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Feb 04, 2015

“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” - Isaac Newton


As pelvic floor rehab emerges from its infancy as a niche specialty practiced by a handful of clinicians to being an integral part of mainstream physical therapy education, Herman & Wallace faculty member, Heather Rader, pays tribute to our first giant – Elizabeth Noble.


Elizabeth Nobel and Heather Rader, 2005. Elizabeth and I at her Cape Cod home studio, moments after she encouraged me to teach.   Her T-Shirt says “Pelvic Power”

If you are new to women’s health and pelvic floor rehab, allow me to introduce you to our founding “mother”, Elizabeth Noble, who passed away on January 2, 2015.


Feb 03, 2015

CSM is being held in Indianapolis this year, and a few Herman & Wallace instructors will be attending and presenting. Check out what they'll be talking about this year!


Hollis Herman

Tracy Sher

Presenters: Hollis Herman DPT, PT, OCS, WCS, BCB-PMD, PRPC (AASECT certified sex counselor) & Tracy Sher, MPT, CSCS (AASECT certified sex counselor – for April 2015) & Alexandra T. Milspaw, PhD, LPC

Talking About Sexual Health with Your Patients: A Healthcare Professionals’ Guide


May 23, 2014

Carolyn McManus

This blog was written by Carolyn McManus, PT, MS, MA, who will be presenting at the APTA's Virtual NEXT conference in North Carolina. Carolyn is instructing a new course with Mindfulness-Based Biopsychosocial Approach to Chronic Pain. This course will be offered November 15-16, 2014 in Seattle, WA.


Last fall, I was honored to receive an invitation from the APTA’s National Conference team to contribute to this year’s Virtual NEXT programming. Virtual NEXT offers live and on-demand streaming of annual conference's signature lectures and select educational sessions, worth up to 1.6 CEUs. New this year, you can purchase presentations individually. For the price of one registration, you and your colleagues can get together and be part of a worldwide Virtual NEXT viewing party!


The title of my presentation, to be delivered on Thursday, June 12th, is “The Pain Puzzle: Empowering Your Patients to Put the Pieces Together.” I will highlight basic chronic pain neurophysiology, and briefly discuss the brain in chronic pain, stress-induced hyperalgesia and the cognitive modulation of pain. I will describe how this current evidence affects our clinical practice and suggest evidence-based treatment strategies. These will include therapeutic pain neurophysiology education and mindful awareness training. I will close with a case study that demonstrates how our treatment choices must be based on an understanding of underlying pain generating mechanisms in order to achieve success with this complex patient population.


Apr 15, 2014

The first round of certification candidates have completed their testing, and we will soon announce the test takers who will be awarded with the letters "PRPC" for Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification. Just over 70 candidates sat for the exam during our inaugural 2014 testing window, and are now eagerly awaiting their results (we thank them for their patience!)


Each step of this vigorous (and often tedious) process has been guided by Kryterion, a company who specializes in certification development. We want to give you an update about where we are in the process as many are interested in finding out how they performed on the test.


The "cut score" for passing the exam and earning the certification can only be determined after all the examinees have completed the exam, so we could not begin our work until the testing window closed on March 1st. Then, a group of 11-14 SME's (Subject Matter Experts) are gathered together on phone and web conferences to review each item. A SME is a person who meets the criteria to take the PRPC exam but cannot be someone who took the exam this year. Many of the SME's are therapists who have been involved in the process from the beginning, others have joined the group specifically for this last step, the review process.


Prior to the phone and web conferences, the each SME completes a training in rating the difficulty of items. She then independently rates every single item based on this thought: "what percentage of minimally acceptable candidates would get this item correct?" The criteria for a minimally acceptable candidate was determined in the exam development process and constitutes what a therapist should know or be able to do at a minimum to earn the credential. During our review phone calls the SMEs are all presented with the given ratings for each item, discuss the ratings as needed, and then an average rating for each item is created. At this time, we have completed over 4 hours of conferences together and have approximately 3-4 hours more to complete. As the SMEs live across the United States (and across several time zones), work full time jobs, attend school, and are raising families, this process is quite a challenge to coordinate and a sacrifice on the part of the SME.

Mar 28, 2014

Michelle Lyons

This post was written by guest-blogger, H&W faculty member Michelle Lyons. You can catch Michelle teaching our Pregnancy and Postpartum series courses, Pelvic Floor Series courses, as well as our new courses on Oncology and the Pelvic Floor and the Athlete and the Pelvic Floor. Michelle lives in Ireland and was an integral part of bringing Institute founder, Holly Heman, to the UK to teach two courses this spring.



Two weeks ago, Institute founder Holly Herman took London by storm and presented Pelvic Floor Level 3 to an enraptured audience. Twenty one unsuspecting British and Irish physiotherapists gathered in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for an unprecedented weekend of pelvic health assessment and treatment techniques. They may have been surprised at the breadth and width of topics covered, from orthopaedics, hormones and surgery, but they weren’t the only ones who got a surprise that weekend.


The night before we started, Holly and I were at the hotel, preparing slides and tweaking the schedule, when a very familiar head popped around the corner – Diane Lee! To say that Holly was surprised would be something of an understatement (I had been sworn to secrecy for months beforehand – dire threats had been issued!) The hilarity and bonhomie that ensued set the tone for the rest of the weekend.

Mar 25, 2014

Michelle Lyons

This post was written by guest-blogger, H&W faculty member Michelle Lyons. You can catch Michelle teaching our Pregnancy and Postpartum series courses, Pelvic Floor Series courses, as well as our new courses on Oncology and the Pelvic Floor and the Athlete and the Pelvic Floor. Michelle lives in Ireland and was an integral part of bringing Institute founder, Holly Heman, to the UK to teach two courses this spring.



As a longtime fan of Holly Herman's work, it has been my pleasure to help bring her depths of knowledge and unforgettable teaching style first to London to teach Pelvic Floor Level 3 and then on to Dublin to allow us Irish PT’s the honor of being the first to attend her new course, Sexual Medicine for Women & Men.


We had 26 therapists travel to Dublin from all over Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England as well as one intrepid PT who flew to us from Saudi Arabia!

Nov 10, 2013



The Pelvic Therapy Practitioner Certification test, or PTPC, is a certification that was developed to recognize expertise in the field of male and female pelvic rehabilitation. Until now, there is no other test available for therapists who wish to establish to their patients and to the community such expertise. As the applications come in to the Institute for review, one common question we hear is "How should I study for the exam?" There is no right answer to this question, as each therapist will need to decide what content areas of knowledge and skills are fresh versus needing an update. 


 The PTPC examination contents are broken down into 8 different domains. The 150 items or questions on the test will be based on these domains in the ratios shown below. 


Oct 23, 2013


The new PTPC exam, the first certification that recognizes specialized skills for

providers of pelvic rehabilitation, is available to the following actively licensed practitioners: 


  • Physical Therapists (PT)
  • Occupational Therapists (OT)
  • Physician (MD, DO, ND)
  • Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
  • Physician's Assistant (PA-C)


Applications from other providers will be reviewed for approval on a case by case basis to determine eligibility. The basic premise is that a provider must have a license that allows a provider to complete the appropriate examination and intervention techniques in order to sit for the PTPC exam. In addition to being a licensed provider, documentation of clinic hours must be included on the application. A minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience with pelvic therapy patients must have occurred over the last 8 years, with 500 of those hours occurring within the last 2 years. This patient care experience must be "direct" meaning that the provider is involved in processes that will have a direct influence on the patient such as examination, evaluation, designing or modifying plans of care, and interventions for pelvic conditions.


Oct 21, 2013


The Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute is pleased to introduce pelvic rehab providers to the Pelvic Therapy Practitioner Certification (PTPC) application process that is now available on-line. The PTPC is the only certification that addresses specific knowledge and skills in the field of pelvic rehabilitation of men and women. The Institute has been working with Kryterion, an expert in exam development, since 2011 to accomplish the detailed and rigorous steps that go into a certification test. First, a job task analysis (JTA) survey was created with the work of subject matter experts (SME's) over a long planning weekend together. Many of you (403 to be exact) completed the lengthy survey to complete the development of this step. Through the JTA the Test Blueprint was created, upon which the test will be based. 


Items on the exam were written by physical therapists who are clinicians and educators. Knowledge of patient care scenarios is integrated into the exam along with evidence based practice. Once all of the items were written, each was examined by a team of experts to be sure that the question meets the high standards of psychometrics and best practices. 


This exam will allow a pelvic rehabilitation provider to achieve recognition for the years of study and practice required to develop his or her expertise. In the coming weeks we will continue to update our community about the PTPC application and testing process. As always, contact the Institute with any questions. 


Jul 30, 2013

This November, Herman & Wallace is excited to bring a new course, Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Pelvic Pain, to Houston, TX!  This course will be taught by Debora Hickman, DPT, WCS.

Susannah Haarmann


Pelvic Rehab Report sat down with Debbie to learn more about her upcoming course.


What can you tell us about this continuing education course that is not mentioned in the course description and objectives that are posted on-line?

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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Special Topics in Women's Health - Maywood, IL
May 30, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Location: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Sacroiliac Joint Evaluation and Treatment - Middletown, CT
May 30, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Location: Middlesex Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Seattle, WA (Sold Out!)
Jun 05, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015
Location: Swedish Medical Center Seattle - Ballard Campus

Pelvic Floor Level 3 - Atlanta, GA
Jun 05, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015
Location: One on One Physical Therapy

Visceral Mobilization of the Urologic System - Madison, WI
Jun 05, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015
Location: Meriter Hospital

Nutritional Perspectives for the Pelvic Rehab Therapist - Seattle, WA
Jun 06, 2015 - Jun 07, 2015
Location: Pacific Medical Center

Rehabilitative Ultra Sound Imaging: Orthopedic Topics - Baltimore, MD
Jun 12, 2015 - Jun 13, 2015
Location: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Rehabilitative Ultra Sound Imaging: Women's Health and Orthopedic Topics - Baltimore, MD
Jun 12, 2015 - Jun 14, 2015
Location: Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Boston, MA (SOLD OUT!)
Jun 12, 2015 - Jun 14, 2015
Location: Marathon Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Derby, CT (SOLD OUT)
Jun 26, 2015 - Jun 28, 2015
Location: Griffin Hospital

Breast Oncology - Maywood, IL
Jun 27, 2015 - Jun 28, 2015
Location: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

Chronic Pelvic Pain - Arlington, VA
Jul 10, 2015 - Jul 12, 2015
Location: Virginia Hospital Center

Myofascial Release for Pelvic Dysfunction - Winfield, IL
Jul 17, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015
Location: Central DuPage Hospital Conference Room

Pediatric Incontinence - Houston, TX
Jul 18, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015
Location: Texas Children’s Hospital

Yoga for Pelvic Pain - Cleveland, OH
Jul 18, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015
Location: UH Case Medical Center - University Hospitals