Strong as a Mother, with Ashlee De Nooy, Owner and PT of Body Works Physical Therapy
Q: Body Works Physical Therapy is one of your babies! Tell us about your background and how you got started building your own business?
For the first seven years of my career as a Doctor of Physical Therapy, I treated in the outpatient orthopedic setting helping patients recover from issues ranging from head to toe including chronic pain, injuries, post surgical, and balance/falls.
My family and I moved to Greenville almost three years ago, and at that time we had two children. Shortly after moving, we were expecting our third child. With my first two pregnancies, I had issues with low back and SI (sacroiliac) joint pain as well as seeing a “doming” in the middle of my belly when I would sit up. I just thought all this was normal, even being a PT myself. Even my OB said it was normal when I brought up these issues.
I developed my passion for women's health when I became a mom. I had a new appreciation for women’s specific needs. After immersing myself in women’s health, I realized the issues I had experienced, even those during my labors and deliveries, did not have to be that way. There was a much better way. The things I and many other women experienced were common, but not normal. I had to share this with other women to show them there is a solution to their problems and that their lives can be changed.
Q: I think most people have a preconceived notion about physical therapy. How is your practice different and what is your primary focus?
Many people do not understand or know what physical therapy is, especially when we talk about women’s health or the pelvic floor. Body Works is different in that we take a whole body approach to determine the root cause of your problem and why your life is not where you would like it to be. Each person that enters our doors is treated with the highest quality of specialized care. Our goal is to give you the outcome you desire.
We help women stay fit, strong, and pain-free through total body health and wellness, so they don’t have to live with their issues anymore. We see women who may be embarrassed by wetting their pants when running, are stressed or anxious due to pain with intimacy, or are unable to enjoy time with their family or friends due to lingering pelvic pain. We are the answer to the problems our patients have been seeking, and we are literally changing their lives.
Q: I love your tagline, “Strong as a Mother!” Tell me what that means to you and your community.
Thank you! Strong as a Mother means just what it says. Most people say, “exactly!” when they see our shirts! Women tend to feel isolated with the issues they are wrestling with. When in reality everyone else is dealing with either the same or some other inner conflict. Strong as a Mother creates that community by empowering women to embrace and be confident in their inner and outer selves. Since its creation, we’ve had over 600 women join our growing Strong as a Mother Facebook group.
Q: What do you feel is your biggest strength as a mom of three little ones?
I love my children well. Even on “hard days” they tell me I’m pretty or they love me. I know I must be doing something right.
Q: What are some things that all new moms-to-be should know and put into practice before the baby arrives?
If I knew what I know now, I would have better educated and prepared myself both mentally and physically.
New moms should know pain is not normal during pregnancy. Being slightly uncomfortable from the changes your body makes is normal, but back, neck, pubic, sciatica (any kind of pain) isn’t normal.
Things to put into practice:
- Healthy eating habits.
- Establish an exercise routine.
- Educate yourself: read books, take classes
Q: What are your top three tips for brand new mamas, postpartum?
- Rest (let others take care of you and you take care of your baby(s) and say “yes” more often.
- See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (schedule your first appointment a few weeks after your due date so it’s already booked) Side note:France sends all their moms to a pelvic floor therapist for at least 10-20 sessions!!
- Don’t rush into exercise. You just had a baby. Take it slow. Start with the breath.
Q: You recently started a podcast, also called “Strong as a Mother,” which I absolutely loved being a guest on! What was your goal in starting that?
I loved having you on! My goal was to interview successful mompreneurs to learn how they’ve grown their businesses while raising their families. It’s inspiring. I want my listeners to know they can do it too. They’re capable of pushing past their fears, and pursue their dreams. That’s all it takes. Live out your passion and make it happen. Listen HERE>>
Q: How has your business been affected by COVID-19, and how are you currently operating?
Our business has become stronger as we’ve implemented new programs (Birth Ready, Fit After Baby, and other programs to solve your issues). We added telehealth and saw patients for 6 weeks using this service. Our doors to in person visits opened April 29, 2020 and we’re continuing to grow. We’ve always seen patients one on one, and are taking additional precautionary steps to ensure patient/employee safety.
Q: Where can people find you if they want to know more, or know a friend that needs some extra help?
Checking out our website at www.bodyworks-physicaltherapy.com is a great place to start! We can also be found at @bodyworkspt.llc on Instagram and Facebook. We’d love for you to join our Facebook Community “Strong as a Mother”, as well as subscribe to the “Strong as a Mother” podcast. We’re also available for questions at (846) 236-8146 or firstname.lastname@example.org