How my discomfort led to action…and how this involves your pelvic floor

I often find motivation by recognizing that a meaningful situation isn’t getting the attention it deserves. This situation usually creates discomfort for me, which prompts action. This is how my mission evolved: I saw a solution to a common yet significant problem that isn’t consistently applied. This problem might be affecting you – I will explain!

I am an orthopaedic and pelvic health physiotherapist. I work with clients experiencing symptoms related to their pelvic floor, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, and constipation. I am also an educator, sharing information about pelvic health with the public and with other physiotherapists in Canada and internationally.

Pelvic health physiotherapy has the capacity to improve quality of life at a fundamental level. The processes of urination, digestion, elimination, sexual activity, and emotional awareness are all essential. Our pelvic floor health therefore affects many parts of our lives: taking part in activities we love, our relationships with others, even our ability to have babies.

It makes me very, very happy when I help clients heal from troubling symptoms they have experienced for many years, including symptoms they thought would never resolve. The satisfaction I gain from improving lives is immense; by treating urinary incontinence significant enough to preclude participation in social events for decades, pelvic pain that made sexual activity impossible in a young woman engaged to be married and who wished to have children, even the feelings of powerlessness related to these symptoms that arise in a person who has been told they must learn to live with their symptoms because there is nothing that can be done. When I am able to work with a client to resolve all of these problems and more, it is moving for both of us at a very personal level.

This is also where the discomfort comes in. I realized that people are routinely being told that their pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms – incontinence, hesitancy, pain – are normal for their situation and will never go away, yet their conditions improved drastically with pelvic health physiotherapy. I was bewildered, and started asking questions: why is it a common belief that these symptoms cannot be changed? Why are more people not seeking the help of pelvic health physiotherapists, or other members of the health care team? Oftentimes, it is because people don’t know that treatment options are available, or it is because these treatments are known, but no pelvic health physiotherapist is available nearby.

Perhaps if more people knew about available treatment options, they would seek them out and begin to heal. My intention is to get the word out to as many people as I can about pelvic health and how the pelvic health physiotherapist plays a very important role in overall wellbeing. I do this through speaking engagements, workshops, and by working directly with clients. I hope that by sparking your interest, you will also spread the word to friends who might benefit from this knowledge.

I am blessed in that I have the ability to integrate pelvic health physiotherapy with global health, my other love. I have plans to address the lack of access to pelvic health physiotherapy in rural and remote areas of Ontario, and beyond these borders. This is currently in the works, and soon I will let you know what I have planned!

Meanwhile, if you or someone important to you is experiencing pelvic health issues, I hope that what I offer can be of help to you!

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