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

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

Register Now! Limited Space Available

3 Day Course (0 Available) | 25 Participants for Single Day

Early Bird - Full Course (3 Day) $625

No longer available

Regular - Full Course (3 Day) $695

March 1st through April 2nd

Now until April 2nd

April 3-5, 2020 (20.5 Contact Hours)

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

Venue: Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital

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.

Course Objectives

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

  1. Describe how trunk pressures link breathing and postural control using the Soda Pop Can Model.
  2. Describe the multiple, simultaneous roles of the diaphragm as related to breathing, postural control, gastroesophageal reflux, constipation, and venous return.
  3. Demonstrate the role of the vocal folds in normal postural stability responses (balance) and make the case for using speaking valves for patients with tracheostomies.
  4. Contrast normal infant chest wall development to those with impaired breathing mechanics.
  5. Position patients for optimal physiological and biomechanical support of breathing with simple equipment (towels, pillows, etc.).
  6. Use a ventilatory strategy algorithm presented in class to optimally match breathing with movements from bed mobility to athletic endeavors.

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

  1. Present a multi-system (physical and physiologic) evaluation of motor impairments.
  2. Identify the variations of “normal” breathing patterns and discuss the efficiencies/inefficiencies for individual patient conditions.
  3. Evaluate need for, and demonstrate, appropriate neuromotor retraining techniques for patients with ineffective breathing/postural control strategies (health or participation deficits).
  4. Participate in a live patient demonstration (if a patient is available) and suggest possible evaluation and treatment ideas based on the course material.
  5. Design a targeted airway clearance program using the principles of mobilization, expectoration and oral management.
  6. Demonstrate airway clearance techniques, with an emphasis on manual assistive cough techniques, and apply an airway clearance algorithm to specific patient conditions.
  7. Identify thoracic cage/spine restrictions as they pertain to breathing mechanics and postural control (a very brief introduction to musculoskeletal issues).
  8. Evaluate need for, and demonstrate, neuromotor retraining techniques to improve breath support for voicing and postural control (eccentrics).
  9. Suggest means for incorporating the course material into therapy activities in your clinical setting immediately.
Instructor Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc

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.

Schedule Friday - Sunday

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/


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/


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/


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 Andy D’Aquila below:

Andy D’Aquila, MPT, COMT

Outpatient Therapy Administrator

Phone: 314.872.6564

Email: andy.daquila@rankenjordan.org