“We only get one body that supports us through our whole life. It is important to give it the care and attention that it deserves.”

Florence is an experienced physiotherapist with over 10 years’ experience. Her experience initially started in the NHS moving up the ranks of some of London’s leading hospitals. Following this, she worked as Lead Physiotherapist at a leading Harley Street Clinic. She has now founded Flow Physio London which aims to provide a bespoke holistic approach to wellness optimisation. A service offering cutting-edge research-driven treatment techniques to deliver results inspired by a desire to help people. She has extensive knowledge in the management of musculoskeletal pathologies, complex cases, persistent/ chronic pain sports injuries, and post orthopaedic rehabilitation. Her ability to analyze movement and correct technique leads to a faster recovery and return to safe activity. She encourages her clients to remain as active as possible throughout their treatment, through activity modification rather than cessation.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how your work as a physio supports the idea of treating your body perfectly.

“As a physiotherapist, the main goal is to help individuals recover from physical injuries or disabilities and to improve their overall physical health and well-being. We assess and identify any physical limitations or issues: aiming to restore their bodies to normal function and movement.  We aim to empower clients to take control of their own health, striving for newfound confidence in their bodies.  We know that a stronger body with improved posture and stability leads to improved body confidence from the inside out. A healthy body looks different on everyone and can vary based on factors such as age, genetics, and lifestyle. It is important to embrace our unique qualities and strengths rather than striving to fit into narrow and unrealistic beauty ideals.”

What are your top tips for treating our bodies perfectly?


•    Strength training or resistance training is one important pillar in health care. It can particularly help as we get older by reversing the loss of muscle mass, increasing bone density, improving metabolism, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, and the risk of cognitive decline. I recommend on average at least 2 strength training exercise sessions per week.  
•    There is no perfect way to train as everyone’s fitness goal, ability, and preferences are different: however, when considering the legs: Squats, lunges, deadlifts, calf raises and bridges are fantastic to consider pelvic control and particularly glute strength. Calf raises particularly are useful and recently have been shown not only to improve a reduction in swelling and lymphatic drainage but also aid in boosting the metabolism, reducing blood sugar, and reducing the risk of diabetes.  
•    Gluteal strength is key, they are one of the largest muscle groups and responsible for a reduction in lower back, hip, and knee injury alongside improving posture, balance & coordination, spinal health, and improving hip mobility.  Having well-developed glutes can help to improve overall body composition and create a more aesthetically pleasing physique and a well-balanced presentation.  
•    Improving upper body posture is important for overall health and can help to alleviate pain and discomfort in the neck, shoulders, and back. 
•    Strengthen the back muscles: to help improve posture: exercises such as rows, lat pull downs, and back extensions.  
•    Stretch the chest muscles: tight chest muscles pull the shoulders forward leading to poor posture. Stretching the chest with a foam roller is a fantastic way of alleviating tension.
•    Practicing good ergonomics: poor posture can be caused by sitting or standing in positions that put strain on the neck and shoulders. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, use the back of the chair to help support, take breaks, and shift your weight.  
•    Improve core strength: exercises such as planks and dead bugs help to strengthen the core muscles.  
•    Be mindful of your posture: move and make adjustments as needed. The perfect posture does not exist, it is about the regular movements we do in a day.  
•    The role of the foot is also pivotal when considering alignment, we need to consider alignment here and consider appropriate footwear, balance, and stability. Taking our shoes and socks off at the end of the day and exploring movement, can you move each of your toes independently? A release ball here can be a fantastic tool to release tension at the base of our foot.  
•    Less is sometimes more, setting hard high-intensity exercise programs places undue stress onto the body and increased cortisol release, which when mixed with the stress already presenting in our daily life can be the perfect mix for injury.  

What are the most common problems you see among women & how have body image ideals affected our health?

“Firstly, it is important to note that: ladies in general have a higher incidence of musculoskeletal pain. We have to consider the impact that our hormonal system plays which is huge and only one that’s now being discussed more in today’s society. They have such a poignant effect on us as ladies from menstrual cycle to pre- and post-menopause alongside pre- and post-natal care.  
Certain conditions are more common in the female population:  
1.    Osteoporosis: weaker and brittle bones, partly due to hormonal changes particularly in menopause, leading to a decrease in bone density. 
2.    Arthritis: inflammatory arthritis is more common in females due to the fact we have a stronger immune system which can lead to overactivity and autoimmune conditions.  
3.    Fibromyalgia: a chronic pain condition: where the brain changes its processing of pain signals.  
4.    Pelvic floor dysfunction: urinary incontinence prevalent with pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.  
5.    ACL injuries in the knee increased in females possibly due to biomechanics: our altered hip ankles + hormonal factors.  
Unrealistic body ideals have had a significant impact on our health. With unrealistic narrow body standards particularly in media, we have noticed an increase in body dissatisfaction. There are far too many times in clinic where I see people that have pushed themselves focusing on a short-term appearance goal.”

What changes happen to our bodies as we get older? 

“As we age there are a variety of physical changes. Some of these are natural and part of the aging process. However, some are influenced by genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors.  
Menopause: The menopause is a natural part of the again process in women and occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs and levels of the hormone oestrogen decline. This can lead to symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and decreased bone density increasing the risk of fractures, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.  
Body composition: As women age, their body composition changes, with a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat we can see this contributes to a slower metabolism and weight gain.  
Skin elasticity: We see changes in our skin: it becomes less elastic and thinner as we age making us more susceptible to bruising and tearing.  
Cardiovascular health: Women are at an increased risk for CV disease as they age so it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a balanced diet and not smoking. 
Changes in mobility and balance: As women age there is a decrease in mobility and balance making it more difficult to perform daily activities increasing the risk of falls.  
Urinary function: with increased frequency of urination and incontinence which is linked to muscular strength.  
As we age, we should focus on: 
1.    Eating a nutritious diet 
2.    Engaging in regular physical activity: reducing the risk of chronic disease, osteoporosis and improving mobility.  
3.    Improved sleep 
4.    Managing stress: relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and other stress-reducing activities. 
5.    Maintaining social connections.  
6.    Regular health check-ups.  
I think in this day and age there is so much emphasis placed upon walking & getting 10,000 steps in but there needs to be a shift to more of a focus placed on strength training. When muscles are weaker, they become tighter and function is impaired which gives us a feeling that we need to stretch more however, strengthening is key to providing stability/ supporting bone health and general well-being, and giving us confidence in our body. “

How do pregnancy and hormonal changes affect our body parts? 

“Pregnancy and hormonal changes can have a significant impact on a woman’s body. One particular hormone to consider is relaxing: its primary role is to relax and loosen the connective tissues for childbirth. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with wound healing and tissue repair.  However, high levels of relaxing outside of pregnancy can lead to joint laxity and instability increasing the risk of injury.  
Physiotherapy helps to address from a holistic manner."

"We can help with:... 

Pain relief: It can cause a range of physical pain and discomfort: back pain, pelvic pain, and sciatica. Pregnancy physio can help to relieve through exercise, stretches, and other techniques.  
Pelvic floor strengthening with specific exercises such as Kegels.  
Preparation for childbirth: Breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, and other methods to help manage pain during labour.  
Post-partum recovery: Discussion regarding return to exercise, addressing pain.  


What are some of the common issues we see in young girls?

It is important to recognise that there is no one perfect look for anyone, we are all unique. If still growing it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle rather than striving for a particular appearance or body shape.  
"With many changes at this time, we can see a trend in females over-training or altering dietary habits.  
Potential risks of over-exercising for young girls: 
1.    Physical injury: over exercising increases the risk of physical injury, such as strains, sprains, and stress fractures.  
2.    Delayed growth and development: excessive exercise can interfere with growth and development, particularly linking in with a reduction in a balanced diet.  
3.    Hormonal imbalances: leading to menstrual irregularities.  
4.    Mental health issues.  
Encouragement of healthy habits such as regular exercise in moderation, a balanced diet, and adequate rest and recovery time can help support physical and emotional health."

How do our lifestyle choices affect our body parts and is there anything we should watch out for?

"Many of those who work sedentary jobs, are of older age, or carry around young children have at some point suffered from a case of lower back pain. 80% of the population report suffering from lower back pain at some point during their life.
When living in a sedentary manner, be it with desk-based work, the impact that this can have from an increased risk of weight gain, musculoskeletal issues, CV disease, and circulation contribute.
Chronic stress can contribute also to musculoskeletal pain and tension particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back.
It is important to focus on maintaining a healthy body through regular exercise, nutritious eating habits, and non-negotiable self-care practices. Let’s consider this as health optimisation firstly, as most of us know aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity is key."