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Breathing and the Diaphragm: Pelvic and Orthopedic Therapists - Princeton, NJ - December 11-13, 2020 (Postponed)

Due to ongoing concerns about COVID19, this course will be offered as a remote course. Registration is available here.

  • Description

  • Schedule

  • Objectives

  • Location/Lodging

  • Instructor

  • Discounts

Price: $675 (Early Registrant Price $650)
Experience Level: Intermediate
Contact Hours: 19.50

“Despite decades of research Breathing Pattern Disorders, together with a range of the resulting pathophysiological biochemical, psychological and biomechanical effects, remain commonly under-recognized by health care professionals as contributing to pain, fatigue and dysfunction in general and lumbopelvic pain and dysfunction”- Leon Chaitow

This two-and-a-half day continuing education course is designed to expand the participants knowledge of the diaphragm and breathing mechanics and their relationship with the pelvic floor. Through multiple lectures and detailed labs, participants will learn how the diaphragm and breathing can affect core and postural stability through intra-abdominal pressure changes. As an integrated approach, the course looks at structures from the glottis and the cervical region to the pelvic floor and helps in understanding a multi component system that works together.

Optimal function of the diaphragm and correct breathing patterns are key to a healthy pelvic floor, a normal functioning core and postural stability. Evidence-based methods to assess the diaphragm and breath mechanics are presented along with easy to apply practical intervention strategies. This course includes assessment and treatment of barriers by addressing thoracic spine articulation and rib cage abnormalities, and the abnormalities in the fascial system of muscles related to breathing and the diaphragm. Both internal and external pelvic floor assessment and treatment techniques are taught during the course, however, the primary concepts instructed are designed to be used even where internal evaluation of the pelvic floor is not possible. The assessment concepts and treatment techniques can be easily integrated into a therapist's current evaluation and intervention strategies. Sufficient lab time is built into the class to allow the participant to practice the material that is demonstrated.

The course information is applicable to the patient who presents with pelvic pain, incontinence, prolapse, Diastasis Rectus Abdominis, GI Dysfunction, cervical/ thoracic/ scapular/ and lumbar pain. In addition, current literature has shown that these breath and diaphragm training techniques can effectively improve athletic performance in runners, throwers, swimmers, weight lifters, and Cross Fit athletes by improving motor control patterns.

NOTE: There are two versions of this course. This edition is designed for therapists with experience in intravaginal examination, and it includes an extra 90 minute lab at the end of day two. Therapists without experience with intravaginal examinations can attend the Breathing and the Diaphragm: Orthopedic Therapists version of the course, which does not have prerequisites.

Target Audience: This continuing education seminar is targeted to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants, and other rehabilitation professionals. Content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner's license or regulation. Physical therapy continuing education courses should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except, as they are involved in a specific plan of care.

Prerequisites: It is required that the participants have a working experience with evaluating and treating pelvic patients inclusive of vaginal examination. It is required that the participants have taken Pelvic Floor Level 1, through Herman & Wallace or Pelvic PT 1 through the APTA.

What to Bring:

  • Theraband blue (a fairly long length)
  • Goniometers

Special Considerations: As this continuing education course includes lab work, all course attendees should come prepared to participate as both clinician and patient. Participants need to bring a goniometer, a mobilization wedge, and some medium resistance theraband.

Day One:
4:00-4:15 Objectives and Introductions
4:15-4:45 Basic anatomy of the thorax (Lecture)
4:45-5:45 Function of the Diaphragm and normal breathing (Lecture)
5:45 Break
6:00-7:45 Dysfunctional breathing (Lecture/Lab combo)
7:45-8:15 Questions/Post-test


Day Two:
8:00-8:30 Questions/Day 1 recap
8:30-9:30 Regional Interdependence (Lecture)
9:30 Break
9:45-12:00 Posture, Core and Intra-abdominal Pressure (Lecture/Lab combo)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Assessment and treatment of the Ribs (Lecture/Lab combo)
2:00-3:00 Myofascial system Part 1 (Lecture/Lab combo)
3:00 Break
3:15-4:45 Myofascial system Part 2 (Lecture/Lab combo)
4:45-5:15 Questions/Post-test
5:15-6:45 Glottis and internal and external pelvic floor (lecture/lab combo)

Day Three:
8:00-8:30 Questions/Day 1 and 2 recap
8:30-9:30 Assessment and treatment of the Thoracic Spine (Lecture/Lab combo)
9:30-9:45 Evaluation/Assessment of the Thorax recap (Lecture)
9:45 Break
10:00-11:00 Treatment of Breathing (Lecture/Lab combo)
11:00-12:00 Exercise progression (Lab combo)
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30-2:30 Sport integration (Lecture/Lab combo)
2:30-3:00 Post-test and Questions

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

1. Describe the functional anatomy and biomechanics of the thoracic spine, ribs and diaphragm.
2. Appreciate the unique biomechanical interactions that occur between the lumbosacral spine, the pelvis, pelvic floor and the hip complex.
3. Assess and treat dysfunctional breathing patterns including but not limited to chest, abdominal and paradoxical breathing patterns.
4. Understand the concept of Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP)/ and the control and use of IAP with the diaphragm in a lowered position as a stabilizing mechanism for the spine.
5. Understand the concept of regional interdependence and it’s application in the treatment of back or pelvic pain patients.
6. Recognize the effects of postural patterns and the linkage to the diaphragm and pelvic floor.
7. Understand the muscles and myofascial components involved in dysfunctional breathing and techniques to effectively treat the same.
8. Understand and demonstrate mobilizations of the rib and thoracic spine and develop a comprehensive treatment program.
9. Develop an exercise progression for dysfunctional breathing for use in the clinic and in-home programs.
10. Integrate diaphragmatic breathing and mobility in the athletic clientele.

  Name Street Address (Links to Map)
Course Location

Princeton Healthcare System

1315 Whitehorse Mercerville Rd
outpatient clinic Suite 100,
Hamilton, NJ 08619
Recommended Lodging

Residence Inn by Marriott Hamilton

559 Route 130 North,
Hamilton, 08620
Nearest Airport

Newark International Airport
Airport Code: EWR

3 Brewster Rd,
Newark, NJ 07114


Directions from Recommended Lodging to Course Location: (click here if no map appears below)

Aparna Rajagopal, PT, Mhs

Aparna Rajagopal, PT, MhsAparna holds a bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy from India and a Master of Health Sciences from the University of Indianapolis. She developed a growing interest in treating pregnant and post partum patients in 2003. The birth of her daughter in 2006 served as the driving force behind her passion for the field of pelvic dysfunction. She treats men, women and children with urological, gynecological and colorectal issues. Her work with female athletes led her to realize the importance of correct breathing techniques in rehabilitation and led her to co-author the breathing and diaphragm class.

She serves as lead therapist for the pelvic dysfunction program at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital where she mentors and teaches other pelvic therapists. She is consultant for the hospitals Sports therapy team for the athletic triad syndrome. She frequently presents and educates physicians, residents, physical therapists, and community support groups on physical therapy treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction. She serves as co-chair of the continuing education committee at her hospital system where she helps to write and develop courses.

She resides in the metro Detroit area with her husband and daughter and her interests include traveling the world, hiking, and reading.

Leeann Taptich, PT, DPT

Leeann Taptich, PT, DPTLeeann Taptich has been a physical therapist since 2006. She graduated with a BS in Kinesiology from Michigan State University and a Doctorate ofPhysical Therapy from the University of St Augustine. In 2009, she earned her Manual Therapy from the University is St Augustine and her board certification as a Sports Certified Specialist in 2018. She also has her strength and conditioning specialist Certification from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Leeann leads the Sports Physical Therapy team at Henry Ford Macomb Hospital in Michigan where she mentors a team of therapists. She also works very closely with the pelvic team at the hospital which gives her a very unique perspective of the athlete. With her combination of credentials and her exposure to pelvic health she is able to use a very eclectic but complete approach in her treatment of orthopedic and sports patients. With the hospital system, she is involved with the community promoting health and wellness at local running competition and events.

Leeann is passionate about educating and teaching and has assisted in teaching multiple courses at the local State a university PT department. She isco-chair of the continuing education committee at her hospital where she writes and develops courses. She is co-author of the Breathing and Diaphragm class at Herman and Wallace.

Leeann lives in the metro Detroit area with her husband and 2 children. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and watching football.

Attention: We are unable to offer "retro-active" discounts (i.e. applying a discount to a transaction after the transaction takes place), so if you are interested in exploring discount options and you are unsure if your transactions is eligible for a discount, please contact us to inquire.

Multi-Course Discount

This 10% discount is available for a single registrant who wishes to enroll in 3 or more courses, and pay in one transaction. Registrants wishing to enroll in 5 or more courses should contact us for a customized quote. We can also apply this discount if 2 therapists from a single clinic/hospital enroll in 3 or more courses (ie Registrant A enrolls in Course X and Course Y, Registrant B enrolls in Course X, and Registrants A and B both work at Clinic Z). This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts. Registration and payment must be received at the same time in one credit card payment, one check or one envelop with multiple checks. This type of registration cannot be completed online, if you are wishing to receive the Multi-Course discount please call or email us directly for assistance.

Group Discount

This discount is available for a group of three or more registrants, who all work at the same clinic/hospital, enroll in a single course, and pay in a single transaction or mail in multiple checks in a single envelope. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.

Groups of 3-5 receive a 10% discount off the combined price of their group's registrations.
Groups of 6 or more should call or Contact Us so that we can properly create an invoice for your registration.

Student Discount

This 10% discount is available to current students who have yet to earn a license to practice at the time of course registration. This discount is not available to those therapists who have previously held a license, and are currently enrolled in a doctoral, or other post-graduate, program. This discount cannot be used in combination with any other discounts.


To get this discount when checking out online, use the code Student2021. (Note, this code is only valid for non-licensed students. The H&W admin team will verify that registrants signed up with this code are, indeed, current students prior to their attendance of the course).

First-Time Registrant Discount

This $50.00 discount is available to any therapist who has never before taken a Herman & Wallace course (no previous registrations) and can be used towards the registrant's first Herman & Wallace course (not applicable to Pelvic Floor Level 1/2A/2B or Capstone).

To apply this discount, please use the code FirstTimer2020 during check out. (H&W will check records to verify past attendance.)

Referral Credit/Discount

Any therapist who has already taken a Herman & Wallace course will earn a $50.00 "referral credit" if:

1. A therapist who has never taken a Herman & Wallace course successfully registers for his or her first course(s); AND
2. In the registration process, the first-time registrant gives the name and clinic/hospital of the therapist who referred them to Herman & Wallace.

A therapist who has earned a $50.00 "referral credit" may use this credit toward any course that is eligible for a "referral discount".

Guest Blogger Credit/Discount

Any therapist who completes a qualifying guest blog post on the Herman & Wallace blog will earn a $50.00 "guest blogger credit". This credit may be applied toward any course eligible for a "guest blogger discount".