Integrative Pelvic Bodywork

Why Internal Pelvic?

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, structural misalignment, etc.

Anna’s approach to pelvic bodywork combines internal pelvic soft tissue manipulation (e.g. manual therapy: myofascial release, trigger point therapy, balanced ligamentous tension) with visceral manipulation and emotional/nervous system balancing techniques in order to:

  • release adhesions and trigger points throughout the pelvic bowl
  • balance pelvic muscle recruitment and rest
  • increase awareness and activation in the pelvic floor
  • resolve broader misalignments in the body caused by pelvic tension

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. Pelvic Bodywork is for women of all ages and may help in cases of:

  • Structural misalignments (including above and below the hips)
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • SI joint dusfunction
  • Sacral or 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?

Individual treatments

  • New client intake and exam: This is the place to begin. If you have unresolving pain or dysfunction anywhere in your body, or specific pelvic concerns, integrative pelvic bodywork is a pelvis-included, full body approach to structural alignment and functional ease.
  • Postpartum Rehab: Whether you are six weeks postpartum or six years post-childbirth, this treatment series is for those whose primary goal is to resolve physical and/or emotional pain or tension patterns related to childbirth, breastfeeding, and motherhood. Can include incontience or prolapse treatments.
  • Incontinence and Prolapse Treatment Series: a longer treatment program for those with symptoms of incontinence or prolapse. Begin this series with a new patient exam. Includes scar tissue remediation and external and internal structual bodywork. Most successful when paired with pelvic floor physical therapy.
  • Annual Pelvic Wellness Exam: for those who choose to prioritize pelvic floor assessment and treatment as a part of their annual women’s health check. Scheduling this session concurrent with your birthday month, the new year, or some other meaningful annual event is helpful. Recommended for women of all ages and stages.

Schedule Pelvic Care

Group workshops

Pelvic Wellness Clinics are trauma-informed, group workshops designed to address various forms of physical or emotional disconnection from the pelvic bowl that can impede pelvic floor rehabilitation. This is part of whole person wellness and will benefit any client who is pursuing treatment through pelvic floor physical therapy, pelvic bodywork, or other wellness practices.

Register for a Group Clinic

Online course

Virtual Pelvic Mapping is a home care course for practicing internal self-treatment. This three hour workshop includes: a 1 hour overview of anatomy and pelvic care, massage techniques for myofascial tension and scar tissue, and 1.5 hours of guided self-treatment time. Click here to purchase the recorded workshop.

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. In a new patient office visit, you can expect a full assessment of your pelvic bowl and tension patterns from the outside and inside. As time allows, we will incorporate treatment in your new patient exam. A follow up session will allow time for a full treatment. Internal massage techniques may include gentle myofascial release, trigger point therapy, scar tissue remediation, and strain/counterstrain. During treatment, your legs are free to relax on the massage table and will not be held in stirrups.

Timing and Frequency

New patient and postpartum intake and exam visits are typically 2 hours in duration. Depending on your therapy goals, 1-3 follow up sessions may be suggested. Follow-up treatments are 90 minutes long and include up to 75 minutes of hands-on treatment time. Annual pelvic wellness visits are 2 hours in length and include up to 90 minutes of treatment time. You may also consider attending a pelvic wellness clinic or taking the virtual pelvic mapping workshop to learn self-treatment techniques.

Clothing

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.

Prolapse and Incontience

Most pelvic concerns resolve within 1-3 treatments. Prolapse and incontience typically require 6 or more sessions and are most successful when scheduled in tandem with pelvic floor physical therapy (scheduling manual therapy 1-2 days prior to pelvic floor physical therapy).

Menstruation

During menstruation, you are welcome to keep your scheduled session. If you would prefer to cancel, there will be no charge for rescheduling. 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

Pelvic floor massage can be performed during pregnancy under certain circumstances. Contact Anna to discuss your history and goals. After six weeks postpartum, if there is any lingering pelvic pain, discomfort, or imbalance after childbirth, these can be tended to. Internal pelvic floor bodywork can help mothers come back home to their bodies with a felt sense of grounding in a time of intense transition (especially if mama is integrating any traumatic or overwhelming childbirth and postpartum experiences).

Surgeries

It is necessary to work with scar tissue and any associated adhesions in the pelvis after a pelvic or abdominal surgery (e.g. c-section, hysterectomy). Additionally, when any pelvic or abdominal organs are removed, the fascial (connective tissue) system still orients around their former location and may require integration after disruption.

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

And remember that internal treatment is fine:

  • during menstruation
  • in the presence of an IUD
  • in the absence of pelvic organs (hysterectomy, oophorectomy)

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.

All persons are welcome to learn about pelvic embodiment in our upcoming Pelvic Wellness Collective series.

Schedule Pelvic Care

Register for the Free Workshop

Trauma and Pelvic Care Education

Bodywork for the Female Pelvic Floor with Leslie Stager, RN, LMT (June 10-13, 2022) – Female pelvic anatomy, treatment protocols for female pelvic floor dysfunction, trauma-informed pelvic care, external and internal assessment protocols, ethics of internal pelvic cavity treatment.

Visceral Manipulation: The Pelvis with the Barral Institute (January 16-17, 2021) – Evaluation and treatment for the organ systems of the pelvic cavity, including the integration of the pelvic organs with the complex ligament systems of that body region. Studies the relationship between functional and structural mechanics of the pelvis.

Trauma First Aid with Dr. Peter Levine (April 27 – May 18, 2020) – Principles of somatic experiencing and trauma, trauma first aid, working with collective trauma, responding to natural disasters.

Holistic Pelvic Care (TM) with Tami Lynn Kent, PT (March 11-14, 2020) – Mapping internal pelvic tension patterns, female energy system and working with organ energies, pelvic and emotional trauma, birth trauma, restoring equilibrium in the pelvic space by working at the energy/body interface.