Karen Jiran, MPT, PRC

Tell us about your journey with PRI that began back in 2001 at your first course. How did you become interested in Postural Restoration?

Shortly after I graduated from college I was introduced to PRI concepts at a Protonics course offered by EMPI.  However, it wasn’t until I attended a Myokinematic Restoration course that was taught by Ron that I really began to understand PRI.  The concepts were difficult to grasp, but I began using them as I treated.  My early success, particularly with chronic patients, convinced me that there was something profound to the science and I eagerly began taking more and more courses.

You’ve attended multiple courses over the years, taught and mentored other clinicians as an Associate Speaker for PRI, and served on our PRC Application Review Committee. What advice can you share with our readers for successfully integrating PRI into your practice?

First of all, PRI takes significant practice to perfect.  When you first take the course, and see PRI demonstrated, it is very exciting.  However, it is amazing the number of ways that patients will compensate effectively defeating PRI techniques.  It takes time to learn how to spot patients compensation techniques and learn to guide patients to facilitate the correct muscles and inhibit the compensating patterns.  Understand that each patient will have the potential to teach you as much as any PRI Course you may attend.  Second, you must understand PRI is not a cookbook treatment plan.  It is important to understand the basis of every test so that you may interpret the findings . The tests are the tools that guide you in your treatment progression.

You have been a private practice owner for a number of years.  Do you have any advice for therapists considering private practice?

Yes, go someplace else (lol – just kidding)!  The primary reason my business partner Carrie Langer and I decided to go into private practice was that it gave us the opportunity to treat patients as we thought they should be treated.  Unfortunately, most PT clinics we are familiar with treat 1 patient every half hour.  It is extraordinarily difficult to properly treat patients using PRI techniques in that amount of time.  Because of the hour visits we do make the same profits of a traditional PT practice.  To compensate for this, you will need to keep your overhead low.  One of the best methods we have for this is instituting EMR Software immediately after opening our clinic.  It was a significant initial expense, but has paid for itself many times over in the years since and by doing it immediately; we did not have the huge costs that would have been associated with conversion later on.

You were a member of the very first class to earn the designation of Postural Restoration Certified in 2004 (along with James Anderson, Raulan Young, Jason Masek and Carrie Langer). What made you decide to go through the Postural Restoration Certification process?

I had the luxury of working with Carrie Langer who was just as passionate as I was about the science of PRI.  Once we began to understand PRI concepts, we fed off each other’s success and enthusiasm.  Once certification was an option, wild horses couldn’t have prevented us from getting certified.  As all who have chosen the path of certification will tell you, it was the most rewarding and educational experience one can go through.

Has becoming certified presented any new opportunities you feel you wouldn’t have had otherwise?

Absolutely!  First and foremost, I wouldn’t have the love for what I do without PRI.  Second, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to lecture and have the exposure to other medical professionals without PRI.  And third, I probably would not have gone into private practice without PRI.

You have in-serviced physicians, dentists, optometrists, trainers, etc, around your area.  Has this helped opened doors for your own practice?

Our initial in-service sessions did open some doors, but more importantly they introduced us to other medical professionals who were willing to learn PRI concepts.  Educating these professionals on an ongoing basis gives us a common understanding of PRI science so that we can work together for the best treatment of our patients.  It is the success with our shared patients that creates real opportunities for both us and our medical partners. 

What PRI non-manual techniques do you find yourself using most often?

Being in the upper Midwest we tend to see a lot of patients that are stuck in the posterior extension chain (PEC) pattern.  Therefore I tend to focus on activities that increase flexion of the spine using the abdominals, most importantly the IO/ TA.  For example: Standing Supported IO/TA with Chair or Short Seated Wall Reach with Balloon.

Out of all of the courses PRI offers, do you have a favorite?  If yes, why?

I enjoy all of the course work, but have found the Pelvic Restoration course has advanced my practice further in the last year.  I am grateful for the time that both Lori and Heather have put into the course as it has expanded my understanding of how the pelvic floor diaphragm works with the abdominal wall and respiratory diaphragm to stabilize “the core”.  I was excited to see the course has a new name which better reflects the nature of the course.  That it is not just a woman’s health course, but is applicable to all PRI practitioners.  I encourage all those who have not attended the course to look into attending in the future.

If you were to attend a non-PRI continuing education course, what would it be?

I have discussed this with other PRC therapist and I believe this is one of the most difficult challenges: to find courses that encourages growth and integrates will with PRI concepts.  I look to more neurological based course work than orthopedic.  However since PRI science is expanding, the new course work looking towards vision and auditory components will keep us busy for the foreseeable future.

Do you have any projects or plans for 2012?

I continue to search for other professionals to further expand our patient’s treatment options.  We also hope to grow our staff with PRI trained therapists.  I look forward to continuing my role as adjunct facility to help spread the adoption of PRI science.


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