Since qualifying as a Physiotherapist in University College Dublin in 1997, I have worked in various hospitals and private practices, gaining experience in many different physiotherapy specialties before becoming Senior Physiotherapist in Women’s Health in Limerick University Maternity Hospital (with an annual birth rate of approx 5000 babies) in 2006.
I feel so lucky to have started my Women’s Health career in a busy hospital; I hit the ground running and had a busy, varied, interesting and challenging case- load. I had the freedom to develop the service and to respond to the changing needs of our service users i.e pregnant and postnatal women, and their babies. I met and treated thousands of women between 2006 and 2013, supervised and trained many junior physiotherapists, worked with fabulous staff from all professions, and gave birth to my own four children in this hospital. There was no conversation that I was not personally or professionally interested in!
I developed my expertise in the area of women’s health over the years and treated thousands of women with Pregnancy-related issues such as pelvic girdle dysfunction (PGD), neck, back and rib pain, coccyx pain, incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), third-degree tears, diastasis recti abdominis and pudendal neuralgia.
In my pre-children life I qualified with the APPI as a Pilates instructor in 2004, so from my first day in the Maternity hospital I used Pilates-based strength and mobility exercises as individual home exercise programs and developed and introduced postnatal pilates classes to the physiotherapy service in Limerick. I have been teaching Pilates classes to many different population groups since 2007 including pregnant, postnatal, sports, general fitness and older adults.
My Journey to My Fit Physio
In 2014 I completed a Masters in Western Medical Acupuncture in the University of Hertfordshire. Focusing my study on Women’s Health, I presented a poster on the use of acupuncture during pregnancy and conducted a literature review on Diastasis Recti Abdominis as core modules of study. I studied all areas of Women’s Health from a medical, physiotherapeutic and acupuncture point of view from Fertility to Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain, Irritable Bowel, Induction of Labour and many more.
I have been working in private practice since 2013 and have treated women of all ages. As part of every session I prescribe an exercise program and for me this has always been Pilates-based because it allows a nice flow of exercises and focuses on strength and mobility.
I started by writing out my exercise programmes with diagrams of match-stick figures and over the last few years I started to make videos for my patients so that all my patient has to do is “press play!”. I have noticed patterns and similarities and have always felt that I could offer my services online so that women could exercise at home with the feeling of being ‘supervising’ by their physiotherapist.
I created MyFit Physio in 2020 as a women’s health resource for anyone who needs to zone in on particular areas of their health at certain life stages.
While I believe strongly in the independence that these exercise programs will give you, I also believe in being fully informed when you begin a programme like this. All my programs begin at a low level to allow you work on technique and the fundamental parts of core engagement; if you are struggling at any point or are unsure, I would one hundred percent recommend that you visit a local Chartered physiotherapist who is specialised in Women’s Health to be assessed. This will help you to make decisions about the level of exercise you choose to do and will help you to pace yourself as you progress to higher levels.
Not everything is fixed by exercise alone, but no harm will be done while you move at your own pace and listen to me and your own body along the way!