IF YOU CAN’T BREATHE, YOU CAN’T FUNCTION: Integrating Cardiopulmonary and Postural Control Strategies in the Pediatric and Adult Populations

Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc & Faculty 

Uniondale, NY – Long Island

Choose from one day or three days
March 15 – 17, 2020 (3 days) – CANCELLED 
March 15, 2020 (1 day – Lecture only) – CANCELLED 

Early $730.00* | Regular $755.00 – 3 day
Early $330.00* | Regular $355.00 – 1 day 

– Limited Enrollment –

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. Group size is limited.

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Learning 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
  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 an individual evaluation and intervention program for specific clinical problems and share the findings with the class.


If you know of a child or adult (age 3 and up) that would be interested in participating in a live demonstration, please contact our office at or 718-692-1929



Day 1: 8:30 – 5:30
8:30-10:30 Breathing and Posture:  A Multi-system Event!
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:30 Continued:  Breathing and Posture:  A Multi-system Event!
11:30-12:00 Normal and Abnormal Chest Wall Development and Function
12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-3:00 What can you do in 90 Seconds or Less that has a Profound and Lasting Effect? Positioning Strategies
3:00-3:15 Break
3:15-5:30 Integrating Systems Effectively:  Movement Strategies
8:30 – 5:30
8:30-9:30 Finding the Problem:  Pulmonary Assessment from a Multi-system Perspective
9:30-10:15 Lab 1:  Chest Assessment: – Focus on Breathing Patterns and Musculoskeletal Alignment
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-12:00 Lab 1: Continued
12:00-1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-1:30 Lab 1:  Continued
1:30-2:30 Lab 2:  Enhancing Phonation Skills through Improved Breath Support
2:30-2:45 Break
2:45-3:45 Airway Clearance: From Sherlock to Solution
3:45-4:45 Lab 3:  Airway Clearance
4:45-5:30 Patient Demonstration (if possible)
8:30 – 3:00
8:30-10:00 Lab 4:  Thoracic Complex: Mobility Exercises and Techniques
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-11:15 Lab 4:  Continued
11:15-12:15 Lab 5: Facilitating Efficient Breathing Patterns and Building Endurance
12:15-1:00 Lunch (on your own)
1:00-2:00 Lab 5:  Continued
2:00-3:00 Lab 6:  Group Problem Solving:  Putting It All Together


Mary Massery & Faculty

Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc 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 800 professional presentations in 49 US states, 9 Canadian provinces, and 15 countries worldwide. Mary has delivered keynote/major addresses on topics such as cystic fibrosis and posture, neuropulmonary deficits, pectus excavatum (chest deformities), and the 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.

Dr. Massery receives a speaking fee for her presentation. She has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.


Long Island Marriott
101 James Doolittle Blvd
Uniondale, NY  11553


Educational Credits

Day 1: 7.5 contact hours / 20.5 contact hours. Certificates will be awarded.

Approved for 20.5 contact hours by NYSED’s State Board for PT.

Application has been made to NJBPTE for CE credit approval.

color web&pptTSI is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures. Approved by AOTA for .75 CEUs. 7.5 contact hours for Day 1, Mixed Level, Domain of OT: Client Factors.  2.05 CEUs for Days 1-3; 20.5 contact hours, Mixed Level, Domain of OT: Client Factors.

Day 1 of this program is offered for .75 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).





The full program is offered for up to 2.05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).


One Day:
Early $330.00* | Regular $355.00 

Three Days:
Early $730.00* | Regular $755.00 

*Early registration must be received 21 days prior to seminar
VALID UNTIL Feb 23, 2020 **** EXTENDED UNTIL SUNDAY< MARCH 1st, 2020 ***