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Pelvic HealthMay 30, 2024

Pelvic health physio and budding entrepreneur Suzanne Vernazza set to speak at Everywoman Festival

People attending a one-day festival in Cardiff next month are being invited to book a session in a library that will be run by physiotherapist Suzanne Vernazza.

Suzanne’s session – titled ‘Know your floors: should I be doing pelvic floor exercise?’ – is one of an range of health-related workshops being held at the Everywoman Festival, which is being held at Insole Court in Llandaff, Cardiff on 15 June. Entry price is £20.

Delegates needn’t worry that the Library is one of those places with a stern receptionist who asks patrons to maintain silence. In fact, it’s one of a handful of indoor settings that will host a dazzling line-up of workshops during the festival, which kicks off at 10.30 am. Other workshops are being held in the Billiards Room, Stable 1 and Stable 2, and the Carriage House. True to the festival theme, many other sessions are held in tents.

Suzanne is a Gateshead-based pelvic health physiotherapist who is the founding director of Know Your Floors, a not-for-profit company with a remit to improve people’s awareness and on pelvic health matters through education. After graduating in physiotherapy in 2003, Suzanne started her career at St Mary's Hospital in London.

She has also created an initiative on TikTok – #squeezealong – that has attracted more than 630,000 followers.

Festival goers can sample mindful art workshops, drawing sessions and write creatively

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Ambassadorial role

Along with Surrey-based women’s health physiotherapist Emma Brockwell, Suzanne is listed in the festival’s programme as one of Everywoman’s ambassadors. It says Suzanne aims to ‘dispel myths, get people talking about pelvic health, promote prevention and encourage people to access support for any symptoms they develop’.

Suzanne was shortlisted in the perinatal practitioner of the year category at last year’s Active Pregnancy Foundation awards. Meanwhile, Squeezalong was also shortlisted by the Foundation for its campaign of the year award, which was won by This Girl Can: Active Mums Start with You.

A video about Suzanne’s Know Your Floors not-for-profit initiative as available on a website run by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The website states that the region’s Academic Health Science Network helped put Suzanne in touch with Charlotte Fox, the trust’s innovation lead and that Suzanne subsequently gained a place on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurial Programme.

Suzanne says: ‘I’m excited and a little daunted to have a place on the clinical entrepreneur programme. It’s fantastic news for the project and I’m looking forward to getting started on developing my ideas to help more patients to have good pelvic floor health.

‘I’m grateful for the support I’ve had from Charlotte, her experience and expertise in innovation have been invaluable in nurturing and growing my plans and connecting me to some of the key people who can help develop and grow my idea to make it a reality.’ For more information, click 

 Topics in the festival main tent include

  •  disparities in healthcare in marginalised groups
  •  rebel bodies: navigating the gender gap in sexual health
  •  contraception: is there a method out there for everyone?
  •  too young to get old: mental health and positive ageing
  •  how to get your life back after breast cancer
  •  socioeconomic inequalities in menopause

Speakers include Georgina Forbes, a specialist doctor in sexual and reproductive healthcare at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, in south Wales. She is chair of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare Committee for Wales. Another high-profile speaker is Lisa Das, a consultant gastroenterologist at One Welbeck and an expert in endoscopy, bowel cancer screening and general gastroenterology. She is the author of 'Managing IBS', which appears in Penguin’s Life Experts series.

A third medic is James Kinross, a reader in surgery and a consultant surgeon at Imperial College London. He has a clinical interest in robotic surgery for colorectal cancer, and holds a PhD on the gut microbiome. He is a visiting professor at the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland

The one-day festival will end on an upbeat note, with a comedy session, titled ‘Cervix with a smile’, being followed by ‘Poetry for badass bitches’ and the ‘Everywoman burlesque’.  

Emma Brockwell’s book – Why Did No One Tell Me? How to protect and nurture your body through motherhood – won the product of the year award at the 2023 Active Pregnancy Foundation awards. To find out more, read PhysioUpdate's article from June 2023. 

The Everywoman festival was founded by Julie Cornish, a colorectal consultant surgeon with a specialist interest in pelvic health and cancer. 'Julie set it up after being frustrated at hearing so many similar stories of women accepting symptoms and a poor quality of life and being told their symptoms are normal because of their hormones, that they’ve had a baby or are getting old,' the website states.

Author: Ian McMillan
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