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  • Writer's pictureKirsten DesMarais

Your Guide to Curiosity Driven Movement: Physical Therapy Done Differently

This is your ultimate how-to guide to start moving and rehabbing your orthopedic and pelvic health concerns in a curiosity driven way.

Shed the fear-driven patterns and start getting creative!

Fear is an amazing motivator. In the rehabilitation and movement space, it often motivates people to buy into almost anything! It frequently limits the variability and creativity of movement. And, fear can even be a huge damper on the joy we experience through movement.

I see this manifest in pelvic health ALL THE TIME!

- I was told I can't lift over 20# or my prolapse will be worse

- I was told I had a severe diastasis and shouldn't ever do core work

- I am not supposed to run for 12 months after birth because I am so weak

- I am making my pelvic floor dysfunction worse if I strength train

Orthopedically it looks like:

- I can only do low impact exercise because of my bad knees

- I was told to avoid squats because of my back injury

- Lifting from the floor is dangerous, I have mastered lifting with my legs

- I have really bad posture and have to master core strength in order to avoid re-injury

What if fear wasn't the main motivator in how you move through your life?

Use this guide to fuel curiosity and see where it takes you!

Getting Curious

How can we shift away from fear and towards curiosity? Let's start with noticing and asking questions about why you move the way you do, why you select the movement you participate in, and what happens with your symptoms. Then, experiment in small ways to challenge some of the beliefs you uncover. When you give yourself permission to move creatively, variably, and with joy.... It is amazing how things change!

The Noticing: Questions To Ponder

The Great Experiment: Making Changes

The New Horizon: Let Go Of The Beliefs That Aren't Serving You


The Noticing: Questions To Ponder

To get started, you need to uncover some of the "why" behind your current movement practice. Notice common patterns that might come up for you.

Here are examples of questions to ask yourself:

- Why do I participate in these kinds of movements?

- Did someone tell me to move this way? If so, why?

- Do I enjoy the things I am doing right now?

- What happens to my symptoms when I participate in these things?

- Is my overall health benefitting from this activity?

- Am I moving in the direction I want? (Are goals being achieved?)

- What do I want to be doing?

- What beliefs do I have around the activities I want to do?

- What do I believe about the movement life I have right now?

The Great Experiment: Making Changes

Now that you have started to notice some motivation, preferences, and beliefs. It is time to have some fun! Below I will use an example to illustrate how you can experiment. Use this as a loose guide to begin your own experimenting.


Movement practice: walking/hiking

Beliefs around walking/hiking: helpful for physical health, mental health, engages in the outdoors, and is really enjoyable

Symptoms: Noticing back pain after a couple of miles and urinary leaking as well as pressure going down hills

Desires/Goals: Hike/walk hills around town with less or NO symptoms, winter hike, and hike with friends over a weekend camping trip

Direction: No significant progress in endurance, pain, or pelvic floor symptoms for the past year

Beliefs: This is the way it is. Things feel unchangeable. I was told to maintain core activation while I walk for my back pain and that my pelvic floor symptoms are to be expected based on my age and birth experiences.


What can be shifted?

- Time of day - do symptoms change if walking is completed earlier in the day?

- Pace - does a quicker pace change things?

- Posture - try new things! Shoulders over toes/slight forward lean vs upright? Try 3 different postures and see what feels the best.

- Bracing vs. soft abdomen - What if you let your abdomen go? Stopped bracing or holding your abs tight?

- Breath - Can you draw attention to your breath and experiment with your breath as you walk?

- Foundation - What is your background/experience with walking/hiking? Do we need to build a more robust foundation? What could that look like? ie. Gain more experience with more frequent, shorter hikes. Build strength or endurance in other ways.

- Lifestyle - Does your lifestyle support these goals and activities? Do you need more fuel or hydration? Are you waking feeling rested? Do you feel like your stress is in any way influencing how your physical body feels? Can anything here shift?

** When you start looking for opportunities to subtly shift variables around movement, it can be amazing what you find actually works**

The New Horizon: Let Go Of The Beliefs That Aren't Serving You

Buckle up friends! This is the hard part.

There is a sense of safety in many of the patterns of movement and beliefs that we hold.

Spoiler alert! It is pseudo safety and an illusion.

There is no RIGHT way to do anything. Your body has unique needs. What would things look like if you honored that?

Curiosity driven movement is often found at the edge of your comfort zone.


I highly recommend seeking support as you navigate The Experiment and The New Horizon. Having a sounding board and guidance can make all the difference when you are facing something new!

I would be honored to support you in this. If you'd like to pursue more curiosity in your movement life and leave fear-driven movement behind Let's work together. It's physical therapy, just better.

Book a free Discovery Session to meet with me virtually and discuss the next steps


Book your Initial Session to jump right in


Mention CURIOSITY in the "additional info" section of the booking site

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