I began to learn the Paula Method for pelvic floor rehabilitation with Michal Mehler. For the first few weeks she was introducing me to this very foreign method, and I was mostly learning to retrain my mind and body to respond to basic needs like hydration, the need to urinate, feed myself, and RELAX!!!
I thought I was a Master at relaxing but after years of ballet, Pilates, and yoga training it turns out I tend to hold myself very tightly together in all the wrong ways, pushing my pelvic floor down and out and causing me to have urinary stress incontinence. It only took a few weeks for the incontinence problem to go away, but I had seen enough to know that this was just the tip of the iceberg of this rehabilitation method. I told Michal I wanted to continue to see what other benefits could come as a result of doing these exercises. I have a long history of back problems. When it comes to sitting and basic posture, I had lost all strength to hold my body (including my own head) in an upright position. So we've been working on proper breathing, proper sitting, proper WALKING!!! (um, I STILL haven't mastered THAT yet!), and proper ways to push, pull, lift, and put things down (basically, these are the Secrets to Motherhood!) I continue to have big issues with my posture and a great deal of this is caused, we believe, by an imbalance in my bite. So we are now working on tongue postures and other facial exercises that make me look silly while stopped at red lights. I haven't shared this with Michal yet, but I have been experiencing a correction in my spine lately. I used to always collapse to the right, my left side overstretched. Since working with Mical, I've been sleeping on my right side which has had a stretching effect on my right side, including my neck. My head would always drop to the right when I wasn't paying attention and lately the right side of my neck (and right side of my body) has been asking to be deeply stretched and I can hear the vertebrae releasing all up and down my right side. Even as I type this I am aware that my head and spine are straight(er) than they have ever been before. Why specifically? I have no idea. I am sure Michal can explain it. The truth is that this method teaches people to heal themselves by listening and becoming attuned to their own bodies. I can't recommend it more highly. I will still probably need to see an orthodontist about fixing my bite, but I can tell you that just one of the exercises I have been doing since the beginning has had a pretty surprising impact on my bite. I feel my lower jaw moving further forward, reducing my overbite to some degree. Now Michal has very intuitively given me a few tongue positioning exercises to do which I've been practicing non-stop since last Sunday's session. It's very hard to describe what the Paula Method is and how it works, but because I think in pictures all I can do is describe what my mind sees when I work with Michal. Each week, and with each exercise, I feel like she is handing me a key to my own recovery. Some doors are small and some are huge and heavy. (And I feel like these tongue exercises are a big key to unlock a huge door!) Michal, I am already forever grateful!
I came to see Michal to check if I can treat an umbilical hernia I had for some time and was bothering me in my day to day activities. My physician recommended a surgery, but I didn’t want to have my body dissected, and hearing about the Paula Method, I thought I should give it a try.
I also suffered from lower back pain which Michal thought was related to the same postural and functional reasons that caused the hernia.
To my surprise the back pain was gone after just a few sessions and the condition of my umbilical hernia that was clearly showing externally before, improved dramatically to a point that it stopped interfering with my daily activities (the improvement was visual as well). It took a few short weeks and I was relieved from the two issues that caused me so much discomfort and un-ease.
Thank you Michal for your help and for the magic you taught me to perform on myself. I now have simple helpful tools to use to restore my body and keep it in good shape. I really enjoy the exercises of the method that I practice daily and plan to keep on exercising in the future.
I know I was skeptic at first but have to admit you proved me wrong!
I was referred to Michal Mehler by a chiropractor following pelvic floor surgery. Complications from surgery left me with recurrent bladder infections and bladder spasms resulting from constant contractions of the pelvic floor.
I had already worked with 2 physical therapists for my pelvic floor and a technician at Cornell University with a machine to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. None of the therapists were able to help me. Michal immediately understood what was happening and first worked on relaxing my muscles and increasing my breathing, which had been very shallow and not reaching the pelvic area since surgery. I felt cut off from the lower half of my body. Michal helped me to understand my body in a way that no other therapist had and she helped me reconnect to my pelvic area. She was the only therapist who explained the sphincters affecting the process of urination and bowel function. As a result, I no longer walk around contracting my pelvic floor and I am able to strengthen and relax the sphincters and muscles of my pelvic floor with awareness that I have never had before. I was told that I had to live with my problem and thanks to Michal that is not true and I am now able to follow my body’s direction with regard to relaxing muscles, strengthening muscles and breathing deeply for full oxygen support. I will always be grateful and continue the exercises to keep my body in balance. Thank you Michal!
When I was pregnant with my son, our third baby, I knew I wanted to approach the pregnancy, labor and birth in a mindful way. With two young kids at home, it could sometimes be difficult to find the time to be attentive to my own needs, and I knew I needed a consistent practice to help me stay centered and focused.
Michal introduced me to the Paula Method and taught me how to use Paula to exercise for physical and mental relaxation. During the labor process, the Paula Method helped me listen to my body and work with what it needed from me, instead of against it. I was able to relax through the more difficult parts of labor, and give in to its physical and mental demands. Using the Paula Method, I was able to replace feeling fearful with confidence and empowerment. Within half an hour of my water breaking, my baby boy was in my arms. Like every mom, I worried about how my body would look after pregnancy. I was sure since this was my third child, I would have trouble fitting back into my clothes, but just weeks after the birth, I was completely back to normal! People couldn’t believe I had just had a baby, let alone my third baby. The Paula exercises helped me snap back to my normal self comfortably and safely, while respecting what my recovering body needed. The Paula Method is amazing, and Michal is a wonderful, warm and knowledgeable practitioner. I highly and warmly recommend Michal and the Paula Method to anyone looking to make a positive mental and physical change in their lives.
What I liked about the Paula Method was that it was very simple and gentle movements and I could practice anywhere, anytime…
I practiced the exercises while driving, in front of the desk at my office, and in my bed before I went to sleep. Some of the movements had immediate effect on my body, others were for future use, during birth. Michal was a great teacher and keen observer. Her slightest adjustment of my movement made a huge difference. Learning the Paula method from Michal was a great experience for me and the little one in my belly.
Working with Michal over the past few month has been a tremendous pleasure. She has been incredibly instrumental in the preparation for the upcoming delivery of my son.
Michal has introduced, explained and helped implement the Paula Method into my daily life, enabling me to make much needed change from a physical emotional and mental perspective to ensure a healthy birth experience. By teaching me exercises of the Paula Method, Michal has helped me tap into the power of my body. She has showed me how to find and use a wide array of strengths and tools I never knew I possessed. Michal’s ability to make me feel so comfortable is a testament to her nicest, patient and caring demeanor. She truly is a joy to be around and I look forward to working with her after the delivery of my baby. Michal, thank you so much for everything! I am so grateful to have you in my life.