Women In Wellness: Dr Joselyn Rodriguez Of Jae Physical Therapy On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Women In Wellness: Dr Joselyn Rodriguez Of Jae Physical Therapy On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Everyone is making things work as they go, you can too! Not everything has a road map and it’s hard to get on the ride, but without it you won’t be able to go the road less traveled.

Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Joselyn Rodriguez.

Dr. Joselyn Rodriguez provides pelvic floor and core care via in-office or virtual visits. Pelvic floor treatment can help prepare you for labor/delivery and the postpartum period, in addition to improving your symptoms of pelvic pain or dysfunction like urinary incontinence and constipation which can be caused by many health issues. She enjoys her work because she helps women improve their confidence in the bedroom, at the gym, and in life.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Sure! I am from Brooklyn, NY and the youngest of 6. I am a first generation American. My parents were strict with me and my sisters, therefore the only way to have fun was to participate in extracurricular activities like sports. My under-graduate degree is in Athletic Training and I have a doctorate degree in physical therapy. After experiencing pregnancy and postpartum I was thrust into the women’s health world and began to understand how little support is received by women in general, but especially during this phase of life.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I have always liked to take the road less traveled and I’m not really sure how to make things easy. This is to preface that I was pregnant throughout my last few semesters of physical therapy school and was 37 weeks pregnant when I sat for my boards. I am so happy that 1) I did my math correctly to determine how early to begin to try to have our child, and 2) that I passed on the first try. I always joke that I did well because I had two brains during the exam. The main takeaway is that a woman with a goal is one strong force of nature.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I wouldn’t call this a mistake but it was most definitely a hiccup in my growth. As an undergraduate, I had lost my confidence in myself. Instead of going the physical therapy route, I had lost sight of my overall goals. My imposter syndrome had gotten the best of me and I did not go straight to PT school after graduating from the University of Michigan. Instead, I spent a few years as a high school teacher, which did teach me a lot. I am so glad that I overcame my limiting thoughts and decided to go back to school before it was too far out of my reach.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

Pelvic floor physical therapy is a form of medical care that the majority of people don’t understand and don’t know that it can help them with many symptoms. This medical care can help women be better prepared for the prenatal and postpartum period. It can help women recover and for some, it will save their lives; if we, as a society, can have more pregnant women educated on the science, their options with labor and delivery, and allow for practice and preparation for the marathon that is labor and delivery, then we can make improvements to the mortality rate.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

1 . Diaphragmatic breathing: This type of breathing taps into your parasympathetic nervous system, often known as “rest and digest”. The majority of women are shallow breathers, which could have been caused by many things, but often occurs to women after carrying a baby and said baby taking up a lot of space, which they are known to do, and not allowing mom to breath well. Diaphragmatic breathing, which involves a focus on expanding the lower ribs out on the inhale, can help regulate your anxiety, improve your thoughts, and the way you respond in stressful situations.

2 . Drink enough water: Drinking plenty of water will help hydrate your entire body which means better skin, better vaginal health, and better bowel movements. That’s a no brainer!

3 . Exhaling: I see a number of women, both with and without a history of carrying and/or birthing a child who have behaviors that work against their pelvic floors like poor intra-abdominal pressure management. Not managing pressures correctly can result in pelvic organ prolapse, stress incontinence, and diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles down the middle of your trunk). The easiest remedy to help improve your pressure management is to stop holding your breath throughout your day, but especially with lifting, whether it’s lifting a baby, a bag or squatting 150 pounds. The best cue for this, I have found, is to exhale on the hardest part of whatever you’re doing. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this.

4 . Stool for pooping: Using a stool for pooping, especially if you tend to be constipated, is a game-changer. The stool places the rectum at a more optimum angle to allow gravity to assist and for you to not push against your own body. Trust me, you’ll thank me.

5 . Education: You should know your body. Educate yourself on screens you can do for yourself like breast exams and vulvar exams. If you’re unsure, see a pelvic floor therapist near you.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

An online live 10–15 minute breathing workshop that occurs monthly. This has the ability to create community, improve self-awareness, improve oxygen intake, improve stress/anxiety, improve connection to your surroundings, and make you more present in your every-day-life with yourself and the people you love.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Just start: the sooner you start, the sooner you’re on the journey and eventually finish. Don’t put things off.
  2. Everyone is making things work as they go, you can too! Not everything has a road map and it’s hard to get on the ride, but without it you won’t be able to go the road less traveled.
  3. Acting confident, makes you feel more confident: confidence is not a state of being, it is a practice.
  4. The science often lags behind Physical Therapy care; Physical Therapy is a mixture of the basics plus instinct, which is not something that can be taught, it has to be practiced and refined.
  5. Women have to support each other and that is the only way that we will move up and forward.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Mental health is something that affects our everyday lives and the lives of those around us. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I feel that I do end up providing some form of mental health; when it’s necessary, I refer out because in some cases, if the mental health and trauma isn’t addressed, the pelvic floor issue won’t improve/resolve. There is often a mental aspect with pelvic floor dysfunction along with poor mind-body awareness

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

Please follow me on instagram @thepelvictrainer. My website is www.jaept.com where you can schedule a complimentary consultation to talk about what’s bothering you.

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

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