Despite being incredibly common, hardly anyone talks about pelvic pain. How prevalent is it? Pelvic pain, including bowel, bladder and sexual symptoms, affects about 24% of women in the U.S.—that’s 40 MILLION women! Keep in mind, this is based on reported cases, and since many women keep quiet about it, the number of women affected is likely much higher!
Everyone has a pelvis! It provides us with core stability, elimination and pleasure - natural, human experiences! But these topics are unfortunately also treated as taboos. We are conditioned to whisper mentions of sex, and never talk about bathroom habits. So any discomfort in this area often leads to feelings of shame, which is why many women who suffer with pelvic pain, suffer in silence.
Chronic pelvic pain can have a negative ripple effect on other aspects of well-being—mental health, sexual health, sleep, social interactions, job performance, as well as conjure up unpleasant emotions, such as frustration and embarrassment. The pressure to live in secrecy with these unpleasant feelings creates stress, which can contribute more to the pain.
It’s important we remove the stigma associated with pelvic pain, so women can feel comfortable speaking up and get the treatment they need! Let’s start with the basics: Pelvic pain is not anything to feel shameful or embarrassed about!
So now you might be wondering if what you’re experiencing qualifies as “pelvic pain,” and if pelvic floor therapy can help you. The answer is: most likely.
Pelvic pain refers to any pain or distressful symptoms within the entire pelvic region. This includes the lower back, hips, bladder, uterus, vagina, lower GI tract, and tailbone. If you suffer from endometriosis, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, urinary urgency, incontinence, constipation, abdominal bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), tailbone pain, hip pain or lower back pain (just to name a few), you are likely to see tremendous outcomes from working with a pelvic floor professional. Pelvic floor therapy is also advantageous during pregnancy, and it can accelerate postpartum healing.
As you can tell, I'm a big fan of this therapeutic treatment.
When I was struggling with IBS, I went to see Evelyn Hecht, PT, ATC, at EMH Physical Therapy, her New York-based PT practice. Her staff worked on me using visceral mobilization techniques and manual therapy which not only felt great, it allowed my digestive tract to function better! They also demonstrated stretches and exercises I could do at home (which I still do to this day for general upkeep!). I was so pleased with the improvement in my digestion, that a few years later, I came back to her clinic for relief from bad period cramps. Once again, I was not disappointed!
That’s why I’m excited to share Evelyn’s new online program. After 25 years in practice, she recently launched PelvicSense, a digital pelvic healing program that anyone can do from their own home. The program, which is super accommodating and affordable, is an in-depth experience, walking clients through the healing process with a series of lectures, relaxation mind exercises, and videos guiding you in body movements.
You might be thinking, Wow, so thorough!
That's because we now know that healing is not purely physical, nor purely emotional. To heal from anything, we need to address the mind and body together. PelvicSense does just that! It takes a biopsychosocial approach–factoring in the biological, psychological, and social factors in our pain experience. The PelvicSense program, which takes roughly three months to complete (you can go at your own pace), was designed to create long-lasting healing.
The program places a solid emphasis on the brain and how we interpret pain, because, while pain is experienced in the body, it is our brains that decide what we feel, how much and how often. Through this program, you’re able to teach your brain to send less pain signals to your body, and instead, produce more feel-good, relaxing chemicals. We have an internal pharmacy in each of us—we sometimes just need help accessing it.
Additionally, this program provides education about pelvic pain (which helps us understand it better), helps to rewire the nervous system (which is fundamental to changing our experience of pain), and demonstrates physical exercises that are clinically proven to reduce pain. And what’s lovelier, this 3-month program is way more cost effective than going to weekly PT appointments for the same amount of time.
By following the PelvicSense program, along with your doctor’s care plan, women can experience the freedom of feeling their best, and begin to shed the stigma around this issue. This can lead to greater self-acceptance, better quality of life, and hope for so many others just like yourself.
When it comes to recovery, regular practice and showing up to sessions are essential. That’s why having a program which you can access from home can increase your chances of success, especially with the pandemic still deterring many people from venturing out, or long waiting lists at a pelvic therapy practice. Not only does it give you flexibility and convenience, it provides a level of self-efficacy that is crucial to healing. Yes, healing. Not just temporary symptom relief, but actual, long-term recovery, no matter how long you’ve suffered with pelvic pain in the past.
Ready to start your healing?!
Between now and June 1, Evelyn is giving a gift to all my readers (thanks, Evelyn!): 10% coupon code! It’s good until June 1, 2021! To redeem, go to PelvicSense and check out the details of her program, then choose the offer that speaks to you! At checkout, enter the code GOOD and you’re on your way to decreasing pelvic distress, improving pelvic function and returning to the activities you’ve been missing out on.
In good health,