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Optimizing Motion: External Focus Sources and Methods of Application
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Optimizing Motion: External Focus Sources and Methods of Application

Sponsored by San Jose District, CPTA

When: Saturday, January 12
8:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Stimson Physical Therapy
1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 195
Los Altos, CA  94024
United States
Presenter: Wendy Stimson, PT, MBA
Contact: San Jose District, CPTA

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OPTIMIZING MOTION: External Focus Sources and Methods of Application


Course Description

In clinical practice physical therapists assist patients in restoring function.  In addition to improving strength and range of motion, physical therapists also assist patients in restoring motor control for optimum performance of functional activities.  Recent evidence shows that using an external focus with measurable goals and encouragement by the practitioner is the best method for improving and restoring motor control.  The focus of this course is to provide information on types of external focus that can be easily applied in the clinic and an opportunity during the lab sessions to practice a number of these methods.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:


·        Describe the OPTIMAL Theory for Teaching Motor Control

·        Describe external focus sources for clinic use

·        Demonstrate using an external focus for teaching motor control for upper and lower extremity functional activities and exercises

·        Demonstrate using an external focus for improving posture and reducing hyperkyphosis

·      Demonstrate using an external focus for restoring balance



7:45-8:00            Registration

8:00-9:00            Lecture:  OPTIMAL Theory overview 

9:00-10:30          Lecture:  External focus options for rehabilitation

10:30-10:45        Break

10:45-12:00        Lab:  Posture

12:00-1:00          Lunch provided

1:00-2:15             Lab:  Upper extremity motor control

2:15-2:30             Break

2:30-4:00             Lab:  Lower extremity motor control

4:00-5:00            Lab:  Balance

5:00-5:30             Q&A, Course Evaluations



Wendy Stimson, PT, MBA is the founder and owner of Stimson Physical Therapy in Los Altos, California.  In addition, she is the founder and CEO of Stimson Biokinematics.  Ms. Stimson is the inventor of the GyroCoach®, a patented visual goniometer device used to evaluate and retrain patients’ movement patterns for optimal performance.  Ms. Stimson received her BS in physical therapy from California State University, Fresno in 1979 and an MBA from San Jose State University in 1986.


She has presented a poster at the 2017 APTA NEXT and 2017 CPTA conference on “Reducing Hyperkyphotic Posture Using a Laser-Based- Visual Cue: A Case Report” and presented a course a one day course in 2010 on “Beyond Exercise: Achieving Functional Motor Control”.  Ms. Stimson has extensive clinical experience in the area of using visual and audio cues as an external focus.  She has spent the past 15 years developing rehabilitation practices for using an external focus for teaching motor control using force plates, inertial sensors, audio feedback, visual feedback and laser-based visual feedback.


Date and Location

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Stimson Physical Therapy

1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 195

Los Altos, CA 94024



$180 APTA members
$290 Non-members

No on-site registration.


Non-Member link:


APTA member link:



8.0 contact hours or 0.8 CEUs 

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Format: Lecture with lab
Attire: Comfortable attire. Please dress in layers to allow flexibility and variances in room temperatures

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1




Parking is free in clinic parking lot


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