Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT is the Pelvic Floor and WHY is caring for it essential?

The pelvic floor muscles make up a group of muscles located underneath and inside of the pelvis. These tiny but mighty muscles are shaped like a bowl or hammock, and have HUGE responsibilities for some basic human functions, as they support the bladder, uterus, and rectum. The pelvic floor is attached to the pubic bone in the front and the tailbone in the back, and to the inner side walls of the pelvis. It has multiple layers--including a deep layer and a superficial layer (towards the outside of the body). The deep pelvic floor muscles hold the bladder, uterus, rectum, and abdominal contents. The superficial muscles surround the vaginal opening, urethral opening, anal opening, and clitoris. These muscles are also the important link, connecting our pelvis and our legs! The pelvic floor acts like a sphincter--it contracts to hold back urine, stool, and gas so that you don’t have leakage, and it relaxes when you need to urinate or have a bowel movement. The pelvic floor provides support to the pelvic bowl, helping to hold the bladder, uterus, and rectum in place. The pelvic floor plays a huge role in sexual function, assisting in arousal and orgasm. The pelvic floor helps to create stability through your trunk and legs and is considered to be part of your “core” muscles. The pelvic floor acts like a sump-pump, helping in the movement of fluid, blood- flow, and lymphatic drainage through the connection between the legs and pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles can be accessed both externally and internally (through the vagina or rectum) and can be assessed by a trained Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist. Contact Kim, our Board Certified Women’s Health Physical Therapist if you have any questions!

What does a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy evaluation look like?

Your pelvic floor physical therapy evaluation will be with a board-certified Women’s Health Doctor of Physical Therapy. Kim will start by getting to know you, your medical history, and what brought you to PT, in order to better understand your current condition. You might talk about any pain you may be experiencing, your lifestyle, and more specific to pelvic health: your obstetric history, bowel/bladder habits, and sexual function. Kim will then evaluate your overall posture, mobility, strength, balance, and body mechanics. Depending on your history and symptoms, Kim may suggest an external and internal pelvic floor muscle evaluation, which can be performed vaginally or rectally to assist in diagnosis and treatment. Kim will share her findings, discuss recommendations for your plan of care, and answer any questions you have related to you meeting your goals.

Why should PT be "in-home"?

We want treatment to be accessible, comfortable, and genuinely useful in the sense that you build confidence and belief in yourself to do your exercises, practice mechanics, and get to know your body. Our concierge/mobile model gives you better access to high quality care for your pain or challenge and allows us to easily work together 1 on 1, utilizing your authentic environment as a part of treatment. Your therapist will be able to observe your mechanics while doing the things you ACTUALLY do regularly. And, being able to see and feel yourself move in new ways in your own space will help solidify and make new body techniques applicable to your daily life. You will get a sense of actually being able to do the exercises on your own, in between visits! Usually, this results in fewer and less frequent visits, while getting more personalized and thorough care at each visit. Services provided in the comfort of your home can help alleviate the stress of finding child care, can cut down on travel time commuting to and from a PT clinic, can make appointment scheduling more flexible, and can allow for more privacy. In-home visits also provide the most authentic setup for treatment, as assessments and feedback are completely individualized and tailored to your own daily environment. Most people choose to have their evaluation conducted in a somewhat private room of their house, such as their bedroom, home office, or basement. Kim will just need enough room to set up her portable massage table, and enough privacy to focus on YOU. She just asks that you provide a clean sheet and garbage can for hygienic purposes. Kim will bring all necessary equipment and supplies to you. Counseling sessions are currently being facilitated virtually, online. In some cases, depending on your treatment plan and needs, counseling may be in your home, in another other private space of your choice, or outdoors.

Why are PT and Counseling sessions a full hour?

All sessions will last 1 full hour in order to give you the time and thorough treatment you deserve. We don't want you to feel rushed, and we want each and every session to count.

What is Counseling about?

Counseling can help clients struggling with major life transitions, challenges in relationships, self-doubt, self-criticism, fear, grief, difficult thoughts, feelings, and moods, balancing self-care, family, friendships, work, parenting, health, and the list goes on. We focus on figuring out what your values are, whether you're living according to those values, how past experiences, upbringing, culture, and biological factors play into how you feel about yourself, expectations you have, and how you see yourself in relationships and in the world. Counseling looks different for everybody because everyone is coming in with a unique combination of circumstances and ideas of what they hope to gain from the process. One thing that is consistent though, is Sam's aim to de-pathologize, normalize, and universalize struggles, highlighting your strengths, and most of all, emphasize that you’re not alone. Sam's here to help you sort through what you want, what you need, what’s getting in the way, and what you’re willing to do to get those things in your life. Sam and Kim also use a team approach, delivering a unique combination of their skills. If you're working with Kim on a pelvic health challenge, Sam's counseling can supplement and bolster your work.

What does a Counseling Intake look like?

We start by exploring what’s going on for you now, that sparked your reaching out for support. We’ll talk about a variety of aspects of your history, including where you live, your current family situation, social life, culture, schooling, career, family history, trauma you may have experienced, health and medical history, and previous treatment. We’ll talk about the things you want to address in your life and examine what’s contributing to those challenges. We'll explore ways you have coped in the past, what has and hasn't been helpful, and start to identify new coping strategies for practice. The biggest questions Sam emphasizes when beginning with clients are: “What do you hope to gain from being in therapy?” and "What would you like to see yourself do differently?"

Why is Mental Health important when having a baby?

Becoming pregnant, having a baby, and starting out as a parent are incredibly complex and major life transitions. There’s so much anxiety, fear, and uncertainty around having a baby, pregnancy loss, parenthood and what it means, losing control of your life, being “good enough,” feeling isolated, disappointed in yourself or confused about your reactions, comparing yourself to images of others and often unreasonable social norms and media portrayals, wanting to create the kind of life for your child that you envision, wanting them to be ok, and keeping your head above water in the process. And having a child or trying to brings up all sorts of memories and unresolved wounds from your own childhood. It’s easy to lose yourself in all of it, perinatal and postpartum anxiety and depression are COMMON, and we want to help you take care of yourself physically AND hold onto yourself emotionally. Understanding and investing in your own emotional needs, learning about your insecurities, and building adaptive coping strategies that work for you will help you feel mentally strong, supported, and help you be the best caregiver you can be for your child and for yourself.

What should I wear to my PT appointment?

We encourage you to wear something you feel comfortable in, that allows you to move around easily. Some suggestions are workout clothes, leggings, and tank tops, while avoiding restrictive clothing like jeans. Luckily, with physical therapy being in the comfort of your own home, you don’t need to stress about what to wear, as you can easily change to a new outfit if necessary!

Is it okay if I have my period when I have a PT appointment?

Having your period will not impact your physical therapy session, and we encourage you to keep your appointment. Sometimes assessment during your menstrual cycle can provide valuable information about your body and symptoms. As always, if you are uncomfortable with internal treatment at this time, you can ask to focus on other treatment options like your exercises.