Congratulations on completing Pelvic Function Level 1 (PF1) and entering the world of pelvic rehabilitation. Are you ready for your next course but not quite sure which one to take? Well, you’re not alone. Everyone’s pelvic health educational journey is different based on their interests and patient demographics and there are a lot of course options available.

I’m going to zero in on the intermediate-level courses in the Pelvic Function Series for you as HW does recommend that practitioners take at least one or two of these. If you’ve looked at the course page you’ve noticed that there are three courses with a Level 2 designation – as well as a lab course. What does this mean? These courses are designed to be a progression of knowledge and skills learned in the foundational course Pelvic Function Level 1.

Here are the intermediate courses:

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Herman & Wallace offers a number of downloadable products on our website for your clinical practice, and we want to put you in charge of deciding which new products we create and offer!

What is a Prefund?
The HW philosophy is that we should only be making products that are useful to our practitioners. In our efforts to create the most valuable products and keep the price as low as possible, we have launched a new Prefund product development program.

Need more information? Check out the Prefund FAQs.

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Callie and Rachel
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Do you listen to any podcasts? What about podcasts that are focused on pelvic issues and aimed toward the pelvic health practitioner? Here at Herman & Wallace, many of us listen to these and we all have our favorites. Recently HW was lucky enough to work with The Pelvic Service Announcement when Callie and Rachel interviewed Holly Tanner for the episode “Stay Curious and Stay Open” which is available on streaming platforms today.

Who are Callie Teel and Rachel Fritz?
Callie and Rachel are two physical therapists whose passion for women’s health and commitment to education are changing the way people think about this important field.

Callie and Rachel first crossed paths at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where they both graduated from physical therapy school in 2021. Following their graduation, the duo began their careers at Optimal Physical Therapy in Amarillo, Texas. It didn't take long for them to realize that there was a significant gap in the public's understanding of pelvic health and the role of pelvic floor physical therapy.

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Did you know that the Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification (PRPC) is celebrating its 10th anniversary? That's right, the first PRPC examination was administered in 2014 and since then, over 700 practitioners from all over the world have earned their certification.

Are you ready to join the ranks of these proficient professionals? Becoming PRPC certified allows you to proudly display the designation "PRPC" after your name, establishing you as an expert in pelvic rehabilitation.

Not sure if you qualify to sit for the PRPC examination? Don't worry, here are some frequently asked questions that may help clarify your eligibility.

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Cancer and oncology treatments have several common side effects like fatigue, changes in appetite, and pain. However, patients who have bladder or gynecological cancers can also experience side effects that affect the bladder, bowel, and sexual functioning. The pelvic floor muscles of these patients can be negatively impacted by many things including surgery, radiation, and in some cases, the tumor itself. Pelvic rehab programs can play a crucial role in improving pelvic floor function and overall quality of life for patients who have been diagnosed or treated for these cancers. Don't underestimate the impact of pelvic rehab on regaining both the quality and satisfaction of life after treatment.

Radiation for gynecological cancers, for instance, has been reported to cause vaginal stenosis resulting in generalized pelvic pain and dyspareunia.1 Surgical options including tumor debulking, hysterectomy, and salpingo-oophorectomy can result in scar tissue that can cause tissues or muscles to shift. As pelvic rehab professionals, it is our privilege to offer an evidence-based and solution-focused approach for the often overlooked pelvic health issues faced by people undergoing treatment for pelvic cancers. Our role is crucial in providing much-needed support and care for these patients.

Pelvic rehab therapy can improve and sometimes even prevent the detrimental impacts on the pelvic and abdominal area that negatively impact the patient’s quality of life. Some of the most common therapy options to help improve your patient's pelvic functioning are:

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Can you tell me a little bit about who you are and your journey to pelvic rehab?
I graduated from Physical Therapy school year 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and finished my transitional doctorate here in the United States. Never did I imagine that I would find my path one day to treating pelvic floor disorders. My experiences were combinations of orthopedic rehabilitation, and pain management with in-patient and out-patient settings. I started practicing in the Philippines, went to the Middle East, and finally found my way to Illinois in 2011.

I am fascinated with how postural alignment and the coordination of the full body can affect one region of the body from distally to proximal, to centrally and peripherally. How a single whip of one body part - how the coordination of breathing and moving, stabilization of core/spine/pelvic floor/scapula can affect even your distal body region.

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Mora Pluchino, PT, DPT, PRPC sat down this week with Holly Tanner in an interview to discuss her new courses, Ethical Concerns for Pelvic Health Professionals and Ethical Considerations from a Legal Lens. She is a pelvic therapist who works in an outpatient clinic, has her own side company (Practically Perfect PT), has written 2 books available on Amazon, and is a senior TA and faculty member with Herman & Wallace. Mora joins the Herman & Wallace faculty with her new course series in ethics: Ethical Concerns for Pelvic Health Professionals and Ethical Considerations from a Legal Lens

What are your core values as a pelvic health practitioner? Depending on your practitioner license these may include (1):

  • Accountability - Active acceptance of the responsibility for the diverse roles, obligations, and actions of the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant including self‐regulation and other behaviors that positively influence patient and client outcomes, the profession, and the health needs of society.
  • Altruism - The primary regard for or devotion to the interest of patients and clients, thus assuming the responsibility of placing the needs of patients and clients ahead of the physical therapist’s or physical therapist assistant’s self‐interest.
  • Collaboration - Working together with patients and clients, families, communities, and professionals in health and other fields to achieve shared goals. Collaboration within the physical therapist‐physical therapist assistant team is working together, within each partner’s respective role, to achieve optimal physical therapist services and outcomes for patients and clients.
  • Compassion and Caring - Compassion is the desire to identify with or sense something of another’s experience; a precursor of caring. Caring is the concern, empathy, and consideration for the needs and values of others.
  • Duty - The commitment to meeting one’s obligations to provide effective physical therapy services to patients and clients, to serve the profession, and to positively influence the health of society.
  • Excellence - The provision of physical therapist services occurs when the physical therapist and physical therapist assistant consistently use current knowledge and skills while understanding personal limits, integrating the patient or client's perspective, embracing advancement, and challenging mediocrity.
  • Integrity - Steadfast adherence to high ethical principles or standards, being truthful, ensuring fairness, following through on commitments, and verbalizing to others the rationale for actions.
  • Social Responsibility - The promotion of mutual trust between the profession and the larger public that necessitates responding to societal needs for health and wellness.

Annual CEU requirements for license renewals don’t just look at hands-on skills. Many states also require a number of ethics credits including California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Utah (2).  In her interview, Mora Pluchino explains that one day she and her colleague were at lunch talking about course options for their ethics CEU requirement. They had taken the same course over and over at Stockton University and wanted to do something different this time. This led to Mora reaching out to Herman & Wallace and Holly Tanner who helped her start writing the course. Mora’s new courses focus on this ethics requirement, provide 6 contact hours, and registration is $175.00 for each: 

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The popularity of yoga continues to rise with over 36 million yogis living in the United States of America and over 300 million practitioners worldwide. Yoga has several therapeutic effects that make it a beneficial addition to home exercise programs for practitioners and personal practice.

Dustienne Miller discussed some of the benefits of yoga in her March blog (March 8, 2022 - A yoga practice can change your neuroanatomy!). These benefits extend beyond the musculoskeletal system and include improved mood and depression, changes in pain perception, improved mindfulness and associated improved pain tolerance, and the ability to observe situations with emotional detachment.

The physical benefits are well documented in several research studies and include improved flexibility, strength, and stability as well as enhanced respiratory and cardiovascular function. Supporting documentation also shows that yoga can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain. Dustienne Miller shared that in a study by Villemure et al, they determined “that the insula-related interoceptive awareness strategies of the yoga practitioners being used during the experiment correlated with the greater intra-insular connectivity...concluding that the insular cortex can act as a pain mediator for yoga practitioners.”

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Dawn Sandalcidi PT, RCMT, BCB-PMD is known as the go-to expert in the field of pediatric pelvic health. She has been practicing for 40 years this May and has concentrated on the pediatric pelvic floor for 29 of those. When it comes to pediatric pelvic floor issues, there is so much more than bedwetting, and often the practitioner needs to look beyond the pelvic floor.

Despite the growing number of pelvic rehab specialists treating men and women with PF dysfunction, children in this patient population remain woefully under-served. This can cause undue stress for the child and family, as well as the development of internalizing and externalizing psychological behaviors. Many of the techniques used in pediatric pelvic therapy can be translated to the adult population. The question is ‘who’s the driver?’ In pediatrics, it is typically a bowel issue.

The Standard American Diet involves food that is high in calories, saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. It is also lacking in the intake of essential nutrients for the body like fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. This lack of dietary fiber can cause issues with the digestive tract as well as the colon leading to constipation. Bowel dysfunction including constipation can contribute to urinary leakage and urgency (1). Constipation accounts for approximately 5% of visits to pediatric clinics (2) proving that there is a need for practitioners to know how to treat these pediatric issues.

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Megan Kranenburg, PT, DPT, WCS created the course Doula Services and Pelvic Rehab Therapy to present the unique challenges of merging a rehab practice with Doula services. Megan is a physical therapist who has balanced her solo outpatient pelvic health practice and Doula work since 2016. She lives and works in the nexus of Doula training near Seattle, Washington - which has provided plenty of opportunities to observe and participate in birth conversations and process the experience through the Physical Therapist's mind and heart.

As a pelvic floor practitioner, you may know that nearly 24% of women in the United States have pelvic floor dysfunction (as reported by the National Institutes of Health) and that this frequency increases with age. Childbirth can contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction, and it can be beneficial for pelvic therapists to know the doula's toolkit

So what is a doula? Doulas are often the first and sometimes the only people with whom a birthing person will feel comfortable discussing pelvic floor-related issues. Dona International defines a doula as a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.

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