I’m still somewhat in recovery mode after #WomanonFire2018 – what a weekend!!! Knowledge bombs, dancing and #professionalsisterhood were the order of the day! We’re already in planning mode for #WomanOnFire2019…you have been warned!! Tickets sold out early for this event – its a must-attend if you are working in women’s health!

The longer I work in women’s health, the more convinced I am of the importance of stress management strategies for pelvic certainly, but for global health. When we are stressed EVERYTHING is affected – even when it’s a ‘good stress’ like running an event like Woman on Fire – I know my breathing became more shallow when av setups weren’t working, I definitely know my digestive system was noticing we weren’t at home eating our regular food. There’s been a lot of interest lately in how our gut function impacts our brain function, and how the enteric system is intimately connected to the brain via hormonal feedback loops and the vagal nerve pathways – this is an area that fascinates me and I’m reading lots of good stuff on this. It constantly amazes me, how elegantly intelligent our body and brain design is, and how we can change our health by altering our approach to some basic everyday activities – how we breathe, how we eat, sleep, move and manage stress

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing my friend and colleague, Dr Susan Clinton, about the importance of the breath – for back pain, for bowel health but even more importantly for pressure management (both psychological and physical stress!) and self awareness. We talked about the habits we can get into – such as breath holding and pushing down on your hands every time you go from sit to stand – and if you’ve ever been to one of my courses, you know this is something I’m keen to discuss – how our glutes are there to propel us vertically and dynamically and we need to use them (and not breath holding!) as our dynamic stability strategy!! I’m also quite fond of quoting the research that tells us that going from sit to stand produces more of an increase in intra-abdominal pressure than lifting a 20lb weight!! Having strong glutes (both glute med and glute max) are important for pelvic health, for back pain and I believe in preventing or managing prolapse, as part of a global pelvic rehab strategy. Jenny Burrell shares my passion for #breathingbetter so I’m delighted to say, we are collaborating on a new online course which we’ll be delivering from July 2018 – we’ll take a deep dive on the anatomy, physiology and psychology of breathing, how breathing patterns influence back pain, headaches, bladder and bowel function and pelvic organ prolapse. There’ll be sections on manual therapy skills and corrective exercise strategies – better breathing in a box!! (metapohorically!!) Stay tuned for further details!!

So without further ado, here’s the interview with Susan – enjoy!!