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My story begins in 1990 when a homebirth midwife gave a presentation at my Biology of Women class at the University of MN. I was sold. There were very few training options back then, but I found an independent birthing clinic in El Paso and arranged for an internship in 1991. I went back to El Paso in 1993 when the clinic experienced a staffing issue and when I returned to MN, I earned my EMT certificate and started practicing. I maintained a very small practice, two or three births a year.

In 1995, being a Sinophile and needing something new to learn, I decided to matriculate at MN Institute of Acupuncture & Herbal Studies (MIAHS) in St. Paul in their Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) program. I studied acupuncture and herbs. I graduated in 2000 and sat for the national exam in 2001. (In 2000, MIAHS joined the chiropractic school in Bloomington as two schools under the university heading:  Northwestern Health Sciences University.) I've had many faces over the years, recreating my practice as I tried out different business models. Then I found my niche.

12 August 2006 I had a motorcycle accident wherein I incurred seven pelvic fractures, five broken ribs, a pneumothorax, a second- or third-degree (depending on who you ask) acromio-clavicular separation and a number of vertebral processes (the ends of the spinal bones) that snapped off.  Small accident with *major injuries*.  "What happened?!" you exclaim. Well, it was the second year that I was at a track learning and practicing racing turns--fun! I was really good at it, too. But it was the end of the day, I was dehydrated and overtired--not a good combination. I had thought about calling it a day and going home, but I figured that I'd finish out the course one last time--my fatal error. I made an error on a turn and recovered by going off the track--no big deal. But my motorcycle is a cruiser, the handlebars turn outward. They got caught in the chain link fence and drove the motorcycle up into the fence. The bike came down, then I came down in a seated position. The impact moved through my pelvis and up my spine. The recovery was surprisingly quick and I was walking and back at my life, full time, within three months.

I learned a lot about trauma that I never knew before going through it. Whiplash, as it turns out, is not just something that happens to one's neck at impact. Whiplash is the movement of the trauma--any trauma--through the body and it can take up to two years to work its way through. It doesn't necessarily involve the neck at all. For me, I started experiencing urinary urgency nine months after the accident. I was mortified to find that I didn't know how to treat myself. One would think, as I did, that a midwife should know something about the bladder and the pelvic floor--the muscles of one's bottom. But in my vast library of midwifery texts and resources I could only find information on treating urinary tract infections (UTI's) and catheterizing during labour. One would also think that Traditional Chinese Medicine, as a full system of medicine, should address the various forms of incontinence. But again, in my library of texts and resources I could only find information on treating kidney stones and UTI's. I was aghast that I was without recourse from my main fields.

I decided to venture into the Western Medical world and see what they had to offer. I went to a GP (family doc) who gave me a referral to a urologist. The urologist gave me a typical exam and gave me a referral to a physical therapist (PT). (In MN one no longer needs a referral to a PT.) The program I attended was a combination of the Beyond Kegels program and biofeedback. The course of treatment was once a week for six weeks. I attended all six weeks, but I was cured in three. Now I knew that PT held the information I sought.

Over the next two years I accrued my PT library (mostly from the UK, New Zealand and Austalia; some from Canada and the US) and taught myself bladder and pelvic floor health from a PT perspective. I developed a continuing education class that I took to a national midwifery conference (MANA) in California in 2009 where I offered it as a pre-conference workshop. That was the beginning of my Bladder & Pelvic Floor Class for Practitioners. Once I returned to MN I recognized that the need for this information is great, as incontinence and pelvic pain are pervasive problems. So I developed the patient class to give people the information, resources and exercises that they have trouble finding anywhere else and I found that the manual modalities I had been studying applied directly to treating these conditions.

This is my niche. I work with active adults who are struggling to remain active, to achieve the lifestyle they deserve. This is my success story. I'm having all sorts of successes with my patients by using manual work and acupuncture to bring life back to their tissues, assist their organs to function properly and develop neuromuscular coordination. In essence, they get better over time.

I hope you find your success story, too.