Updated: Sep 10, 2021
This blog post started as a caption for an Instagram Reel I did, but it turned out to be much more, so I decided to make it a blog post! Hope you enjoy!
You may have seen plenty of lists of the types of issues pelvic floor therapists treat, including leakage, prolapse, constipation, pelvic and sexual pain, birth prep/postpartum healing to name just a FEW, but I wanted to shed some light on the intangible benefits of this work.
--Education: for many people, their genitals and pelvic floor are mysterious body parts that are left alone to do their thing until we want to have sex. When body processes that are usually automatic become problematic, that can feel scary. Add on the shame and stigma often associated with our genitals, and very often people with pelvic floor issues are left to navigate them alone. Pelvic floor therapists have extensive knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the pelvic floor and all of its functions, and most of what we do is educate to help you understand your body better.
--Body Awareness: Most of us live inside our heads; our bodies just help move our brains from one place to another. In order to address pelvic floor muscle issues, you must first become aware that you have them. It is also important to investigate how your symptoms relate to the level of tension you hold in your muscles, or in your psyche. We help facilitate the connection between body and nervous system to allow you to consciously change how your body feels.
--Self-Efficacy: When we don't know what's going on in our bodies, we feel powerless. Provided with tools like education and body awareness, and instructed in treatments to help reduce pain and improve strength, we begin to realize that we have the power to change how we feel.
--Pain Relief: Using hands-on treatments, relaxation techniques, exercise and education, therapists can help decrease the level of threat being interpreted by your nervous system that translates into the pain response. At the body level, mobilizing restricted tissue and joints can help improve your tolerance to movement. If you have a stiff, tight C-section scar, mobilizing it can help reduce tension on your bladder that may be contributing to urinary urgency, for example.
--Validation of Experience: one of my favorite things to tell my clients is that nothing is TMI. I want to hear everything you want to share, because you are relating your experience within your body. That doesn’t make it weird, or shameful, or wrong. That makes it YOURS, and I want to know about it.
--Healing: We are so much more than our body parts, but when our body is not performing in the way we expect or control, it can be frightening and anxiety-producing. Conversely, trauma can embed itself in the body, manifesting itself as dysfunction. It is so important to address both body and mind for healing, and a pelvic floor therapist can be an integral part of a TEAM approach to address this.
--Resilience: When we are educated on the why, given tools to address the what and the how, and reminded of our inner strength, we build resilience to adapt to life’s ongoing challenges. This is at the heart of what I strive to do. Because education, validation, healing and resilience breeds...
If you see yourself at all reflected in the list above and would like to change the narrative, I encourage you to reach out to your local pelvic floor therapist to have a conversation. Or just drop me a DM or comment below and I will be happy to reach out to you! Let’s break down some barriers and get help to everyone who needs or wants it! This includes EVERYONE, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, orientation, socioeconomic status, level of education, or anything else!