This is part 4, an unexpected extension of the trilogy in our journey with Kate, who is a physical therapist and mother of two working diligently to overcome serious pelvic girdle pain (PGP).
In the last post (part 3), I discussed the benefits of using yoga for pelvic pain relief, especially for myalgia or hypertonicity of the pelvic floor muscles, which occurs in vaginismus. Myalgia is also known as non-relaxing pelvic floor.
“Symptoms of nonrelaxing pelvic floor dysfunction are associated with voiding dysfunction, anorectal dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and pain.” – Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2012
Read the previous posts:
- Part 1 – Finding Relief from Pelvic Pain
- Part 2 – Finding Relief from Pelvic Pain
- Part 3 – Finding Relief from Pelvic Pain: How Yoga Can Help
Over the past few months Kate has worked with me and several other therapists and caregivers and has recently begun to experience significant improvement in her battle with chronic pelvic pain. Her journey is ongoing, but hers is a success story that gives us all hope. It is also evidence that conservative, non-surgical, and drug-free management can be successful, particularly when it is combined with yoga and mindfulness practices. The best part is Kate has been able to avoid invasive treatments like drugs or surgery, that carry risks and side effects.
Kate’s Progress with Overcoming Pelvic Pain through a Yogic Approach:
Good morning Ginger,
I just read your post and its obviously right on. I want to give you an update.
I’m really finding my true nature. I’m giving myself space, breath, silence and time to clearly find my true nature and live in harmony with it. I feel clear in this way. I am journaling a lot.
In regards to the physical part of me, my pelvis is stabilizing – I received another prolo shot to assist with that. Also, my pelvic PT is fantastic. She is getting right in there and myofascially releasing around the obturator/pudendal and other surrounding areas. Since I have been guarding for so long my hips are restricted so she is working on that too. I’m blessed to have found her. She is gentle, loving, and gets that the healing process is more then biomedical.
I was pain-free last Tuesday for the first time in 1.5 years and was able to walk freely. Wearing a skirt helps too.
I still have tweaks but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see things opening and I am starting to flow again. I’m doing iRest meditation with a practitioner and I look forward to that process unfolding. I also saw a local Ayurveda practitioner per your recommendation, plus I’m taking the course you recommended and am incorporating the proper lifestyle tools, foods and supplementation etc.
I’m going to my mat every morning to breathe, meditate, set intensions , massage, and light movement. I visualize myself flowing through a yoga flow with grace and ease (outside in nature). I also got my most recent hormone/cortisol tests back and we were happy to see that I’m finally where I should be.
I know its because of all the changes I’ve made over these last few months- I’m getting sleep, I’m resting, I’m breathing, I’m eating according to what my nature needs, I’m listening to my body in regards to what movement it needs daily, I’m reintegrating my whole life. This is an extremely powerful experience for me.
I thank you Ginger for keeping me in your thoughts, guiding me in the right direction, and for being a good friend.
I’m continuing on this path now with more connection to my body, emotions, and soul. There is a lot of self-discovery going.
I now know that there were whispers going on in my body for a long time that I did not listen to. Finally my body had to get louder and louder for me to listen. I’m listening now and responding appropriately.
Love and gratitude,
My response to Kate:
I was just about to email you when your email came through. 🙂 That’s the alchemy of friendship, isn’t it?
I am glad that you are on the up and up for healing; and I agree, wait until fall to come to the medical therapeutic yoga training (This is a post-graduate certification and graduate-level curriculum I wrote for health care professionals who want to specialize in using yoga in medicine and wellness).
Anyhow, thank you SO much for the update – Like you, I share similar journeys through the pain and impairment that comes from childbearing and motherhood alone; and how yoga, Ayurveda, and the personal spiritual journey of prayer were my proverbial “knights in shining armour.”
2014 marks more than 20 years of studying yoga for me, and I feel like I am still at the beginning of the journey, with so much more gratitude and freedom to experience. I am grateful for the journey of becoming a mother, because the travel has brought me the greatest joy and pain I’ve ever known, or will probably ever know. Pain has been a most valuable teacher for me.
The methods I use in maternal health are not theories from books or just evidence pulled from scientific journals. I have lived them and used them on myself (and patients) for over 15 years, through painful infertility, pregnancy, and three natural childbirths, all to get to where I am today. I am amazed when I see how yoga has transformed me over and over again. I guess you could say that I am really “living my yoga.”
I can see already yoga transforming you in a most profound way.
Each year the physical postures, breath, and meditation practice of yoga should teach us more about ourself. For women, the power that yoga offers us is greater, because as Geeta Iyengar says, “women need yoga far more than men.”
She is right. You are right. With yoga, all of us mothers have a chance to be all right.