Did you know that May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month? I didn’t know either until I saw the International Pelvic Pain Society‘s post on social media. Despite how busy we all are, let’s take a moment this month to help spread awareness about this very real suffering. I would like to challenge you to do this in your own way. Perhaps that is a simple re-tweet of the International Pelvic Pain Society’s awareness message (@IntPelvicPain) or sharing the image below on Facebook. Or, maybe it is sitting down with a new friend and sharing your own story. You may be surprised to find out who else is struggling with pelvic pain. Whatever you choose, I would love to hear about it! Please post a comment to share (and you can use an alias if you prefer to remain anonymous). And as you spread awareness, be sure the message is clear that when sex hurts there is hope!
A few months ago I had the opportunity to join a yoga for pelvic health workshop put on by Casie Danenhauer, PT, DPT and CYT, and it was amazing! Now Casie is teaming up with another pelvic floor physical therapist and yogi, Dustienne Miller, CYT, PT, MS, WCS, to put on a yoga for pelvic health retreat! I am really excited about this because I received such a benefit from the 2-hour workshop, but the value from a full weekend will be exponential.
Casie is sharing a series of interviews from women who participated in the retreat last year. One retreater, Jennie, shared this about the retreat: “It gave me time and inspiration to reflect on my inner desires and what my heart truly wanted. It also gave me the courage to overcome any fears blocking my path.” You can read more interviews on Casie’s blog and also reach out to her directly for more details through her website, CasieDPT.com.
Here are some of the important details about the retreat…
There are two retreats planned—one on each coast:
- May 26-28, 2017 outside of San Luis Obispo, CA at Sagrada Wellness Center
- October 27-29, 2017 outside of Boston, MA at Spirit Fire Wellness Center
Retreat costs at the Sagrada Wellness Center include all meals, full access to the yoga room, pool, jacuzzi, walking trails, and all retreat programming.
- Pricing ranges $695-795, depending on your room choice
For more information on the retreat at the Spirit Fire Wellness Center you can email Casie at email@example.com or contact her through her website.
I hear that the spots are filling up fast, so definitely check this out very soon! I hope to see you there!
As February comes to a close, I wanted to share an amazing message of what love is from a couple who knew pain and hardship in ways most of us will never experience. Three years ago a woman named Carol shared this post about her husband in the midst of his four-year-long battle with leukemia. And while I realize pelvic pain isn’t leukemia, I think many of us who have experienced what painful sex can do to a marriage agree with her thoughts on love. You can read the full post on GodsGotThis.org, but here is an excerpt.
What is love without a little proof? What is love without inconvenience and without sacrifice? It’s hollow. It’s empty. It isn’t real. One thing is sure, we don’t need to test each other’s love. That’s a game that will backfire and destroy. Life does enough testing on its own. Medical challenges, financial struggles, circumstances and difficulties of all kinds happen. They really do happen. Sometimes it’s a slow boil over time and sometimes it comes suddenly out of the blue. Love isn’t always pretty, and it most certainly isn’t always convenient. It doesn’t always feel good, but it is always good. It always encourages and lifts up. It always makes us better people. Love can seem like an intangible, but it isn’t because love is something you do. We feel love and we say love, but it isn’t real until we do love. Continue reading
Christmastime is full of a lot of happiness and good tidings, but it can also be stressful and add to the difficulties we face with pelvic pain. I think a lot of the stress is because we have distorted what Christmas is really all about. If we are honest, the underlying motivation to most of the shopping, decorating and other busyness is the opinions of others. We want to impress, and we certainly don’t want to disappoint. Think about it this way. If you took away all of the thoughts and opinions of others around you—friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors—how much less would you do this season? Would you put up fewer Christmas lights, spend less on gifts, or skip a few holiday parties? And would you spend more time on things that you enjoy, even if others think you are strange for enjoying them?
I recently came across a beautiful article on PropelWomen.org that struck a personal chord. It brought up a very real and personal struggle of mine, but it also brought me back to a precious truth about Christmas. A truth that gets so easily overlooked in the hustle and bustle of this season. I certainly know the Christmas story—Mary, Joseph and the baby in a manger—but I don’t often stop to consider the deeper meaning within the humble beginnings of Jesus’ life on earth. Here is an excerpt from that article:
We don’t want to be different, you and I. We work hard to hide our inadequacies, cover our disabilities, minimize our poverties. We want to display strength, beauty and talents. Not weaknesses, insufficiencies and lack. And so we hide the humble parts of ourselves and do our best to present only those things that make us proud. Continue reading
This month I had the opportunity to join a yoga workshop specially designed for pelvic health! The workshop was put on by Casie Danenhauer, DPT at Sarton Physical Therapy in Orange County (quick shout out to my favorite pelvic floor physical therapist, Julie Sarton!)
This yoga for pelvic health workshop was full of great information, including an overview of
basic pelvic anatomy (complete with a musculoskeletal model of the pelvic floor). And not only did we spend time in actual yoga practice, we received specific instruction on various poses that are good for pelvic health. Casie walked us through the details of how to do these poses correctly, and considering pelvic floor conditions such as hypertonic pelvic floor muscles (like me!) and hypotonic pelvic floor muscles (where the muscles are too weak). Continue reading
I’m excited to share that the Orange County Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Support Group is hosting a talk on Considering the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection. The guest speaker will be Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT who you may remember from my review of her book, Healing Through Chronic Pain.
Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT will present concepts about the mind-body-spirit connection using information from the literature, her personal experiences, and case examples using clients with interstitial cystitis. The purpose of this talk is to introduce a holistic approach and new avenues that may be helpful for healing. The role of the nervous system will be highlighted along with concrete strategies to calm both the body and mind. Continue reading
I recently had the privilege of joining an amazing group of practitioners at the International Pelvic Pain Society’s 2015 Annual Meeting in San Diego. There is so much I want to share about the great information I heard and the remarkable people I met, but mostly I want to share about the hope that I was filled with. If you knew all that was being done to bring healing for chronic pelvic pain, you would be filled with hope too.
IPPS stands for the International Pelvic Pain Society (and #IPPS15 was the hashtag used during the conference if you want to catch some of the commentary that was posted on social media), but I’m going to use those same letters in my attempt to share some of why you should be encouraged to have this group of people fighting for your wellbeing.
Probably the first thing that struck me at the conference was the level of intelligence being represented. The presenters were astounding. I couldn’t count their degrees or the number of initials after their names (MD, PhD, DPT, and a bunch of others that I don’t know what they mean). As they discussed their research and other topics I was truly in awe. One example was experts in the neurological aspects of pain discussing how the brain interprets pain signals, including how chronic pain is processed very differently (even using different parts of the brain compared to acute pain).
And it was not just the speakers exhibiting this intelligence, but also the attendees. As I looked around the room I saw so many of the pelvic pain greats—people like Dr. Irwin Goldstein and Dr. Echenberg, physical therapists like Amy Stein and Stephanie Prendergast, just to name a few. At least half of the attendees were physical therapists, and they were joined by doctors, nurse practitioners, researchers (and one blogger I might add). Those participating in the sessions not only understood what was being presented, but also had their own experiences, theories, and proven methods. Continue reading