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In September, I went to the beautiful New Zealand to present at a Colorectal workshop in Auckland and not knowing the audience at all, and them not knowing me, I wanted to engage early on with them and set the scene – that I am passionate about my profession of physiotherapy for pelvic floor dysfunction, but also I like humour to impart information. One of the most exciting things for me was that the first speaker at that conference was an eminent colorectal surgeon who finished his wonderful lecture with the plea, that as health professionals working in the delicate area of bowel dysfunction, it was always important to treat patients with dignity, use appropriate language when informing patients (eg bowel motion not poo) and most importantly on his last slide, we were to give them HOPE – that we can improve the patients’ lot in life whether it be with treatment for constipation, obstructed defaecation, faecal incontinence, gas incontinence or ano-rectal pain.
Well I was beside myself with glee as one of my first slides was using the acronym HOPE – what I believe all Continence and Women’s Health physiotherapists try to give their patients. But it also included an image from one of my favourite cards that my friend Anne, who looks out for funny incontinence/pelvic floor related issues, has bought me over the years.
And HOPE stands for:
H = Health focussed
O = Optimistic
P = Physiotherapeutic 
E = Empowering experience
So this Christmas for all those who are suffering with bladder or bowel dysfunction or who have pelvic pain or some other pelvic floor dysfunction, I encourage you to give yourself a dose of HOPE and make it a New Year’s resolution to check out your nearest Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist and get some help to improve your quality of life and restore function in this, our most private yet important area.     
As I also said on the slide, about the conservative management of pelvic floor dysfunction by a physiotherapist (or physical therapist for all the overseas readers) : It’s science based but it’s not rocket science.    
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.!