Open up those hips

pose to relieve hip tension - when sex hurts there is hopeI can think of many good reasons to open up those hips. But, if you are like me that’s easier said than done. I have a tendency to sit too much, which contributes to tension in my hips (among other things). I have learned how to reduce this tension with massage and stretching through yoga. There are so many yoga poses that are great for relieving tension in your hips, but here are just two of my favorites which are good beginner stretches.

Butterfly pose to relieve hip tension

Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent outward and the soles of your feet pressed together. This is similar to a cross-legged position, but instead of folding your ankles over each other your feet are pressed together Continue reading

Skin rolling is not as scary as it sounds

There are many techniques performed in physical therapy that can be incorporated into your own self-treatment regimen. Skin rolling is one of easiest because there isn’t necessarily a wrong way to do it (or at least none that I have discovered). For those of you who think I am referring to some type of ancient form of torture, let me assure you that skin rolling is not as scary as it sounds.

Skin rolling is a type of myofascial release. You can find a lot of information just by typing “myofascial” into your favorite search engine, but here’s my abbreviated skin rolling - when sex hurts there is hopedefinition. The “myo” means muscle and “fascial” is pertaining to the fascia or connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, bone, ligament, and organ in our bodies. Thus, myofascial release is simply a way of releasing tension or constriction in the connective tissue around our muscles. I find skin rolling a pretty interesting technique because it so clearly demonstrates the presence of constricted fascia and muscles (I’ll get into this further after I describe the technique).

Step 1: Show some skin!

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Child’s pose and happy baby are for adults too

Child's pose - when sex hurts there is hopeDon’t be fooled by the names of these yoga poses—child’s pose and happy baby are great for all ages. I previously shared how beneficial I believe yoga to be for those with pelvic pain (Go with the yoga flow). Now I want to share my two favorite poses for hypertonic pelvic floor dysfunction: child’s pose and a modified version of happy baby. Both of these poses were recommended by my physical therapist and incorporated into my home therapy long before I ever attended a yoga class. If you have not yet discovered these poses, I hope that you can incorporate them into your own healing practice as well.

Child’s pose and modified happy baby are my go-to poses for when I have flare ups of pelvic pain and muscle spasms, and I think you’ll see why. Continue reading

Female anatomy: the basics (external)

external female anatomy - when sex hurts there is hopeIt is my desire that this blog reach those experiencing pelvic and sexual pain who are still searching for hope and healing. An important part of that is sharing information that is useful and understandable. I have learned a lot about myself and my body throughout my journey (though I still have a lot to learn), and sometimes I forget what is not so common knowledge. Thus, I want to stop and explain a few things that you may or may not already be familiar with. Hopefully this will help you gain a better understanding of your own body and also better understand some of my of my other blog posts where I may not take the time to fully explain specific terms. Continue reading

Hypertonic what?

hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction - when sex hurts there is hopeI have mentioned in previous posts that I have something called hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. That is kind of a long and complicated name, so I want to take a moment to explain what it actually means. I ask for some grace from any physical therapists or doctors out there who are reading this as I may not be perfectly accurate in some aspects of my definition. And, I encourage those of you who do not yet have an accurate diagnosis to do some additional research from a more medically based source (and Wikipedia doesn’t count). However, this should provide you with a good introduction based on my personal understanding and experience with hypertonic pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. Continue reading