North Naples resident Jacob Nasberg says he gets people laughing when he tells them he’s not only the president and owner, but also a client of the Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic. Not only is the line a retro reference to the once-ubiquitous Hair Club for Men TV commercials, it’s also true.
Nasberg was so impressed with the treatment he received from certified pelvic floor physical therapist Leslie Jones that he began a business partnership with her and launched the Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic this year in Naples.
“I was a customer, so I have this firsthands-on knowledge of exactly what he does and what he brings to the table. It’s a lot easier for me to talk about it after having personal experience, obviously,” said Nasberg, who received pelvic floor physical therapy from Jones after treatment for prostate cancer about four years ago. After surgery, his surgeon recommended pelvic floor therapy to get him on the road to recovery.
“As a 43-year-old man, I didn’t want to be stuck in Depends for however long and lose my sexual function, which was something that was important to me,” he said. “Doctor said for best results see pelvic floor therapy. It helps with incontinence as well as sexual function.”
Treatment includes exercises designed to improve muscle strength by repeatedly contracting and relaxing the pelvic floor, a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, bowels and uterus. In addition to prostate cancer treatment, the pelvic floor can be weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, obesity and the strain of chronic constipation.
“I’m doing fantastic. I’m doing great. My results were amazing,” Nasberg said. “I’m doing so well that I believed in it and wanted to help other people in this field as well.”
After discovering that one of the few pelvic floor therapists in town was already booked for five months, Nasberg was lucky enough to find Jones, who treated him for about three to four weeks at a local private physical therapy company. “I’ve seen amazing results,” he said. “I was off Depends for a few weeks and back to normal sexual function for someone who doesn’t have a prostate, and I’ve never felt better.”
In speaking with Jones, who has more than nine years of experience focusing solely on pelvic health, Nasberg discovered how few resources, let alone specialized pelvic floor therapists, are available to people in the area. “I did some research and found that there aren’t many options for pelvic floor therapy, let alone a single place where you can go to get therapy and get resources and someone to guide you on what steps to take when you get until now. So I said to my therapist, “Hey, have you ever thought about opening your own clinic?” She said, “Well, I think about it all the time.” I said, “What’s stopping you?” She said, “Well, I don’t have the funds to do it necessarily.” I said, “What if you have someone who has the funds and someone who believes in you and believes in pelvic floor therapy and the benefits? Would you consider opening a clinic with someone? She said, “Yes. Absolutely. I said “OK. I’m your man. That was about three-and-a-half years ago and she needed some time to step away and go to something different and start her own thing.’
Jones was ready to move that spring and the partnership began. “We’re the only pelvic floor therapy specific clinic in the area,” Nasberg said. “Within first several weeks, our schedule was booked.’
They launched the Southwest Florida Pelvic Health Clinic in office space off Airport-Pulling Road in the Wilson Professional Center, the same complex where Nassberg operates Just Like Family Home Care, the business he started 16 years ago.
“It’s my bread and butter and it kind of allowed me to take a risk and get out a little bit and try to fill a niche that seems to be filled here in the area,” he said.
The majority of patients at the new clinic are women. “We have a lot of postpartum clients that come in and spend maybe three weeks with us, and then we have people that she’s had as long-term clients that can take a month to two months,” Nasberg said. “But it’s always something you can go back to and tighten up down there, improve your function and minimize incontinence. There’s always something that can be done there, but it’s usually not something long-term.
It’s similar to physical therapy in that the relationship is measured in weeks, not months, Nasberg said. “It runs the gamut for people. Anyone 16 and above can benefit from it,” he said. “We had a 70-year-old woman today and we had a 20-year-old woman the other day. Basically, anyone can benefit from it.
Pelvic floor therapy is usually combined with physical therapy, as treatment can include posture, breathing, strength and conditioning. However, Nasberg believes that specialty therapy deserves its own focus.
“There are very few people in town who specialize in pelvic floor therapy, my therapist is one of the few in town,” he said. “Most people I know are not very familiar with pelvic floor therapy or what it involves or how you can benefit from it, but once you understand and learn about it, so many people can benefit from it.”
The Pelvic Health Clinic of Southwest Florida, 3200 Bailey Lane, Suite 111, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.