What is your current position?
I am a musculoskeletal physiotherapist and pilates instructor. I run 2 businesses (yes, I must be crazy!).
Dynamic Strength Physiotherapist is my business here in Perth, teaching pregnancy and postnatal pilates and education.
Herasphere is my online business, providing great information in the form of blogs and interviews related to health and wellness in pregnancy and beyond. We have very recently launched our Pregnancy Club, which is an online program of education and exercise for women who are pregnant! I think this is fabulous for those who cannot attend classes in person due to location, shift work, small children to look after etc!
What led you into women's health physio?
I did dabble in women’s health over the years -teaching hydrotherapy to the antenatal and postnatal populations, doing an obstetric physiotherapy role in the NHS, running osteoporosis classes etc - but to be honest I always thought my role would remain in musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy. After I had my own children though, of course I became much more interested in how the body changes in pregnancy and how we can help assist women get back into the things that they love afterwards
What do you enjoy the most about it?
Actually, it is the continuity side of things. I see women right through their pregnancies- quite often until the week they give birth! Then they attend the mums and bubs pilates classes…and often return again later for the pregnancy classes in round 2! It is an absolute pleasure getting to know my clients so well and following them through this exciting time in their lives.
I also love hearing back from my clients about their birth stories. If I have in some way assisted in them having a positive birth experience, then I am over the moon as I know this can help greatly with bonding and recovery.
Do you have a specific area of specialty or interest within women's health?
My interest definitely lies in exercise - how exercise can help improve women’s subjective experience in pregnancy and relieve pelvic girdle and back pain. I also love working with women postnatally, progressing their programs in order to get them back into the things that they love doing.
I am not a continence physiotherapist, so I have a great working relationship with those local to me, and they do the pelvic floor assessments for my clients. I think this collaboration is essential in getting the best outcomes for my clients.
Describe an average 'day at the office'
With Dynamic Strength Physiotherapy, an average day is either running classes or doing admin! The Pregnancy classes are run in the evenings and are a combination of education, exercise and relaxation. Postnatal classes are run during the day and they include strength, balance and mobility exercise with a focus on pelvic floor activation, breathing patterns and functional movements.
Herasphere involves interviewing health professionals, writing blogs and doing talks for groups. It’s pretty fun
Name an area of research you would like to see done in women's/men's/pelvic floor health?
I’d love to see more research go into the preventative work that we can do as physiotherapists to potentially help reduce the incidence of perineal tears in labour.
What is one thing you would like to say to someone who is considering taking that step and making an appointment with their local women's health physiotherapist?
Just do it. It isn’t remotely embarassing. These physiotherapists are so experienced at making you feel relaxed, it just isn’t a big deal.
To be honest, most women that I refer to WH physios are so grateful to have had the assessment. It can really be life-changing, esp if pain or incontinence are a problem.
What is an aspect of women's/men's health that gives you job satisfaction?
Too many to mention!
I love it best when I get feedback from women that they feel really strong! Mission accomplished!
A FEW FUN QUESTIONS SO WE CAN GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Beach or Bush? Oooh....either!
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Full cream or skim? Full (I don't do skim anything- yuck!)
Fruit or veg? Veg
Home cooked or Restaurant? Restaurant
Camping or 5 star? I like both-depends on the mood!
You can find Marika at:
https://herasphere.net/ where she has just launched a fabulous new online pregnancy and postnatal program