Demystifying the female pelvic floor

Date: 9 November 2019

Course Leader: Sandie Ennis



About the course

A one-day course for osteopaths and other qualified allied health practitioners looking to expand their scope of practice by adding prescription pelvic floor muscle exercise training.

1 in 3 women is reported to experience problems with their pelvic floor with symptoms such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain or sexual dysfunction. Sadly, this is often regarded as a taboo subject and rarely talked about so too many women suffer in silence. Many women and practitioners alike struggle to know how best to keep the pelvic floor healthy, especially following abdominal or pelvic surgery be that a C-section, hysterectomy or pelvic floor repair. 

There are often simple strategies and exercises that will improve the problem, and pelvic floor muscle training is usually advised as a first line treatment for bladder or bowel dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapse. However, many women report not being taught them well or not feeling confident to perform them correctly on their own. Others seek out Pilates classes to support their pelvic health, but not all Pilates-based exercise is helpful.

This course will teach you how to train a woman’s pelvic floor properly so that they can sneeze, cough, jump, laugh or run with confidence.

For pre-course preparation you will be sent a review of the anatomy of the pelvis including muscles of the pelvic floor (notes and video link) a week before the course date.

This course is 65% theory and 35% practical. Some components will be on a floor-based mat with the rest seated or on a treatment couch.


Summary of Osteopathic Practice Standards (Updated) and other CPD elements covered

A) Communication and patient partnership- A2, A3, A5, A6

B) Knowledge, skills and performance - B1, B2, B3

C) Safety and quality in practice - C4, C6


Learning outcomes

  • Review the anatomy of the pelvis including muscles of the pelvic floor, how they work, why things go wrong and most importantly what can be done to help
  • Understand pelvic floor dysfunction, conditions and their impact on exercise
  • Learn key pelvic floor exercises and easily digestible evidence to share with your patient
  • Gain experience with different exercises for women with pelvic floor problems, and those that have had corrective surgery. The focus will be on the fundamental exercises which will make a difference to pelvic floor balance.
  • Understand self-help and home exercises which will aid your management, giving patients support outside of the treatment room.



09:00 - 09:30 Registration

09:30 - 10:00 Brief review of the anatomy of the pelvis including muscles of the pelvic floor

10:00 - 11:00 Discuss common pelvic floor dysfunctions and their impact on lifestyle and exercise

11:00 - 11:20 Break

11:20 - 12:30 Learn essential pelvic floor exercises and evidence suitable to share with patients

12:30 - 13:30 Lunch

13:30 - 15:00 Practical session – treatment on the couch and floor mat-based treatments. The focus is on fundamental Pilates-based exercises related to pelvic floor health. No previous Pilates experience necessary.

15:00 - 15:20 Break

15:20 - 17:00 An outline of self-help and home exercises to provide patients with support outside the treatment room

17:00 - 17:30 Reflection


Course suitability                         

This course is suitable for osteopaths and other qualified allied health practitioners. Unfortunately for insurance reasons we are not able to offer places to students on this course.


About the course leader

Sandie Ennis qualified as an osteopath in 2009, followed by extensive postgraduate studies including cranial and classical osteopathy, SCCO pathway (3/4 way through) women’s health and training in paediatrics at the foundation for paediatric osteopathy in London (Osteopathic Centre for Children – OCC). She currently divides her time between private osteopathic practice, clinical tutoring, teaching individual and small group Pilates, devising and delivering specialist education, lecturing and CPD training.

Sandie completed her UK Pilates training and certification with Body Control Pilates (BCP) in 2000, BCP is one of the leading education providers for Pilates teacher training and the largest professional Pilates organisation outside the USA. She undertook an advanced classical Pilates studies at Kane School of Core Integration in New York under the tutelage and mentorship of Kelly Kane, one of the most highly regarded and experienced Pilates educators and physical therapists in the USA. She has also completed extensive training in corrective and rehabilitation exercise, women’s health, functional movement training with the Gary Institute and somatic movement education, which she now incorporates into rehabilitation programmes.

Previously an arts educator with extensive experience of creating and delivering a broad range of education and training in the UK and overseas. Since 2000 this has been Pilates-based, health, wellness, and rehabilitation. 


Cancellation policy

The UCO regrets that no refunds can be made for cancelled places unless a substitute participant can be found.  The UCO cannot guarantee that any course will run.  In the event of your course being cancelled, all paid fees and deposits will be refunded in full.