Written By Lori Reising, CHT, LMT, Myofascial Release and Pelvis Therapy Massage Therapist at Blossom Clinic
You are probably thinking about how uncomfortable “PelvicTherapy” sounds about right now. It is a typical reaction to the thought of this direct therapy. But not mine…anymore. I admit I was nervous and wondering what to expect before I received treatment for the first time. A fear of the unknown, if you will. While completing my certification in Internal Pelvic Therapy with John F. Barnes, PT, I was fortunate enough to receive the therapy for four consecutive days. Prior to this, I had been in extreme low back and hip pain triggered by a miscarriage three years earlier. There were many days I could not even stand on both legs. I had tried external Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Chiropractic with temporary results. Though I truly believe in every one of these therapies and think a comprehensive holistic approach is most beneficial, it was obvious I needed something more. On the third day of the course, during an internal piriformis release my low back spontaneously adjusted while I was lying on the table. That was one of the most satisfying adjustments I had ever felt. Within two days my pain was gone! I have been standing on my own two legs ever since. I experienced first-hand the kind of powerful results working with the pelvic floor internally produces.
The Fascial System
The fascial system is three-dimensional connective tissue that is joined to every structure in our body. Over time that system can twist and tie up, resulting in a constriction in the flow of blood, lymph and nerves. It can also produce referral pain that begins in one area of the body, but manifests elsewhere. This seemingly minor glitch can produce major pain and dysfunction, often undetectable and difficult to treat. It is the fascial system that we are working with, internally and externally, in the pelvis. Our pelvis is a central part of our body, producing function and movement. Over time posture, injuries, childbirth and trauma can produce trigger points and tightness in the fascial system, which eventually reach out and pull on various structures of our body. This can also affect our internal organ function, especially the bladder and reproductive system. For example, we all fall on our tailbones. This injury can pull on the surrounding fascia as the sacrum gets stuck in a new imbalanced position. As the tightening persists a person may begin to experience headaches or even migraines from the fascia eventually pulling all the way up the spine into the cranium. Not to mention that the tailbone, or sacrum, is a key component in the body’s craniosacral rhythm. This type of injury may also affect childbirth. If the sacrum is moved forward in the body, it may slow or even stall labor as the baby works to move past it in his/her descent. What could Internal Pelvic Therapy do? It can access the sacrum more directly than any external release. Through a gentle, sustained release the sacrum is pulled out and guided back to it’s original balanced position. The sustained release allows the fascial system to gently unwind while regaining it’s fluidity and releasing muscles, nerves, organs and osseous structures.
What does Internal Pelvic Therapy treat?
Now that we’ve established the power of our fascial system and how instrumental our pelvis is in everything we do, you can begin to imagine how imbalance and tightness might produce a wide array of symptoms. Below is a list of some possibilities.
-Pelvic Floor Pain and Dysfunction
-Painful Scars, C-Section Scars
-Urinary Incontinence, Urgency and/or Frequency
-Low Back Pain
If you are experiencing anything included on this list, I urge you to explore if Internal Pelvic Therapy is for you. It can save you from unnecessary tests and even surgery, months or years of living with pain and future imbalances that may just be beginning to take hold. Remember, it has taken a period of time for the fascia to tighten to the point of producing symptoms and dysfunction so it may take time to unwind it. This is why it is best to receive several treatments in a row. It works against letting the body go back to its imbalanced position by reinforcing the previous treatment results. We will all continue to use our pelvis and put it in compromising positions or postures, which is why I also recommend a maintenance routine. That may be monthly, bi-yearly or even yearly. It will depend on your response to the treatment and your level of self-care. Practicing Kegel exercises and using a foam roller at home will continue to improve on the results you obtain from the treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above it may be worth your quality of life to see what Internal Pelvic Therapy could do for you. There are many qualified therapists who are happy to have an initial consultation in person or over the phone to answer any questions or concerns you might have.