Looking "Down Under"

I cannot tell you how many times I have a conversation with my patients about the importance of taking a peek at what’s down under. I wanted to share with you a few of the reasons why it is so important.

If you don’t look, how will you know what your normal is?

If you take a small mirror and look at your vagina, when you have no symptoms, you can look at the color, the size, how things look on you. Because, let’s face it. We’ve seen pictures but what is it really supposed to look like?

Well, everyone is different. Yours will look much different than your best friend and all of the other women in the world.

You can make sure you do not have any colors that do not look like healthy tissue, or even spots that are bleeding. You can check and make sure there is no tissue where it should not be. I then get asked what is a normal color? A healthy pink. Not bright red, or redness which looks like irritated tissue. Without touching, look at what the tissue looks like. Look at your labia majora (big/thick lips), then the minora (thinner lips), spread them apart and look around. Check color, placement, color of any discharge you may have. Get familiar!

I recommend you look before trying to become pregnant, during your prenatal period, during pregnancy, and postpartum. You do not need to look everyday, just become aware of your “normal” and that way you know what to look for when checking! You want to ALWAYS be aware of what is going on down there and be sure you are noting if anything seems off.

If you don’t look, how will you know if something goes wrong?

If you do not take a peek, how will you ever know if the episotomy you had is not healing? How will you know if the incision is infected? How will you know if there is some sort of growth? What about a mole that is becoming discolored or becoming too large? Ingrown hairs? Abnormal colored discharge, because you truly cannot see the color on your panty liner?

You won’t know any of those things unless you do look! I also HIGHLY recommend a pelvic physical therapy assessment during your prenatal, pregnancy, and postpartum phase! That way you have a skilled set of eyes to take a look as well and determine whether your tissue is healing/looks healthy, whether you potentially need to have a hormone panel done, etc.

You will be more in tune with your body knowing your own anatomy (e.g. during sex, masturbation)

This one makes many women uncomfortable but I have to say it anyways:
masturbation is good for you. It helps to keep your tissues healthy and if you are having orgasms and increasing the blood flow to the area, you will be less likely to have less lubrication later on in life which decreases symptoms of dryness and decreases pain with intercourse, the need for hormones, use of extra lubrication, etc. So, ladies, if you are not having intercourse don’t be afraid to help with your own health!!!

Now, there is a lot of information about this topic out there and how to do it, etc. I am not a huge fan of going straight for the vibrators or straight for the toys. The reason for this is exactly what I’m talking about in this blog. I want you to explore your own body. I want my patients to know exactly where things are, we go through the anatomy, I want them to know what feels good and what doesn’t. Being able to do so while also pleasuring yourself is just a win-win!!

This is especially important for patients who experience pain with intercourse. That way you can still get the benefits!!!

As mentioned before, I highly recommend a visit to your local pelvic physical therapist to have a second set of eyes on you and to also help teach you and educate you about what to look for!!

Happy looking!

It Starts With Your Breathe

I am SO EXCITED! I am currently taking a seminar with Birthfit (If you do not know them, you should). It’s the Birthfit Professional seminar and I’ve already walked away so empowered and feeling inspired. I cannot wait to take my knowledge back into the clinic!!

What I’m most excited about is not only the fact I’ve FINALLY found a group of badass professionals to bounce ideas off of and talk about empowering women…. but it’s that I have finally found another school of thought similar to my own in which your diaphragm and your breathe are one of the most important things when it comes to pregnancy, postpartum, or even just in general.

I want to get something clear. I have seen and consistently see, as well as have been one, patients whom have not had children and whom are not currently pregnant with significant difficulty when it comes to breathing and learning to contract your diaphragm. This is often, if not always, the first place I start when it comes to physical therapy.

Let’s talk a little about the anatomy of the diaphragm. Your diaphragm sits “inside” your rib cage and above your stomach/organs. It is a muscle. It attaches to the lumbar (low back) vertebrae, cartilage from the lower few ribs, and the xiphoid process (tip of the sternum). If you think about this and look at the picture, you can hopefully understand that when you take a deep breathe it is not adequate to use your chest muscles and expect a good breathing cycle, just as it is not appropriate for only expanding your belly.

Dr. Kaylee or FEMMEmpowerment and Advocacy DO NOT own the rights to this image. If you type in “diaphragm” on Google, you will come across it. Please give credit where deserved!

Dr. Kaylee or FEMMEmpowerment and Advocacy DO NOT own the rights to this image. If you type in “diaphragm” on Google, you will come across it. Please give credit where deserved!

When you do take a deep breathe in, you want to think about breathing into all sides of your body. Like 360* into your sides, your belly, your back, and even into your pelvic floor. I want you to really feel this and really visualize what it feels like when you take a breathe in.

Do you know how to feel if you are breathing correctly? Do you know if you are “cheating?” If not, it is most likely in your best interest to get a consultation!!! Remember, I do video consultations as well and we can discuss this!

Your diaphragm, in my opinion, can be the strongest and MOST POWERFUL muscle in your entire body. If you are able to utilize it appropriately and take a good, strong, deep breathe in, then you will be able to progress and see improvements in many different areas of your life. Stress, anxiety, pain, strength, endurance, increasing your chances of reaching your PR.

I am going to be posting SEVERAL blogs about the diaphragm and the breathing cycles because it truly is SO important and i’m hoping to be able to help at least one person with the education.

Before we get started with more education, I want to tell you my story about my diaphragm. About my muscle that was limiting me from accomplishing so much and I never even knew…

Ever since I was little, I was not able to run up the stairs or run distance without having chest pains or without having the inability to take a breathe. I felt out of shape, unable to breathe, and just never knew what was happening. I always had pain after my pieces (I was a ballet dancer) in the front of my chest, I always had a hard time breathing, and was never able to make it completely through the show without feeling out of breathe.

I remember when I was in physical therapy school we used to run a lot and I’d have to rest for about 2 hours after each run. I never knew why, I truly just thought I was weak and deconditioned….and I was becoming a physical therapist!

One of my classes was about learning how to assess the diaphragm and how to treat dysfunctions of the diaphragm if you found them. I had a lot of difficulty with my partner and was called to be a demonstrator so the instructor could perform an assessment and treatment is I needed it.

There were SO many things going wrong with my diaphragm. One of which I was unable to actually contract or control my breathe. I could not stand the pain when she poking around my rib cage! It was awful. I was crying and I was uncomfortable. She performed what is called a release and told me to slowly move.

I ended up going downstairs to get water because i was very embarrassed. I went down and “cleaned up” and tried to decide how upset I was about the pain and the embarrassment I was just put through. I realized I was about to be late and started to race up the stairs to class. I got to my seat and sat down before realizing…

For the first time in my life I ran up the stairs without a problem and I was still breathing normally. OMG. Is this real life?!

The next demonstration was performed on me as well…and I can tell you that I truly do not have a problem with my breathe during activity. I do still have to purposefully and intentionally focus on diaphragm breathing and making sure I’m performing it correctly.

Hopefully my story is showing you that I am coming to you with breathe knowledge from both sides of it: the expert and the patient. PLEASE if you get nothing else from reading this…..please understand that:

It starts with your breathe…

All You Need To Know About CBD (and Hemp Oils)

I know, I get it. It can sometimes be overwhelming to read and see so many different things about the same topic. I often have to sit down and help my patients sift through information just to get to what is necessary! So, I wanted to give you the chance to use this article for your source of information. Please note, this is not medical advice but I will refer to several different research articles to help us get to the bottom of it!

I’m going to answer the most frequently asked questions I get about hemp and CBD so that you can maybe feel more confident about choosing and using these products!!

Is there a difference between CBD and hemp oils?

  • The answer is yes. It depends on WHERE the oil was extracted from the hemp plant. Both types of oil (hemp and CBD) are derived from what is known as the cannibis plant.

  • Hemp oil is derived from the cannibis sativa plant. Hemp plants are grown for either fiber or seed oils (hints the hemp oil). Only the seed of this plant is cold pressed to make the product. This type of oil is tested for THC content (the stuff that makes you feel high) but is not tested for cannaboidal. You can purchase fully THC free products when it is labeled a hemp product.

  • CBD (truly known as cannaboidal) can be derived from the hemp plant or what is known as a “drug” plant. The “drug” plant has both euphoric and non euphoric CBD oils that can be derived. This includes cannboidals (I know, funky word.) This type of oil typically has some THC due to the higher ratios of cannaboidal and THC in the plant.

Now, please understand that this is different from what is known as the marijuana plant. Marijuana is grown to be high in THC (the stuff that makes you high) whereas hemp and CBD are meant to have much lower content here. Without going into all of the sciencey stuff, that should do for now!

How do you choose where to buy your products?

This is the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION isn’t it? Now I know the difference in CBD and hemp but how do I find the right product? Well, I’ve got some tips for you!

  • Depends on what you need.

    • Are you looking for a balm? A roller? A sublingual (under the tongue)? Capsules?

      • Some companies only carry a few different types. So you will want to consider then when shopping.

  • Check to see if the sight has research for you to read.

    • Not just a simple blog. They should have information about everything above and assistance with helping you choose. If they do not, chances are you do not want to find out.

  • Is it full spectrum?

    • Another term to look for. The reason being, it is produced better and more effectively when it is full spectrum.

      • this means that in the process of creating the oil, they use as much of the plant as they possibly can. This gives a much better effect when using!

    • The other choice is isolate. This contains only one compound, not all of the above.

    • You may think that less is more, but research shows otherwise!!!

  • Price

    • Yes, good quality will cost you a bit more. But that’s okay. However, don’t get conned into spending an uncanny amount of money on a product that is not the BEST.

  • Know what concentration you need.

    • The rule of thumb is that the higher the concentration, the higher the effect.

    • For instance, I use 250mg tincture in the morning to get me prepared for the day, but 500mg at night to sleep well.

What the heck do I use it for?

There are an overwhelming amount of things that this product can be used for.

I use it for:

  • Pain (muscle soreness, joint pain)

  • anxiety

  • stress

  • pain with intercourse (yes, I use it as a lubricant)

  • insomnia

Research and testimonials are showing improvements with:

  • seizures

  • arthritis

  • multiple sclerosis

  • cancer

  • acne treatments

  • anti-inflammatory

  • drug withdrawals

  • neurological disorders

I keep reading about the ENDOCANNABINOID system. What is that?

It’s another system in our body that we forgot we had!!! This system helps to maintain homeostasis (stable equilibrium) and assists with other systems in the body so they function properly. In this system there are endocannabinoids (cannabinoids naturally produced in the body). These are VITAL to our overall health!

The “runner’s high” is BECAUSE OF THIS SYSTEM!!!!

I do use these products myself. I would never be able to recommend anything that I do not use. I love to research, learn, and try different products so please let me know if you have any questions!!! I DO have products that I am able to distribute and sell if you are interested, just ask!

Pelvic Floor Myth 1- Peeing Yourself is Normal

Has anyone ever said to you, “I’ve had kids. I pee when I laugh or sneeze. It’s totally normal.” Or what about, “Wait until you get older. You go all of the time and you leak often.”
Do we, as a society, truly believe this to be NORMAL?!
It isn’t! Leakage is never a normal sign or symptom. Urgency, depending on medication, can be explained in some situations. But not leakage.
Please listen in as I explain the MYTHBUSTING of leakage!

SEX- Did I get your attention??

What in the world would a physical therapist have to do with sex? I know the majority of us do not like to speak about sex openly. It is a …. sensitive subject.
I do. I like to talk about it because I’ve noticed the life changes it can make to have PAIN FREE sex. Or to educate patients on the reasons they may experiencing difficulty with intercourse.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is FUN!!!
Listen in!

Diaphragm Series Part 4- Exercises

Here are my favorite exercises to start your process of building strength for your diaphragm!!

Diaphragm Series Part 3- Assessment

Are you curious on whether your diaphragm is functioning well? Check out this video for my answer on how you can assess your own diaphragm to determine if there is an impairment!

My MISSION, VISION, and GOALS

It’s been some time since I’ve given you all something written to read!! I have been going in and out of the Vlog world because I Love to do videos. I love to be a presence in front of the camera. But. I felt this one was more for those of you who can grab a mug of coffee, sit down, and read through it. Shaking your head, agreeing, disagreeing, etc. I am excited about what I’m going to write about today, so hopefully you enjoy it too.
I’ve taken a lot of time to figure out what I truly want in life. Who do I want to be. Who do I want to serve. And, I’ve finally gotten it down pat.
I want to serve women aged 25-35 who are suffering from not only physical impairments, but mental and emotional impairments as well. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Pelvic floor dysfunctions

  • Low back pain

  • Hip pain

  • Before pregnancy

  • during pregnancy

  • after pregnancy

  • athlete

  • women wanting to get back into exercise

  • women who have experienced domestic violence

  • rape victims

  • women with PTSD who cannot control their stress and anxiety from it

  • women who are emotional bound to what has happened to them

  • women who cannot get rid of the fear to continue

Why you might ask? Other than pregnancy, I’ve experienced all of these things. I’ve been there, been through it. I’ve even posted my story below for you to sift through. I’m consistently writing them and trying to get the nerve to post them. So, my mission?
To allow women a place to get education on pelvic health, mental health, and emotional healing. To allow education, experts, and options to become a whole woman again. To allow a platform where you can ask your questions and be completely honest, while getting honest feedback.
My vision? To help 1000 women.
My Goals? Time freedom. Financial freedom. PEACE knowing I’ve utilized my SKILLS to allow my PASSION to win.
I love you all, and I’m so very excited. I’d love your feedback!
<3<3<3<3
THE 2 WOMEN YOU BARELY KNOW
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I was “her.” I was that girl silently suffering from the abuse someone took upon me, to satisfy his selfish, unjustifiable pleasures. I was the one in the corner without a soul, without a plan, without hope. I was her and still am…
Except, I’m not. I’m over that. Well, I’m getting over that, and I’m talking about it because both parts of me, deserve that. My patients deserve that. My loving spouse. My supportive family, friends, and colleagues ALL deserve that…the me that I love, value, and righteously belong to today.
Once upon a time I was the girl laying in the dark. Tears streaming down my face feeling as if I would never be loved. I would never find anyone to love me and my baggage. I was a hidden punching bag to release some of the fury and hatred the one who “loved” me had. I had to hide the fear, pain, hurt, rejection, and bruises to limit how much I needed to talk about it.
“I am never good enough.”
“I am never loved by the right man.”
“I am an object, a trophy of some sort, a notch added on the door frame.”
…the affirmations I internally screamed, daily..which in turn perpetuated my drive for perfection.
But I can’t anymore. I can’t do that and believe these things, AND simultaneously grow happier.
I felt alone for so long, alone through the struggles. Alone with feeling as if I’ve failed my family by not being who they need.
Failing by not being the one to prevent someone so dear to me from falling off the deep end.
Failing by not being an athlete or the best at everything.
Failing because I fled out of selfishness.
That’s what I have so recently seen myself as. Selfish. But when I truly dig deep and try to ponder my decisions I realize it is selflessness not selfishness that has driven me to my decisions, and simply saying that out loud makes it a stronger reality.
Selflessness due to the fact I am now actually speaking about my rape.
Selflessness due to the fact I am now exposing that I’ve struggled with different addictions.
Selflessness due to the fact I am now exposing that I’ve never felt liked or that in order to fit in, I persuasively lied my way through my teenage years.
Selflessness due to the fact that I moved in order to make a legacy for myself, a legacy for my family name, a legacy for my married name.
Re-writing my identity, (shedding the woman I created in order to cope with the shame and guilt thrust upon me), has not been easy. But, I am committing to it. I’m working on my real identity. The powerful, strong, beautiful, giving, and overwhelmingly accomplished woman.
The PROUD woman.
Here I am, world. I suppose the world never expects my past to make me more powerful. It wants to break me. And more than I care to admit, it has. I’ve been at rock bottom. But I’m overcoming that now.
I’m here. Selfless. Naked. But I’m no longer afraid. I’m not alone. I feel a fire inside of me ready to ignite. Ready to burst. Ready to run with whatever it is I feel inclined to run with.
I’m here, Where are you?