Discover the importance of self-care in demanding professions and how a pelvic floor physical therapist navigates the challenges of prioritizing personal well-being while caring for others.

Dr. Cassidy Cutter, PT, DPT, RYT

Exploring the Journey to Specializing in Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Many people wonder what inspires professionals to specialize in specific fields, and for pelvic floor physical therapists, the answer often lies in personal experiences. For me, it was my struggle with pelvic floor dysfunction that led me down this path. Having dealt with the condition on and off over the years, I became passionate about helping others who face similar challenges. It’s incredible how our journeys can shape our careers and enable us to make a difference in people’s lives.

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that can affect anyone, not just pregnant individuals or those who have recently given birth. This is one of the common misconceptions people have about pelvic floor health and therapy. Surgeries, exercise injuries, and health disorders can all contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. It’s important to raise awareness and educate people about the wide range of factors that can lead to pelvic floor issues. Additionally, it’s crucial to debunk the misconception that pelvic floor therapy solely involves performing kegel exercises. While Kegels may be a part of the treatment plan for some patients, there are numerous other techniques and exercises that pelvic floor therapists employ to address the specific needs of each individual.

As a pelvic floor physical therapist, my approach to educating patients about their pelvic health is comprehensive. I strongly believe that knowledge is empowering, so I take the time to teach my patients about the intricacies of the pelvic floor as well as the interconnectedness of various body parts such as the ribs, diaphragm, spine, and hips. Patients can actively participate in their healing process by understanding the role of the nervous system and how the body functions as a whole. I provide them with the tools and information they need to make informed decisions and take control of their pelvic health.

Personal Strategies for Prioritizing Self-Care in a Challenging Profession

Working in a demanding profession like pelvic floor physical therapy requires a strong commitment to self-care. Despite the challenges and demands of the job, it’s important to prioritize personal well-being. For me, self-care involves activities that help me relax and rejuvenate. I find solace in reading, spending time outdoors, and engaging in regular exercise. These practices not only help me recharge but also contribute to my overall mental and physical well-being. Finding activities that bring you joy and allow you to unwind is essential in any demanding profession. It’s all about finding balance and making self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.

One personal experience that has significantly shaped my approach to patient care and my perspective on pelvic health is my own struggle with endometriosis. This condition has made me more empathetic towards those who experience pain in vulnerable areas or feel lost and anxious about their bodies. Having been through similar experiences, I understand the physical and emotional toll it can take. This personal journey has fueled my determination to provide compassionate care and support to my patients. It reminds me to approach each individual with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to their overall well-being.

Dr. Cassidy Cutter, PT, DPT, RYT

In addition to personal experiences, various resources are available for those interested in learning more about pelvic health outside of work. Some highly recommended books in this field include ‘Come As You Are’ by Emily Nagoski, ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ by Bessel van der Kolk, and ‘Healing Endo’ by Andrew S. Cook. These books provide valuable insights and information about pelvic health, helping individuals gain a deeper understanding of their bodies. Social media platforms like @yourpostpartumpt and @pelvichealth also offer a wealth of resources, including informative posts, expert advice, and a supportive community.

Managing stress is crucial when working in a demanding profession. To find balance in your daily routine, it’s essential to prioritize stress management techniques. I find that engaging in activities that promote relaxation is the most effective way to manage stress. This can include anything that helps you unwind and find peace, whether it’s practicing breathwork, meditation, or engaging in your self-care routine. It’s important to experiment and find what works best for you. Remember, your well-being is just as important as the care you provide to others.