April runs a solo private practice providing much needed care to women.  She uses an integrative, compassionate approach to help women with issues such as prolapse, incontinence, pelvic pain, pain with intercourse, abdominal pain, pre- and post-childbirth.  She loves working with women in any stage of their lives.  Because of her background and specialized PT training in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, as well as in the pelvic bowl and abdomen, her goal is to provide physical therapy to as many pregnant and post-birth mothers as possible.  This hard-working population is under-referred and under-served as a whole.  In other developed countries, it is a given that a woman be seen by a physiotherapist during this time.  Women undergo tremendous change on all levels within the childbearing year and their bodies need specialized attention to prepare for and rehabilitate from the Olympic event of pregnancy and childbirth.  

All clients are seen in April's home healing space in West Seattle.   This allows for more personalized attention in a private, safe space.  She has intentionally transitioned out of a formal clinic setting so she can focus less on paperwork and documentation and more on YOU.  She accepts private pay for this (cash/checks) as well as accepts some major insurance plans, including Regence, Premera, Lifewise, Cigna, FirstChoice, Group Health PPO.  

To honor her clients' commitment to pay for their own healing, April donates a portion of what she receives from clients to help other women heal.  Regular donations are made to organizations that help women and children, including: New Beginnings (they provide shelter, advocacy and support for women and children affected by domestic violence); GAPPS (Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth); Open Arms Perinatal Services  (they provide community-based support for women through pregnancy, birth and postpartum).

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Read more about how Women's Health physical therapy works to help you restore optimal function. 

When women have issues within the pelvic bowl, women of all ages tend to wait to get treatment until symptoms become severe or unbearable.  There is no clear path given to women as to who they should see for the different dysfunctions.  Most of us turn to Western medical practitioners to help us identify what is causing the dysfunction.  Interventions can range from not doing anything, doing kegels, taking medications or hormonal birth control to invasive surgery.  Women's Health physical therapy is not yet routinely seen as a less invasive option (though there are those practitioners who have been referring their clients for years).  Many practitioners still classify some women's pelvic floor dysfunction as being within the range of normal.  In short...

We need a new normal!  In this modern age, we don't need to accept that women who can't control their urine every time they cough is normal.  Sex is normal part of human function and it should not hurt.  Our pelvic floor is made up of and surrounded by muscles.  Muscles can be strengthened!  If the muscles are too tight (shortened or overactive) and causing dysfunction, they can be lengthened and encouraged to release tension.  Our bodies are dynamic and change with what we do with it.  Our bodies are intelligent extensions of us - our collective body-mind-emotions-spirit.  On a basic physical level, gravity is a constant force on this planet that will have its way if we don't apply some counter-balance to it.  

Does this mean everyone should do kegels?  Absolutely not.  There are few rules to apply to everybody.  A Women's Health physical therapist is a specialist in pelvic floor musculature and function, in addition to knowing the whole body.  She can work with women to identify what the issues are and empower her with the right strengthening exercises, stretches, activity modification or intervention that she can do to heal herself.  Our bodies want to heal themselves.  It's called homeostasis.  Our bodies are constantly trying to balance our complex systems to regain/maintain function.  Becoming structurally aligned, receiving manual therapy, and doing some personalized therapeutic exercises help reset our bodies to function optimally again.

Working with our bodies like this empowering.  It's an act of self love to reject that dysfunction and pain as normal just because someone said it was.  We have so much learning and unlearning to do especially as it pertains to our pelvic organs, pelvic floor and our sexual function.  Our reproductive and sexual health matter.  Our pelvic bowls carry our pelvic organs, memories, traumas, emotions, pleasure, babies, pain, creativity.  It is bigger than the physical realm.  It is the seat of the sacred feminine embodied within us.  We as a culture must stop ignoring dysfunction and pain in this region.  It is yet another dismissal of us as women.  Another fibroid surgery doesn't address why dysfunction keeps manifesting in the pelvic bowl.  Working with this region holistically, with loving reverence and courage in a safe environment, is what can restore lasting health and function.  When women are healthy, we all are healthier.  When we finally believe this, we can teach our children to really believe this truth too.

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After experiencing my first session with April, it was clear to me that not only had I never been touched in a non-sexual, non-medically invasive way in my life, but that I had never touched myself in that way either. Gentleness and open curiousity was never modeled to me so I never knew how. I wish every woman and girl knew how to explore and touch themselves in this way.  I think it would create an entirely different pathway and relationship to our vaginas and pelvic bowl.
~Women's Health Physical Therapy client, Winter 2017
 

Women's responses to this work

Note from April: These women have been very gracious with thanking me for their successes.  Try and see past how they attribute to their success to me.  They are the motivated and brave ones who stepped forward to regain their health.  We worked together and not only restored function, but in many cases, changed her life for the better.  This work is powerful like that.  

Incontinence

The incidence of urinary incontinence experienced by women is 10-30% in this country.  This is a common issue that frequently worsens and impacts what activities people feel they can do.  Urinary leakage with sneezing or vigorous activity is called stress incontinence and can be eliminated with education and treatment.  There is also Urge incontinence and Mixed Incontinence.

"Post-partum, I played the waiting game. Six weeks, six months, sixteen months. I regained significant (bladder) control but sneezing was an issue and running wasn't an option. Finally I saw a urologist who recommended surgery. It scared me enough to finally try physical therapy. I was fortunate to find April. Working with her reduced my anxiety and gave me hope and confidence. I feel physically different after a few short weeks. When I do her prescribed exercises, I can sneeze and run with confidence and continence! Thank you April."   
~Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother of 1 1/2 year old twins, Fall 2011

Pelvic Floor Issues

Knowing I was lacking in pelvic floor strength, I was on a quest to get help.  I was referred to April and, from the moment we met, I could tell what a good person she is.  Gentle, patient and absolutely understanding of my concerns.  No one has ever, ever worked with me and helped me to establish what I needed to know.  I wasn't sure what I was in for but I knew what outcome I wanted!  With the boosted confidence April helped me with, I will continue to exercise for the rest of my life.  I consider myself a "work in progress" at this point. I strongly encourage anyone to seek needed help to build a stronger, more confident, empowered and in-control woman.  April was (is) sincerely one of the best thing I could have done for myself!
~Teresa, Women's Health Physical Therapy client, Spring 2013

 

Women's Health PT has helped me in so many ways.  Not only am I physically more comfortable, but I'm kinder to myself and more aware of the strength my body's capable of.  I feel stronger, more graceful and more peaceful every day.  THANK YOU!
~Raleigh, postpartum mother and physical therapy client, Summer 2013

Post-birth
Birth is a peak experience in a woman's life.  It's a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social event.  It brings us to our end, then expands us in ways we couldn't foresee.  It is sacred, challenging, beautiful, messy, painful, ecstatic, complicated, rarely easy and sometimes traumatic.  No matter what a woman's birth experience is, there is a lot to assimilate afterward.  Like the hero's journey, a woman walks into the unknown territory of birth where she must meet the transformational challenges that ultimately lead to the death of who she was (her old story falls away) and to the rebirth of her new self as a mother.  In the aftermath, there is reckoning to be done, a reintegration of the parts of her self that still serve her.  There are parts of our birth stories that can leave us confused, guilty, sad, regretful, even victimized.  These feelings are held in our bodies, especially in our pelvic bowls.  I work with women to find the parts of their experience that are keeping them stuck in sadness and pain (physically and otherwise) so they can fully embody the hero role they earned by moving through this birthing rite of passage.  

April got me back on my feet again and on the road to recovery.  An early-term cesarean after four weeks of bed rest left me with limited mobility and unable to lift my baby three month post-surgery.  After just halfway through sessions with April, I was able to get up from a seated position, felt less vulnerable and able to 'wear' my infant.  I attribute my quick turnaround to her intuition, deep knowledge of the physical/mental/spiritual connection, compassion and personalized care.  I'm so grateful for finding her so I can be the able mom I want to be.
~Lisa Tiedt, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother, Summer 2016 


My son was born 17 months ago.  Like many others, his birth did not go as we had hoped and planned for.  Luckily he was healthy but I was left with a lot of physical and mental trauma.  I recently discussed how I was feeling with April, the pain I had been feeling and the hurt I couldn't let go of.  She didn't hesitate to pull up her calendar and get me in as soon as possible. I'm so thankful for that!  In just one session, she helped me move past the hurt and guilt of how my son was born.  I could actually feel the things I had been holding onto for 17 months leave my body.  Such a relief.  Now I feel I can move onto physical healing.  April Bolding has also been providing me with great resources to help with the physical challenges I've been having.  

I feel confident as we move forward with her help, I will only feel better and better.
~Natalie, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother, Fall 2013

April is one of those people where you know she's doing what she loves.  That makes her not only good, but outstanding.  
I came to her at 6 weeks postpartum because "my hip was falling apart," and she showed me stretches and exercises that helped within just a couple of weeks.  I love the way she writes down goals and then actually makes sure we address all of them one by one!  Her knowledge of the physical body is great, but she never forgets how physical and emotional bodies are interwined.  She really makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself - not like I need to fix myself to be whole.  
Also, in one of the session, she helped me face and embrace the birth experience, that I was so ready to "sweep under the rug" (and just call it birth).  I did not know how much I had needed that.  The world seemed more complete and vibrant after...
One more thing: I brought my daughter to every one of the appointments.  While that may not have been ideal for "focused work," April embraced it, and - being the mama that she is - just helped take care of her WHILE explaining exercises.  She always has another trick up her sleeve to keep (my daughter) occupied, and my daughter loves her.
If you think what I am saying seems too good, give it a try, and show up as your curious self.  Your body, mind, and your loved ones will thank you.

~Anuscheh, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother, Summer 2014
 

I don't remember when I first started seeing April. I think it was around 2 months postpartum. I do remember that I had a long list of things that still didn't seem quite right, on top of some significant remaining pain from a tear during childbirth and the subsequent stitching up to repair it. And I do remember leaving that first appointment feeling like I was floating on clouds, so happy that she was going to help me feel ALL better again! There's still a pervasive myth these days that having a baby means that some things won't ever work as well again, like your bladder control never being the same. It's not true. You can go just as long without peeing as you did before having a baby. You don't have to pee when you sneeze (or cough, or laugh too hard, or stand up too fast). You don't have to get up in the middle of the night to pee. You don't have to go pee and then 60 seconds later wonder why you have to go pee again. Really. I had all of those symptoms a few months postpartum, and no longer do. I also know several mamas who have felt like it takes a ridiculously long time for their insides to get back into place. At six months postpartum, I felt like everything in my core was still... loose. It's hard to describe. I was gaining core muscle back, but just didn't feel like I had stability. I really think my organs were refusing to settle back where they were supposed to be. And then April gave me a Mayan Abdominal Massage, and I walked out feeling like everything had settled right back into place. Finally, I felt like I had stability again. On top of that all, April was great at helping me get through some emotional moments - therapy and physical therapy, all in one!

I could go on and on, but the take home message is this: You really don't have to live with any of the issues I've described.  And if you're experiencing any of them or any other lingering effect from childbirth (of any variety) that doesn't seem quite right, you should go see April.  Because you deserve it, and she's amazing.

~Cristie, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother, Fall-Winter 2013
 

When I first saw April, I was a few months postpartum, healing from an unplanned C-section.  I didn't know how to heal from that kind of major surgery.  My midwife recommended that I go see April to begin the healing process and to ultimately prepare my body to safely and healthily birth again in the future. I am so grateful I listened!  At first, I simply wanted to hold my newborn son with no pain.  After several sessions, and beginning to get my strength back, I realized I had more goals of moving with more ease. 
April used both Mayan Abdominal Massage and physical therapy to give me physical and emotional strength.  Even now, after two years, I still use the exercises I was given and I feel so much better prepared to birth again.  
April is able to work on many levels, to you you where you're at, and incoporate a much bigger perspective of whole body women's health.  No matter where you're at, April can help.  I'm so grateful I met her.
~Becca, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and mother, 2013-4
 
Rectus Abdominis Diastasis

Our rectus abdomis is one layer of our abdominals that go lengthwise up the body from our ribcage down to our pubic bone.  We have a left and right layer that is joined by the linea alba, connective tissue at the midline of the body.  In pregnancy (and more commonly in subsequent pregnancies), these layers can separate and the connective tissue between them widens.  Normally, they should not feel separated or be up to one finger width of separation.  Anything more than a finger-width all along the muscle is indication for specialized exercises.  In pregnancy, there are body mechanic modifications that can help prevent this (see Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn).  After pregnancy, this separation heals as much as it will on its own by six weeks.  If there is still a separation after six weeks, women have to do some specialized exercises to heal this.  Note: Sit ups are not the right thing to do!  I help women heal these a lot in my practice.

After my second baby was born, I had a large, four-finger width separation between my abdominal muscles.  It was discouraging feeling like I wanted to start exercising, but I didn't even have my body physically ready without making things worse. I started seeing April Bolding and doing physical therapy exercises at six weeks.  Eleven weeks later, my abdominal separation is down to 1.5 finger width and most importantly, I've begun running, working out and feeling much better all around.  It's made a difference.
~Karen, Women's Health Physical Therapy client and Mother of two boys, Summer 2013

Orthopedic Physical Therapy
I provide traditional orthopedic physical therapy for all types of musculoskeletal issues, including repetitive stress injuries, traumatic and sports injuries, acute and chronic pain and pre/post-surgical rehabilitation.  I offer this therapy to both women and men.  While women's health is certainly my specialty, I am an experienced orthopedic PT who has worked in the outpatient orthopedic clinic setting for years.

April is incredible.  She treated me holistically in the truest sense of the word;
with advanced expertise in physical therapy, emotional support, and energetic wisdom.  
I now make a point of scheduling a yearly exam with her for the benefit of my health and wellbeing.
We are lucky to have her doing this work for our community.

~Melanie, Orthopedic Physical Therapy client, Spring 2014
 

After I broke my ankle near the end of my pregnancy, my childbirth instructor Penny Simkin referred me to April, because she is simply the best in women's health PT.  
April responded right away to my desperate email (on a Saturday), and made herself available to me immediately.  She came to my home for our sessions, because my injury prevented me from driving or walking up stairs.  
She is a born healer, and an incredibly skilled practitioner, not just in women's health issues!  Her expertise in PT is enhanced by her positive outlook on life and her healing presence.  
I am so grateful to April for working her magic and bringing my ankle and leg back from the dead.  If you are injured, do not despair!  Call April and allow her to guide you in your journey back to healthy function.  
Don't be surprised if you end up gaining a friend in the process.

~Kaila, Orthopedic Physical Therapy client, Fall 2014

I reached out to April when I was struggling with physical pain (after being hit to the ground by a truck and having my foot crushed when I was 35 weeks pregnant) and
struggling with the emotional challenge of shifting expectations for our birth - that we had felt so well-prepared to handle without medications - as our new reality indicated that I simply might not be mobile and well enough to do it.  April helped us think through and re-frame the experience, accept our situation and focus on the most important things.  Then she adjusted my pelvis and worked with me to regain movement in my foot/ankle, to help me work up to walking again.  She also put me in touch with another new mom who had a similar experience just a couple of months previously.  
Oh, did I mention it was during a 9:00 Sunday morning house call since I could barely leave the house?  
We are so grateful for her work, her generousity and knowledge.  She left us feeling comforted and relieved from much physical pain.

~Kate, Orthopedic Physical Therapy client during pregnancy, Fall 2014

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Physical Therapy can help many issues that come up in the childbearing year and beyond.  Some of these include:

Pelvic Joints

A.  Coccyx or tailbone pain (women don't get this addressed for years!)
B.  Sacroiliac (SI joint pain)
C.  Groin pain 
D.  Pubic Symphysis
E.  Ostitis pubis

Pelvic Floor Issues  (short list)

A.  Urinary frequency
B.  Bladder and bowel incontinence/straining/dysfunction
C.  Pain with Sex (scarring, high tone in muscles, trauma, etc)
D.  Prolapse (cystocele, rectocele, etc)
E.  Pelvic Pain (vaginismus, etc)
F.  Difficulty or inability to coordinate orgasm

Abdominal Issues
A.  Fixing Rectus Abdominis Diastasis (abdominal separation)
B.  Scar pain
C.  Round ligament pain

Nerve compression Syndromes

A.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
B.  Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
C.  Lateral Femoral Cutaneous issues
D.  Tarsal Tunnel issues

Spinal Problems
A.  Cervical pain/headaches
B.  Upper back/thoracic issues
C.  "Rib" pain
D.  Lumbar pain

Foot/Ankle Pain

Tendonitis

A.  Extensor Pollicus longus
B.  Epicondylitis
C.  Hip Adductors/Gluteus medius

Circulatory Problems
A.  Leg Varicosities
B.  Vulvar varicosities
C.  Hemorrhoids
D.  Lower leg cramps

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