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Running to the Core Podcast

Jun 27, 2023

Carrie Hall has been a physical therapist since 1983, earning her undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University and graduate degree from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Her philosophical approach toward physical therapy is founded in the movement system approach as developed by Dr Shirley Sahrmann, Pt, PhD, who became Carrie's long time mentor. Carrie integrates this approach with manual therapy and pain science. She has had the roles of clinical instructor at several university settings and assisted teaching continuing education courses related to the movement system as developed by Dr Sahrmann and fellow colleagues. 

She is co-author of Therapeutic Exercise: Moving Toward Function, now in its 4th edition.  Carrie was a presenter at the annual online Birth Healing Summit in 2023 with Lynne Schulte, PT, Founder of the Institute for Birth Healing. 

After 40 years of working as a Physical Therapist in the US, why does Carrie Hall call Breathing her Desert Island Exercise?

This is the question that Dianne asked Carrie, that expanded into a long discussion where Carrie explains how breathing impacts the systems of the body, including the digestive, musculoskeletal and nervous systems. She talks about the benefits of mindful breathing practices that include expansion of the ribs, and outlines how the diaphragm moves in synchrony with the pelvic floor in normal rhythmical breathing.

Often belly breathing bypasses the ribs to use the diaphragm, and Carrie outlines with detail how the ribs expand and how the muscles between each rib contribute to this. We need expansion of the ribs to be at the front, sides and the back, and often this is missed, so Carrie teaches how to include this in everyday life activities, so that it is not just one more thing on your "to do list".

Breathing affects pelvic floor control, and practicing throughout pregnancy means that you can access this awareness both for during labour, and for afterwards when feeding and caring for your baby. Both relaxation and contraction of the pelvic floor are needed for it to work smoothly, coordinating with your breathing.

An advocate of Physical Therapy Carrie outlines the benefits of getting a customised program to help you to focus your attention on the aspects of your breathing where you are having the biggest challenges. This can also be done when working with other health and fitness professionals with expertise in the area. 

Carrie's work encompasses the power of her new business name SISU, empowering her students and clients through "Gentle power coming together".

She recommends this video of the breathing diaphragm and the pelvic floor working together, (it is in French) Roger Fiammetti respiration totale animation - YouTube

You can connect with Carrie via Linked In

The link to her article, My Desert Island Exercise by Carrie is available to read on Linked In.

Therapeutic Exercise: Moving Toward Function is available here

To find out more about Heart Math, mentioned in the podcast, visit

For further information visit