Chair Chronicles: Erica’s first-hand story of incontinence and the Libby
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I wasn’t able to meet with the Corelife team, so a video meeting was arranged with Dr. Sinéad Dufour. She explained what she does and the care Corelife could provide based on my needs. She took the time to ask questions about my bladder habits and carefully explained exactly what might be causing some of the issues that I was having. After a great chat, Dr. Dufour provided me with a few strategies to better manage my bladder habits and a few exercises to improve my overall pelvic floor health.
In the initial consult it was suggested that due to some of the bladder and pelvic floor challenges I have, an internal and external examination prior to my first session on the Libby chair would be the best next step. Dr. Dufour completed the examination of my abdomen and pelvic floor to be used as a baseline to track my progress. Throughout the brief 15-minute exam, she explained absolutely everything that she was doing, why she was doing it, and what I should be feeling. I felt completely comfortable and at ease the entire time.
Next, Brittany brought me in to meet the Libby chair! After confirming that I had no pins, screws, or metal implants of any sort, she invited me to sit down. She briefed me on what I might feel and ensured that I was in the correct position and offered to make any adjustments I needed. Before leaving the room, Brittany made sure I knew I could adjust the intensity at any time.
Dr. Dufour stayed in the room during my treatment, taking the time to discuss the progress I had made with the exercises she offered in the initial consult. She explained why I might be having some of my issues and offered simple solutions to work on in between appointments.
The chair and the treatment were both very comfortable. There’s a very intense vibration from the seat of the chair, but at no point did I feel uncomfortable or pain of any sort. After 30 minutes, I was done.
Even from the first appointment, I’ve become much more aware of my bladder habits and how simple things can affect my overall bladder function. I’m much more cognizant of how I move my body doing everyday things like getting up from a chair, and “pulling up” before I sneeze.
After only two sessions with the Libby chair I’ve started to notice a significant difference in my bladder control. I love working out, but I always wear a pad because I’m guaranteed to leak. Sit-ups, crunches, and squats are all anxiety producing—and don’t even get me started on jumping jacks! I’m on my elliptical every day and today was no different except for one important detail: NO LEAKS! Not even a little bit! I did 45 minutes and had no issues at all. I can’t wait to see what happens after a few more treatments. I might even brave a few jumping jacks.
After my third session with the Libby chair I started to realize some things about myself. First, I’m learning to trust my bladder again. It sounds like such a simple thing, but realizing that I don’t have to run to the bathroom every time I get a subtle urge to pee is pretty fantastic. I’m also learning how closely connected my brain and bladder really are, and how making simple changes to the way that I think can have significant affects on my physical health and well-being. I’m learning not to “go just in case”. And most importantly, I’m learning how to really listen to what my body is telling me.
The Corelife team has taught me simple strategies that are having huge effects on my ability to feel confident in my body. I feel like I’m regaining control, and although I’m still wearing a liner every day, it’s basically just my little security blanket. I don’t leak when I work out, I don’t have to run to the bathroom every 30-40 minutes, and I feel more and more confident everyday.
Fourth treatment (No side effects!)
At my fourth session, Brittany asked if I was experiencing any side effects. The truth is, I wasn’t experiencing any at all! No pain, no discomfort, no odd sensations, I’ve had literally no side effects at all. I feel great after every appointment, and to be honest, I really enjoy the 30 minutes of down time I get with nothing but my book. The chair is slowly changing my life!
Fifth treatment (This is actually working!)
After my first treatment, I only noticed slight differences. By the third treatment, things definitely started to change with my bladder habits. And after the fifth treatment, I still can’t fully wrap my brain around it, but it’s working!
I no longer panic if there isn’t a bathroom nearby, and I don’t have to stop to pee before I leave the house. I have Sinead’s voice (that’s Dr. Dufour—I think we’re on a first-name basis now!) in my head throughout the day reminding me of all of the little tips and tricks that, in combination with the chair treatments, have definitely improved my bladder function. No more leaks and no more worrying about wearing a liner every single day. I’m feeling pretty free and easy these days.
In just three short weeks my life is changed forever. I know that sounds dramatic, but I thought that bladder incontinence was something that I was just going to have to live with. My mom has had four bladder surgeries to try and fix her incontinence issues so I just assumed that would be me in a few years.
Then I met the Corelife team and was introduced to the Libby chair. Things changed in ways I never thought possible without surgery. Now, I’m confident in my body and I’ve experienced actual physical changes to my pelvic floor. I no longer run for the bathroom in a panic when I have to pee. I no longer cringe every time I have to sneeze, cough, or laugh. I can work out without a liner. In just 3 weeks, I’ve learned to take back control of my bladder.
Sinéad and Brittany have taught me to trust my body, that it knows what to do and when to do it. And the Libby chair has actually changed the physical structure and strength of my pelvic floor. I have a new sense of confidence and am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to have these treatments.
I cannot thank Corelife enough.
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