A Little Background…
I was born and raised in Santa Cruz CA, received my Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2007 and my Masters in Physical Therapy at Long Beach State in 2010. From there I continued my education with an Orthopedic Residency and Fellowship in Applied Functional Science. Later becoming a Certified Massage Practitioner and CrossFit Level 2 Coach. I take pride in my desire to never stop learning and believe a diverse set of tools makes for the most effective physical therapy. I worked within a variety of clinics before opening up my own business in 2015 and have never looked back.
Why Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
As a physical therapist, I am considered an expert of the musculoskeletal system. The pelvic floor, being a series of muscles, is part of this system. Therefore, I think the question that should be asked is “why isn’t pelvic floor assessment and treatment part of the standard education of a physical therapist?”
I specifically noticed this gap in my education when treating individuals with low back, hip and/or sacroiliac pain. While it’s common knowledge that proper core function is essential, it’s not commonly acknowledged that the pelvic floor is the bottom of the core. I had been focusing on abdominal strength for my patients but started to think that wasn’t the epicenter of their core dysfunction. I began asking them questions to screen for pelvic floor dysfunction: Do you leak a little pee when you cough or sneeze? Do you have pain with penetration? Do you feel pelvic heaviness or pressure? Do you wake up at night to pee or feel like you have to pee all the time? 100% of them answered yes to at least one of these questions. It was my “ah-ha” moment.
Around the same time I became pregnant which made pelvic floor health even more relevant in my own life as well. In navigating the process of growing and birthing a human, I became acutely aware of how perinatal pelvic health care is practically non-existent especially in the postpartum period. When I returned to work after maternity leave, I came back as a pelvic physical therapist, but more importantly as an educator and advocate for pelvic floor health especially for the perinatal population.
Why no insurance?
I prioritize two things in my profession: individualized, one-on-one, quality care and continued education with an emphasis on professional growth. The unfortunate fact is that it is hard to maintain these two things in a clinic run by insurance companies. The design is flawed or more over, our insurance system is backwards. After re-living the same story over and over again, I was tired of treatment times being cut, patients being pushed over to under-qualified aides and insurance reimbursement dictating what treatment I was and wasn’t allowed to give. I opened up my own practice in order to guarantee that at the end of everyday, I know I have given the best possible care to each and every one of my patients. In order to make sure of this, I will never hire, expand or double book, and I will never take insurance as long as it functions in its current state.
Like many others, I didn’t realize virtual was a viable option until I was forced into it because of the pandemic. Now I find my virtual services are often more effective than in-person. First off, I get to start people right away rather than having them wait months to get in which is so important especially when there are due dates and timelines that people are on. I have also found there is no limitation to what I can do virtually. I can teach anyone literally anything through a screen AND they are more likely to do it because they can’t depend on anyone else doing it for them. This is why my virtual patients consistently feel better and get stronger quicker. It is also why I will forever aim to offer every one of my services with a virtual option.