Archives for February 2014

Jiri Cumpelik, PT

Prague RehabBringing the Prague School to you.

Prague School in Newark, NJ!

I had the pleasure of meeting PhDr Jiri Cumpelik during a recent trip to Prague. Jiri Cumpelik & Jason BrownHe was kind enough to allow me to visit him while he was treating performers at the National Theater in Prague.  While we were only able to spend a few hours together it became very clear to me that he has a deep appreciation for movement, body position, breathing, and training mindful movement and that I had a lot to learn.  I’ve remained in contact with Jiri and he’s graciously accepted an invitation to return to the U.S. to instruct.  While he continues to teach in Europe, Jiri has been absent from the US for some time.  Some may remember his last visit to the Rehab Institute of Chicago.  This is a course, I’m honored and excited to host.  Details are below for those who wish to join us.

Jiri Cumpelik with Prof. Frantisek Vele

Cumpelik Course details:

Date: April 12-13, 2014
Times: 9-5:30 Saturday. 9-2:30 Sunday.
Location: Newark, NJ @ the Marriott Newark Liberty International Airport. (Group hotel rate by clicking link.)

This location is at the Newark Airport and there is shuttle service for anyone flying in.

For those driving:
Newark Liberty International Airport Marriott
1 Hotel Road
Newark, New Jersey 07114 USA

Please com dressed to participate.

Jiří is the resident physiotherapist for the National Theatre Ballet. He also lectures to students of the Physiotherapy department of the 2nd Faculty of Medicine of the Charles University in Prague and students of the Physical Education and Sport Faculty of the Charles University in Prague, as well as other distinguished institutions throughout Europe.   Jiří’s unique approach combines Yoga with principles of kinesiology (body motion and correct posture).

PhDr. Jiří Čumpelík, PhD is part of the early Prague school learning from the greats of Lewit, Janda, and their contemporaries.  He frequently co-taught with Prof. Vele (seen above) and from his intimate early studies he possesses a deep understanding of the foundation concepts the Prague School of Rehab is known for.  He began studying Yoga in the 1970s in India where he gained an insight into the physiology of breathing and its influence on posture and inner stability. He further researched spinal and breathing exercises as preventive and therapeutic techniques for functional disorders. He is published in several texts including: Yoga-Based Training for Spinal Stability in Dr. Liebenson’s Rehabilitation of the Spine (2nd ed) and Clinical Rehabilitation, edited by Dr. Pavel Kolar.


“The goal of our yoga-based exercises is to repair the altered CNS postural and respiratory programs and to restore spinal stability.”



“In a functional and mobile spine, the physiological movement of the cervical spine starts from T4 and progresses upward, and the movements of the lumbar spine from T6 and go downward.”


“In chronic cases, local mobilization can relieve local problems temporarily, but resolution of the condition is only possible by repairing the faulty respiratory program controlled by the CNS.”

Course outline:

The relationship of breathing with posture stabilization

The concept is based on personal experiences, own research, child development and yoga

The course emphasis will be on the relationship between breathing, posture and its stabilization

  • Theory, evaluation, therapy, prevention exercises
  • Pelvic floor, diaphragm and upper aperture of the thorax its interaction and correlation with breathing and postural function
  • Stereognosis function and posture
  • Importance of starting position for effective exercise
  • Positioning of the foot and its influence on the breathing and posture (effective treatment of the flat foot)
  • Evaluation of walking movement and treatment


  • Spinal exercises
  • Breathing
  • Perception of the body and mind
  • Stability of posture

Preparatory sequence of spinal exercise

Concept of breathing

  •  The breathing movement is continual process and therefore if we have right concept about the natural form of breathing movement we can come to conclusion if  posture is stable or needs to be changed. Practical demonstration for diagnosis.

Concept of posture

  • Posture is any position which is holding the body against gravity. Hence posture must be stable otherwise certain parts of the body will be overstraining, which leads to pain and if not treated to structural changes. The longer we ignore the proper concept of the posture, the more difficulty we meet later on in the therapeutics.

Concept of perception

  • Before we are able to move our body we must have the inner picture about the movement. This inner picture is formed in the mind on the base of sensory information. We are getting information about the outside world as well the inner body to be able to control the movement. The mind is able to decide what kind of proprioception setup is good for our stable posture (motoric intelligence).  Perception of the body must be a part of the postural training.

Concept of posture stability

  • There is not general agreement about posture – different authors trying to define their own aspects of vision and there is not any reliable method to prove these individual concepts.
  • Up to now there does not exist a method, which can objectively measure the stability of the posture. Posturography, plantography methods are informing us about how the weight of the body is distributed on to the foot, but not how its influencing other parts of the body. We are trying to develop a photorespirography method, which will tell us much more about it.
  • Body stability is a concept, how all moving segments are aligned with the help of stabilization process initiated by intention to move. All these processes are part of the course training.

Therefore it is proposed to concentrate on the basic principle of child development and on biomechanical, neurophysiology aspects.

Stanford Cook McGill

Rehab 2 Performance logoI recently had the pleasure of writing a blog post for

Two giants in the field, Gray Cook, PT and Stuart McGill, PhD, assembled to present their viewpoints on movement assessment, arranged and moderated by Craig Liebenson, DC.  Assessing Movement: A contrast in approaches & future directions was held at Stanford University and co-hosted by Stanford Sports Medicine and Rehab2Performance.  Such a prestigious location was fitting, and even led to Gray uncharacteristically appearing in a jacket (which didn’t last the whole day, and he quietly told me “jackets are for funerals and Stanford”).  For the nearly 350 professionals in attendance, it was nothing short of spectacular.  With representatives from Asia, Europe, and throughout North America ranging from students, to fitness professionals, performance coaches, and clinicians, there was a bit of perspective for everyone.

See the rest of the review on the Rehab2Performance Blog

Liebenson with Cook and McGill

Organized by Craig Liebenson, DC (left) a great conversation between Stuart McGill, PhD (center) and Gray Cook, PT (right) was held at Stanford University.