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Herman & Wallace Blog

Creating a Wheel of Life

As we head into the New Year, we commonly reflect on the past year and plan for the next 12 months. I wanted to share with you a tool that I have found to be useful not only in my personal life, but also in assisting patients with choices. This is a tool that I first read about in a book about neurolinguistic programming, and one that I understand many life coaches use when assisting people who want to assess various aspects of self or of life categories.

First, make a large circle on a piece of paper. Then divide it into "pie pieces" and label each piece of pie with a category. For example, if you wanted to get a sense of your personal satisfaction with your life, you might choose: spiritual practice, fitness, primary relationship, work, finances, and home improvement. List numbers from the center of the circle outward along the lines separating the category, you can use any range of numbers such as 1-5 or 0-10. Then score your rating for each category with the higher number being a positive rating. Let's say you self-score at least an 8 on all categories except for finances. If that is the case, you can then list a few tangible goals that relate to financial health with dates for achieving those goals. This type of wheel can be completed very quickly and in my experience it does not take much thought to score your sense of happiness within the various categories. If you focused this wheel on work/career, you might label the pieces as various aspects of evaluation, treatment, perhaps body parts, or even categories such as managerial tasks versus documentation. We are often balancing so many domains in our life that it is challenging to stay at a "10" with any one category for long; we are often giving of our energies to patients, to employers, to our families and children, and this leaves little time for our own self-care.

Many patients who present to our clinics our facing similar challenges. You may have met the patient who reports he or she is "falling apart" and does not know where to start, or who suffers from pain that limits sleep, work, and self-care, making it difficult to complete the 3 exercises we instructed last session. Perhaps your patient can be given a wheel of life assignment for a home activity, or it can be completed in the clinic. Once areas of dissatisfaction are identified, the patient can set goals towards improvement. If the wheel was designed to represent various environments that support or impair a patient's healing process, perhaps it could be sorted out that the work environment is where the patient feels resistance to follow-through with therapy concepts. This would allow you to help develop strategies towards improving that work environment in relation to rehab (such as an ergonomic eval, for example.) It may give another patient the opportunity to identify that her primary relationship is really struggling, therefore she does not truly want to return to intercourse with her partner due to these issues. If your home program of self-stretching or breathing, etc, is aligned towards physical intimacy with her partner, she may sabotage her home program and fail to progress. If she is able to make these connections as part of her pelvic rehabilitation, perhaps she will recognize that she wants to attend some counseling before continuing the physical rehabilitation process. My example is hypothetical, yet most of you could share similar stories about patients who are either overwhelmed by their life, or who are subconsciously resistant to your best efforts at rehabilitation because they are struggling with other more important issues.

I hope that you find this exercise useful in your own life. Sometimes I simply share the idea verbally with a patient, friend, or colleague and it is simple enough that the person can make a mental note to try it at a later time. I have found it very valuable to save the wheels in a notebook, re-assess and then see where progress has been made. Of course, the progress is usually made because goals were identified and efforts were made towards completing the goals. On behalf of the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute, I wish you a very Happy New Year, and happy goal setting as well.

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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Chicago, IL (Rescheduled)

Apr 3, 2020 - Apr 5, 2020
Location: Cancer Treatment Centers of America - Chicago, IL

Male Pelvic Floor - St. Paul, MN (Rescheduled)

Apr 3, 2020 - Apr 5, 2020
Location: Regions Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Boston, MA (Rescheduled)

Apr 3, 2020 - Apr 5, 2020
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Chronic Pelvic Pain - Kansas City, MO (Rescheduled)

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Pudendal Neuralgia and Nerve Entrapment - Philadelphia, PA (Rescheduled)

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Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Freehold, NJ (Rescheduled)

Apr 4, 2020 - Apr 6, 2020
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Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists - Seattle, WA (Rescheduled)

Apr 4, 2020 - Apr 5, 2020
Location: Evergreen Hospital Medical Center

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Grand Rapids, MI (Rescheduled)

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
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Pelvic Floor Level 1- Kansas City, MO (Rescheduled)

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
Location: Centerpoint Medical Center

Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Grand Junction, CO (Rescheduled)

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
Location: Urological Associates of Western Colorado

Mobilization of Visceral Fascia: The Gastrointestinal System - Arlington, VA (Rescheduled)

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
Location: Virginia Hospital Center

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - East Greenwich, RI (Rescheduled)

Apr 17, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
Location: New England Institute of Technology

Pilates for the Pelvic Floor - Livingston, NJ (Rescheduled)

Apr 18, 2020 - Apr 19, 2020
Location: Ambulatory Care Center- RWJ Barnabas Health

Genital Lymphedema

Apr 24, 2020

Pelvic Floor Level 1- Canton, OH (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Aultman Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Rochester, NY (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Unity Health System

Pediatric Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders - Ann Arbor, MI (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Michigan Medicine

Lumbar Nerve Manual Assessment and Treatment - Madison, WI (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: University of Wisconsin Hospital

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Winfield, IL (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Northwestern Medicine

Low Pressure Fitness for Pelvic Floor Care - Trenton, NJ (Rescheduled)

Apr 24, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Robert Wood Johnson Medical Associates

Athletes & Pelvic Rehabilitation - Minneapolis, MN (Rescheduled)

Apr 25, 2020 - Apr 26, 2020
Location: Viverant

Sacral Nerve Manual Assessment and Treatment - Fairlawn, NJ

May 1, 2020 - May 3, 2020
Location: Bella Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Fayetteville, AR

May 1, 2020 - May 3, 2020
Location: Washington Regional Medical Center

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Boise, ID

May 1, 2020 - May 3, 2020
Location: St Luke's Rehab Hospital

Pediatric Incontinence - Duluth, MN

May 1, 2020 - May 3, 2020
Location: Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center

Yoga for Pelvic Pain - Online Course

May 2, 2020 - May 3, 2020