Pelvic Pain Recovery Through Yoga: One Mom’s Success Story

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In a recent three-part series, I shared the story of Kate, a
physical therapist and mother of two working diligently to overcome serious
pelvic girdle pain (PGP).

In Part 3 of that series, 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:

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,? 
Kate

My response to Kate:

Dear
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 armor.”

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.

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