Treating Pelvic Pain + Painful Sex
Our availability for physical intimacy is important to the quality of our relationships with ourselves and others. Unexplained pelvic pain can be the cause of chronic illness, physical injury, surgical injury, birth trauma, sexual abuse or even that bad fall you took snowboarding five years ago. Generally, pelvic pain can be structural or emotional, or both. In both cases, acupuncture and somatic bodywork go hand in hand to address this.
with pelvic embodiment
In the case of chronic pain from a physical injury, we address both the fascia around the injury and the potential scar tissue around the injury which may or may not connect to other parts of the body (for more on scar tissue, click here). Using specific oils and massage techniques with breath work and embodied focus allows for the unwinding of pelvic scar tissue.
Emotional pain is an often overlooked cause of vulvodynia (painful sex). Socially, we’re raised with the idea that our genitals are dirty, and at worse, make us completely unworthy and “bad.” Due to these innate belief systems or negative experiences and micro-aggressions, we can end up holding patterns of tension around the pelvic floor which can lead to chronic pain with an inability to relax the muscles. Changing how we see and address our sexual bodies helps to release the tension from the root of the problem. Sexological bodywork helps us recalibrate our nervous system to accept the genitals as part of the body, and allow full relaxation of tense holding patterns. Part of this process is learning to feel into sensate touch and move slowly enough for full arousal to occur.
Often, trauma in the form of sexual violence, abuse, or prolonged sex without sufficient arousal can cause the body and pelvic region to habitually tense up in response to touch. Even a lifetime of micro-aggressions can compound and affect us over the course of a lifetime. As a long-term result, codependency traits and poor belief systems held inside the body can disallow us to learn appropriate body boundaries. Using body boundary exercises and pelvic reintegration, we can learn to feel into the body with touch that is therapeutic in nature (as opposed to sexual or clinical). Over time this assists the body to release habitual tension as well as emotional pain
with acupuncture + chinese medicine
Acupuncture is highly effective at addressing pain. Whatever the cause of the pain, acupuncture addresses your fascia, postural alignment, and muscle tension using micro-circulation. You may find an acupuncturist putting needles in the hands and feet to affect other parts of the body. This is because, as we view the body as a whole system, we may use one part of the body or “channel” to affect another. Needles placed at both ends of the “channel” of the affected area help release tense holding patterns, both physical and emotional.