Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification Feature
Describe your clinical practice: Brande Moffatt, MPT, PRPC
I have a small outpatient physical therapy practice in Redding, California, dedicated to Women’s Health/ Pelvic Dysfunction. I started my physical therapy career in 1999, working in inpatient/outpatient orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation, but quickly felt my calling to the field of pelvic floor dysfunction. After several years working to build my pelvic floor program, I opened my own practice, in 2007, with the mission of providing individualized, quality care in a safe and motivating environment. My clinic is only 1000 sq. feet. My only employee is my extremely valued Front Office Manager, Lisa. I see 6 patients a day, 5 days a week. Although the majority of patients are female, due to lack of other resources in my area, I have felt compelled over the years to treat male/pediatric patients as well.
How did you get involved in the pelvic rehabilitation field?
Although it sounds cliché, it all started with a dream I had one night. In the dream I was given a very clear message: “ Brande, you are supposed to be doing Women’s Health, and you will be the perfect person to do it.” I remember waking up that morning and telling my husband, who is also a PT, about my dream. He jokingly responded, “That’s great Brande, but what do you know about it?” I responded, “Nothing yet, but I know I will be the perfect person for the job.” I now laughingly refer to it as my “Field of Dreams” dream. From that day on, I actively pursued continuing education in the field of pelvic floor rehabilitation and I have never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
What/who inspired you to become involved in pelvic rehabilitation?
The first class I took was with Dawn Sandalcidi, “Urinary Incontinence through the Lifespan.” It was her enthusiasm and conviction about the field that truly hooked me. From there I went on to take classes with Holly Herman and Kathe Wallace, much before Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute came to fruition. Their collective wisdom and dynamic methods of teaching further drew me in and inspired me to go further in my quest for knowledge and skills to treat this patient population. The true lasting inspiration has come from all that I have gleaned from the amazing patients that I have had the honor of treating throughout the last 15 years. Their collective appreciation, honesty, and feedback have taught me more and inspired me more than any one class could ever accomplish.
What patient population do you find most rewarding in treating and why?
It’s hard to answer this question. As I have gone through different stages in my own life, I have found the rewards to be ever-changing. Through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum recovery, as a Mother of 2 small children, and as a woman who is quickly approaching menopause, I can relate to the struggles that these women face. I feel blessed to have learned what I learned to address these seasons of my life, preventatively, and thus have avoided the problems that many of my patients face. My passion will always be for empowering women, but I truly enjoy treating anyone who is eager to learn and take part in their own care.
If you could get a message out to physical therapists about pelvic rehabilitation what would it be?
Pelvic Floor therapy is not about Kegels. Pelvic Floor therapy is often about being a detective trying to get to the bottom of a multifaceted case, full of emotional and physical complexities. To be a good pelvic floor therapist requires excellent listening skills (auditory and tactile), compassion for the human condition, and an ability to provide a safe, nurturing environment for patients to be able to discuss the most personal and sensitive topics. Pelvic Health encompasses so many aspects of our daily life/function (bowel/bladder/sexual/structural stability/reproduction, etc) and therefore it is a crucial piece to consider when addressing any patient population.
What has been your favorite Herman & Wallace Course and why?
This is another hard question to answer, as every class I have had with H&W has made a lasting impact. I have to say that my own professional growth was most evident after taking Visceral Mobilization with Ramona Horton. I don’t think I truly understood the concept of “listening with my hands” prior to her class. I found new inspiration and confidence in treating patients with sexual dysfunction after taking Heather Howard’s class on the Sexual Tool Kit for the Pelvic Pain Patient. I recently felt like I came full circle when I attended another one of Dawn Sandalcidi’s classes, for the first time since I started this quest 15 years ago. It was amazing to see that after all of these years her dedication, motivation and zest for excellence in the profession has only multiplied.
What lesson have you learned from a Herman & Wallace instructor that has stayed with you?
I have learned that the more I learn, the more there is to learn. I have learned that pelvic floor therapist are truly extraordinary. They are extremely knowledgeable, effective, compassionate people who facilitate profound changes in their patients lives, with sometimes little understanding from the professional medical world of what they truly have to offer. Holly, Kathe, Ramona, Dawn, Stacey, Holly T., Heather and Pamela, as well as the online staff with Medbridge,, you have all made lasting impressions. Laura Fraser was the first clinician I ever shadowed, and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity to get a real glimpse into what pelvic floor therapy was all about. Tracy Sher, your daily posts on Pelvic Guru are motivating and informative and challenge me to aspire for greatness.
What do you find is the most useful resource for your practice?
My most valuable resource in my practice is my voice. The voice that educates, motivates and empowers women/men and children to regain control of their bodies. My second most valuable resource would be my hands, as they are the investigators and the means by which I can bring about change. My third most valuable resource is my front office manager who is the compassionate person on the phone that gains the trust of the patient before they even walk through my door.
What motivated you to earn PRPC?
I have been anxiously awaiting the PRPC since I first heard of its development years ago. I was so excited that I actually had my PRPC application turned in within just a few days of it being announced. I was motivated to earn the PRPC so that I would finally have a designation of expertise in the field. As pelvic floor therapy is becoming more of an “acceptable” thing to discuss, many fitness professionals and traditional physical therapists are claiming to address pelvic floor disorders through Kegels. As we know, pelvic floor therapy is not just about doing Kegels, and doing Kegels can often be problematic for certain conditions. I felt like it was my duty to protect the integrity of my profession by earning the highest credential possible so that physicians and patients would understand the difference.
What makes you the most proud to have earned PRPC?
I am most proud of this accomplishment because I now see my name listed next to many of my teachers, mentors, and amazing inspirational leaders. I am truly honored to be amongst such distinguished and accomplished professionals. I am proud to finally have a credential that exemplifies 15 years of hard work and dedication to my field.
What advice would you give to physical therapists interested in earning PRPC?
Do it! The most amazing part of the process was pulling out all of my old course manuals, text books, and flash cards and re-familiarizing myself with all of the material. It’s amazing how much we forget over the years, but even more amazing how quickly it returns when we take the time to review it. The process of reviewing and preparing for the exam was truly rewarding in and of itself. The list of resources available on the H&W site is so valuable and easily accessible. Studying for this exam was a daunting task. I decided to use technology to my advantage. I used my iphone to record several hours worth of anatomical, pharmacological, physiological and treatment facts, and I listened to it whenever I had a free moment. I also found skyping with a study partner to be quite helpful in keeping me on task and accountable.
What is in store for you in the future?
I have so many things on my “to-do list.” As I said before, I am always in pursuit of higher learning. I would love to earn my ASSECT and eventually my DPT. I have many aspirations to grow my practice and to teach professionally, in the future, but for now I work to find balance between being a fulltime therapist, business owner, wife, and a mother of 2 school- aged children. My future is bright, but trying to stay in the “present” is my current focus.
What role do you see pelvic health playing in general well-being?
Pelvic Health is vital, as it is the foundation of so much of our existence. When you think about how many of our daily functions are affected by our pelvic floor, it’s quite an inclusive list. It reminds me of a quote I once read that describes our pelvis as the place upon which we sit, the place where we find pleasure, it’s where we reproduce, it’s how we eliminate, and it’s the keystone to our structural support system. Without pelvic health, there is no true well-being”.