minded movement generalists, and movement specialists to become better interdisciplinary minded dental occlusal generalists. The details on how to improve a bite after limited or non-limited occlusion that reflects a neutral occipital atlanto-state, should be provided by the dentist; and the details on how to improve upright interlimb and intralimb atlanto function, after desirable limited or non-limited occlusion has been achieved on a neutral occipital atlanto-position, can be provided by the movement specialist.

After teaching this particular tertiary course, RJ and I feel it can be improved now, by focusing on these clinical details for both the dentists and the movement specialists in the future. People like Drs. Ryan Huckeby DMD, Jonathon Nelson DMD, Rebecca Griffiths DDS, Hailun Wu DDS, Anne Chee DDS, and Annisya Bagdonas DDS,RN have helped me in advancing this course for future participants. A special thank you goes to Deanna Elliott PT,DPT,PRC for helping me in teaching this course in person. She was a great help and her dialogue was especially appreciated.

Posted October 27, 2022 at 4:08PM
Categories: Clinicians Courses Science

What an amazing weekend at The Cantrell Center in Warner Robbins! Thank you Tassie for hosting another PRI course. Your passion for PRI and the science is electric. Almost the entire Cantrell staff was in attendance as well—thank you all for embracing the PRI path and learning. Other attendees were equally energetic in the quest to learn PRI attendees like Gregory attending his 10th course to Kimberly attending her 1st one. This group was attentive, engaged, and asked questions. I loved being your “Coach” for the weekend and sharing Pelvis Restoration with you. Compression and decompression of the thorax and pelvis on the left and right side via the respiratory and pelvic diaphragm integration were highlighted in order to restore alternation and oscillation for Forward Locomotor Movement. I had a lot of fun being in the presence of amazing clinicians this past weekend with their desire to learn. Thank you!

CLICK HERE to view the full photo Album (Thanks to Cantrell Center's Jen Z.)

On a side note, Kelly---I made my flight.  Thank you for your insight.  I made it to the gate 20 minutes prior to take off. 

Posted October 6, 2022 at 2:59PM
Categories: Courses Clinicians Science

What was I doing in a bank vault all weekend, admiring larger-than-life action shots of Steph Curry, Lindsey Vonn, Misty Copeland, and Michael Phelps? Presenting Postural Respiration to a fantastic group of clinicians, of course!   Baltimore’s iconic Bank of America building has been refurbished and now houses FX Studios and the Under Armour Performance Center.

Half the class were newcomers to the science of PRI. The science asks these newcomers to, for a moment, put down your beveled scrapers and dry needling filaments. Pause a moment before you mobilize a joint or release fascia. Put aside any preoccupation with extremity joints and focus your attention, instead, on where movement begins: the thorax.

 

Throughout the weekend, we cited research from luminaries, such as Kapandji, Hodges, Wallden, Chaitow, and DeTroyer, to support the concepts covered in this course:  
-    Diaphragm zone of apposition (thank you Nate Taylor for reminding us of its importance).
-    Respiratory state of twist that is the precursor to habitual, reflexive patterns of movement and the musculoskeletal pain syndromes that we treat.
-    Paradoxical, inefficient breathing that impacts and reflects chest wall and pleura restrictions.
-    How to restore pelvic and rib cage position, through techniques that reinforce abdominal oblique activity and chest wall expansion.
-    How to retrain previously inhibited, inaccessible muscles to promote new, healthy patterns of movement to better sense the environment they’re in and efficiently move through it.

Lab sessions provided application of the above concepts and allowed participants to discover how the “patient-client” in front of them displayed biased sense of air flow and biased orientation of their chest wall. They learned how to coach their partner to novel positions that retrain the nervous system and promote a new, desirable sense of compression and decompression. All participants sensed freedom from habitual movement patterns.

 

I can’t help but think that the athletes adorning the walls, all of whom reached the pinnacle of their respective careers and displayed remarkable longevity, mastered the art of air flow, pressure regulation, and chest wall movement variability during both performance and during rest and recovery. This is what we should strive for in all of our patients-clients.

A huge “thank you” to the professionals of FX Physical Therapy for hosting: Matt Bordeau, Sean Jones, Christine Spurlock, Morgan Taylor, Jennifer Tola, and Mary Williams.  

Thank you also to Miranda Stauffer, Danelle Warner, Amy Morris, Kenya Lewis, Dylan Irving, Jackie De Conti, and Kenneth Scott for your willingness to be the models for tests and techniques.  

I hope all attendees left the course feeling empowered to immediately apply the tests and techniques and begin to weave this new, powerful paradigm, one patient-client at a time, into your approach to care. And to the Newbies:  Welcome to PRI Nation!

Posted October 4, 2022 at 6:38PM
Categories: Courses Techniques Science

The weekend in Valencia, Ca teaching Myokinematic Restoration was one for the books. The majority of the class were first timers to PRI which is always rewarding to be able to introduce PRI concepts such as inhibition, neutrality, and acetabulum on femur movement. Getting to teach with Jason Miller PT, PRC was a joy as well and having 2 clinical perspectives added great benefit. Locatelli Rao PT, PRC was an asset to have as a lab assistant and he brought tremendous value by helping the attendees hone in on their assessment skills. They learned the interpretation of the Hruska Adduction Drop test and spent time with the Hruska ADD and ABD Lift tests during lab. We discussed the “money muscles” to help inhibit the left Anterior Interior Chain (L AIC). The staff at Henry Mayo is nothing short of amazing and the facility is top notch!

Posted October 3, 2022 at 4:03PM
Categories: Courses Techniques Science

What a wonderful time Ron and I had in Chapel Hill North Carolina last weekend with the first offering of the Pediatric Evolution: An Integrated Approach to Optimizing Functional Development and Upright Growth secondary course. We welcomed the cooler fall weather and were graciously hosted by the crew at Advance Physical Therapy: Jean Masse, Susan Henning, Joe Belding, Molly Miller, Heather McLaughlin, and Phil DeNigris.

With an intimate and in-person group, we were able to have some fascinating discussions about the sequencing of human sensory motor development during the first several years of life, and how these components are influenced by specific developmental processes, for example: tonic neck reflexes, lower extremity extension, visual and central auditory processing, stomatognathic sensorimotor shifting, vocal communication, cognitive processing and how this integration is engrained through kinesemiotic experiences (unrestricted movement, joy and fun!)

We were reminded about the evolution of theories of motor control and what we know about how movement develops, from reflexive survival skills to functional motor performance to adaptations and neuroplasticity. Nine well-referenced principles of how sensory motor skills and the developmental processes listed above are integrated for bi-hemispheric, bi-lateralized, and bilaterally sensed behavior were presented. A sampling of these includes Hemispheric Specialization Relating to Perceptual Patterning, Functional Asymmetry Development, Functional Cortical Dominance, Forces of Gravity on Neuro-developmental Sensory Motor Sequences, and principles of Neuroadaptation. A formal appreciation of Sense of Self develops early and lasts throughout the lifespan, which makes this course relevant and important for patients, clients, and humans of all ages.

Many thanks again to our accomodating hosts for great hospitality, super snacks, and an enviroment that respected the individuals and the tasks. (Did you catch the Dynamic Systems Theory pun?) Special thanks to Jennifer Smart for her valuable contributions to both the creation and presentation of the course, and  also to Carrie Vande Berg, Eric Menchi, Steven Blair, Brandon Byrne and Kyle Langworthy For catalyzing discussions which richly enhanced our teaching.

Posted September 29, 2022 at 4:11PM
Categories: Courses Science

Recently I had the pleasure of travelling to Charlotte NC to teach my last PRI course of 2022, Pelvis Restoration! I was so happy to be joined by no other than my biggest supporter, my husband, Chris Poulin. Chris joined me to help with the lab and answer questions regarding the material presented. It is always great to have him with me, of course, but also to provide insight on application to Athletic Trainers and Strength and Conditioning Specialists. This course is one of my favorite PRI courses not only to teach but to use clinically. It is truly an integrated course when it comes to the discussions of respiration as it relates to the pelvic inlet and outlets. I had several new clinicians and almost half of the class considered themselves Pelvic therapists. I love to have conversations with new clinicians familar with the Pelvic Diaphragm, especially those that do internal work. Their contributions to a challenging patient population, do not go unnoticed. Clinicians familar with the work of Paul Hodges appreciate the integration of respiration, abdominal control and frontal plane pelvic control. PRI sheds a new and exciting missing link to some patients that are not responding to treatment! Personally, I was able to spend some time with my family in Charlotte, enjoy a nice meal at Supperland and cheer on the App State Mountaineers that upset Texas A&M on Saturday night. Teaching PRI is one of my proudest professional achievements I have accomplished in my career. I am thankful for a short fall teaching season. I can now enjoy the next several weekends cheering on my first love the NC STATE Wolfpack Go Pack!! Thank-you to all that have learned from me this year. I am truly honored to be your teacher

Posted September 22, 2022 at 7:17PM
Categories: Clinicians Courses Science

Cervical Revolution came back to Lincoln this past weekend with a large zoom audience spanning internationally from Asia to North America to Europe. I had the pleasure of teaching to a live audience as well as having the added assistance of Louise Kelley, PT to help breakdown PRI concepts including  the finer parts of technique for de-rotation of the Right TMCC as it relates to not only the cervical spine but the entire system as well. In attendance was an impressive interdisciplinary group including movement specialists, strength and conditioning professionals, massage and soft tissue professionals, chiropractors, physical therapists, an osteopath, two dentists and one RN who is also a CSCS wanting to expand his horizons!


This is a course about the cervical spine and the need for revolvement that maintains alternation side to side, brainstem oscillation, temporal bone "wobble" and a jaw that can freely move side to side to keep a neck and nervous system in balance of an asymmetrical human that can stand erect and move fully and freely. Atlas and occipital bones make up a highly neurologic articulation with a brainstem and autonomics that are intimately connected to this highly reflexive region. This course is the gateway to the cranium and the introduction to top down as well as bottom up concepts of PRI. The cervical, cranial and occlusal systems are all integrated in this course and an impressive demonstration for all, especially the dentists, was provided with a simple mouth guard that Ron made for Louise the day before the course started. I demonstrated this stomatognathic example with Louise by first testing her cervical spine with a mouth guard that gave her right molar contact and reinforced her RTMCC pattern resulting in positive tests of her cervical spine. Another mouth guard was then utilized that dis-occluded her right molar contact while giving her left molar contact sense and all of her tests became negative immediately. This demonstrated the neurologic effect of a simple mandibular appliance on not only the cervical spine but the entire neuro-respiratory-biomechanical system.

Needless to say, this was communicated to me by a student as 'mind blowing' and brought an experiential example of the power of this course. Thank you to RJ for expert facilitation of this course over the weekend, Louise Kelley for being such a great lab assistant and team mate and Ron Hruska for spending Friday before the course reviewing advanced PRI concepts. Most of all, thanks for all of the students in attendance especially from international locations that stayed up really late or got up really early and for all of the diverse professions that contributed their advanced thought and experience to the enrichment of this weekend.

Posted September 13, 2022 at 8:12PM

After a three year Covid 19 hiatus, PRI was back at Lindebergs Academy in Munich, Germany to present Postural Respiration and Cervical Revolution in July of this year.  I had the privilege to teach both courses in Munich and it was the highlight of my career filled with many highlights as a faculty member for PRI. 

Students representing diverse disciplines and professions from all over Europe were in attendance.  Germany was well represented as well as Austria, Norway, Ireland, Britain, Australia and even a student who rode a bus for 10 hours from Slovenia!  Shout out to Naja for making that long trip on a bus.  There was even a physical therapist, Paula, who came in from Australia.  Francesca came all the way from Norway and Maria and Julia came in from Vienna and another small town in Austria!  I can’t forget Rob, and no one else will either, from Dublin!  And Beth made it from America on the F1 circuit in Europe!

The interdisciplinary approach of PRI principles spans many specialties and professions and in these courses we had physical therapists, athletic trainers, pilates instructors, personal trainers, kinesiologists, a speech therapist and two M.D.’s that integrate PRI into their practice models.

As a faculty member I was so impressed with the curiosity, energy, warmth and enthusiasm not only from the students but the staff at Lindebergs Academy as well.  Regina was so gracious and helpful with facilitating these two courses providing set up of tables in the course room and great food.  Also, Regina lent me her bicycle so I could ride all over Munich to really get a sense of this magnificent city.  Lindebergs is a state-of-the-art facility and to have the support of Regina and the entire Lindebergs crew is a faculty member’s dream.

Daniel Muller is a PRI veteran and has been vital in our presence at the Academy, Germany and Europe at large.  He was instrumental in making sure these courses were successful and that student and instructor needs were fulfilled beyond expectation.  Daniel also took me around Munich and provided friendship for a stranger in a foreign land for which I am eternally grateful. 

Our lab assistant was the incomparable Kazu Nishimura.  Anyone who can speak two languages impresses me but Japanese, German and English?  The quality of Kazu’s help was another layer of support and enhancement that added to the most positive experience of these two courses and helped enrich the learning experience for everyone in attendance.  He rode a bus for six hours from Berlin!

Munich has been the PRI hub of Europe and once again interest, energy and enthusiasm is growing for more courses.  As a result Pelvis Restoration with Lori Thomsen will be taught next May and then in July  Dan Houglum will teach both Myokinematic Restoration and Impingement and Instability.   The Interest in those three courses was a resounding “we can hardly wait” for PRI to come back.  And as an Institute, we can hardly wait to go back to Munich and continue to build PRI Nation internationally.   Thanks to Ron, Jen, RJ and Hannah for your hard work to help make this trip professionally and  personally satisfying for me.  At the end of teaching I took 10 days to explore and hike the Austrian Alps and the Dolomites of the Italian Alps.  Every moment was quintessential and an irreplaceable lifetime experience to explore and discover a new land, different cultures and spending time in beautiful cities, small towns and hiking in achingly beautiful mountains alone and with friends that live in Europe. 

 

Posted August 29, 2022 at 3:31PM
Categories: Courses Science
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