Just like other muscles, pelvic floor muscles can become tight, weak, or imbalanced due to stress, improper engagement, injury, trauma, childbirth, etc. Moreover, stored emotions such as grief, fear, shame, and rage can result in tension and pain in muscles throughout the body, including – and perhaps especially – the pelvic floor. Holistic Pelvic Care™ is a gentle treatment that combines internal pelvic floor massage with energetic and emotional balancing techniques in order to:
- release adhesions and trigger points
- increase blood flow to the pelvic organs
- balance pelvic muscle recruitment and ability to rest
- increase awareness and activation in the pelvic floor
The goal of this therapy is to restore physical and energetic balance to the pelvic bowl by resolving core patterns of tension, imbalance, congestion, and pain. This beautiful therapy was developed by Tami Lynn Kent, a physical therapist in Portland. I was trained by Tami in early 2020 and I look forward to introducing you to this new treatment.
Holistic Pelvic Care™ is for women of all ages and may help in cases of:
- Pelvic pain
- Sacral / SI joint / low back injury or pain
- Pain with intercourse
- Postpartum recovery
- Menstrual pain
- Healing after pregnancy loss, abortion, or traumatic childbirth
- Endometriosis, uterine fibroids
- Incontinence or organ prolapse
- Frequent vaginal infections
- History of pelvic trauma or abuse
… and any woman seeking to nourish a holistic connection with her pelvic bowl. The uterus holds and releases energy as it follows an internal create(ive) cycle. Women give birth from our bodies to both children and ideas. Pelvic health is vital to our well-being and is recommended at least annually.
What to expect during a session
Please arrive 10 minutes early to complete intake paperwork. After we discuss your goals for treatment and answer any questions you may have, we will begin with a clothed, external assessment of the core tension patterns present in your body. If visceral manipulation is indicated (see Services page for more information), we will begin with this gentle, external treatment for the abdomen. If you are comfortable with internal massage, we will transition at this time by reviewing female pelvic anatomy using a 3D skeletal model and printed pelvic floor images. Internal work involves the insertion of a single, gloved finger into the vagina or rectum to assess and massage pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue. With one finger internal, another hand will remain external to support and work with the pelvic organs. Internal massage techniques used may include gentle myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and strain/counterstrain. During treatment, sheets and clothing (e.g. a long skirt) are utilized for privacy. Your legs are free to relax on the massage table and will not be held in stirrups. During any portion of treatment, I may also guide you through some directed breath-work, visualization exercises, and other somatic (body awareness) experiences.
Initial and annual visits are 1-1.5 hours in duration. 6-week post-partum sessions are 1-1.5 hours in length. All follow-up treatments are 30-45 minutes long. Depending on your therapy goals, 1-4 follow up sessions may be suggested.
Please dress comfortably for your session. Visceral manipulation can be performed while fully clothed, with just bra removed. Clothed, musculoskeletal assessment is best performed in clothing that stretches or is loose. If you would like to wear a long skirt to your appointment, you may wear it during the entire session. Sheets will be provided for your privacy and draping during periods of internal work.
During menstruation, you are most welcome to keep your scheduled session. In fact, bleeding can actually enhance treatment because the body is already in a phase of opening and releasing. If you would like to keep a menstrual cup in place, internal massage can be performed around the circumference of your cup. If you would like to remove all menstrual products, a table pad will be provided and I welcome you to free bleed.
Pregnancy and Post-Partum
During pregnancy, we “leave the nest alone” (says Tami) by refraining from any internal pelvic floor massage. However, tension can be released from the pelvic bowl energetically through visualization, meditation, guided breath work, and other somatic experiences. At six weeks post-partum, we may resume internal massage. At this time, a pelvic floor massage can be very helpful in preparing a post-partum body for the resumption of sexual intercourse. If there is any pelvic pain, discomfort, or imbalance after childbirth, these concerns can be cared for internally as well.
When organs are removed, their energy remains present in the body. The fascial (connective tissue) system still orients around their former location. It is a benefit to work with any scar tissue and tension in the pelvic floor as a result of surgery. Massage for the pelvic floor muscles is also encouraged.
Considerations and Consent
Please note that internal treatment is not recommended:
- when an active infection is present in the pelvic region
- until at least six weeks post-partum, post-surgery, or post-radiation
- in patients less than 18 years of age
- during pregnancy
And remember that internal treatment is fine:
- during menstruation
- in the presence of an IUD
- in the absence of pelvic organs (hysterectomy, oophorectomy)
Prior to your session, please be aware that you may:
- always refuse internal vaginal and/or rectal exam
- bring a chaperone to your session
- terminate your session at any time, for any reason
Finally, please note that, at this time, I am only offering pelvic floor work for women. In the future, I may also be trained in male pelvic floor work.