Dr. Tom Tardif, DPT, PRC, CSCS, Pn1
What is the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)?
PRI is a comprehensive holistic approach that takes into account body asymmetry and postural patterns that occur due to the nervous and respiratory systems. There is a big emphasis on the airway and the impact that dysfunctional breathing can have on development and symptoms seen with children on up through adulthood, including poor posture, back pain, neck pain, jaw pain, anxiety, poor sleep, brain fog, and much more.
Dr. Tom Tardif is a husband and father of two (Oliver and Noelle). He grew up in the state of Maine and is the youngest of 10 children. Dr. Tardif was always involved in sports and outdoor activities growing up, and was first introduced to physical therapy while in the athletic training room after injuring his hip flexor during football season. He had the opportunity to work with a physical therapist because the athletic trainer was out of town. After that experience, and having a fascination with how the body works, Dr. Tardif decided being a physical therapist would be a perfect fit. However, as he started going through school, he found disappointment in the process and in the limited view of how the body works. Luckily, Dr. Tardif was exposed to principles taught by the Postural Restoration Institute during his last clinical rotation and once again was excited about the possibilities of helping people. These principles explained so many things about his own body and injuries, and this philosophy became his passion.
Surprisingly, the more Dr. Tardif studied PRI principles and understood the relationship between our teeth and the rest of the body, the more he started to seek out the help of dentists who also respected the whole body and airway development. Together, Dr. Pearson and Dr. Tardif have developed a special program called the PRI Oral Orthotic Program, using occlusal guards (nightguards) to be able to balance the bite and body. This allows for management of posture, jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, anxiety, poor sleep, and many other issues related to airway and postural dysfunction. This program, which involves the use of oral orthotic(s) along with PRI exercise therapy, has been shown to help people who have struggled with pain for over 10 years. Working together to resolve problems is a necessary step to ensure the whole body is addressed, and to resolve root causes rather than just symptoms.