Early Bird

LINKED: Breathing & Postural Control A Pediatric and Adult Course (formerly known as: IF YOU CAN’T BREATHE, YOU CAN’T FUNCTION)

Mary Massery, PT, DPT, DSc & Faculty
May 15 – 17, 2022

›Download Brochure

May 15, 2022 – Sunday
Cost: Part 1
(Day 1) – Lecture Only – $345.00; Early Registration $320.00

(must be registered online or postmarked 21 days prior to  seminar to receive early registration discount)

Cost: Part 1 & 2 (Day 1 – 3)
– Limited Enrollment for Part 2 (Days 2 and Day 3)– 

May 15 – 17, 2022 – Sunday – Tuesday

$755.00; Early Registration $730.00
(must be registered on-line or postmarked 21 days prior to seminar to receive early registration discount)

This course, developed by Mary Massery, proposes a new definition of “core stability;” redefining it as the dynamic control of trunk pressures to optimize postural stability (balance).  Dr. Massery’s “soda pop can model” links breathing mechanics to postural control using multi-system interactions.  The speaker presents 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.  In Part-1 (Day 1), foundational information and quick interventions will be the focus (positioning and ventilatory strategies).  In Part-2 (Day 2 and Day 3), the focus shifts to assessing “normal” breathing patterns, and learning neuromotor breathing retraining techniques and manual assistive cough techniques during hands-on labs.  Multiple clinical cases will be used to cement the concepts.  The course is applicable for any pediatric or adult patient (or therapist) who breathes!

For those interested in attending Part 2 (Day 2 & Day 3) only, please submit proof of completion of Part 1 (Day 1) to TSI@therapeuticservices.org.

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



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
tsi@therapeuticservices.org or 718-692-1929

$345.00$755.00 $345.00$755.00

SKU: ef03ad049ce5 Category:


Learning Objectives
Participants completing this course should be able to identify:

At the conclusion of Part-1 (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. Position patients for optimal physiological and biomechanical support of breathing with simple equipment (towels, pillows, etc.).
  5. Use a ventilatory strategy algorithm presented in class to optimally match breathing with movements from bed mobility to athletic endeavors.

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

  1. Use a multi-system approach to evaluating 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 of chest wall restrictions).
  8. Evaluate the need for, and demonstrate, neuromotor retraining techniques to improve breath support for voicing and postural control (eccentrics).
  9. Suggest immediate ways to incorporate the concepts into therapy activities in your clinical setting.

Target Audience

PT, OT and SLP

Course Level 


All disciplines (PT, OT, SLP) get basic (introductory) information about breathing in their entry level education.



Part-1: Day 1 – (8.0 Contact Hours)

7:30 – 8:00 Registration
8:00 – 8:30 Discussion Overview of course topics
8:30 – 10:00 Lecture Breathing and posture: Part 1 – Pressure control (Soda pop can model)
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 12:00 Mini-lab Positioning strategies: What can you do in 90 Seconds or less that has a profound and lasting effect?
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 Lecture Breathing … Part 2 – The diaphragm
2:00 – 2:10 Break
2:10 – 3:50 Mini-lab Ventilatory/movement strategies: Integrating neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, respiratory and sensory systems
3:50 – 3:55 Break
3:55 – 5:10 Lecture Breathing … Part 3 – The vocal folds
5:10 – 5:30 Lecture Wrap-up and homework
Part-2: Day 2 – (8.0 Contact Hours)

7:30 – 8:00 Coffee and …
8:00 – 8:30 Discussion Review, synthesis, and Q&A
8:30 – 9:45 Lecture/
Demo Chest assessment: Focus on musculoskeletal alignment and breathing patterns
9:45 – 10:00 Break
10:00 – 11:30 Lab Assessing breathing patterns and postural implications
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 1:15 Lecture Airway clearance: From Sherlock to solution
1:15 – 2:15 Lab Facilitating efficient breathing patterns and endurance training: Neuromotor techniques for diaphragm, chest and other breathing patterns
2:15 – 2:30 Break
2:30 – 4:00 Lab Facilitating breathing patterns (continued)
4:00 – 4:30 Lecture/
Demo Brief introduction to rib cage and trunk musculoskeletal restrictions associated with breathing difficulties – Quick Screening!
4:30 – 5:30 Demo Patient demonstration (if possible)
Part-2: Day 3 – (5.0 Contact Hours)

7:30 – 8:00 Coffee
8:00 – 8:30 Discussion Review, synthesis, and Q&A
8:30 – 10:00 Lecture/
Discussion Differential diagnosis (patient demo): “Find the Problem”
10:00 – 10:15 Break
10:15 – 11:30 Lab Airway clearance lab: Focus on manual assistive cough techniques
11:30 – 12:15 Lunch
12:15 – 1:30 Lab Eccentric trunk control: using voice for postural control and vice versa
1:30 – 2:00 Discussion/Homework Homework: Putting it all together
Course wrap up


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 1,000 professional presentations in all 50 US states and in 18 countries worldwide, including more than 100 presentations for the American Physical Therapy Association.  Mary’s research pioneered the concept of managing trunk pressures as a new way to visualize core stabilization.  She has delivered keynote and major addresses on topics such as cystic fibrosis and posture, pectus excavatum (chest deformities), connections between posture & breathing, and PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).

Mary has received national awards from the APTA, including its highest clinical award, The Florence Kendall Practice Award, honoring “one’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.


May 15 – 17, 2022
Long Island, NY

Long Island Marriott
101 James Doolittle Blvd
Uniondale, NY


8 contact hours for Day 1.  21 contact hours for all 3 days.

Approved for 8 contact hours for Day 1 and 21 contact hours for all three days by NYSED’s State Board for PT 

Application has been made to NJPTE for approval.

AOTA-Approved Provider Program

TSI is an AOTA Approved Provider of Professional Development.  PD activity approval ID# Pending. This Live PD is offered at .8 CEUs for Day one and 2.1 CEUs for all 3 days. 8 contact hours for Day 1 and 21 contact hours for all three days, Intermediate level, Domain of OT: OT Service Delivery. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

This course is offered for .8 ASHA CEUs for Day one and 2.1 ASHA CEUs for all three days (Intermediate level, Professional area).