Allison Oswald women's health specialist Plumb Line Pilates and Physical Therapy
How many years have you been in business in LA?
I've been practicing physical therapy in LA for 12 years, I've had my own studio in Santa Monica for 7 years.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I was drawn to women's health back in PT school, it was my first continuing education course I took after graduation. Maybe it's because I knew I always wanted to be a mother and a large part of my initial training was around pregnancy. But regardless, my passion towards women's health has and continues to grow with each new patient I see, along with the birth of my own two children. The need for this information and treatment is strong and I feel honored to be able to share this information with women that can help them connect with their bodies on a deeper level and come out on the other end stronger and empowered in their own minds and bodies.
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
I am fortunate to be able to see women one on one for each session, and spend a good amount of time with them for each session. This allows me to understand them better and offer them more effective and efficient treatments. And also since I have a Pilates studio with teachers that have been trained in women's health related issues from me, my clients are able to transition to a wellness program that is safe and considerate of their bodies.
What do you feel gives you longevity in this big city with so many options?
Being a niche practice, such as women's health with a strong focus on a women's journey pre, during and post pregnancy, can seem limiting, but in my case I have come to realize the need for this specialty and my offerings. My practice compliments so many other modalities, and that circle of referrals that makes the most sense for clients, seems to always come back around.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
I give them information that is immediately helpful and applicable for them to feel better in their bodies. Understanding ones own body is empowering on so many levels, allowing for healing to take place.
What is your favorite part of your job? When I'm working with women and they have that "flashlight" moment of understanding something about their bodies they had not yet been able to comprehend. It's like all the wires just connected, I see it in their bodies, in their eyes and even in their posture.
What is your favorite secret LA spot?
Not sure how secretive it is...but as a family of 4, with two little boys that like to "dress handsome", we often find ourselves at The Fig at Five at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica for an early dinner and Shirley Temples. I am almost tempted not to share, for fear of never being able to get a table, but let's just say it's truly the best happy hour with amazing food in town. And with the hotel elegance, the kids love to put on their sports coats and we all kind of feel like we're on vacation in our own city for the evening.
How do you benefit mamas?
One of my main goals is to benefit mamas. I do this by working with women throughout their pregnancy and beyond to feel and function at their best. For some this is to alleviate pain, others it is to prepare for labor and delivery, and even care for them as they heal postpartum.
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
This question always reminds me of the patients that have been avoiding sex for months due to pain. I remember one in particular who had pelvic pain with intercourse for 8 months postpartum and thought is was "normal". Teaching her what was going on physically and that it was common but not normal, was life changing for her. In only 3 sessions of manual work, guided meditation, home exercises and breathing techniques she was able to not only have intercourse but enjoy it. On a physical, emotional, psychological and energetic level this was life changing for her and her partner.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field:
Erica Chidi Cohen- doula and founder of Loom
Katya Mosely- Women's Health Acupunturist
Stefany Kleeshulte- Massage Therapist
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
Don't make assumptions. This applies to my personal life and my professional life.
I work very hard to listen to my patients and not assume something is going to help them, but rather allow them the space to tell me what they are experiencing first hand. Using leading language such as "doesn't this feel good", can hinder a person's progression and healing, so I've taken it out of my vocabulary.
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
My daily list! Each morning I make a to do list that lives in my purse. This way I can get things accomplished no matter where I am. If I find a minute to spare before school pick up, I look at my list and try to get something done. I'm not too hard on myself if I don't accomplish everything, but each task completed is another breath of fresh air