The Olympic and Cascade Mountain ranges provided a spectacular back-drop for Postural Respiration, hosted by Erin Rajca, DPT, PRC, Betsy Baker-Bold, PT, PRC, and Leslie Kinoshita, all PTs with ATI Physical Therapy. The course kicked off with a discussion on the two respiratory diaphragms and how the right hemi-diaphragm over-powers the left, creating the lateralized, predictable patterns of breathing and movement present in us all. This segued into the symbiotic relationship between the hemi- diaphragms and ribs: i.e. well-positioned diaphragms allow rib movement, and proper rib movement/expansion helps to maintain diaphragm position to keep patterned movement in check. This concept was woven into defining the what, why, when, and how of inhibiting the L AIC and facilitating the R AIC to provide a foundation for synchronized movement of a thorax over a pelvis – i.e. early stance phase of gait. This synchronization provides the foundation for the subsequent separation of the thorax on the pelvis at mid to late stance. The end game: alternating, reciprocal – aka “tri-planar” --respiration and movement!
Responding to previous course feedback, a fair amount of time was devoted to practicing the nuances of both non-manual and manual techniques and where they fit into a patient’s/client’s program. Attendees were able to sense rib movement and air flow, in the roles of patient and practitioner, and to sense engagement of the muscles that oppose the patterns. Thank you to our models: Greg Lewerentz, Geneva Bender, Jeremy Kirschner, and Maryann Kuchera (and to Erin Krekling for being a ready and willing back-up). Each of these individuals enabled the class to experience the unique challenges of stiff rib cages, belly breathing tendencies, and/or superior T4 syndrome.
Thank you to all participants this weekend – you were a spirited, engaging group with thoughtful questions and feedback!