Sophie Villeneuve, owner
Sophie Villeneuve is a bilingual (French/English) registered Pelvic Health Physiotherapist with a focus in perinatal care. She is also a member of the Women’s Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, and a certified Birth Healing Specialist from the Institute for Birth Healing (Denver, CO).
Sophie obtained her physiotherapy degree from Laval University (Quebec, Canada) in 2008 and moved to the Yukon in 2013. Recognizing the need for more pelvic health services in the community, she took post-graduate training with Pelvic Health Solutions in 2015 and opened her own practice, Physio Borealis, the only physiotherapy clinic strictly focused on pelvic health in the Yukon.
Through her Pelvic Health Physiotherapy practice, Sophie soon developed a passion for treating pregnant & post partum women. Indeed, she felt privileged to support women through this very special stage of life and get to develop a relationship both with Mom & Baby. In 2018, she decided to push her passion further and undertook special training at the Institute for Birth Healing (Denver, CO, USA). After attending three courses (Holistic Treatment of the Pregnant Body, Holistic Treatment of the Post Partum Body, Advanced Treatment of the Post Partum Body), Sophie successfully completed her exams and received her Birth Healing Specialist certification in December 2018. She is proud to be the 1st therapist in Canada to obtain this special certification which provides her with advanced techniques to help moms prepare & recover from birth.
Sophie's approach to pelvic health mixes comprehensive and holistic body work (external & internal if indicated), customized exercises prescription, as well as in-depth education to each client. Regarding the private nature of pelvic health issues, it is a priority for Sophie to create a respectful & positive environment for her clients to connect with their pelvic space.
"I wasn't sure what to expect when I made an appointment to have my pelvic floor examined by Sophie. I was relieved by how comfortable Sophie made me feel and how well she informed me during the process. " - Barb, client (read more testimonials)
Sophie remains actively engaged with Yukon moms on social media through her group Yukon Moms & Pelvic Health Community where they exchange about different topics of interest related to pregnancy and post natal care. Sophie can also be followed on Facebook, Instagram, through her newsletter and blog.
Along with 1-1 physiotherapy treatments, Sophie provides pelvic health education workshops & classes, from prenatal preparation for delivery to post partum mom & baby exercise classes, and other workshops of interest. Over the years, she has been invited as a guest speaker by different groups in the community such as local physicians, pre & post natal groups & Maternity Fairs to share her expertise about pelvic health.
Photo credits: Émeraude Photography
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy
What is pelvic health physiotherapy?
Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is a specific type of physiotherapy assessing and treating pelvic health dysfunctions. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments and fascias acting like a hammock to support the bladder, rectum and uterus. The pelvic floor is involved in many body functions such as urination, defecation, sexuality and pelvic stability. Due to its central location in the body, the pelvic floor's functioning can be influenced by many surrounding structures such as the core & visceral/reproductive organs.
Why do pregnant & post partum women need pelvic health physiotherapy?
Pregnancy & childbirth bring along many challenges for the pelvic space, which explains why women often consult with a pelvic health physiotherapist for the first time when they go through their first pregnancy or post partum healing.
In pregnancy, the increased weight and pressure from Baby growing on top of the pelvic area can in itself trigger pelvic symptoms. The core gets overstretched & weak, and postural changes occur. These changes affect the pressure system on the pelvic and low back area and can trigger pain issues or urine incontinence symptoms. There are also a number of women who present pelvic floor tightness that may restrict the delivery process. Pelvic floor physiotherapy treatment during pregnancy can help facilitating a smooth pushing stage by releasing the tensions in the pelvic floor prior to birth.
Post partum, even the most uneventful delivery requires pelvic floor rehabilitation. Indeed, the pelvic floor is going through so much pressure - sometimes tearing - during the pushing stage. The use of mechanical aids (vacuum, forceps), length of the pushing stage, baby's weight and head circumference, and other factors will influences the amount of damage to the pelvic area during childbirth. In cesarean deliveries, the abdominal wall is cut through, which requires significant healing time and core rehabilitation, as well as caution in regards to return to activities.
It is recommended for every post partum woman to get a pelvic health physiotherapy assessment around 6 weeks post partum to get guidance in their recovery and address symptoms such as low back/hip/pelvic pain, urine leakage, painful bowel movements & hemorrhoids, painful sex and scar tissue, core rehabilitation, pelvic prolapse and so on. Asymptomatic women should also consult for prevention, as symptoms may start later after return to moderate-intense activities/sports.
Physio Borealis' philosophy is to provide each mother with an individualized treatment focused on their needs and goals, so they can perform their activities comfortably and confidently. Urine leakage, prolapse & pain do not have to be your new reality as a mother! Through a unique approach mixing bodywork & education, we provide each mom with personalized care 🙂