Phone: 514-694-4644 ext 129
Location: Baie-D’Urfé, QC
Pelvic Health Solutions is honoured to feature Marie-Josée (MJ) Lord as the Professional Spotlight this month. We are certain this comes as no surprise to anyone. MJ is an incredible physiotherapist and advocate for pelvic health physiotherapy.
MJ received her B.Sc.P.T. at McGill University in 1984. She is a clinical physiotherapist who has been treating a variety of pelvic floor disorders for over 25 years.
MJ lectures nationally and internationally on the topic of pelvic floor rehabilitation, has written several articles for the scientific and the lay audience, has been interviewed on television and for lay publications, and has participated in several research projects related to this field.
MJ is currently working in an interdisciplinary setting at Clinique A, rue McGill and Ville-Marie Médical in Montreal. Both these clinics offer a very unique concept of pelvic floor dysfunction evaluation, where the patient consults with the physician, physiotherapist and sexologist as a team.
MJ has a long history of being involved with the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and the Women’s Health division. She is currently acting as Past Chair of the division and has served as the newsletter editor of the division for 4 years. In 2009, she received the CPA prestigious mentorship award for her contribution in this field of physiotherapy.
Thank you MJ for being a pioneer in pelvic health physiotherapy in Canada. You have instructed and inspired many physiotherapists to treat pelvic dysfunction. Your hard work, commitment and dedication are admirable.
How long have you been practicing pelvic health physiotherapy?
I started in pelvic health physiotherapy in 1990.
What lead you into the specialty of pelvic health?
During my physiotherapy degree at McGill, there was one class teaching us how to prepare women to push for delivery but we didn’t talk about what could be done for these women after the birth to reeducate their pelvic floor muscles. After graduating, I decided to do osteopathy studies to learn some internal techniques, which I was hoping to be able to use in physiotherapy. However, it was a post-graduate course given by Marcel Caufriez, kinesitherapist from Belgium, that really made the difference for me.
What do you love most about your profession?
I love the diversity of dysfunctions/pathologies we can treat in pelvic health. Even though the diagnosis could be similar, each person is different. Each patient brings a biopsychosocial element to their problem which presents more of a challenge.
Which course did you enjoy the most/what course has changed your clinical practice the most?
I would have to say my very first pelvic floor course with Marcel Caufriez from Belgium in 1990. He introduced pelvic health in Canada for physiotherapists. He helped us bridge the gap between Canada and Europe. After that course, my practice took a completely different focus in developing and promoting an unknown field of physiotherapy across Canada.
What has been your most rewarding experience?
I have several but if I have to pick one, it would be the very first woman I treated with severe vaginismus. She had come to me after many years of psychology treatments (with very little improvement, still not able to have any penetration) and she wanted to try a new approach to her problem. After a series of physiotherapy treatments, she was very pleased to be able to have intercourse with her husband. She would still have some pain but she was to continue her exercises at home herself and with her partner. About a year and a half later, she calls me to announce that she had given birth to a baby girl. She wanted to come in to have an evaluation of her pelvic floor but she mostly wanted to show me the baby because she was saying it would not have been possible without my help. She was so thankful and appreciative. It was such an emotional moment when I held that little baby.
What advice would you provide to new physiotherapists getting started in pelvic health?
I would say that most of your learning will come from listening to what your patients are telling you. Take the time to listen to them, to be empathetic and to suggest some advice. You have the privilege of sharing some very intimate details of their lives.