Hi, and welcome to the new website for my clinic, Gaia Physical Therapy. I’m Michelle Conlin, a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, owner and solo practitioner. Helping my clients with Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation has become one of my greatest passions. More people than one might think suffer from pelvic floor issues, and many of them suffer in silence. The most heartbreaking fact is that people are often unaware of what pelvic physical therapists do and how they can help. Some people live with pelvic floor issues that significantly impact their quality of life for years.
I know it can be unusual and uncomfortable to talk with someone about problems with urinating, bowel movements or sex. But when these things aren’t going well because of pelvic floor dysfunction, it can be truly life-changing to find an understanding pelvic physical therapist who does internal work, provides education and takes the time to develop a home program that actually improves the situation.
We now have an FAQ list that we hope will help you answer some of the more common ones.
1. How long will I need to do pelvic physical therapy?
What seems to work best for treatment and provides the best outcomes is to plan for one visit per week for six to twelve weeks. After that, we can taper down to one or two times a month for two to three months. However, with that being said, please keep in mind that each client’s situation is different and the frequency might be more or less dependent on one’s personal needs and goals as well as physiology.
2. Should I come to therapy if I have my period?
I make sure to start by telling my clients that it is perfectly safe to perform internal work while on your period. However, I also tell each client to decide for themselves whether or not they are comfortable with any internal manual therapy during this time. If they are a little apprehensive, I might suggest external treatments instead. I do also advise them that missing a whole week of therapy can possibly prolong reaching goals—so, we do try to stay on schedule, but always respect each person’s decision.
3. What does an internal assessment of pelvic floor muscles involve?
This assessment usually will happen on the second visit for most clients. On the first visit, I will go over a lot of educational information on pelvic floor anatomy and physiology, and then begin the external assessment of posture and breathing. I explain in detail how and why I would suggest an internal assessment of the pelvic floor muscles for a client. If the client gives consent for the internal assessment, they undressed from the waist down and are provided with a sheet/ blanket to cover themselves. I will always ask your permission to look and/or to touch as we begin the assessment or session. There is no speculum or stirrups used. Clients are always encouraged to bring a chaperone if this would make them more comfortable. Since on the first visit we went through a lot of educational material, we can now apply that knowledge to the client’s own anatomy. At any time, the client can ask to stop the assessment. I know this kind of assessment isn’t easy for some people, so I make sure we are always on the same page.
4. How much do pelvic physical therapy services cost?
Physical therapy services are covered by most insurance companies. If a client has insurance and wants to use their benefits, then the biller will go ahead and bill in the usual manner. I encourage clients to research their specific policy so that they know if they will be liable for deductibles or co-insurance co-pay costs. Gaia Physical Therapy is currently an in-network provider for Medicare, Medicaid, United, Aetna, Cigna, UMR and Humana. Some clients choose to use their FSA/HSA accounts as well. I can provide an itemized invoice for tax/ insurance purposes. If someone has out-of-network benefits, we can still bill their insurance. The time-of-service (cash) rates as of November 2021 are as follows: $150.00 for the evaluation and $90.00 for any follow-up visit. These rates are subject to change.
5. LGBTQIA Clients
Pelvic floor dysfunction can occur with anyone who has a pelvic floor. I treat anyone with a pelvic floor issue or dysfunction. The only individuals I do not treat at my clinic are children (anyone under the age of 18). I encourage clients to use their own pronouns where needed throughout this website.
6. If I have had a pelvic floor problem (bladder, bowel dysfunction or sexual/penetrative problems) for several years, will I still benefit from the therapy?
I have seen clients where the original onset of symptoms started many years ago. This often coincides with pregnancy/delivery, which for some people could have been 20-30 years ago or more. Pelvic floor rehabilitation can really happen at any time. If you have never had a consultation before, it is worth at least seeing if the pelvic floor muscles are contributing to the problem. Most of the time, clients have been to see from 5 to 7 physician specialists before they even hear about a pelvic floor physical therapist—but once someone is finally referred for pelvic floor therapy, the work can begin!
7. Do you have a wait list?
This does vary, but most of the time there is a one to two-month wait to have an evaluation scheduled. However, once you are established as a client, your sessions will be scheduled weekly.
8. What if I leak urine during a session?
I know this situation is never comfortable and can be an embarrassment when it happens. However, I am not at all worried about it. In my profession, it goes with the territory, so to speak. Many people come to see me for this exact problem. When it occurs, it simply confirms why you are in treatment.
What Clients Have Said About Michelle
The gift of Gaia Physical Therapy is information about my own body and ways to care for it. I appreciate the thorough and kind way that MIchelle listens and teaches me about myself.
I began treatment at Gaia PT after giving birth to my third child. I was quickly amazed at how much of a difference it made in my daily life and comfort. I am thankful I didn’t ignore my symptoms, but took a proactive approach to a better quality of life. I am such a believer that even several years after my first treatment, I continue to see Michele for maintenance and for a healthy pelvic floor!
I really felt a weight lift off of my pain from the very first visit! Michelle is gentle and cares about your needs, I will go time and time again for my therapy.
Gaia PT is very caring and professional. Communication, explanation, and respect for patient comfort are all priorities. Michelle is extremely knowledgeable in how to address and treat concerns along with educating the patient on self care. A+