Spinal Asymmetry and Scoliosis Essentials Level 1

for Pilates Method Movement Educators (PMME)


This course has been postponed to 2025.

31 Oct – 2 Nov 2024

18 CE hours, NCPT


Join us in 2025 to deep dive into how to work with clients with scoliosis! 

Advance as movement educators to a more important role in the health and wellness teams that work with scoliosis and asymmetry.

Course Description

Spinal Asymmetry as a medical diagnosis affects about 6 million people in the US. Beyond that figure, many go undiagnosed until injury or pregnancy occurs. Aging spinal asymmetry progresses a little over a degree per year. Cases of low back pain and female pelvic pain are a popular cause of concern.  

Do you need to know more about spinal asymmetry and scoliosis? Physical therapy plays an important role in scoliosis medical diagnosis and pain management. However that role is limited in its ability to help a client attain larger functional and movement goals. The PMME fills a gap and can be a part of the team for those who need time for movement education to address larger functional and quality of life issues. Clients with asymmetries have directional biases, fascial restrictions, and compensatory patterns due to positioning in utero, handedness, direction preference, eye dominance and life experiences.

Essentials Level 1 covers the patho-mechanics, how the biomechanics of abnormal anatomy differs from expected anatomy, as well as the pathophysiology of fascial compensations and confounding bone issues involving curve classification, spinal degeneration and osteoporosis. Create a client profile through assessments determining structural versus functional asymmetry. Learn to apply a framework of the 3 –E strategy of ergonomics, exercise and emotion tailoring your work for youth or adults. Learn to use the Activ-wedge® in the nine neurodevelopmental positions on the mat and apparatus. We will also explore movements to unlock laterality and optimize musculoskeletal and neuromuscular balance. Learn strategies to immediately enhance your current practice and intrigue your clients.  Become a part of your client’s care team. Completion of the Essentials 1 course for continuing education credit is accomplished with successful submission of a multiple choice test.  Upon completion of the Essentials Level 1 course, participants are invited to the Level 2 case mentorship and have the opportunity to test out and join the evidence-based licensure program for an additional fee.

Who Should Attend This Course

This course is appropriate for comprehensively certified Pilates instructors and other movement modalities, fitness trainers, physiotherapists.
It also aims to impart practical knowledge and exercises that would be beneficial to all clients, not just scoliotic cases.

Course Objectives

In this course, the participant will:

1) Better understand how to explain the meaning of spinal asymmetry and scoliosis, its causes, development and progression from youth through the stages of adulthood, including psychosocial impact upon youth, fertility, and adult phases of life.

2) Better understand the role of the Pilates instructor in a client’s care team, whether medical or non-medical, differentiating the PMME role of influence in the management of a lifelong condition.

3) Better understand the altered anatomy, the altered biomechanics and characteristics of the physiology associated with spinal and functional asymmetry.

4) Learn to apply postural assessments to identify the individual ‘s scoliosis attributes (Scolio-Cues) to be used throughout the exercises and identify functional preferences and faulty movement patterns adding to the spinal asymmetry.

5) Learn to apply the 3 E strategy and Pilates Therapeutic framework involving somatic, corrective and conditioning concepts and exercises within the Pilates environment.

6) Learn the difference between passive positional wedge release and the use of the Activ-Wedge® as well as defining individual Scolio-Cues to make symmetrical exercises asymmetrical, and asymmetrical exercises more effective.

7) Learn contraindications and precautions in working with this special population in the Pilates environment.

8) Learn to apply an evidence-based Pilates environment framework for a safe exercise program used as an adjunct to medical care.

Outline and Lesson Plan

Review/ biological and directional bias asymmetry assessments, define the Pilates Therapeutic Style of scoliosis management; Body Skills; question and answer

Identify the Pattern: Review of main scoliosis types and brace types. Demonstration Lab/ Lecture: Posterior and Sagittal Postural Assessments, Scoliosis Specific Postural Assessments, Functional Assessments: (12+ observations, 5 functional tests), SSPOT youth assessments and Mat initial foundation for youth, when to introduce 3-D breathing

Identify the Pattern/ Initial Foundation: Demonstration Lab/ Lecture: Core Mat Correctives and Initial Adult Foundation from the functional Straight Leg Raise test, Tensor Fasciae Lata test and correctives, establishment of Scolio-Cues

Breaking up the Pattern Demonstration Lab: Use of Constructive Rest, Manual Therapy wedges, Passive wedging for Transition Point Positional Release, West Coast Baby Arc Fascial Influence, Activ-Wedge use through the neurodevelopmental positions starting from mat to progress to Pilates environment equipment

Redirecting the Pattern: Review Client Profile for and use of Scolio-Cues, Lab/Demonstration: Equipment use (reformer, trapeze table, Wunda chair) for spine progressing from somatic mat work to Pilates environment equipment including Activ-wedge use

Lab/ Demonstration: Continuing Pilates environment equipment use for ribcage, pelvis, feet

Summation and integration of the Scolio-cues, wedge use, asymmetric vs, symmetric movement use, integrating body therapies, contraindications, scope of practice, sample sessions for youth and older adult, how to work with clients on Zoom

About Dr Suzanne Martin

Dr. Suzanne Clements Martin is a doctor of physical therapy, a gold-certified Pilates expert, a certified ACSM exercise physiologist, certified manual therapist as well as an award-winning author and video producer. She has authored 3 fitness books with Dorling Kindersley, and wrote columns for Dance Magazine and Dance Studio Life for a decade. Look for her recent publication, Spinal Asymmetry and Scoliosis, published by Handspring Publishing. She is presently working on a collaborative authorship with Elizabeth Larkam on connective tissue and hypermobility.

Dr. Martin has over 40 years of teaching experience in the health and movement fields, blending art and science into her instruction. As a performing arts specialist, she conducted nutrition seminars for the School of the San Francisco Ballet and has been the lead physical therapist for Smuin Contemporary Ballet in San Francisco for over 25 years. Through Pilates Therapeutics LLC, she provides instructional videos, virtual training, and mentored advanced Master qualification programs in the therapeutic application of the Pilates Method in topics of spinal asymmetry, cancer restoration, foot health and performing arts enhancement. For more information, email Dr. Martin at smdpt@att.net or visit pilatestherapeutics.com.

A lifelong learner, she recently completed certifications in Pelvic Health with the American Physical Therapy Association, Schroth Scoliosis Specific Exercise in the Barcelona tradition and Trigger Point Dry Needling Certification with Myopain Seminars.For further information, go to  www.pilatestherapeutics.com.

Pilates Therapeutics



Rescheduled to 2025

New schedule will be published when available


Course Fee:

S$1,600 Early Bird Price

S$1,800 Regular Price



TBC, Singapore