Strong Friend Helen Keeble: Pelvic Floor Health Pioneer

I’m very excited to introduce you to Helen Keeble. Helen will be a super contributor to Strong Words, laying down some knowledge that most people don’t even know they need.

I have wanted to expand my own knowledge on the subject of the pelvic floor for a long time and I’m excited to be able to share this with you, dear reader, and my clients.

Helen is committed to demystifying pelvic floor health and our upcoming article series will help us all better understand what it is, why it’s so important and how we can keep it healthy. Keep an eye out!

In the meantime, please meet Helen!

What fills your days?

Strong Friend Helen Keeble for Grace Brown Fitness London

Most of my job is working as a pelvic health physiotherapist which I love - I am particularly passionate about enabling women in sports - whether this is managing and working to resolve pelvic floor dysfunction (eg incontinence, prolapse), addressing a diastasis, improving movement technique/power or fixing niggling pains - I love it all!

I am a qualified Crossfit trainer and aim to get my own Crossfit fix up to 5 times per week, so I have a good level of understanding of weight lifting, high impact and high intensity movements, but I work with women across the entire range of sports and exercises.

When not seeing clients or in the gym myself, the other aspects to my job are working on Umi Health projects, Pelvic Floor Patrol campaigns, providing post-graduate training to physiotherapists and public workshops on pelvic health.

I love being outdoors having an adventure, going to gigs and festivals, eating good food and drinking lovely wine in the sunshine!

How did you get to this point?

I have always been a physiotherapist! From my teens I knew my strength was science (& maths weirdly!) so I wanted to do something in my career that involved the human body, I also could not imagine ever being stuck behind a desk so physiotherapy seemed like the obvious choice.

I was a qualified and working physiotherapist at the age of 20 (I like to call my work ethic driven, others who know me may call it stubborn but whatever!) and started my career in a big London teaching hospital (The Royal Free). II did what most newly qualified physiotherapists do & completed four monthly rotations in each department; respiratory and intensive care, neurology, elderly, musculoskeletal, amputees and then women's health. To be honest I loved all the departments I worked in & had no clue what I would like to specialise in.

Whilst working in women's health I loved the mix of ante/postnatal classes, gynaecological surgery ward, labour ward, seeing obstetric and gynaecological outpatients. Due to staffing issues I ended up doing a double rotation in women's health and then got my senior physiotherapy position which started with eight months in women's health and to be honest I've never looked back!

I eventually left the NHS and got into private practise in London driven by wanting to marry musculoskeletal and women's health together - something I am still passionate about to this day.

In 2015 I also started tutoring for the POGP (the UK's leading physiotherapy organisation dedicated to pelvic health).

What’s great and what is difficult about what you do?

The thing that's great about what I do is empowering women. I absolutely love being able to arm women with the knowledge that they need to achieve their exercise goals - not matter how big or small these may be.

The thing that's difficult about my job is saying no! I feel so lucky to genuinely love what I do and that my job is my passion but sometimes I forget to manage my work/play time effectively.

What is the one thing that you wish people knew about a healthy pelvic floor?

The one thing I wish people knew about a healthy pelvic floor is that flexibility is just as, if not more important than strength.

Find Helen Online along with fantastic resources Insta: @helenkeeblephysio (also on twitter & FB) Insta: @pelvicfloorpatrol (also on twitter & FB)

Coming Soon: Insta: @umihealth (also on twitter & FB)