This dynamic and innovative program is revolutionizing dysphagia therapy! Speech-Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists will bring their facilities to a state-of-the-art-level with certification from this course. VitalStim® Therapy is the only FDA cleared treatment approach that successfully combines Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and traditional dysphagia techniques. This energetic certification course will focus on topics such as muscle physiology, kinesiology of the swallowing mechanism and on pathological swallowing mechanisms and processes. The basic principles and concepts of neuromuscular electrical stimulation will be taught and the VitalStim® Therapy protocol will be extensively reviewed and practiced. The participants will receive one-on-one attention from two instructors, a certified SLP and a PT. Through extensive hands-on labs; attendees will apply the theory of neuromuscular electrical stimulation to the treatment of dysphagia. This exclusive program will provide participants with the building blocks to implement a successful VitalStim® Therapy program and will add value to therapists, facilities, and most of all patient care!
Click for Instructor Bios and Disclosures
NOTE: Successful completion of the pre-requisite online course MBS: The Clear Picture and the live, 2-day VitalStim® Therapy Certification Course will certify the participant to utilize VitalStim® technology in the treatment of dysphagia.
This is an intermediate level course. Requirements for the course are as follows:
Successful completion of online anatomy and MBS review course (open link to right and print for details)
MBS Course Instructions
Prior knowledge and experience in dysphagia management
Dysphagia as a significant portion of active caseload
SLP or OTR with current licensure in state of practice
SLP or OTR in compliance with state and national practice acts
Certification to provide VitalStim® Therapy will be awarded to those who:
Complete the written post-test.
Demonstrate the accurate practical application of VitalStim® Therapy
NOTE: If these criteria are not met at the course, additional opportunities to successfully complete the certification process will be available.
The VitalStim Manual and the Primal Pictures Head & Neck CD will be issued at the live course (a $10 handling fee is included in the price of this course)
The VitalStim® Certification Program includes the online course, MBS: The Clear Picture for 1.2 CEUs (12 contact hours) and the two day hands-on "VitalStim® Certification Course" for 1.6 CEUs (16 contact hours) for a total of 2.8 CEUs (28 contact hours).
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to::
Name the anatomical structures relevant to the swallowing function
Palpate the structures mentioned under objective 1 that are accessible to palpation
Describe the various phases of the normal swallowing movement
Describe the neuro-physiological processes involved in normal swallowing, neural pathways controlling swallowing, positive and negative feedback occurring during swallowing
Discuss the psychological aspects involved with and their impact on swallowing
Describe the main pathological conditions affecting the swallowing function in both the adult and pediatric population
Interpret the results of a modified barium study
Describe the procedure/protocol to perform a standard MBS
Categorize the swallowing disorder based on the result of the evaluation
Describe the characteristics of electrical stimulation and the influence of electricity on muscle tissue
Identify the pathological conditions for which electrical stimulation is indicated
Describe the characteristics of the VitalStim® Therapy electrical stimulation unit and the electrodes used
Discuss and demonstrate the application of VitalStim® Therapy technology in the treatment of dysphagia
Discuss and demonstrate the use of swallowing exercise during and after the application of VitalStim® technology
Discuss the use of other interventions to maximize the impact of VitalStim Therapy
Discuss and demonstrate correct use of documentation forms
Demonstrate effective communication skills regarding VitalStim therapy with other members of the healthcare team
• Julie DeVahl , MS, PT • Gina Gallo, MS CCC-SLP • Joe Gallo, DSc, PT, ATC • Penny Head, PT, SCS, ATC • Tom Holland, PhD, PT • John Kelly, MPT • Susan Cole, MA CCC-SLP • Charissa Moore, MA CCC-SLP • Kathy Ramirez, OTR/L • Jon Rose, M.S., PT, ATC • Carole Roth, PhD, CCC-SLP, BC-NCD • Mary Nylin, MA CCC-SLP • Karin Mitchell, MA CCC-SLP • Jodie Lujanschi, MS CCC-SLP • Yorick Wijting, PT, DPT • Jennifer Carter, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Founder: Marcy Freed
Marcy Freed, M.A. CCC-SLP, has changed Dysphagia therapy with her medical breakthrough approach that combines traditional Dysphagia therapy with Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation. Marcy is the pioneer developer of VitalStim Technologies LLC and has 32 years experience specializing in voice and swallowing intervention. Marcy continues to treat patients from across the country successfully following her personal mission to "end dependence on tubes for nutrition!"
Certification Program Developer: Yorick Wijting PT, DPT
An internationally known speaker, Yorick Wijting brings a dedication to rehab across continents. Yorick was educated in the Netherlands where he received his degree in Physical Therapy. He has practiced physical therapy for more than 20 years in various care settings across Europe, South Africa and the United States. Yorick has extensive training and practical experience in electrotherapy and teaches nationally and internationally to medical professionals on the therapeutic use of electrotherapy. He has been instrumental in promoting and developing the use of electrical stimulation (VitalStim Therapy) by Speech and Language Pathologists in the treatment of dysphagia in the USA and in Europe. He currently lives in California and works with Empi as the Director of Clinical and Market Development, focusing primarily on VitalStim Therapy. In this role he promotes research initiatives, facilitates educational programs and assists in the development of new methodologies and applications for electrotherapy.
Certified VitalStim® Instructors:
There will be at least two Certified VitalStim® Instructors for each course. Please contact CIAO for the current speaker schedule.
Introduction, Program Overview, Swallowing physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, palpitation of head and neck structures (lab)
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
Dysphagia: presentation, evaluation, treatment
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:30
Dysphagia: presentation, evaluation, treatment (cont.), Electrical stimulation: Basic theory
02:30 - 02:45
02:45 - 05:00
Electrical stimulation: Basic theory (cont.), Electrical Stimulation for swallowing (lab)
05:00 - 06:30
07:00 - 07:30
Registration (Continental breakfast provided)
07:30 - 08:30
Review of material day 1, Q&A
08:30 - 09:30
Electrical stimulation for swallowing: theory
09:30 - 09:45
09:45 - 11:30
Electrical Stimulation for swallowing (lab continued)
11:30 - 12:30
12:30 - 03:15
Treatment progression, diet progression, case studies, integration
03:15 - 03:45
VitalStim Resource Network, General Q&A
Contact hours pre-approved for:
16 Hours (1.6 CEUs) SLPs
16 Hours (1.6 CEUs) OTs
CIAO is an Approved Provider for ASHA #AAWA (SLPs)
This course is offered for 1.6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).
This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (16 PDUs)
CIAO is an Approved Provider for AOTA #4119 (OTs)
CIAO is authorized by IACET to offer 1.6 CEUs for this program.
CIAO is an IACET Approved Provider
Certified Providers will receive a total of 28.0 Contact Hours (with MBS Online Course)
VitalStim is approved by the CA Board of OT for Advanced Practice:
- 7.0 hrs Swallowing CABOT#25-S1
- 11.25 hrs Physical Agent Modalities CABOT#25-P4
CIAO is regognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)
The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.
CIAO has been approved as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500
McLean, VA 22102. In obtaining this approval, CIAO has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standards which are widely recognized as standards of good practice internationally. As a result of their Authorized Provider membership status, CIAO is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standards."
Especially liked cranial nerve review. Great info. Switching of speakers was helpful. Presenters answered all questions. Nice hotel/location.
Wonderful intense, coursework. Labs were very helpful with direct feedback from presenters.
Great presenters. Thorough explanations helped understand the course material with ease. 100% satisfied.
Jodie rocked! Jodie for President! :) Love & appreciated how Jodie used her arms & hands as visual aids to help us learn structurs concepts for anatomy. Was blown away by both Jodie's & John's vast applied knowledge & how well they taught us. Liked having PT perspective. Lynus has the best contagious smile & energy! Thank you!!!
I can apply what I've learned immediately in therapy.
Great class! Fun, interesting, thorough and functionally applicable. Thank you!
St Louis, MO
St Louis, MO
A Lot of material in a very short amount time.
Fantastic diagrams that helped facilitate a greater knowledge of muscles and placements!
Course was very informative. I liked that case studies were presented as well as hypothetical patient cases - to help w/ application
Little Rock, AR
Enjoyed the course. Presenters with excellent knowledge and teaching methods. Ready to put the VitalStim to use with patients.
Excellent course- the best CEU course I have taken. I can’t wait to start using VitalStim in my practice.