Florence is one of the warmest people I have had the pleasure of working with as a health professional. She is not boastful so she likely won’t recognize that she is quickly becoming one of the leading experts on diastasis recti (abdominal separation). She is also absolutely gifted in translating movement into treatment though she won’t brag about that either.
Here is what she will tell you:
(Spoiler alert: my favourite is that she is a badass hockey player who loves to flaunt a pretend Boston accent)
1. What led you to your particular field?
As I child I played numerous competitive sports and as a teenager I committed myself to extensive dance training. I have always been very fortunate to have teachers who inspire me and encourage me to think outside the box. My dance teacher in high-school, Ms. Marsh, was very enthusiastic to share alternative modalities to compliment our dance training. As a young teen, I learned about, yoga, pilates, meditation, Alexander technique, reflexology, Acupuncture, Feldenkrais technique and Rolfing. I owe most of my choice to pursue an alternative health modality to this early exposure. I knew in my teens, that alternative health modalities resonated with me more than traditional approaches. During my time at McMaster University, I crossed paths with another inspirational teacher, Andy Shmaltz. During my final year at Mac, he taught the Kinesiology Functional Anatomy course while he was completing his thesis in Osteopathy diploma, just as I am now. I was completely in awe of his knowledge of anatomy and his holistic approach to treating somatic. I was sold.
2. What are you passionate about in your work?
If you catch me in conversation around the clinic, I am most likely getting really worked up about anything women’s health related. Most recently I have been very focused on diastasis-recti, the condition of “over-stretched” abdominal muscles during pregnancy and the postnatal period. I am a huge advocate for women’s health and want to promote the sharing of knowledge to empower women during some of their most vulnerable stages of life.
The other half of my heart, belongs to the paediatric population, I really enjoy working with infants and babies. First, to offer relief to any discomforts the little ones may have. Second, to support new mothers as they encounter new challenges with their little ones.
3. How does your practice relate to how you live personally?
I really am a common day hippie and I function best when I practice what I preach. I am grateful that my chosen field encourages me to be the most authentic hippie version of myself everyday. I try to bring balance and variety to my everyday, with small choices like eating lots of raw veggies, running, practicing yoga, dancing around my living room, lifting weights, meditating, sleeping for 8 hours (most nights – mind you, I do not have any babies or children, mad respect to all of you! ) and seeking out body work for myself when I need it.
4. Do you have anything exciting to share on the horizon (i.e. a project you are working on, a new treatment you are introducing, a workshop you would love to share)?
I have been in isolation working on my thesis: ” The effects of global osteopathic treatment on diastasis-recti in postnatal women” for the past eight-months. I am excited to report that the first draft will be done this June, and I will defend my thesis in November 2019! It has been a long time coming and I am looking forward to discussing my findings, in the hopes of benefiting more women.
I will be co-hosting a workshop at Fuel Roncesvalles April 29th @ 8pm with the fabulously intelligent and inspiring: Jen Hunter, Andrea Desgroseilliers and Stephanie Sibbio. Registration and attendance is free! We will be covering everything postnatal related and providing a guide towards a safe recovery during the postnatal period. This workshop contains lots of juicy information and is super beneficial for anyone thinking about pregnancy, currently pregnant or have already given birth.
5. When you are not at Body Co, you are most likely……..?
Writing my thesis, listening to wellness podcasts or teaching! I teach a number of barre, yoga and pilates style classes across the city. I also have the privilege of teaching new moms how to safely and effective restore their core during their first weeks back to exercise.
6. Please share 2-5 things about yourself that others might now know and find interesting
I am 1 of 6 children. Yes the same parents, and no we are not really religious. I am the second oldest, the oldest girl of 4 girls and 2 boys.
I played competitive ice hockey throughout elementary and high school. I was the smallest defence-woman for the majority of my hockey career and I was captain on my two of my teams.
My father is from Boston, MA, I am obsessed with the Boston accent and often pretend I have one.
I am the fourth Florence in my family. My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and I share the same name.Four is my favourite number