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Women’s Health PT Tag

1. Check in with your breath. There are three primary ways to breathe: 1) with your diaphragm 2) with your belly 3) with the accessory muscles of your neck and shoulders. The most natural and relaxing way to breathe is Diaphragmatic Breathing, but most of us are using the other two, less effective, ways for oxygen exchange. When you breathe with your diaphragm, the intercostal muscles between the ribs do their proper job of helping the ribcage expand. As you inhale, the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms should move downward, like a piston, and with each exhale draw upward. This way of breathing fills your lungs and keeps the nervous system calm and happy. Unless you had a traumatic birth, you were likely born breathing with your diaphragm.  Breathing patterns can be changed over time through the following: During pregnancy, the liver, stomach, and

Got jaw pain? How about clicking or popping when you eat, yawn or talk? Jaw pain can stem from the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) and may be a source of pain, clicking, popping, clenching, grinding, or changes in your bite. TMJ dysfunction can even cause pain to spread to the ear, neck and head. While direct injuries to the TMJ can cause pain in the jaw, such as those from playing sports or accidents, there are other causes that you may not have considered. The pelvis plays a role because the whole spine, including the head (and ultimately the jaw,) are stacked on top of it. Therefore, a twist or shift at the pelvis can cause a shift all the way up. Extensive dental work, whiplash car accidents, surgery, birth trauma, and even suppressed emotions can also lend themselves to pain and dysfunction

Are you suffering from lower back, SI joint, hip, pelvic, or groin pain? The pelvis may be to blame if it’s not moving adequately all the way around. Your pelvis is made up of three bones fused together: the ilium, ischium, and pubis. It sandwiches your tailbone (sacrum) in the back and meets in the front at the pubic bone. It is common to feel pain in your lower back, sacroiliac joint, or even your hips or groin after pregnancy, childbirth, falls, injuries, car accidents, sports injuries, or postural changes.   Just because this type of pain is common - doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it! Justine Calderwood, holistic physical therapist, discusses pelvic mobility in relation to common areas of pain in the low back and sacrum. This information is for you. Whether you’re a woman or a man- If you’ve had

Want to know my secret to easing chronic pain?   It’s this: a simple, 4” inflatable ball. It is the tool I recommend most often to release those tight, tense areas of the body. The real secret isn’t the ball itself, though. It’s what you DO when you’re using the ball that makes all the difference in the world.   As a holistic physical therapist, I give a small inflatable ball to every one of my patients day one when I see them. We’ve just finished with a through assessment of the strain patterns in their body and gentle hands-on Myofascial Release to address the tight, painful and tense areas. All this is accompanied by educating my new patient on what I see and feel in their body and why I’m doing what I’m doing.   While the ball is a tool to take care

Previously, I have shared my journey towards identifying birth trauma and the start of healing. If you missed it, check out my blog post here. Today, I will summarize what classifies as birth flow disruptions and signs of lingering birth trauma.   Disruptions in the Birth Flow can happen with any of these scenarios: Cesarean Birth Birth where mom wasn’t able to do what she wanted Epidural or Medications Medical interventions such as Vacuum or Forceps Delivery Transfer to Hospital Internal Checks Medical Issues with Baby and/or Mom Right After Birth Incidents where Baby and Mom are Separated Telltale Signs of Lingering Birth Trauma: Body or Pelvic Disconnect Altered Body or Pelvic Sensations Not Taking Care of Yourself Avoiding Sexual Intimacy Anxiety Attacks Poor Eye Contact Inattentive to Baby Depressed or Major Mood Swings Distracted or Spacey Not Feeling in the Present Moment

Let’s talk about Birth Trauma. I think this discussion is really important. There are a lot of women walking around with the effects of birth trauma that don’t even know it. I’ll bet they’re just barely getting by because of what trauma does to your body, your mind, and your spirit. I was one of those women. Barely getting by and trying my hardest to keep it together.  I’m lucky I kept searching until I found the answers and the help that I needed. It wasn’t until I was doing my course work to become a Certified Birth Healing Specialist with the Institute for Birth Healing under the instruction of Lynn Schulte, PT, that I came to the FULL realization that I had suffered trauma when giving birth to my second daughter.   That was 10 years ago. I know. It seems a

Love yourself enough to self-treat everyday. As a physical therapist trained in the John F Barnes Myofascial Release Approach, I encourage my patients to self-treat everyday. What do I mean by self-treat? I mean taking the time out of everyday to take care of you. We’ve all heard “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. I get that you’re a busy mom and your co-workers are relying on you to get shit done day in and day out. You’re running your kids from here to there after school and there’s yet another dinner eaten in the car or while sitting on the bleachers during practice or games. You pack lunches and snacks and sign papers and manage to see that your kids get their homework done. You volunteer like you’re expected to. I also get that you’re a busy dad. You bring

Are you a mom who’s experienced the dreadful peeing accident during a workout? When simply coughing or sneezing? Or have you ever had a sudden loss of urine when trying to get to the restroom in time? I remember the first time this happened to me, shortly after giving birth to my first daughter more than 13 years ago. I was ashamed that I couldn’t even stop the flow of urine and peed my pants, right inside my home. My husband was sympathetic but I was so ashamed, and even worse, I was worried that it would happen again. What if it happened when I was out getting groceries or at a friend’s house? I started packing a change of clothes for baby AND ME inside the diaper bag. Things improved as my postpartum body healed, but the incontinence lingered long after