Postural Respiration – Abilene, TX

Deep in the heart of west Texas located at Elite Physical Therapy in Abilene is where Postural Respiration was taught this past weekend to a diverse group of students from different disciplines and even different countries from halfway around the world. Having a diverse group of students from physical therapy, chiropractic, strength and conditioning, and massage therapy always makes for lively sharing of perspectives.

I had the pleasure and opportunity to have two PRI faculty members, Kasey Ratliff, DPT and Craig Depperschmidt, DPT, assist with teaching, demonstration and lab for testing, non-manual techniques, and manual technique applications. Their presence added so much value for a nurturing learning environment especially to those new to not only Postural Respiration but to PRI as well.

Craig is in the process of learning how to teach Postural Respiration. He did a perfect job describing Anterior Interior Chain (AIC) testing followed up by non-manual techniques to establish re-positioning and neutrality on day one as a foundation to address the brachial chain (BC) on day two. His description and choice of techniques helped one of the students he was demonstrating with find and feel left hamstring and left abdominal wall reference centers. This demonstration provided objective changes that all of the students could observe and begin to understand how to shift laterally from one side of the body to the other to balance the natural asymmetries of the human body. From this foundation the journey into the brachial chain had a firm start for understanding delivery of air pressure sense into the thorax as it provides movement and center of mass variability throughout the entire axial skeleton. Craig will be awesome teaching this course.

Superior T-4 is always challenging for anyone new to Postural Respiration. On day one describing dynamic respiratory considerations with patterned respiration as it relates to accessory muscle of respiration overuse resulting in thoraco-abdominal pathomechanical breathing is an entirely new concept. Slowly over two days Superior T-4 was weaved into the conversation and repeated several times so that by the afternoon on day two the class was well versed on what it is, how to diagnose and how to treat with manual techniques and a home PRI non-manual program starting with Left Serratus and Left Lower Trap then progressing to Right Triceps and Lower Trap.

A significant focus was placed on how to apply a PRI program for our patients. Part of the art of PRI is not only knowing what technique to choose, how to describe and “coach” it for our patients or clients, and then how to progress as described on page 4 in the appendix regarding the Overview of Right Brachial Chain Position Progression and Treatment Guidelines. This takes time and practice to continually master PRI principles and every journey into knowledge starts with basic steps.

I wanted to thank Kasey Ratliff for assisting in not only reading out technique directions during lab but answering questions for students throughout the weekend. She also assisted me in any technical difficulties through the weekend with my PowerPoint “clicker” and her helpful insights for the use of that piece of equipment was vital to ensure a nurturing educational environment!

Thank you for Gad’s group that made the long journey from Taiwan to attend this course. And most especially, thank you so much to physical therapists Kerry and Brian at Elite Physical Therapy for hosting another PRI course. Your support is greatly appreciated! To all, keep stepping into PRI!

– Skip George