Just like muscles and ligaments throughout the body, structures within the pelvic bowl can become tight, weak, tense, or imbalanced due to stress, injury, trauma, childbirth, disassociation, neglect, emotional or energetic congestion, generational trauma (epigenetics), etc.
Anna’s approach to Holistic Pelvic Care™ combines internal pelvic soft tissue manipulation (e.g. myofascial release, trigger point therapy, balanced ligamentous tension, visceral manipulation) with emotional/nervous system balancing techniques (visualization, breath work, movement, etc.) 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 therapy was developed by Tami Lynn Kent, a physical therapist in Portland.
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, ovulation, or menstruation
- Postpartum transition and recovery
- Healing after pregnancy loss, abortion, or traumatic childbirth
- Incontinence or organ prolapse
- Frequent vaginal infections
- History of pelvic trauma or abuse
- Any woman seeking to nourish a holistic connection with her pelvic bowl
What treatment options are available?
What to expect during a session
New patients can expect intake paperwork and a detailed discussion of your history and treatment goals. After an overview of pelvic anatomy, we may transition to some clothed, external assessments of core tension patterns and range of motion evaluations. Internal work involves the insertion of a gloved finger(s) into the vagina or rectum to assess and treat pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue. Internal massage techniques may include gentle myofascial release, trigger point therapy, strain/counterstrain. Your legs are free to relax on the massage table and will not be held in stirrups.
Timing and Frequency
New patient, postpartum, and annual visits are 1.5 to 2 hours in duration. Follow-up treatments are about 60 minutes. Depending on your therapy goals, 1-4 follow up sessions may be suggested. However, follow up sessions are not always necessary. You may also consider attending a pelvic wellness clinic or taking a virtual pelvic mapping workshop to learn self-treatment techniques.
Wear a cozy, warm top. You’ll undress from the waist down for internal work. Sheets and blankets are provided for comfort and privacy. Bring socks or leg warmers for added lower body warmth, if desired.
During menstruation, you are welcome to keep your scheduled session. In fact, bleeding can actually enhance treatment because your body is already in a process 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. Otherwise, a table pad will be provided and you are welcome 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. If there is any pelvic pain, discomfort, or imbalance after childbirth, these concerns can be cared for internally. A pelvic floor treatment can also be very helpful in preparing a post-partum body for the resumption of sexual intercourse.
When organs are removed, the fascial (connective tissue) system still orients around their former location and their energy remains present in the body. It is also a benefit to work with scar tissue and any resulting tension in the pelvis after an abdominal surgery.
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
Please note that, at this time, I am only offering pelvic floor work for female/AFAB bodies. In the future, I may also be trained in male/AMAB pelvic care.