Why look Beyond the Airway?

Have you wondered if there was "something more" than creating airway volume? What about function?

A change is coming…

  by Angie Tenholder DMD, FAACP, DABSDSM

Many of us have taken multiple versions of courses focused on improving airway health….especially and including those of us who treat patients everyday with pain and sleep related issues. I thought that “I knew a few things” after becoming Board certified in craniofacial dental sleep medicine until I had the opportunity to hear Darick Nordstrom’s  over 35 years of understanding what actually controls and influences airway function. (Here’s a hint: It’s not always the size that matters)

For those who want to dig deeper and look beneath the surface of what’s currently being shared as airway medicine and dentistry, we invite you to join us for an intimate weekend of in depth and transformative learning. This exclusive course is very limited in size and the information available is intense. The topics will most likely include content that you have never heard before and will forever change the way you look at airway dentistry.

For a look “Beyond the Airway” with tools not shared at any other courses until now, please register quickly.  This course promises to reflect the most recent and relevant research and technologies while honoring the tried and true principles of human function and physiology.

 Welcome to the future of airway dentistry.


Beyond the Airway


We have an important announcement for those registered for the Sleep 1 course at Osteopathy's Promise to Children (OPC) in a few short weeks on March 1-2, 2019.

Dr Nordstrom was just notified that due to recent faculty and logistics changes, the course cannot be hosted by the OPC.  With the goal of continuing the mission of supporting the legacy created by Dr. Viola Frymann and her influence on Dr. Nordstrom, and in honoring that vision to unite dentistry and osteopathy, Dr. and Mrs. Nordstrom have opened their home to welcome our course participants for an information packed course in a very intimate setting. 

We recognize the potential inconvenience that this abrupt change may cause you as you make the required travel arrangements to support the new course location.   Please know that we are here to help you arrange lodging and transportation logistics to allow for an efficient transition from the San Diego location to the Fallbrook location. 

The ALF InterFACE Academy will be sponsoring dental continued education credits through the Academy of General Dentistry PACE program for this course  In addition, your attendance will be added to the educational information page for all Academy level members.  

Additional faculty will include Dr. Angie Tenholder as she contributes her knowledge and experience as a Diplomate in the American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine.  Her Board certification and experience using ALF Therapy, dental sleep appliances, cranial osteopathy, primitive reflex assessments, sleep biometrics, clinical assessments as well as various helpful technologies to assist patient care will be helpful in assisting Dr. Nordstrom in supporting our course participants.  As Dr. Nordstrom brings forward his over 35 years of researching sleep physiology and applied neurology, he will provide his guests with the most recent, cutting edge and relevant information to assist in understanding  and applying the opportunities in looking beyond the structural assessments of mainstream airway dentistry and into the functional dimension of improving quality of life and solving seemingly unrelated health and behavioral problems.

The course agenda is now available as you scroll down on this website page. The revisions from the OPC course agenda reflect a focus on the most recent advances in sleep physiology as applied in a clinical setting. 

Due to the very intimate setting and last minute changes, the course size is very limited.  We are able to allow additional providers not previously registered on a first come first served basis.  We welcome our current registrants to reach out to their fellow colleagues who would be interested in this very unique and innovative course.  Course attendees are not limited to dentists and osteopathic physicians.  It is also open to physical therapists, chiropractors, MD's and other health professionals interested in expanding their knowledge of sleep medicine

We look forward to inviting you to Ruth's amazing meals, Darick's profound wisdom, Angie's clinical experience and the possibility of a very special guest speaker who promises to bring yet another level of sophisticated care for our patients with sleep related challenges.

Please contact Ruth Nordstrom at pianoqueen_49@hotmail.com  for registration information and visit the ALF Academy educational page at www.alfeducation.academy for more details on lodging and transportation coordination.  As always, Jamie will be available to also assist you with any questions or concerns Monday - Friday from 8 am-2 pm CST and can be reached at (618) 281-9729 and/or admin@alfinterfaceacademy.com.

Introduction to Course Concepts

Somewhere along the journey of understanding how dentists can affect the airway, practitioners have somehow lost focus on the ultimate truth that neurology affects structure in a way that determines functional ability.  Airway size does not directly correlate with improved function for the lifetime of the patient.   The many attempts that fell short of success of modern medicine to find the perfect solution for sleep disordered breathing have often ignored the neurologic signalling that constitutes the operating system of the body,  

The signalling for airway function must exist before the structural measurements are deemed to be considered the standards for clinical success.  

Dr. Nordstrom and faculty will strive to help course participants understand there deeper truths of neurologic and airway function.

This course promises to provide a deeper understanding of the reflexive and autonomic physiologic systems that influence human function, especially during sleep.   As dentists. we directly this environment through changes in structure and function.  

Welcome to the future of airway dentist


Course location and lodging

Course location and times


Nordstrom Home and Teaching Facility

394 Highland Oaks Lane

Fallbrook, California

Approximately 50 minutes northeast of San Diego International Airport

Friday March 1 st          8 am - 5:30 pm 

Saturday March 2nd   8 am - 5:30 pm

Meals and Travel


Ruth Nordstrom's legendary breakfast, lunch and snacks are homemade and healthy fuel for learning minds and bodies.

For those interesting in ride sharing from the airport to Fallbrook and from the hotels to the Nordstrom home,  please contact Jamie at admin@alfinterfaceacademy.com.

Course outline


Beyond the Airway - The TEAM Approach : March 1-2 2019


Course Instructors:  Darick Nordstrom, DDS.

Angie Tenholder DMD, FAACP,  DABCDSM 

Stasha Gominak, MD  Creator of Right Sleep - Creator of the Right Sleep Method


Course objective -  Hit-the-Road-Running Competency through an organic comprehensive learning experience


Day 1

(8:00 - 8:10)

Overview, OPC, ALF-InterFACE Academy, logistics for the course

(8:10 - 8:30) 


The Sleep Imperative, the mission of this course in the legacy of Dr. Frymann, DO in  understanding and empowering the individual (from child to adult)

The critical role of sleep in human development, behavior, health and resilience

 Sleep as the most objective window into understanding our patients

(8:30 - 8:50) 

History, the birth of an Industry, and the compelling case for collaboration

Early explorations into sleep 

Airway-oriented Sleep Therapies (pre)1985 to 2019; sorting out the ‘mythtakes’, the  truths, the gaps, and the rapidly growing need for a more-comprehensive and FUNctional approach

(8:50 - 9:05) 

Why the osteopathically-oriented TEAM synergy is pivotally positioned to best meet those needs, and the different (creative) ways it can manifest

(9:05 - 9:35)

From the Beginning: Embryo to Adult and the interwoven continuum of life:    Developmental milestones Primitive Protective Reflexes, Swallowing, Breathing reflexes; Firing on all 8 senses; Nature’s plan for Resilience in all seasons

(9:35 - 10:00)

The biochemistry of sleep; nature vs. environmental influences

Traumas, traumatic brain injuries, adverse childhood events, neuroplasticity, coping vs. healing; Other common disruptors (toxic exposures, laxity, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, dystonia, etc) and compensations

(10:10 - 10:15)


(10:15 - 11:30)  

Stasha Gominak, MD:   Three Simple Steps to improve your patients' sleep.   Exploring the complexities of how sleep, nutrient balance and the gut microbiome are intimately interrelated to overall health and optimal  neurologic function.

(11:30 - 11:45)  Question and Answer Period

(11:45 - 12:45)

Recognizing Healthy vs. Compromised Sleep, and its effect on your patients, sleep as a safe entry point into health/disease conversation, co-discovery, and buy-in

Sleep architectures

Diagnostics and Biometrics: Medical level, wellness, and lifestyle testing: what is really meaningful, how to chose for each patient

(12:45 - 1:30)

Lunch and Explore (Biometrics devices, ideas, feedback)

(1:30 - 2:30) 

Overview of the rotating labs followed by a demonstration of each. Lab intro: the doctor as patient, warm-up hands-on, histories, posture, physical evaluation types, persistent primitive reflexes, Intra-oral evaluations (static and functional)    

(2:30 - 4:45)

Lab A: Oral assessment in the osteopathic context of the whole patient

Frenulae and significant restrictions (anatomical / adaptive … overview)

2-Finger test, Osteopathic or 8-step release, and re-assessment

Osteopathically guided creation of copper-wax therapeutic ‘bites’, posture,  balance

Lab B: Clinical tests: ANS, SpO2, Doppler/ESG, Hb, SG-10 

Heart Rate Variability (HRV)  assessments: both orthostatic and valsalva with and without copper wax bite, HRV (home-based),  Range of Motion (measured)

Lab C: Clinical eval: Visual/Vestibular, practical retained Primitive Reflexes, Easy Oral Oral Myology/ functional testing for the busy office, sleep hygiene, habits, and lifestyle  suggestions; Introduction to RightSleep concepts

(4:45 - 5:30)

Lab: Working with and deploying sleep monitors

Selection, training and distribution of monitors to each participant

Day 2

(8:00 - 8:45)

Group Q&A during Sleep Monitor upload and process

(8:45 - 9:30)

Example selections from overnight, interpretations, problems?

(9:30 - 10:15)

Lab: review breakout group tests

Re-assess doctor/patients based on insight of tests and yesterday’s evaluations

(10:15 - 11:00)

Lab: 1/2 groups participants shift to form new groups and repeat

(11:00 - 11:45)

Medical, dental, lifestyle interventions:

Sleep Hygiene, Nutritional (insufficiencies/imbalances) and home-based changes 

(11:45 - 12:15) 

Dental appliances, benefits, limitations, complications

(12:15 - 1:15)


(1:15 - 2:15)

Lab: Sequencing, choosing interventions as a team from the osteopathic perspective of  the whole person; (the as-if test), gaining patient commitment, the question of   practicality for both practitioner and patient

(2:15 - 2:45)

Promising therapies: case studies from our practices 

OraLase Technique, NightLase

PsychoSensory techniques, DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System by Amie Hopper)  

NuCalm, Purrfect Sleep, Havening

(2:45 - 4:30)

Lab: OraLase Technique and RPRs, Adverse Childhood Events, Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) implications

(4:30 - 5:30)


Putting it to work, starting where you are now

Forming treatment TEAMs (both local and web) and the magic of collaborati