There's no such thing as TMI in Pelvic Floor PT!
I'm Hayley Kava. It’s my goal to educate and help you on your journey to optimal pelvic health. So, it’s only fair that I share mine, and how I ended up here with you today.
I was born and raised near Toronto Ontario, Canada, where I was very active in competitive figure skating as a child. Yes, a 6ft + figure skater is quite the sight to see.
Fortunately, my height and the discipline learned from competitive skating carried over into many sports, mainly volleyball. It was my life, and I competed at a level that earned me an athletic scholarship to Syracuse University, in New York.
At Syracuse University, I studied exercise science. I loved all things cardiorespiratory physiology and spent many hours volunteering with a cardiac rehab program in the summers. By the time I graduated I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist but envisioned myself working with cardio-vascular or neurologic conditions.
Once in Physical Therapy (PT) school, because of my personal athletic history and dealing with my own injuries over the years, orthopedics and manual therapy came very naturally to me. I loved complex problem solving in high speed, fast paced, active clients. A far cry from what I envisioned with cardiac patients. A clinical rotation at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic in London, Ontario lead to an unbelievable job opportunity right out of PT school where I was working with Canada’s top orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and athletes.
While I loved this setting, my heart was pulling me elsewhere. I met my future husband while at Syracuse. He had finished his training and was living in Southern Pines, North Carolina. The PT school I attended, Western University, is accredited in the United States, and so after passing both my Canadian and my American Board Exams and working for a year in Canada, down I came.
We have now lived in North Carolina for 6 years (Which is pretty incredible for a military family)
I had a steep learning curve when it came to navigating the American healthcare system as a Canadian, but I was very fortunate to end up at some amazing clinics with amazing therapists who taught so much. This is where I learned about the study of “Postural Restoration”.
Postural Restoration (PRI) is a methodology of physical therapy that takes a very holistic approach.
Learn more about "PRI" HERE
It teaches you to evaluate the entire person and to appreciate common asymmetries and imbalances stemming from normal anatomical asymmetries in our nervous system, cardiorespiratory system and how that influences our musculoskeletal system.
It was like a million lightbulbs went off in my brain when I started learning the science of Postural Restoration.
OF COURSE we need to integrate all our body systems in order to help people feel their best instead of just getting tunnel vision on the “symptom”. We are far more than muscles and bones. It was also amazing to be able to integrate my love of cardiorespiratory and neuro anatomy and physiology into practice
Then… we decided to grow our family.
I had success with treating pregnant and postpartum clients with postural restoration, but more complex pelvic floor conditions made me a bit nervous.
Maybe it was a bit selfishly motivated, but when I became pregnant with our first child I knew I wanted to learn more about how to integrate what I was learning with PRI to pelvic health in more detail.
Then ... my first son was born.
I was shaken, I was changed. Recovering from an emotionally and physically traumatic birth experience while dealing with a colicky newborn, my identity was completely gone.
I wondered, just who was I?
- Was I a dynamic PT who loved her job?
- A person who loved to work hard and to constantly learn more?
- Was I still an athlete who could have athletic goals and aspirations?
Or ... was I just a milk machine that no longer slept or showered anymore and felt like her body had betrayed her? How could I, a physical therapist with all the tools to help people recover and “heal”, feel so lost on healing my own pelvic floor problems?
So, I started taking more classes, reading more, and learning all I could about pelvic health. I knew I likely wasn’t alone in how I was feeling, and I didn’t want anyone else to feel this way either.
I built a pelvic health program at the clinic I had worked at and it grew a fantastic reputation and long waitlist. We added, and I trained, another PT and PT techs to help us manage the rapidly growing caseload. It was such an amazing opportunity. I am so thankful for that time. At that same time my good friend encouraged me to start a pelvic floor Instagram account. It started as just a way to connect to my local community, clients, and friends, but has since grown into much more than that and been so much fun.
Then ... I had my second baby … in a pandemic.
I applied all the things I had learned in the last 3 years and I had a beautiful pregnancy, birth and post-partum experience.
So wonderful, in fact, that it lead me to do a lot of soul searching about what I “really” wanted to do with my life.
I want to share my knowledge ... so no person feels alone in dealing with pelvic floor problems, not just in pregnancy and post partum, but anytime.
So I’m here, working to build high quality, fun, accessible information for you!
I’m so excited to build this community, and join you on your journey,
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