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Michigan Medicine PM&R Spine Program

325 East Eisenhower Parkway

Second Floor

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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Presented by Massery Physical Therapy - Patricia West-Low, PT, MA, DPT, PCS

This course has been approved for 20.5 hours of Michigan Education Credits for Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapiststs.

Dates of the course: April 26-27-28, 2019

For general information on Massery PT, go to: http://www.masserypt.com/


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. Through her model of postural control (Soda Pop Can Model), the speaker will link breathing mechanics with motor and physiologic behaviors (a multi-system perspective). She 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 ventilator 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.

Who Should Attend?

  • Physical Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • COTA
  • PTA
  • SLP

After attending this course, health professionals should be able to:

At the conclusion of Day 1:

  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:

  1. Perform 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 a heavy emphasis on manual assistive cough techniques, and apply an airway clearance algorithm to specific patients.
  7. Identify thoracic cage/spine restrictions as they pertain to breathing mechanics and postural control (a very brief introduction musculoskeletal issues).
  8. Evaluate need for, and demonstrate, neuromotor retraining techniques to improve breath support for voicing.
  9. Suggest means for incorporating the course material into therapy activities in your clinical setting immediately.

About the Instructor

Patricia (Trish) West-Low, PT, MA, DPT, PCS Certified Faculty of Mary Massery

Trish West-Low, PT, MA, DPT, PCS has been a physical therapist for over 25 years. She earned a Bachelor’s in Physical Therapy from The University of Scranton, an Advanced Master’s Degree from New York University, and a Doctoral Degree from Seton Hall University. Dr. West-Low earned the title Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist in 2008, and is recertified through 2028. She teaches across the country, at the university and post professional levels, on the topics of Physical Therapy Examination and Treatment of Children with Autism, Connective Tissue Mobilization and Therapeutic Yoga for Special Populations.

Trish has completed a 2-year apprenticeship with Dr. Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc, becoming Dr. Massery’s second certified faculty member. Currently Dr. West-Low is a full-time clinician who treats children and adults in the New Jersey shore area. She also acts as a consultant to assisted living facilities, schools and private practices in the area of the multi-systems impact of cardio pulmonary dysfunction. She teaches yoga to adults and children, and serves as a therapeutic yoga instructor in 200- and 500-hour yoga teacher trainings. In her down time, Trish and her dog Lucy serve as a certified therapy dog team and do volunteer visits for homebound seniors and children in long-term care and outpatient facilities.


Friday, September 14, 2018

8:00 : Check in

8:30-10:30 Lecture

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45 -12:00 Lecture

12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:30 Lecture

2:30-2:45 Break

2:45-5:30 Mini Labs

Saturday, September 15, 2018

8:00-8:30 Check in

8:30-10:15 Lecture/Demo

10:15-10:30 Break

10:30-12:00 Lab

12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00 to 2:30 Lab

2:30 to 2:45 Break

2:45 to 4:45 Lab

4:45-5:30 Patient Demo (if possible)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

8:00-8:30 Check in

8:30 to 9:30 Lecture/Discussion

9:30 to 10:15 Lecture

10:15 to 10:30 Break

10:30 to 12:00 Lab

12:00 to 1:00 Lunch (on your own)

1:00 to 3:00 Lab

Parking is located at the front of the building. On Friday, please park away from the building, as we will be having clinic for both physicians and therapies. On the weekend, any spot is acceptable. There is no cost to park in this lot, and there are plenty of spots available.

If you would like to view upcoming Continuing Education offerings from Michigan Medicine Therapies, please visit:


Registration/Questions, please contact:

Andrew Marsh, CEC

Michigan Medicine

325 East Eisenhower Parkway, 2ND Floor

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Fax: 734-615-1116

Email: abmarsh@med.umich.edu

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Michigan Medicine PM&R Spine Program

325 East Eisenhower Parkway

Second Floor

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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