Below is a repost of an interview that Corey Hazama did with Moongoose Bodyworks. Corey is a physical therapist and the co-owner of our Beyond Basics Physical Therapy downtown location.
Pelvic Floor Health in NYC
COREY HAZAMA IS A PHYSICAL THERAPIST AND CO-OWNER OF “BEYOND BASICS PHYSICAL THERAPY”, A CLINIC THAT SPECIALIZES IN ALL CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE PELVIC FLOOR IN MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. WE LOVE THIS AT MONGOOSE BODYWORKS, AS SO MUCH OF OUR PILATES CORE WORK IS RELATED TO THE PELVIC FLOOR.
HALLE: Tell me a bit about your practice .
COREY: We specialize in treating all conditions affecting the pelvic floor in men, women and children. We are a manually based orthopedic clinic and treat patients one-on-one for an hour.
HALLE: How did you come to focus on women’s health and pelvic floor issues ?
COREY: I had been treating orthopedic injuries for some time and was seeing more and more complex cases of back, hip and tailbone pain, etc that didn’t resolve with traditional PT. In treating these patients I started to feel that the source of their pain was coming from something else, something I didn’t understand completely, the pelvic floor. I had the opportunity in 2015 to work and train with Amy Stein who has revolutionized the pelvic floor field in New York City. I decided that I really needed to train more and understand this region of the body better so that I could help these patients.
HALLE: Who can benefit from this type of therapy?
COREY: Any individual who is having pain or discomfort in their pelvic region, which is the area from the top of your pelvis to your sit bones. This includes the Sacroiliac [low back] region as well as the groin. We can help patients who are having genital pain, or pain with intercourse. We also treat issues with bladder which can be incontinence after a vaginal delivery, or increased urgency and frequency, incomplete emptying which can affect women and men. We also see a lot of patients who are having pain with bowel movements or constipation, bloating, and pain. We also have pretty much seen it all, so we can offer insight if PT has not worked in the past, or a patient wants to know if their complaints are muscle/joint related. We treat the hard cases, the people who tried traditional PT for their hip or groin pain and the exercises either made them worse or didn’t help.
HALLE: Do you think people are ever embarrassed to contact you?
CORY\: I hope not. We are all very approachable and we offer phone consults if a person wants to know if PT can help or if they are a candidate for Pelvic Physical Therapy.
HALLE: Why do you love this work?
COREY: I feel I have a special skill set and knowledge where I can help a lot of people where their symptoms are scary and distressing and they have not been able to get the answers or treatment they need. The symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can be scary and these patients get bounced around from doctor to doctor without getting answers. I also feel like I have a lot of tools at this point, I have spent a lot of time taking continuing education classes to learn new ways that I can help.
HALLE: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
COREY: My brain is always going, I have always wanted to understand how things work. I used to take apart VCRs and radios when I was a kid because I wanted to see how it worked. I feel the same way about the body. I want to understand how everything works together and is related to the whole so that we are pain free and functional.
HALLE: Do you have a favorite exercise?
COREY: I really like to roll my arches on a pinky ball. I have really tight feet and calves and I am on my feet all day so it feels really good to do that at night when I get home.
HALLE: What’s your experience with Pilates? Do you have a favorite Pilates exercise?
CORY: I have been doing private pilates now for a little over a year. It has really changed how I move and my posture. I feel stronger through my core and better grounded when I am working. I don’t know if I have a favorite exercise, but I do know which one kicks my butt the most! I have never been able to do a complete curl up/roll up. Using the arc and roll down bar I can finally do it (with a little help from the bar). I also found out that my whole life I was doing the ab curl wrong and it has been very enlightening to learn how to do it correctly and also to work through my own limitations that prevented me from being able to do it correctly.
HALLE: How does Pilates relate to your work?
COREY: In doing Pilates myself, I have learned so much about the benefits of working with a skilled Pilates instructor to identify my own limitations and also learn how to correctly activate the correct muscles. In the work I do I find that eventually all my patients get to a point where I have been able to restore normal muscle tension through their pelvic floor muscles, abdomen, hips, and spine, and now they need to start to learn how to use these muscles in an optimal alignment and what better to do that than pilates! The men and women who teach Pilates are masters of observation and I trust them entirely to make sure my patients are not compensating with the exercises. It is the compensations that occur, when we don’t even realize it, that get us into trouble in the long run.
HALLE: What do you do when you are not being a PT?
COREY: I am a knitter and a foodie!
HALLE: Anything you’d like to share about home life?
COREY: I have a wonderful husband, who is also a PT, he is an amazing teacher in regards to PT, but it is more his teaching me to not be a PT all the time that has really done so much for my work life balance.