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

  Date: October 12-14, 2018
  Time: Friday 8-5:30 p.m., Saturday 8-5:30 p.m., Sunday 8-3 p.m.
Friday lecture (1-day) $200 (registration limited)
Friday lecture and Saturday/Sunday lab (3-days) $600 (registration limited)


University of Iowa
Lecture hall for Friday
2117 Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF)
375 Newton Road, Iowa City ,IA 52242

Lab classrooms for Saturday and Sunday
Department of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Science:
1-252 Medical Education Building (MEB)
Classrooms 1-261 (Hazelton) and 1-260 (Dahl)
500 Newton Road, Iowa City ,IA 52242


This course 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 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.



Describe how trunk pressures link breathing and postural control using the Soda Pop Can Model.


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


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.


Contrast normal infant chest wall development to those with impaired breathing mechanics.

Course Presenter: 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 50 US states,

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