I was kindly interviewed by the host of an upcoming course to get a behind the scenes look at what to look forward to at the class. I broke it down for them here:
1. What can you tell us about “Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston for Adult Populations (Part One)” that is not mentioned in the “course description” and “objectives” that are posted online?
The biggest thing to understand is that this is not just a course for traditional women’s health practitioners, nor is it simply about the pelvic floor, or incontinence. The course is a great introduction to the pelvic floor for all specialties. I like to think of it as a “gateway drug” to a mysterious muscle group that many have held at arms length. A neuromuscular approach is presented, not a pure strengthening model, with the intention of linking the brain, sensory, motor and IAP systems again to create a coordinated central stability system that is responsive versus statically held. Finally, the course material links that powerful and responsive central foundation to the rest of musculoskeletal system for optimized movement, function, and performance.
The course has practical, manageable, and EXTERNAL intervention strategies to help non-women’s health practitioners integrate the pelvic floor linked with the diaphragm into current programming. For traditional women’s health therapists the course offers integrative ideas to expand their clinical tools and external options for patients that are reticent about or can’t tolerate internal therapies.
2. What inspired you to create this course?
Initially, my goals were to share with my ortho and sports med colleagues how incredible the pelvic floor muscle group is, and how to integrate it as a powerful ally in their programming. Many practitioners just assume that ‘typical” women’s health issues and anything pelvic floor related aren’t their department. But the evidence is clear that the pelvic floor is a player in the “core” and in all of our movements. The pelvis, and pelvic stability are part of both the upper and lower extremity kinetic chain. So adding pelvic floor integrative tools to the skill set of all practitioners is critical. In addition, the action of the diaphragm and breath mechanics intertwined as a component of the central control system (along with the pelvic floor and abs) is another powerful and tool for both musculoskeletal, pelvic, performance and neurological issues. It is a new access point that captures the system more automatically, creating the effortless carryover into function and fitness we all want from our programs.
Along the way I found traditional women’s health practitioners who were hoping to link their specific pelvic floor interventions to the rest of the musculoskeletal system, with an eye on fitness. So I saw the course as a way to bring both specialties to the middle.
Now more and more neuro therapists are coming to the course in search of alternative approaches for creating central stability and continence solutions for their patient populations, which is exciting!
3. What resources and research were used when writing this course?
The course presents an integrative approach sourced from research, books, articles, and interaction/coursework with top practitioners in multiple fields: sports med, orthopedics, womens health, pediatrics, neuro, cardio pulm, and pain science. A bibliography is available upon request.
4. Can you describe the clinical/treatment approach/techniques covered in this continuing education course?
The course introduces the evidence and thought process behind a new way of thinking about how the pelvic floor and its functional partners work together. Then step-by-step, it builds on that understanding to advance a clinical model that adheres to the evidence. First, this involves identification of the pelvic floor and each of its teammates, then how to use that team as a unit to provide a dynamic, responsive central stability system. Finally, linking that deep system from the inside-out to the rest of the postural system and extremities in movement and function. This builds a powerful foundation for exercise progressions and return to fitness.
The treatment progression is experienced and internalized by each participant and applied in a live demonstration throughout the course. Case studies and small group learning opportunities are provided to assist with information synthesis and prep for return to the clinic on Monday morning.
5. Why should a therapist take this course? How can these skill sets benefit his/ her practice?
To an ortho or sports med practitioner : The pelvic floor is an essential part of the “core” and movement, come learn external techniques to integrate it into your programming.
To a neuro therapist: The pelvic floor and diaphragm are part of the postural control system. This approach accesses the central stability system through breath, which allows a natural access point for your patients not provided by traditional core programs.
To the women’s health practitioner: This is an opportunity to learn to move the pelvic floor from isolation to integration with its functional, postural, and performance partners.
I hope to see you at a course soon! Check out the events calendar for upcoming course dates and locations. If you are interested in hosting a course please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.