When a clinician is examining and dating your vagina, what MATTERS TO YOU?
The insurances they take? Their location? The wait time? The fees? Their credentials?
What about their appointment times? The therapist’s clinical focus (do they dabble in pelvic health or are they all in and insanely passionate about pelvic or women’s health?)? What about the areas of pelvic health that they specialize in?
Are they going to be invested in your BIG goals and help guide you towards them, or are they going to give you a couple random exercises and run off to the next patient?
Or maybe, what about if you feel comfortable with them and feel like you could work with them as a crucial part of your healing team? I don’t know about you, but if I was going to discuss the most intimate details of my life, I wouldn’t want it to be with some stranger who I didn’t feel like I could be friends with outside of the clinic.
How do you determine your OBGYN?
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about the relationship between a pelvic physical therapist and their client or patient. Because it is DIFFERENT. UNIQUE. And WAY more personal than ANY OTHER therapist- patient relationship.
What do I mean by this you ask? Well, take for example a person who has surgery to their knee and needs therapy afterwards to get their knee moving and back to walking and being active. The relationship between the therapist and patient can be friendly and amicable, but if they aren’t exactly connecting and forming a deeper trusting relationship, it’s OK.
For a pelvic physio and their patient? It may just halt all progress. You see, the main ingredients needed in this particular relationship are trust and REALLY good communication.
Conversations are often had that may include information that the patient has NEVER divulged to ANYONE before. I can’t count the number of times a patient starts a comment with the words “this may be TMI…” To which I reply, TMI IS my thing!
Here are just two examples of why this partnership needs to be a good one…
1. The pelvic floor muscles are closely linked to a person’s autonomic nervous system. Think “fight or flight, and rest and digest”. If a person does NOT feel completely safe, their pelvic floor muscles will stay on guard or tense. In general, this is a VERY COMMON issue for women with pelvic floor dysfunction including issues with leakage or pain. Most of us are living a high stress life which lends itself to elevated stress hormones in our bodies in general.
And guess which muscle group is the FIRST to tense up in studies where women were shown scary or violent film clips… that’s right. The pelvic floor muscles. Not the upper traps or stomach like you may think.
2. If a patient does NOT feel like they can open up emotionally to their therapist, they may not relay their full story or symptom history. This will obviously not be helpful as the therapist will not have all of the information to fully and completely assess their patient and help guide them back to health and resolve their issue.
Are you seeing the problem here if the two individuals in this healing team do not feel connected and trust one another?
THIS is EXACTLY why I have created a FREE 20 minute in office consult to any potential patient. At this consult, the individual can share their story, ask any questions they may have and the two of us can start to get a feel if we would be a good team.
In the work of pelvic health physical therapy, therapists are the GUIDE to healing. We are not magical. We don’t have a secret formula that will make everyone better without the serious involvement of the patient. We do know a LOT, we have gone to school for umptean years and often have even MORE clinical and postgraduate education.
BUT, we cannot make magic happen unless we are BOTH on the team!!
Are you ready to change your quality of life and take it to the next level and leave pelvic, back and core issues behind you?
Then we should talk. If we find that we aren’t a great fit? Then let me help you find someone that IS because no one has time to waste.
Here’s to quality relationships that move mountains and change lives. SERIOUSLY.