Women In Wellness: Nasim Delfaninejad Of Ova Women’s Health Physiotherapy On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Women In Wellness: Nasim Delfaninejad Of Ova Women’s Health Physiotherapy On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

Be Authentic; Your business is an extension of you. Let your uniqueness shine through instead of following the crowd. Challenge the norm, be bold, and watch how standing out becomes your greatest strength.

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 Nasim Delfaninejad.

Nasim, a distinguished Pelvic Health Physiotherapist and the founder of Ova Women’s Health Physiotherapy Clinic in British Columbia, Canada, is renowned for her exceptional expertise in the intricate treatment of complex and persistent pain, with a distinct focus on women’s sexual and pelvic health. Nasim’s personal journey to find solutions for pelvic pain ignited a profound passion for helping women facing similar challenges. Her approach goes beyond addressing immediate concerns; it encompasses a comprehensive perspective on pelvic health, making her a pivotal guide in leading women toward a path of holistic well-being.

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?

Igraduated as a Valedictorian from Tbilisi State Medical University in Georgia in 2016 before moving to Canada. With a clinical background in orthopedic and women’s health physiotherapy and combining my skill sets, I’ve been dedicated to providing the highest level of care to my patients through a whole-person, holistic approach. While working in clinical practice, I recognized the significant challenges women encounter in accessing quality care, particularly those dealing with pain. This realization led to the establishment of Ova Women’s Health Physiotherapy, where I am committed to making evidence-based and high-quality care accessible to a wider range of women.

My passion lies in the treatment of persistent and complex pain conditions, with a specific focus on pelvic and sexual health. With my expertise in pain treatment, I’ve had the privilege of helping numerous patients with challenging conditions such as painful intercourse (dyspareunia), Vaginismus, and Vulvodynia.

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 once had a patient, a dedicated weightlifter, who struggled with persistent hip pain during her training sessions despite trying various treatments without success. We conducted a comprehensive assessment and devised a treatment plan to address muscle strength-flexibility imbalances. Despite our efforts, the pain persisted, particularly in a specific motion during lifting.

I asked her to record herself during her training session from different angles. After hours of careful video analysis of her lifting technique, I noticed an interesting detail — her head was rotating slightly in the opposite direction of the painful hip. After further investigation, it became clear that she was unaware of this head rotation, as it felt straight to her. To confirm this observation, I had her record herself with her eyes closed and open, focusing on a fixed point to prevent head rotation. The pain vanished! It turned out she had a vision-related condition, causing her to unknowingly tilt and rotate her head, impacting her body alignment and causing hip pain.

After receiving treatment for her eye condition, she resumed weightlifting without any issues. This experience reaffirmed the profound interconnectedness of the human body and the importance of having a holistic approach to treating any condition.

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 once believed that the more time you spent in a field, the more skilled you’d automatically become. However, seeking advice from a few seasoned practitioners taught me a valuable lesson. I realized that the number of years alone doesn’t guarantee expertise and relying on mentors doesn’t provide a quick fix. The crucial lesson I learned is that continuous self-improvement, staying informed, and regularly challenging my own biases are essential.

This realization led me to change my approach. Instead of just counting the years, I prioritized self-education. I immersed myself in relevant literature, attended numerous courses, and significantly increased my practice hours. I learned that it’s not just about the duration of experience; it’s about intentional practice and an unwavering commitment to personal growth that truly shapes one’s proficiency in a field.

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?

My mission is to shift the narrative around women’s health, especially when it comes to pain. Many women have been conditioned to believe that discomfort is just a normal part of being a woman — whether it’s PMS, period pain, or intimacy issues. Many feel unheard and dismissed by medical practitioners who may not fully address their pain.

As a pelvic floor physiotherapist, my mission goes beyond dispelling these misconceptions. I aim to empower women with the knowledge that pain is not a sentence they must accept or something they should endure silently. Through personalized treatments, I assist women with various pain conditions, guiding them on a transformative journey from pain to pleasure. I want to empower them with knowledge, letting them know that there are treatments available and that they don’t have to settle for discomfort. From debunking myths to providing alternative solutions, my goal is to redefine women’s health and well-being by offering a path that leads from pain to the joy of living without unnecessary suffering.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

1 . Begin with Small Steps: Your health journey can begin with small, manageable steps. It could be choosing a healthy snack, taking a short walk, or dedicating a few minutes to mindfulness. One small step I took was incorporating 5 minutes of meditation into my morning routine which helped me become more focused throughout the day. Recognize that your journey is unique, and progress is about consistency in these small actions.

2 . Exercise for Joy: Incorporate exercise into your routine, not as a chore, but as a source of joy. Whether it’s a walk in the park, dancing in your living room, or trying a new sport, find what brings you happiness. I discovered the joy of hiking, and it has become my weekly escape to both nature and fitness. It’s not just about staying active but finding joy in the process.

3 . Prioritize your mental well-being: Take moments to check in with yourself and acknowledge your feelings. Even a short daily mindfulness practice, like five minutes of deep breathing, has been my go-to for maintaining a positive mindset. Opening up to my husband about my challenges has also been incredibly therapeutic and significantly helpful for me. We all go through ups and downs and it is important to seek support.

4 . Balanced Screen Time: Find a balance with screen use. Too much screen time can impact your mental well-being. I spent a lot of time creating content but I have set up an off-screen schedule to disconnect from social media and spend time with my family. I also started a tradition of phone-free dinners to have an uninterrupted, joyous time with my husband.

5 . Quality Sleep Matters: Rest & recovery are just as important as movement and exercise! Limit screen time before bedtime, make your sleep space comfortable, and create a consistent sleep schedule. I find reading a book calms me down and has significantly improved my sleep quality.

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

I would advocate for a movement that increases investments in making women’s health physiotherapy accessible to all women and an essential component of standard care across pivotal life stages, including pregnancy, postpartum, and various women’s health procedures. Imagine a scenario where every expecting mother, irrespective of background or economic status, has access to preventive pelvic health care. This could mean reduced risk of postpartum incontinence and better preparation for childbirth. Picture women seamlessly integrating physiotherapy into their recovery after gynecological surgeries, this would enhance their overall well-being and improve their recovery after surgeries.

This could make women’s health physiotherapy as commonplace as routine check-ups which would ensure all women have access to tailored care that goes beyond addressing symptoms to prevent potential issues. By making these services widely accessible, we empower women to take control of their health.

Women feeling supported, empowered, and informed about their bodies, creates a ripple effect in communities. This movement is where women are equipped with the tools and knowledge to prioritize their well-being, ultimately contributing to healthier familial and social cultures.

The impact of this movement could go beyond individual health and isn’t just about addressing health concerns; it’s about laying the foundation for a future where women are given the tools to prioritize their well-being. This could set the groundwork for a future where families and societies are healthier and more focused on overall wellness.

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

  1. Take the first Step! You don’t have to wait for every small detail to be perfect before you start your business. Progress happens in the journey, not in waiting for everything to be flawless. You can refine and improve along the way, but just take that first step!
  2. Be Authentic; Your business is an extension of you. Let your uniqueness shine through instead of following the crowd. Challenge the norm, be bold, and watch how standing out becomes your greatest strength.
  3. Stick to your “Why”! Starting a business is a ride with ups and downs! Tough days are just part of the journey. Your ‘Why’ keeps you focused on the reason you started and helps you navigate through challenges.
  4. Learn from Mistakes: It is impossible to know everything when starting a new business. It is natural to make mistakes and feel out of your comfort zone at times. Own your mistakes and appreciate the lessons they bring! There will always be a new lesson along the way. These learning moments shape the person you need to be for your business to succeed.
  5. Live in the Now: Goals are sweet, but life’s happening right now. Celebrate every achievement, big or small, along your way and enjoy the ride!

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 profoundly important to me. I see mental health as the cornerstone — it shapes our capacity to actively participate in all these crucial causes. By prioritizing our mental well-being, we enhance our ability to make mindful decisions for both ourselves and the planet. It serves as the fundamental support for every other cause which makes it particularly dear to my heart.

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

You can follow me on Instagram @theintimatephysio and subscribe to my YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/@TheIntimatePhysio. and checkout my website https://www.ovawomenshealthphysio.com/. Looking forward to connecting with them online!

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

About the Interviewer: Wanda Malhotra is a wellness entrepreneur, lifestyle journalist, and the CEO of Crunchy Mama Box, a mission-driven platform promoting conscious living. CMB empowers individuals with educational resources and vetted products to help them make informed choices. Passionate about social causes like environmental preservation and animal welfare, Wanda writes about clean beauty, wellness, nutrition, social impact and sustainability, simplifying wellness with curated resources. Join Wanda and the Crunchy Mama Box community in embracing a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle at CrunchyMamaBox.com.

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