Imagine having a good talk with a friend who tells you that he was on his mountain bike and while riding the hills of Northern California, he slammed into a tree pelvis first and now he’s got a ‘problem’. Imagine your friend who is 23 years of age and just had her first baby in tears because sexual intercourse is so painful, she can’t stand to be near her husband. You cannot imagine it….this is pelvic floor pain. Never heard of it? Ok, let’s take it one step further….
Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if every time you laughed, sneezed, coughed, or performed a jumping jack, you urinated without being able to control your bladder.
Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if, after undergoing a prostatectomy, you could not experience an erection.
Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if your uterus or rectum was hanging down.
Imagine what life would be on a daily basis if you had so much pain in your pelvic floor, you could no longer sit, have sex, urinate or defecate without shedding tears of pain.
Imagine what life would be if every time you went for another test, your genitals would be examined and manipulated; your vagina or rectum internally palpated and discussed in a very clinical manner.
Imagine all that…and more. Sounds pretty grim, doesn’t it? This is pelvic floor pain. Not only is this a physical condition, but pelvic floor pain affects every patient psychologically and emotionally. Many daily and adult joys of life are stripped away and some patients feel shame, embarrassment, fear and anger when experiencing some of the aforementioned conditions. But, take heart – this does not have to become a permanent situation and with the proper treatment strategy, these conditions may be rectified and a person can resume living life fully and with joy, while becoming symptom free. Keep reading and I’ll tell you how I can help.
From the Traditional Chinese Medical point of view, the kidneys and pelvic floor is where a person’s ‘Life Gate’ is located. The ‘Qi’ and ‘Vital Essence’ move from this region and circulate throughout the organs, muscles, skin, bones and connective tissue to ensure proper homeostasis and overall vitality. When the Energy (Qi) in the pelvic region is disrupted by physical and/or psychological reasons, the entire flow of Qi and Essence is affected. This can manifest as poor blood circulation into the immediate area which causes stagnation and pain. The improper transmission of Qi can lead to urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence or prolapse. Other visceral systems can be affected. For example, low back and hip pain can be triggered by lack of circulation in the pelvic floor which can lead to cervicalgia. Improper flow of blood and Qi can disrupt the nerves that innervate and ‘feed’ cellular nutrition to the organs. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ is related to an emotion. For example, the Liver is associated with anger, the Kidneys with the will or fear. When these organs are deprived of the nutrients necessary to function properly, the emotions associated with the organ can be affected as well.
Acupuncture is an effective, pain free and drug free system of medicine that can relieve pelvic floor pain, remedy conditions of incontinence and sexual dysfunction, and mediate the psycho-emotional components of pelvic floor pain. Acupuncture can ‘release’ the constriction of pelvic floor muscles, send cellular nutrition to the pudendal nerve, assist the body to naturally ‘raise up’ structures that are in a state of prolapase and send proper blood flow to the testes and penis for proper sexual function.
I could go on for pages about what acupuncture can do for pelvic floor conditions, but this is merely an introduction to a medical condition that is not generally discussed because of social stigma et al. The take home message here is that this condition is more prevalent than you would think, and the persons having this condition need love, compassion, patience and understanding. I treat many pelvic floor cases – both male and female. I ensure that I provide a serene, private and comfortable setting for my patients where they can feel safe and confident that they are receiving the most appropriate care for their special needs. But the most important piece of treating pelvic floor patients is this: I treat my patients from my heart and with all good intentions. Every patient is special and treated as such. Compassion, empathy and sometimes a hand to hold onto for a few minutes can do much for a patient.
If you suffer from pelvic floor pain, email or telephone me. I promise you I will do all I can to get you back to living life to its fullest. I will partner you with other highly skilled pelvic floor specialists and together we will be your team – working together to get you back to Wellville.