If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function

Home Events & Classes If You Can’t Breathe, You Can’t Function

Event Cancelled

The safety of the children and workforce at Ranken Jordan is our number one priority. To protect our patients and staff from the spread of infection including the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have cancelled the "If You Can't Breathe, You Can't Function" course by Mary Massery. Refunds will be issued in the form of a check, sent to the address given on registration.

April 3-5, 2020 (20.5 Contact Hours)

Instructor: Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc and faculty

Integrating Cardiopulmonary and Postural Control Strategies in the Pediatric and Adult Populations

This course, developed by Mary Massery, will challenge the practitioner to make a paradigm shift: connecting breathing mechanics and postural control with management of trunk pressures. Using Dr. Massery’s model of postural control (Soda Pop Can Model), the speaker will link breathing mechanics with motor and physiologic behaviors (a multi-system perspective).  The speaker will present novel research demonstrating the role of vocal folds as postural stabilizers, extending the concept of “core stability” from the vocal folds on the top of the trunk to the pelvic floor on the bottom.  Numerous interventions will be presented that use positioning and ventilatory strategies to optimize motor performance.  Neuromotor breathing retraining techniques and manual assistive cough techniques will be the focus of treatment labs.  Multiple patient cases will be presented throughout the course.  The emphasis of the course will be on developing practical, quick clinical solutions for pediatric and adult patients in all practice settings.

Registration is closed for this event.

At the conclusion of Day 1, participants should be able to:


At the conclusion of Days 2- 3, participants should be able to:

Dr. Massery received her BS in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University in 1977, her DPT from the University of the Pacific in 2004 and her DSc from Rocky Mountain University in 2011. Her publications and interests focus on linking motor behaviors to breathing and/or postural mechanics in both pediatric and adult patient populations.


Dr. Massery has been invited to give over 900 professional presentations in all 50 US states and 16 countries worldwide, including more than 100 presentations for the American Physical Therapy Association, and a full-day post-conference program at the World Congress of Physical Therapy in Singapore.  Mary has delivered keynote and major addresses on topics such as cystic fibrosis and posture, neuropulmonary deficits, pectus excavatum (chest deformities), and connections between posture & breathing.


Mary has received national awards from the APTA, including its highest clinical award,The Florence Kendall Practice Award, honoringone’s outstanding and enduring contributions to the practice of physical therapy.” She has been honored as Outstanding Alumnus of the Year by each of her 3 universities.  She was also awarded Northwestern University’s Alumnae Research Achievement Award.  Mary continues to maintain a private practice in Chicago, specializing in breathing and postural dysfunction.

Friday, April 3rd (7.5 Contact Hours)

Continental Breakfast Provided

8:00 – 8:30 Registration
8:30 – 9:00 Discussion Overview of course topics
9:00 – 10:30 Lecture Breathing and posture: Part 1 – Pressure control (Soda pop model)
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Lecture Breathing … Part 2 – The diaphragm
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:15 Lecture Breathing … Part 3 – The vocal folds
2:15 – 2:25 Break
2:25 – 3:25 Mini-lab Positioning strategies: What can you do in 90 Seconds or less that has a profound and lasting effect?
3:25 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 4:15 Lecture Normal and abnormal chest wall development and function
4:15 – 5:30 Mini-lab Ventilatory or movement strategies:  Integrating neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, respiratory and sensory systems


Saturday, April 4th (7.5 Contact Hours)

Continental Breakfast Provided

8:00 – 8:30 Coffee and …
8:30 – 9:00 Discussion Review, synthesis and Q&A
9:00 – 10:15 Lecture/Demo Chest assessment:  Focus on musculoskeletal alignment and breathing patterns
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 Lab Assessing breathing patterns and postural implications
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 1:45 Lecture Airway clearance: From Sherlock to solution
1:45 – 2:45 Lab Facilitating efficient breathing patterns and endurance training: Neuromotor techniques for diaphragm, chest and other breathing patterns
2:45 – 3:00 Break
3:00 – 4:30 Lab Facilitating breathing patterns (continued)
4:30 – 5:30 Demo Patient demonstration (if possible)


Sunday, April 5th (5.5 Contact Hours)

Continental Breakfast Provided

8:00 – 8:30 Coffee and …
8:30 – 9:00 Discussion Review, synthesis and Q&A
9:00 – 10:30 Lecture/Discussion Differential diagnosis (patient demo): “Find the Problem”
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 12:00 Lab Airway clearance lab: Focus on manual assistive cough techniques
12:00 – 12:45 Lunch – Pizza & Salad provided
12:45 – 1:15 Lecture/Demo Brief introduction to rib cage and trunk musculoskeletal restrictions associated with breathing difficulties – Quick Screening!
1:15 – 2:30 Lab Enhancing breath support for phonation and postural control
2:30 – 3:00 Discussion / Homework Group problem solving:  Putting it all together

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital

11365 Dorsett Road

Maryland Heights, MO 63043


If you have any questions please reach out to Janine Ford below:


Janine Ford, PT, MBA

Rehabilitation Administrator

Phone: 314.684.1812

Email: janine.ford@rankenjordan.org