Interview: Sandra Ghaly - Play, Physio, and Pelvic Health
We had the honour of catching up with Sandra Ghaly, Msc. PT at Body Co. Toronto and learn about her work as a Pediatric and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
"Play-based therapy is all I use when assessing and treating my pediatric patients. That is because play comes naturally to a child and has endless benefits towards learning and development."
All Circles: Was there a point during your clinical masters that you realized you wanted to focus on pediatrics and women's health, or did this passion come later in your practice as a physiotherapist?
Sandra: I always knew I wanted to work with children. After graduating from my Masters in Physiotherapy, I specialized in the pediatric population and had the opportunity to work with children in both private practice as well as a hospital setting. Through conversation with my patients’ families I began to learn of the issues that many mothers were facing post birth. After seeing the vastly growing research on the topic, I decided to also specialize in women’s health and haven’t looked back since. My favourite part of my job is I often get to treat both mothers and their children together!
AC: Most of us have a bit of a framework for physiotherapy, but what does it mean to be a Pelvic Floor Specialist?
SG: I always say: if you have a pelvis, you should get a pelvic floor assessment. Contrary to popular belief, pelvic floor physiotherapy is not only for the pre- and post-natal population. In fact, pelvic floor physiotherapy benefits children, men and women of all ages! A few years ago, I decided to combine my two professional loves and become certified in Pediatric Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. I am now one of two physiotherapists in Toronto that treat pelvic floor dysfunction in children under 18 years, including, bed-wetting, constipation and stool withholding. It’s amazing what a little pelvic floor work can do for a child’s confidence!
AC: How do you use play in your therapy?
SG: Play-based therapy is all I use when assessing and treating my pediatric patients. That is because play comes naturally to a child and has endless benefits towards learning and development. Through a child’s natural play routine, I can thoroughly observe their movement patterns and develop a treatment program based around their interests. Physiotherapy exercises can sometimes be boring, tiresome and lacking motivation for children so play-based-therapy allows us to target certain movement goals while the child has fun, leading to long-lasting benefits. For example, I often prescribe climbing (stairs, hills, etc.) as an activity to build core and overall strength as it is both functional and an activity that kids love to do naturally. That is why I was instantly drawn to the products All Circles makes!
AC: How has becoming a mother changed your practice?
SG: Becoming a new mother just over a year ago has changed my practice tremendously for the better. It has taught me to better empathize and relate to my patients, both women and children. It has taught me to prioritize helping them fit exercise INTO their routine rather than setting time AWAY from their routine to complete their exercises. I talk more in depth about this in my recent blog here.
AC: How can our community connect with you or learn more?
SG: I currently work at Body Co. Toronto, located in the Junction (IG: @bodycotoronto). You can also find me on my IG page @sandraghaly.pt I am also happy to chat and answer any questions you may have - feel free to email me at email@example.com.