PRI Postural Respiration – Diary of a Fitness Seminar Addict

This weekend a few of us went to the PRI Postural Respiration Course.  I have to say, that during the course I was thinking about how in the world I was going to summarize all if this information in one short article.  I’ll do my best, but I have to be honest and tell you that my main goal with this article is just not to screw up the translation.

The Instructor

Mike Cantrell is awesome. Not only does this guy know pretty much everything, but he is hilarious and just an all around great guy.  He’s a Georgia country boy that has more one-liners than your clients have excuses. This is the second course I’ve taken with Mike and was glad to see that he was instructing.  This information can really be hard to digest, but Mike makes it fun and serious at the same time.

PRI Mike Cantrell

The Content

First of all, the content is really meant for physical therapists, and open-minded physical therapist to boot.  PRI is known for providing a different approach from what people are used to. This means a lot of people are confused by the PRI content because of it being different in nature. Additionally, a lot of people dismiss the content, because it’s hard to face the facts that everything you know could be wrong. Luckily I’ve been exposed to PRI through Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman years ago, and have been studying up on the content, including taking the PRI Myokinematic Restoration Course. I think this gives me just enough experience to able to begin to speak of the content as a personal trainer. Without this prior PRI experience, I would have been lost.

Day 1 – We started the day with PRI philosophy, which really could be 10 days worth of lecture, but Mike did a great job of making sure we had all of the info that we needed to understand the material that we were covering over the weekend without overloading and confusing people.

Postural Respiration is a course that is basically designed to show you the importance of a functional diaphragm and what happens with different kinetic chains in the body when you lose function of the diaphragm. (such an understatement)  There are different patterns that almost all peoples bodies will fall victim to in their life time, and PRI shows you  how to diagnose which pattern your body has chosen to take. They also provide treatment and exercise program to reverse the pattern.

In day one, we went to over the patterns that can occur through the neck and torso, and how they relate to patterns of the pelvis.  We touched on a little bit of what we covered in PRI Myokinematic Restoration in order to show how the two courses go together. This also gave us a glimpse of the big picture.

Day 2 – After day one I was glad that I was absorbing the information, but was a little confused, and had a lot of questions unanswered.  Day two really made me feel good about what I learned in day one, because it was all about implementation.

We went over the tests again to make sure we were proficient, and proceeded to learn about what to do based upon our findings.  PRI provides a complete system of “if/then” situations to make sure that you are following the right path.  From there we went over a few case studies to ensure that we knew what to do with this new arsenal of information.  We spent the majority of day two in lab making sure we knew the manual therapy techniques and exercises to use to help reverse “the pattern”.

Mike wrapped up the day with educating us on the resources that PRI provides to make sure that the attendees are successful in the future.



Three Takeaways

1)   This will be a slow implementation.  I know we need to learn about the philosophies and principals of PRI and see a high percentage of success stories before we start ranting and raving about how people need to learn this.  People like Robertson, Cressey, and Hartman are really on board with PRI, which is what made me want to learn all about it, but at the same time it’s a new shiny object that I need to learn more about.

2)   Facial asymmetry and eyesight have more to do with dysfunction and pain than I thought.  Mike said that the stuff that we learn in PRI Myokinematic Restoration and Postural Respiration would clear up 80% of patients.  That means that 20% of people may have crooked faces and vision issues that are not allowing them to correct.  I need to find a super genius dentist and and eye doctor.

3)   Breathing and pelvic reposition are something that are probably going to have to be added to our group training in the future.  Worse case scenario just adding 1-2 minutes of breathing to start the workout or recommend that our clients come in a little early and knock out a few minutes of breathing with a pelvis reset. After using some of these techniques in small group for a while we can make a decision on the value and effectiveness of adding this into large group training.

Overall, in typical PRI fashion, my mind was blown.  However, I do feel that I have a much better understanding of what is going on now that I’ve taken both Myokin and Respiration.  I recommend that every clinician take these courses at least to get some nuggets and learn about what PRI does.

This information is only for the most elite fitness trainers and strength coaches.  To be honest a lot of the PT’s in the group were glazed over for most of the course. It is designed for clinicians, moves fast, and requires a high level knowledge of anatomy.  At the same time it taught me a lot of anatomy that wasn’t in the books, and showed me what physical therapists and chiropractors can do when armed with right knowledge.

So at this point, while I’m still absorbing the information and waiting to take the PRI Pelvic Restoration course this spring, I would only recommend this course to high level personal trainers that are working directly with clinicians. I think PRI is going to be very well known in the near future.  You can learn more about the Postural Restoration Institute at PRI -Website

Steve Long