Cervical Spine & Diaphragm to Pelvic Floor — The Whole Body Connection in Fair Lawn, NJ

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Course Faculty: Susan C. Clinton PT, DScPT, OCS, WCS, COMT, FAAOMPT


Look beyond the traditional regional approach of pelvic floor PT and understand how addressing dysfunctions of the thoracic/cervical spine and TMJ region can positively affect lumbo/pelvic dysfunction. This 2-day course is designed to expand your current practice through evidence-based and biological plausible methods of examination and intervention of upper quarter dysfunctions to the lower quarter region.

Learn how the effects of intra-abdominal pressure with trunk/cervical/TMJ dysfunction results in decreased performance and fatigue of the pelvic floor musculature. The concepts of how upper quarter regional dysfunction influence musculoskeletal dysfunction will include the effects on diastasis rectus abdominus, episiotomy, prolapse, incontinence, GI dysfunction, and lumbo/abdomino/pelvic pain. A complete review of the anatomy and physiology (including the trigeminal/vagal alarm system) from the glottis to the pelvic floor will be provided with links of clinical reasoning for expanding intervention of manual therapy, movement, and exercise. The course will include an interactive format for discussion of the current concepts and the application of interventions. There will be a strong emphasis on lab with movement experiences and clinical reasoning.


Day 1 Registration: 8-8:30 am

Day 1 Class: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

Day 2 Class: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm


Lecture, interactive question/answer, case study presentations, movement labs.


Pelvic Guru is applying for PT CEUs in New Jersey and New York for this course. If you are coming from another state, please check with your state on reciprocity for CEUs.


  1. Define the current evidence for normal abdominal and thoracic pressures and how these pressures are increased with normal postures, positions, and activities.
  2. Review the anatomy and physiology of the glottis to pelvic floor —including the anatomical changes with prolonged postures and the trigeminal/vagal alarm system.
  3. Understand the physiology behind the literature on the effects of the prolonged seated posture.
  4. Discuss with relevance of the literature on fatigability of the pelvic floor muscles and training.
  5. Outline various changes in the examination and intervention techniques to reduce the effects of increased abdominal pressures and glottis considerations with pelvic floor, transversus abdominus, multifidus, and diaphragm training from low level to high level activity.
  6. Demonstrate the use of voice and the breath to automate the postural mm system in functional activities.  


Susan C. Clinton PT, DScPT, OCS, WCS, COMT, FAAOMPT received her Physical Therapy degree from Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas and a Masters of Health Sciences at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed her Doctor of Science degree at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and graduated with her NAIOMT fellowship in orthopedic manual therapy in 2013. She was accepted as a Fellow by the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Therapists in 2014 and serves as a clinical faculty and specialty course faculty for NAIOMT. As a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Manual Therapy, Orthopedics and Women’s Health, she has been actively treating patients with pelvic floor, urinary, bowel, reproductive, oncology, persistent pain, sports injuries and post-surgical diagnoses. She currently practices in Sewickley, Pennsylvania and is the co-owner and founder of Embody Physiotherapy and Wellness, LLC. Susan is active in teaching and research as an adjunct instructor for the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham University. Additionally, she is an international instructor and presenter of post-professional education in women’s health and orthopedic manual therapy and a certified Total Control® Instructor. Her research activities include publications on chronic pelvic pain and clinical practice guidelines for the APTA Section on Women’s Health and Orthopedic Section. Susan is active with the American Physical Therapy Association, serving in governance as a local delegate and alternate delegate, and as the Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines steering committee for the Section on Women’s Health. She is the past secretary on the Section on Women’s Health Board of Directors and the former President of the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of the Orthopedic Section of the APTA. She has served as an item writer and case reviewer for the WCS board certification examination and is a member of the credentialing committee with ABPTRFE. Susan is proud to serve as an inaugural board member of the Women’s Global Health Imitative (GWHI) and she concurrently serves on the board for the Association of Pelvic Organ Prolapse Support (APOPS). Susan has received awards for outstanding research in pelvic girdle by AAOMPT and Outstanding Clinical Educator by Chatham University. She is the 2016 winner of the Elizabeth Noble Award from the Section on Women’s Health.


This course is open to physiotherapists, naturopathic doctors, nurses, midwives and medical doctors.

Day 1

8 – 8:30 am – Registration and introduction

8:30 – 10:30 am – The dynamic respiratory system (including the anatomy/physiology of the structures above the diaphragm).

Lab #1 – The airway, dominant breathing patterns, and vagal tone. Automation of the postural mm of the pressure system. Examination and intervention of the thoracolumbar junction. The trigeminal alarm system.

10:30 – 10:45 am – Break

10:45 am – 12 pm – The connection to the cervicothoracic junction.

Lab #2 – The examination and intervention of the cervicothoracic junction.

12 – 1 pm – Lunch

1 – 2 pm – Anatomy/physiology of the trigeminal alarm system, polyvagal theory, and the effects of the pressure system.

2 – 3:30 pm – Lab #3 – Assessment and the intervention of the thorax within the pressure system. Introduction to intervention of the trigeminal alarm system.

3:30 – 4:45 pm – Break

4:45 – 5:30 pm – Lab #2 continued.

Day 2

8:30 – 10:30 am – Lab #4 – Review of thoracic lab. Introduction of the upper cervical examination and intervention.

10:30 – 10:45 am – Break

10:45 am – 12 pm – Review of literature on PFM fatigability and increased intra-abdominal pressure.

12 – 1 pm – Lunch

1 – 4:30 pm – Lab #5 – Changing the mindset of isometric/concentric contractors and the function of the pelvic floor. The use of submaximal and eccentric training to increase function and the connection between the hyoid/glottis and the pelvic floor. Simple changes in postures/movements in daily activities.

Lab #6 – Examination and assessment of the anterior cervical region, oral mm, and voice. Case studies and interventions for progressing to high-level activities.


What is the Pelvic Guru refund policy?

Refunds are honored up to 30 days prior to the course and may be subject to a $75 administrative fee. Refund requests within 30 days of the course will not be provided. If the course does not reach the minimum number of registered students up to 30 days before the course, the course may be canceled and a full refund will be provided.

Will I receive CEUs for this course?

We have registered for PT CEUs in the state of the course. If you are coming from another state, please check with your state on reciprocity for CEUs. (This is standard practice for all live CEU courses).

What should I wear to class?

Please come to class in casual movement attire.


Airport Information

The nearest airport is Newark Liberty International Airport | Airport Code: EWR

You can also fly into LaGuardia or JFK are about a one hour drive to the course location.

Lodging Nearby

Hyatt Place Fair Lawn

41-01 Broadway

Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

(201) 475-3888


38 available
Super Early Bird$557.00Available until 6/5/18! Please be sure to provide contact information for each attendee if purchasing multiple tickets.

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