What does Gillian’s assessment approach (called ConnectTherapy™) look like?
All good therapeutic endeavours begin with a detailed conversation where I ask lots of questions about you, your health, your medical history, and gather information about how you have moved through your whole life, what is happening right now and where you would like to go. Then we go on to the Whole-Body movement assessment, where I use my eyes and my hands to assess how you move. Then I will use my hands to help struggling body regions move more optimally (these skills are called Corrections, they are gentle, and the impact is temporary – as soon as I let go then your body will revert to its old pattern of movement). Corrections help me predict what will occur in your whole body if I treat the area I am currently correcting. Using the Drivers Diagnostic Chart™ to record my findings provides an algorithmic process with internal consistency to show me patterns and bring me to your unique Driver Profile. The Driver Profile is what I treat. Treatment involves identifying and removing the barriers to optimal movement through hands on manual techniques, acupuncture, education, taping and, because we are talking about movement, a home movement program unique to your body’s needs. Treatment is a process, and while some may reach their goals in 2-3 treatments, most take a time frame of 2-3 months and some take longer.
What should I wear?
You will need to wear clothing you feel comfortable to move in that allows me to see your body move. Usually this is a combo of shorts and tank top/muscle shirt/bra/no shirt. It is entirely up to you as the patient to wear clothes that are comfortable for you. I can assess you in whatever you choose to wear.
How long an appointment should I book? And how many?
For all initial assessments I ask you to book 60-minute appointment slots. Follow up appointments are typically 45 minutes. Some will do 30-minute appointments. I will open my booking online for a period of 3 months ahead so a series of follow up sessions may be booked to allow us an arc of treatment time. I recommend booking an initial 60-minute appointment followed by 3 follow up appointments, either 2 a week or once a week in the initial month of treatment. This way we have a period of time already established to get to know you and how you respond to treatment. If we determine that my approach is not appropriate for your body, we can always cancel any previously booked sessions. I tend to get quite busy, and pre-booking allows us to relax in the knowledge that the sessions are there.
For Pelvic Floor Concerns:
The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, nerves and connective tissue that comprise typical skeletal muscles in that you can contract and relax them voluntarily. This means that you can train them to get stronger with exercises but also they can end up being tight and painful. What makes them special is their location – at the bottom of your trunk, inside the bony structure of your pelvis. For a practitioner like myself I need to be able to feel the muscles in action to know how they are behaving. This happens most accurately using internal palpation, via the vagina or anus. For people with vaginas, this is just like when you have your annual physical, except I only use a gloved hand to assess and do not use a speculum. For people with penises, this exam is like when you have your Digital Prostate Exam. I perform this assessment in a position of lying either on your back or your side.
Your pelvic floor, responsible for so many functions integral to social acceptance, sexual identity, safety and cleanliness, is a fascinating muscle group that works within the whole of your body. As such, a pelvic floor exam in isolation is not always enough to understand all the factors at play. At times, I will look at your pelvic floor in the context of your Whole Body, only after we have completed the Whole Body assessment and understand your unique Driver Profile. This way I can determine the most efficient pathway for optimal performance of this area – perhaps with direct pelvic floor therapies or perhaps with treatment of a different region of your body in dysfunction that is creating circumstances whereby your pelvic floor cannot function optimally.
If you are a patient who has been referred to me from another ConnectTherapy™ trained physiotherapist and your Driver Profile has already been determined we will skip right to the internal assessment. I would still recommend a 60-minute appointment as we will still need time for me to learn about you, and your history.