Integrative Techniques for Pelvic Floor & Core Function: Part A - Laying the Foundation

presented by Bill Gallagher & Richard Sabel

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In this first course of a 3 part series, the online participant will learn low-tech, non-invasive techniques to address pelvic floor dysfunction that draw from Yoga, Tai Chi, Qigong, Feldenkrais and conventional rehab therapies, to guide clients toward improved health and function. Part A lays the foundation for the series by covering anatomy, core concepts related to "habits of the mind," and the physiology of breathing as it relates to the pelvic floor. Throughout each course in this series, Bill and Richard will walk you through various exercises that you are encouraged to perform at home, in order to better prepare you to guide your own patients through the same exercises in your setting of care.

Meet Your Instructors

  • Bill Gallagher, PT, CMT, CYT

    Bill Gallagher has developed a uniquely integrative approach to maximize comfort and function. By integrating the Physical Therapy traditions of the East (Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga) with somatic therapies of the West (Conventional Therapeutic Exercise, Feldenkrais, Alexander, Pilates, Osteopathy), Mr. Gallagher helps his clients maximize function and minimize pain. Through meditation instruction, guided imagery, biofeedback and other disciplines that work with the Mind & Body, clients are further empowered to optimize function and comfort while reducing suffering. Bill sees a broad spectrum of clients in his practice including people with severe disabilities and elite performers. In addition to traditional 1:1 sessions, Bill teaches specialized group programs for people with pulmonary issues, spinal cord injury, brain injury, chronic pain, breast cancer survivors, and elders at risk of falling. His work has been published in Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy Practice, Advance for Physical Therapists, Advance for Occupational Therapists and Tai Chi magazine. He has also written a chapter for a physical therapy text, Complementary Therapies for Physical Therapy: A Clinical Decision-making Approach on integrating Tai Chi & Qigong with conventional physical therapy for psychological, cardiac and arthritic conditions. Bill is recognized as an authority on Integrative/Mind-Body/Complementary rehabilitation and teaches his visionary synthesis to practicing rehab clinicians (Mount Sinai Medical Center, Beth Israel NYC, Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, Columbia Presbyterian, Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Oregon State Health & Science University) and at several Physical Therapy doctoral programs.

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  • Richard Sabel, OTR, MA, MPH, GCFP

    Richard Sabel is the Education Director of East West Rehab and a Clinical Assistant Professor at SUNY Downstate’s Occupational Therapy Program. For many years he successfully integrated occupational therapy and somatic practices of the East and West into a distinctive approach to help clients reengage in meaningful occupations. This integrated practice evolved from his personal experience. After 20 years of back pain, Richard discovered the benefits of Yoga, Tai Chi, mindfulness, breath work and the Feldenkrais Method. These practices, along with his therapist training, were instrumental in his ability to resume activities abandoned years before. Richard included these ideas in his occupational therapy practice and the response was overwhelmingly positive – clients reported less pain and started to make impressive functional gains. Richard’s personal experience and the response of his clients have fostered the continued exploration and growth of an integrated therapeutic practice. Richard teaches this approach at several occupational and physical therapy programs and divides his clinical time between private and community practice. Richard received a 3-year grant from the Balm foundation to offer his Easy Does It fall prevention/wellness program at two senior centers in New York City. Easy Does It has also been adapted for people with movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Dystonia. Richard was a guest on local cable television and Doctor Radio to discuss his unique integrative approach. He regularly presents at professional conferences and community centers and has published a variety of articles on this topic in the physical and occupational therapy literature.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction and Pelvic Breath Lab

    1. Introduction and Pelvic Breath Lab

    Walk through a seated pelvic breath lab as an introduction to this experiential course. After the lab, Bill Gallagher and Richard Sabel provide an introduction to their backgrounds in integrative medicine as well as the course topics.

  2. Core Concepts and Anatomy

    2. Core Concepts and Anatomy

    Explain how physical and mental habits impact health and function, apply the concept of mindfulness to therapeutic practice, apply the Weber-Fechner law to therapeutic practice, and contrast a structural intervention to a functional movement intervention.

  3. Pelvic Movements and Pelvic Clock

    3. Pelvic Movements and Pelvic Clock

    Describe common movements of the pelvic bony structure, guide clients to experience movements of the pelvic bony structure, explain the benefits of the pelvic clock, and use the pelvic clock as a therapeutic intervention.

  4. Pelvic Breath II

    4. Pelvic Breath II

    Perform a second pelvic breath lab, which involves a sensory “snapshot” of body and breath, allowing breath to happen below the rib cage, and a bladder-lung image (hammock, balloon).

  5. Breath Lecture and Conclusion

    5. Breath Lecture and Conclusion

    Understand pelvic floor and spinal mechanics involved in respiration. Explain benefits of a lower breathing pattern and identify the possible causes of chest breathing.