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May 2015
Pelvic Floor Health

I am so excited to see that “Today’s Parent” magazine has published an article on pelvic floor health. As a mother of 2, I personally know that pelvic floor issues can stem from pregnancy and delivery. Although pelvic floor issues are life changing I would never trade the joy that having children brings to my soul. Interestingly, the article also points out that clinically women that have not been pregnant may also experience pelvic floor conditions.

I particularly like how this article further emphasizes that women are not alone when it comes to pelvic organ prolapse and urinary leakage. I hope that this article will encourage more women to seek help for their incontinence and better yet, seek help to prevent these conditions!

The article also features Hypopressive Canada and how Hypopressives can be used to help prevent or minimize the effects of preexisting pelvic floor issues. I recently completed my level 2 Hypopressive course with Trista Zinn (featured in the article) and Tamara Rial from Spain. I will soon be offering a trial class that will run for 4-6 weeks. I
plan to offer it to existing clients that have started doing hypopressives. If you are interested in the class please contact me before June 15th.

I hope you enjoy the article attached from “Today’s Parent.”

If you require further information regarding Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy, please contact Finishline Physiotherapy.

Finishline Physiotherapy
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102

April 2015

I have recently had a few clients come to me with concerns that fall under the scope of practice of physiotherapy and also additional health concerns that do not. Since the title of this headline is Cancer you may have already guessed what those other health concerns are. I am by no means a cancer expert but I have had several clients over the years that are battling cancer or are survivors of cancer.

Joy Daniel has provided me with a specific article that was published in the “Journal of Cancer Integrative Medicine” that discusses the effects of an Asian Medical Mushroom on Breast Cancer.

Please find it here in PDF format.

If you require further information or wish to learn more about this mushroom contact Finishline Physiotherapy and I will connect you with Joy

Finishline Physiotherapy
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


March 2015
Pelvic Pain Part 2

Sometimes pelvic pain can be chronic and when this happens it can be more then just the tissue causing the pain. Pain experts state that we do not have pain receptors in our tissue. We only have receptors for light touch, pressure, chemical, and temperature. For a great explanation of pain and why things hurt, check out a well recognized pain expert on this your-tube video:

Once you understand why you get pain the more difficult step is how to treat it…especially when it is chronic. This is an area that I have recently been trying to improve upon in my practice. The first step is trying not to offend the patient by having them misinterpret the pain education. The last thing I want is for someone to think their pain is all in their head.

After step 1 is complete step 2 - ? can vary depending on the patient. Since I know that the Autonomic nervous system can trigger our fight or flight response I may try acupuncture or a massage technique that triggers the region of the body where this nervous system resides.

As for home exercises patients may be sent home with a relaxation technique similar to alternate nasal breathing which was posted in my January headline. I may recommend Qi gong or yoga to help promote relaxation. Guided motor imagery exercises will stimulate the motor and sensory cortex of the brain without actually moving or touching the painful area.

Remapping the brain is possible but does take persistence and repetition. The long term affects could be life changing for individuals that suffer from chronic pain.

If you require further information regarding pelvic pain or chronic pain please contact:

Finishline Physiotherapy
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102

January 2015
Soothing our Nervous System

Happy New Year and welcome to 2015! My headline for this month is going to be more like a blog with some article and book recommendations attached to it. I hope you enjoy the information I am about to share.

My January headline is a bit late for multiple reasons but better late then never is a motto I use often. In today’s society being late is not unusual and almost expected and I am happy for that grace as being late happens to me more then once a week. I can easily come up with a great reason for being tardy that is very valid (in my mind).

Like most working women with children we have a lot on our daily schedule and we are determined to get it done before we crash on our pillows in the late evening hours. For me, it is “oh we got 10 minutes before the appointment and it only takes 5 to get there so I will just get this last email answered or few dishes washed or one more item done on my never ending to do list!” I think most women can relate to this.

Over the 2 weeks of holidays I worked 4 days in total and it was wonderful to have such a relaxed schedule. I finished a book that I started more then 6 months ago and got to spend some quality time with my kids and husband.

Now we are going on our second week of routine and all the scheduling that goes with it and I am trying very hard to take a different approach to all the perceived chaos. My new approach has been prompted by the book I finally finished over my holidays. The title is very fitting to my scheduled life “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life.” The Authors are Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey. This book teaches you strategies and little chants to practice when you have to slow down your mind so you are not physically and mentally always feeling like you are in a rush.
For Example, imagine having a technique to stay focused on every moment of a day that you work, feed your family a decent meal, run one kid to one activity and the other kid to the other activity and also need to get those cupcakes ready that you promised your daughter you would send to school for her birthday and… I think most moms can relate to these days! While you are doing all this you try to listen attentively to your kids description of their day at school and respond appropriately.

Life is all about living in the moment. Since I have completed the book I repeatedly tell myself this is the moment I need to focus my attention on. That moment can be as simple as helping my son get his winter gear on so we can get to school on time. Then when I get back from the school walk I can focus on what needs to be done next. The key to this is prioritizing tasks appropriately. Thus far, I feel I am accomplishing more and the best thing; I have not yet had a “freak out” session on my kids that pertains to getting out the door on time and I have not been late for anything!

In addition to the book recommendation there are many other meth-ods of trying to Soothe our Nervous System. Yoga is very popular and can be extremely helpful to ones Nervous System. I do not avidly practice yoga, but I know several individuals who do. I do find Yoga a bit confusing because there are so many types. To try and gain a better understanding of Yoga I met with a friend that teaches Restorative Yoga. We went through an article from the Yoga Journal and she pointed out the more popular types of Yoga. If you wish to read the entire article here is the link.

If you do not want to read the entire article here are some bits that my Yoga friend suggested would be more popular. If you do want to know more about any of the types of yoga listed below there are links throughout the Yoga Journal that provide you with more detailed information of each Yoga method.

Ashtanga Yoga
What to Expect: The inspiration for many vinyasa-style yoga classes, Ashtanga Yoga is an athletic and demanding practice. Traditionally, Ashtanga is taught “Mysore style”: Students learn a series of poses and practice at their own pace while a teacher moves around the room giving adjustments and personalized suggestions.

What It’s About: The practice is smooth and uninterrupted, so the practitioner learns to observe whatever arises without holding on to it or rejecting it. With continued practice, this skill of attentive nonat-tachment spills over into all aspects of life. This is one important meaning of K. Pattabhi Jois’s famous saying, “Practice, and all is coming.”

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga
What to Expect: This is a physically challenging, flowing practice that will get your heart pumping while also encouraging you to find your authentic personal power in life. Classes feature a vigorous 90-minute sequence, performed in a heated room and designed to condition the whole body.

What It’s About: The aim of Baptiste Yoga is to create freedom, peace of mind, and the ability to live more powerfully and authentically right now. The physically challenging practice is a training ground for facing emotional and philosophical challenges that arise in your life.

Bikram Yoga
What to Expect: Rooms are heated to 105 degrees, and classes consist of 45 minutes of standing poses and 45 minutes of floor postures. You do the same series of two breathing exercises and 26 poses in each class.

What It’s About: This practice is designed to work your body and re-quires full mental concentration. The overall objective is to create a fit body and mind, allowing the physical self to unify with the spiritual self.

Kundalini Yoga
What to Expect: A 90-minute class typically begins with chanting and ends with singing, and in between features asana, pranayama, and meditation designed to create a specific outcome. Expect to encounter challenging breathing exercises, including the rapid pranayama known as Breath of Fire, mini-meditations, mantras, mudras (sealing gestures), and vigorous movement-oriented postures, often repeated for minutes, that will push you to your limit—and beyond.

What It’s About: Kundalini Yoga is sometimes called the Yoga of Awareness. The primary goal is to awaken kundalini energy, the psychoenergetic force that leads to spiritual elevation, and kick-start the process of transformation.

Prana Flow Yoga
What to Expect: “Challenging” and “empowering” are touchstone words for this active, fluid form of vinyasa yoga. After the opening Om, the class is an exercise in near-continuous motion. Sequences are creative, often incorporating elements of dance and moving meditation, and accompanied by music.

What It’s About: The practice is a vehicle to connect with prana.

Sivananda Yoga
What to Expect: Based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda, this yoga style is more spiritual practice than exercise. Each 90-minute class focuses on 12 core poses and Sanskrit chanting, pranayama practices, meditation, and relaxation.

What It’s About: Designed to transform and elevate human con-sciousness, Sivananda Yoga focuses on five fundamental points of yoga: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation (Corpse Pose), proper diet (vegetarianism), and positive thinking and medita-tion.

What to Expect: A flowing asana practice, pranayama, mudras, dharana (concentration) practice, and meditation.

What It’s About: The wavelike spinal movements and synchronized breathing are designed to awaken prana.

What to Expect: Tailored to individual needs, classes vary greatly and may include asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation, prayer, and ritual. All classes emphasize mobilizing the spine and coordinating movement with breath.

What It’s About: Viniyoga is a useful therapeutic tool for the body, but it also aims to develop the breath, voice, memory, intellect, character, and heart. The practice views yoga as a means to cultivate the positive, reduce the negative, and help each practitioner achieve discriminative awareness—the key to any process of self-transformation.


Lastly if yoga is not for you here is an article about how alternating nasal breathing can also Soothe the Nervous system by stimulating the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The Parasympathetic Nervous System is part of the Autonomic Nervous System. Rest and Digest describes the Parasympathetic system and Fight or Flight describes the Sympathetic Nervous System.

If you are interested in learning more about the any of the sugges-tions and techniques listed above contact Finishline Physiotherapy.

Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102

December 2014

Kegel Exercise Ball Program

If you have ever entered into an “Adult Only Store,” you may have seen various kegel exercisers or what I would call, pelvic floor exerciser. These exercisers generally can be balls or cones. Often there is no instructions or inaccurate instructions on how to properly exercise your pelvic floor.

As you all know we are all “beautifully and wonderfully made” and that means that something that works for a friend may not work for you. I am going to provide some tips for those women that are using the pelvic floor exercisers. If these tips and suggestions are not improving your situation then it would be best to book in with a Women’s/Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.


1. Use a lubricant, even if you have the slightest amount of dryness. I usually recommend “Sliquid” but there are many other brands available at adult only stores.

2. Remove the affects of gravity. That means lie down when you are first starting to exercise.

3. Isolate the pelvic floor muscles to squeeze around the exerciser. This means don’t hold your breath, squeeze your buttock or thigh muscles or tilt your pelvis.

4. Start with tightening and holding firmly for 2-3 seconds and then relaxing for 4-6 seconds before repeating. This will work on your strength.

5. Repetitions are determined by your muscle reaction. If the sensation of isolating the muscle decreases or you can no longer sense if you are tightening or relaxing then it is time for a longer break. This means that sometimes you may only do 4 good repetitions.

6. Rest periods are very individualized. Some individuals may do 3 sets of 4-8 reps with a 1-2 minute breaks between sets. Others may need a 5 minutes or several hours between sets.

7. As you get stronger and can perform more reps you can add gravity by sitting, standing, or high kneeling.

8. If you want, try and hold your pelvic floor tension for longer. I recommend not holding the tension for greater then 10 seconds and the rest period should be 10-15 seconds between each repetition.

9. To challenge your muscles try to tighten quickly and then fully relax or try the 3 floors of the elevator going up and down. The elevator would involve the following steps: tighten - pause briefly - tighten - pause briefly - tighten maximally - pause briefly - relax slightly - pause - relax slightly more - pause - relax fully.

10. Remember that 60% of women who have been checked do pelvic floor exercises incorrectly. If you have any concerns about your technique then contact Finishline Physiotherapy to help you with your technique.

Sometimes exercising the pelvic floor is not the only solution. If you have any pelvic health concerns that are not resolving with doing your pelvic floor exercises it is never to late to contact a Women’s/Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.

If you live in Okotoks and you are looking for exercisers please visit Natasha at “Addicted to Love” in store or on line:

Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015!

Finishline Physiotherapy
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


Do Foam Rollers Work?

Please check out this link regarding foam roller use.

Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015!

Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


November 2014
What is Hypopressive Technique?

This technique is a breathing technique that was accidentally discovered by a urogynecology health provider in Spain. The story that was shared when I took my hypopressive fundamental course was the health provider was assessing a woman with a vaginal prolapse and the woman got startled and the prolapse retracted. This was the beginning of Dr. Marcel Caufriez’s research into developing the hypopressive method.

The hypopressive method can be beneficial to everyone. The limited research and clinical experience has shown that hypopressives can help with CORE activation, athletic performance, preventing or reducing existing vaginal prolapses, reducing waist circumference, improving posture, improve sexual function and prevent urinary incontinence.

Learning the technique takes lots of practice and focus. After you have mastered the technique the workout should be done in the mornings before you eat and takes a total of 20 minutes to perform.

Here are some websites to help you become familiar with the technique:, If you are interested in learning more about the hypopresive technique contact Finishline Physiotherapy.

Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


October 2014
CORE Breathing:

CORE Breathing involves maintaining proper coordination between the Diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor.  Julie Wiebe has a great link on You-Tube that describes this as a piston.  Here is the link to Julie’s video

When first learning the CORE Breath you need to focus on breathing diaphragmatically.  Start with lying down on your back in a neutral spine position.  Place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your belly.  Breathe at a normal rhythm in through your nose and out your mouth.  With each breath in, the abdomen and ribs should expand into your hands.  Once you have mastered this rhythm, change positions (side lying, sitting, standing, kneeling etc).

Step two is incorporating the pelvic floor with exhalation.  Start again lying on your back in a neutral spine with the knees bent and feet on the floor.  Use imagery to engage and isolate the pelvic floor with each exhalation.  Now move into a different position. 

Once you have mastered the CORE Breath you are on your way to maintaining a functional CORE and preventing incontinence and other pelvic health related problems.

If you are having difficulties with any of the steps of the CORE Breath then please consult with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists.

Tower Hill Community in North Okotoks
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


September 2014
Postpartum Exercise Programs:
What all mom’s need to consider before starting their exercise program.

Please review this link on my Facebook This is a personal story that a new mom shared on her blog and I have heard this story more then once from moms I treat. I consistently recommend that postpartum mom’s stick to low impact exercise until 4-6 months after they have stopped breastfeeding.

The blog mentions the effects low estrogen has on our connective tissue this is one factor that all moms experience. If you can convince your doctor…get your hormone levels tested to determine what your estrogen levels are. If possible, you could check what your estrogen levels are normally before you get pregnant

. In addition to estrogen other factors may need to be considered; such as tears, episiotomy, vacuum extraction, c-section etc. The postpartum time frame is a process just like the 9 months of pregnancy. You need to adjust to your changing body. If you choose to breast feed for a year then be prepared to do low impact exercise for up to 18 months postpartum. If you need guidance in low impact exercise then consult with a postpartum exercise specialists such as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. If you require further information book your appointment today.

Tower Hill Community in North Okotoks
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


July 2014
I am constipated! What can I do to help it?

What Causes it?

This is multifactorial and may include numerous factors. Below are a list of some possible causes:

  • Medication
  • Stress
  • Diet or certain foods
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Poor Hydration
  • Low fibre intake
  • Ignoring the first urge to have a bowel movement
  • Reduced activity
  • Prolonged use of Laxatives
  • Dairy products

What Can Help?

  1. Adequate Fiber - Try walnuts, hemp, Chia Seeds in addition to green vegetables or metamucil, psyllium
  2. Adequate Fluids - divide your body weight by 2 to determine the number of ounces of fluid you need just to live ( 8 ounces = 250 mL, 250 mL = 1/4 litre). If you are active increase this amount by 250 mL per hour of activity (activity includes any sort of movement).
  3. Intestinal stimulants - Cod Liver, Mineral oil, Aloe Vera juice, Castor oil.
  4. Proper positioning on the toilet with an open mouth. Check out the youtube video for squatty Potty (you do not have to buy this stool any stool will work). Aim to at least have your knees above your hip crease. Watch Video.
  5. Never ignore the first urge.
  6. I love you massage of the intestines.
  7. Set-up a regular routine.

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are trained in this area of health and can help you with achieving a healthy bowel routine. If you require further information book your appointment today.

Tower Hill Community in North Okotoks
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102

June 2014
What is a Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

This occurs when the supporting tissue for the bladder, uterus or rectum loosen and begin to hang lower then their true anatomical position in the pelvic cavity. When this occurs, the vaginal wall will begin to collapse and the bladder, uterus or rectum will push the vaginal tube out to the introits or external opening of the vagina. Women will feel heaviness, pressure or sometimes pain in the vaginal or rectal regions. Women may also experience some urinary or fecal leakage.

What Causes it?

This multifactorial and may include numerous factors. Female hormones and their affect on the body and the flexibility of the connective tissue are factors to consider in combination with:

  • High impact exercise that may include running, jumping, boot camps, plyometrics, cross fit, etc.
    Check out this link on you-tube:
  • Heavy lifting due to job requirements, situational requirements such as moving or helping an ill family member.
  • Poor breathe control during the above activities or do to a chronic cough.
  • Pregnancy or Child birth
  • Post hysterectomy
  • Medical history of abdominal surgeries
  • Pelvic Floor weakness, damage or neuropathy

What Can Be Done?


  1. Consult a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist - Education, exercise, manual therapy, some can teach the hypopresive technique.
  2. Pelvic Floor Clinic at the Foothills Hospital - Education classes, Pessary referral, surgical referral
  3. Direct Referral to an Obstetrician / Gynaecologist - Surgery, pessary fitting, referral to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.

Treatment Pros and Cons:

  1. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist - may or may not have temporary discomfort after treatment, unable to completely resolve your problem, not paid by Alberta Health.
  2. Pelvic Floor Clinic at the Foothills Hospital: no one on one care, long wait list if referred to a surgeon or for a pessary, unlikely to solve the problem with just a class.
  3. Direct Referral to an Obstetrician / Gynaecologist - long wait to be seen, may recommend surgery before trying conventional treatment, multiple surgical complications.


  1. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist - non invasive treatments, accessible and minimal wait times, can always provide some education that will help, provide patients with autonomy with home exercises.
  2. Pelvic Floor Clinic at the Foothills Hospital - non invasive treatments, accessible and minimal wait times, may provide education and exercises that will help.
  3. Referral to an Obstetrician / Gynaecologist - Quick access to pessaries, surgery, can diagnose.

Hypopresive Technique

Leona is one of few Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists in Canada trained in the Hypopresive method and is experiencing great feedback from her clients who have tried some of the techniques. This technique is very new in Leona’s practice as she completed her training in March 2014.

Check out these links to learn more:

Tower Hill Community in North Okotoks
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


May 2014

May is National Physiotherapy Month
“You can watch life or live it.”

It is spring and lots of individuals want to get out and enjoy the warmer weather and start their yard work. Here is some tips to keep in mind:

- bend and your knees and crease at your hips when raking rather then stooping
- switch your hands often when you rake.
- pace yourself - if it has been an inactive winter then slowly work into doing yard work. Short bursts frequently is better then a lot of work at once.

Digging and Shovelling
- stand in a lunge and push the shovel with your thigh to dig and shovel
- when carrying or lifting dirt bend at your knees and crease at your hips rather then flexing forward at the waist.

Planting and weeding
- Use knee pads or a kneeling board
- Avoid stooping or flexing forward
- Dig out the stiff rooted plants rather then pulling by hand

- Keep the push bar close to your chest and abdomen to avoid “hunching over”
- Dig in your heels as you push forward to encourage your bum to work.

For more tips check out:


Contact: Tower Hill Community in North Okotoks
Phone: 403-982-0666 Fax: 403-982-1102


April 2014
New Article - Conservative Management of Urinary Incontinence - A SOGC CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE