Auburn Medical Center

Main Phone Number800-342-9919   Online ChatOnline Chat
Events Calendar RSS

If You Can't Breathe,You Can't Function

8/7/2014 - 8/9/2014 8:30am - 5:30pm

IF YOU CAN’T BREATHE, YOU CAN’T FUNCTION - Integrating Cardiopulmonary and Postural Control Strategies (Pediatric and Adult Populations)

Thursday - Saturday, August 7 -9, 2014

Held at Jackson Hall in Tacoma


Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc

Course Description

This course will challenge the practitioner to make a paradigm shift; acknowledging the importance of the cardiopulmonary system as an integral component of postural control. The speaker will present a model of postural control (Soda Pop Can Model) that demonstrates how breathing mechanics are linked to motor and physiologic behaviors. This is the cornerstone for the speaker’s multi-system clinical approach to the evaluation and treatment of trunk and/or respiratory impairments. She will demonstrate how to integrate the cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, integumentary and internal organ systems into every evaluation and intervention, as well as how to recognize physiologic causes or consequences that may accompany these motor dysfunctions. The speaker will show the participants how to effectively pair ventilatory strategies with specific movements in order to establish the pulmonary system as an asset rather than a liability for their patients, regardless of whether their original diagnoses were physiologic or physical. The emphasis of the presentation will be on developing and applying practical quick clinical solutions that are applicable for both pediatric and adult patients in all practice settings.

Click Here for Downloadable Brochure

Course Objectives

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

1. State how the mechanics of breathing and postural control are inter-active and inter-dependent components of normal movement strategies.

2. Describe the multiple, simultaneous roles of the diaphragm as related to breathing, postural control, gastroesophageal reflux, constipation and venous return.

3. Contrast normal musculoskeletal development of the chest in infants and the concurrent motor skill acquisition to that observed in patients with impaired trunk function resulting from multiple different diagnostic categories.

4. Position patients for optimal cardiopulmonary function (physiological and biomechanical) with simple equipment such as towel rolls and pillows in recumbent and upright positions for use in and out of hospital settings.

5. Optimize patient function by integrating appropriate ventilatory strategies with all movements from low level activities to athletic endeavors.

6. Apply theoretical concepts to multiple clinical cases.

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

  1. Integrate the cardiopulmonary system into a multi-system physical and physiologic evaluation approach to motor dysfunction.
  2. Identify numerous different breathing patterns and evaluate their efficiency for use while moving, talking and eating.
  3. Evaluate breath support and postural control needs for verbal communication and perform therapeutic techniques to improve respiratory and/or trunk muscle support.
  4. Design an airway clearance program targeted to a patient’s particular need using the principles of mobilization, expectoration and management.
  5. Demonstrate multiple airway clearance techniques and state when each would be applicable for a particular patient.
  6. Participate in a live patient demonstration (if a patient is able to participate on that day) and suggest possible evaluation and treatment ideas based on the course material.
  7. Demonstrate the use of thoracic cage/spine exercises and techniques to enhance rib cage and thoracic spine mobility and/or pulmonary function and state how this could lead to improved physical participation and health.
  8. Demonstrate pulmonary therapeutic exercise techniques geared toward modifying inefficient breathing patterns and state when each would be applicable for a particular patient.
  9. Demonstrate the integration of a multi-system approach to patient’s motor deficits by designing an individual evaluation and intervention program for specific clinical problems and share the findings with the class.
Thursday, August 7th, 2014

8:00     Registration and Introductions

8:30     Breathing and Posture: A multi-system event

10:30   Break

10:45   Breathing and Posture (continued)

11:30   Normal and Abnormal Chest Wall Development and Function

12:00   Lunch (on your own)

1:00     What can you do in 90 Seconds or Less that has a Profound and Lasting Effect?  Positioning Strategies

3:00     Break

3:15 – 5:30 Ventilatory or Movement Strategies

Friday, August 8th, 2014

8:00     Coffee

8:30     Finding the Problem: Pulmonary Assessment from a Multi-system Perspective

9:30     Lab 1: Chest Assessment

Focus on Breathing Patterns and Musculoskeletal Alignment

10:15   Break

10:30   Lab 1: continued

12:00   Lunch (on your own)

1:00     Lab 1: continued

1:30     Lab 2: Enhancing Phonation Skills through Improved Breath Support

2:30     Break

2:45     Airway Clearance: From Sherlock to Solution

3:45     Lab 3: Airway Clearance

4:45 – 5:30 Patient Demonstration

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

8:00     Coffee

8:30     Lab 4: Thoracic Complex: Mobility Exercises and Techniques

10:00   Break

10:15   Lab 4: continued

11:15   Lab 5: Facilitating Efficient Breathing Patterns and Building Endurance

12:15   Lunch (on your own)

1:00     Lab 5: continued

2:00 – 3:00 Lab 6: Group Problem Solving: Putting It All Together



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 750 professional presentations in 48 US states, 9 Canadian provinces, and 12 countries worldwide. Mary has delivered keynote/major addresses on topics such as cystic fibrosis and posture, neuropulmonary deficits, pectus excavatum (chest deformities), and connections between posture & breathing for the Royal Society of Medicine in London, England; the Australian & New Zealand Spinal Cord Injury Conference in Brisbane, Australia; the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Meeting in Galway, Ireland; the International Seating Symposium in Vancouver, Canada; and the Conference on Posture and Mobility in Coventry, England; as well as numerous presentations at the American Physical Therapy Association’s (APTA) Combined Sections Meetings across the USA.

Mary has received national awards from the APTA, including its highest clinical award, The Florence Kendall Practice Award, and the honorary Linda Crane Memorial Lecture.

She continues to maintain a private practice in Chicago as well, specializing in ventilation and postural dysfunction.

Click here for directions to Jackson Hall in Tacoma


Jackson Hall Medical Center

314 Martin Luther King Jr.

Tacoma, WA 98405


Thursday –Saturday, August 7 - 9, 2014 8:30am – 5:30pm, Thursday & Friday, Saturday 8:30am – 3pm


Early Bird

By June 30, 2014

Regular Rate

Group Discount (3 +)

By June 30, 2014

Day 1




Day 1- 3





2.05 CEUs (20.5 Education Contact Hours) for 3 Day course

2.05 ASHA CEUs (Pending)

.75 CEUs (7.5 Education Contact Hours) for 1 Day course


click here for registration form


Normajean Friend - Education Program Assistant



Full refund of the course registration fee, less $75 administration fee, will be granted upon receipt of written request post marked 14 days prior to date of class. We reserve the right to cancel any course due to insufficient registration or extenuating circumstances. Please do not make non-refundable travel arrangements until you have called us and received confirmation that the course will be held. We are not responsible for any expenses incurred by participants if the course must be cancelled.


$575 if post marked by June 30, 2014

Dates and Locations

8/7/2014 - 8/9/2014 8:30am - 5:30pm
Jackson Hall Medical Center
314 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tacoma, WA 98405

Contact Info

Normajean Friend