What is pelvic care about?
The short version….
Pelvic Care is the foundation of my holistic reproductive healthcare practice. I always start by aligning the physical and emotional pelvic bowl because it is from this place that hormonal, emotional and energetic balance flows (or doesn’t). Treatments may include external and internal manual therapies that treat the WHOLE WOMAN LANDSCAPE. I assess and treat fascia, muscle and joint mobility, Maya-inspired abdominal and uterine massage and Holistic Pelvic Care™, castor oil packs, yoni steam therapy, and plant medicine.
What we do in a session is determined by the patterns of your particular body and what you need when you show up. My focus could be on: your pelvic bones and joints, what’s happening inside with the organs and tissues, emotions and trauma holding, or some combination of the above.
These treatments are nurturing, preventive, and therapeutic. I help you to unwind, release, open, and feel more free and radiant in your pelvic bowl.
WOMB & ABDOMINAL MASSAGE
VAGINAL STEAM THERAPY
Pelvic Care for the Physical Body
The pelvic bowl consists of bones and soft tissues that support the bladder, uterus, ovaries, vagina and gut. All primary physical movement originates in the pelvis and sacrum. The sacrum especially is a central hotbed of connections linking our spine, uterus and pelvicThe floor.
Our pelvic bones can become misaligned after birth, injury, and chronic lifestyle and tension patterns. The pelvic muscles can fatigue, stretch, lose functional tension, and become rigid or spasm. Restricted fascia prevents full mobility of the organs. Manual therapies to the pelvis externally and internally release these restrictions and restore mobility, gut movement, menstrual flow, and downward prana.
The rate of pelvic disorders and pelvic dysfunction among women in our country is shameful and women often suffer in silence, thinking their conditions are “normal,” or worse, that they don’t “deserve” treatment. Fortunately, many chronic reproductive conditions can be treated with manual therapies, plant medicine, and traditional women’s pelvic work and self-care. This work helps your body align, move back into balance and heal itself.
This work brings healing to:
- Menstrual disorders
- Pelvic Congestion
- Myofascial Pelvic Pain syndrome
- Vaginal pain and pain with sex
- Sacroiliac joint (SI) problems and tailbone pain
- Decreased or painful mobility in hips
- Abdominal or perineal scar tissue from birth
- Cesarean birth recovery
- Hypertonic pelvic floor
- Cysts and fibroids
- Uterine prolapse
- Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
- Cystocele / Rectocele
- Urinary incontinence and rectal incontinence
- Chronic bladder problems
- Adhesions and inflammation
- Post-abortion support
- Lack of libido or orgasm
Pelvic Care for the Emotional Body
The pelvic bowl and root chakra integrate to form the foundation of your nervous system. Nature designed us to be exquisitely dynamic beings, but we are vulnerable to overload. We store emotional experiences in our bodies when our minds and hearts cannot consciously process them.
As the life givers, women’s bodies are the first growing environment for all human life. We are also the wisdom keepers and preservers of the culture in many cases. We carry ancestral patterns through our DNA. Women shoulder a profound emotional load, whether solitary or within a family.
Sometimes our bodies hold on to trauma as a matter of self-preservation — we know how to protect ourselves! When we feel safe and seen we can lay down our burdens and begin to let our bodies unwind. When it is safe, we can release conflict or tension we may not be aware we are carrying!.
Even if we feel relatively secure, most of us have a few stuck places that want to move. Fortunately our bodies are poised to self-correct when given the space. Through this work you have an opportunity to slow down, settle deep into your pelvic bowl, and consciously nurture your innate female wisdom.
This work can help you:
- Feel safe and confident in your body again
- Feel the full range of sensations and emotions stored in your body
- Anchor your root chakra
- Reclaim your body from past emotional trauma
- Nurture a healthy relationship to your womb space
- Release grief from pregnancy loss
- Un-shame the entire pelvic bowl
- Establish clear energetic boundaries and what your “yes’s” and “no’s” feel like
- Support a healthy relationship with your sexuality
- Trust your instincts and inner wisdom
- Ease the transition into motherhood, menopause and cronehood
- Heal family lineage patterns
- Strengthen the birth field with your children
- Consciously cultivate the energy of your root
- Learn how to support the flow of creative, primal female energy in your pelvic bowl, up the spine, and into all aspects of your life.
When we feel safe and tended to, we can bring movement into stuck places. That’s when the healing happens.
WHY IS PELVIC CARE IMPORTANT FOR ALL WOMEN?
Tending to women in pregnancy and birth for twenty years has taught me that when women fully embody their pelvic space they are much more likely to have transformative, primal, powerful, even ecstatic birth and mothering experiences. Now more than ever we need strong, connected, fierce women leading our families and communities.
Our creative capacity flows from the pelvis. Reproduction is just one component of this capacity. Our relationship with our pelvis influences our creative output, our sexuality, intimate partnerships, our mothering, and even our work productivity. The pelvis is also the base of the nervous system and provides physical support for the abdominal organs. It is where we experience menstruation, elimination, sexual pleasure, conception, and birth. It is also where we can experience pain, trauma, shame, and grief too. Our pelvic bowl holds our life stories. The womb is often referred to as a second heart.
Working with the physical and energetic body of the pelvic bowl promotes organ health and alignment, optimal blood, lymph, and hormonal flow, healthy pelvic floor function, healing nervous system re-patterning, and a return to self-love and radiance in our root.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a pelvic care session like?
You might come in with specific issues or problems you want to address, or you might just want to tap into the nourishing connection that comes from settling into your pelvis. Either way, I meet your body where it's at. Unwinding takes time, and every body is different. The first session typically lasts about two hours. We briefly discuss your medical history and intentions for our time together. I tell you which treatments I think would appropriate for you and you get to decide what feels right for you. It may be external work, internal work or both. I tune in to what your body is communicating and assess patterns in the structure and energy of your pelvis. I will make physical adjustments as we go. The depth of the work really depends on what the body is willing to receive. If there has been a lot of trauma sometimes the body cannot tolerate much physical touch and we work energetically. I like to use at least one nourishing treatment per session whether it's womb massage, a yoni steam or castor oil pack. Fertility work and significant GYN conditions usually require a series of at least a few sessions to really change fascia, organ and bone patterns. Pregnancy and postpartum work can be as frequently as you like but at least one session before birth and shortly afterwards, with follow-ups as needed. I instruct you on how to do self-care routines at home. Treatment plans including custom herbals are offered for any chronic conditions.
Do you suggest doing kegels?
The short answer is no, not uniformly. Most women are actually holding too much tension in their pelvic muscles, or have imbalanced tension patterns in which the muscles do not contract evenly. Repeatedly contracting the pelvic floor muscles only worsens these patterns and will not rectify a prolapse. My bodywork helps women learn to genuinely relax their pelvic floor so it is not in a constant state of tension. Then, the entire pelvic bowl can be in a relaxed but poised state, ready to effectively contract when needed and properly supporting the pelvic organs.
What is Holistic Pelvic Care™ (HPC)?
Dissatisfied with how conventional physical therapy addressed women’s pelvic healing, visionary healer and physical therapist Tami Kent, PT developed the system of Holistic Pelvic Care™ (HPC). HPC is a form of pelvic therapy that addresses physical and energetic imbalances in the female pelvis. HPC combines internal vaginal bodywork with breathwork and imagery, allowing fascia layers to release patterns of pain and congestion, and allowing the pelvic muscles to optimally support the organs and the flow of root chakra energy throughout the rest of the body. Tami has written a number of books illuminating the profound healing shifts we can experience when we reconnect to the energy in our pelvic bowl including Wild Feminine and Mothering From Your Center -- both highly recommended!
How is this different from pelvic floor physical therapy?
Pelvic PT is a medical specialty that developed to help treat pelvic dysfunction, especially problems related to prolapse and medicalized birth practices. Practitioners use manual therapies, instruments and biofeedback machines to analyze the physical patterns in the pelvis. The focus is on structure and function and does not work with the emotional patterning of the pelvis. Pelvic PT can be effective for some women and there are great practitioners out there. My pelvic care is dynamic and draws on many different techniques and traditions to addresses not only the structure and function but also the hormonal, energetic, emotional and spiritual components of the female body. My work requires the involvement of your nervous system. It is a dance of allowing and receiving that generates oxytocin and create a harmonic resonance in your entire pelvis. I also routinely use plant medicine in my practice to assist pelvic healing and nervous system downregulation.
Do you do Arvigo or Maya Abdominal Massage (MAM)?
Abdominal massage is a traditional women's healing therapy in many parts of the world. The Maya tradition of womb and abdominal massage was popularized in North America by Rosita Arvigo. Rosita combined elements of Maya massage, as taught to her by Maya healers, with techniques from her naprapathic medical background (similar to osteopathy). Ultimately Rosita's form of bodywork was further commercialized through trademarking and is now taught through an institute that bears her name, The Arvigo Institute. I describe the uterine and abdominal massage work that I do as "Maya-inspired" because the foundation of this work was taught to me by women who studied with Maya midwives and healers.
How many sessions do you suggest in pregnancy?
It really depends on your body and what you want out of the treatments. I find that nurturing touch pelvic bodywork is so regulating and restorative to women's bodies that all women should regularly receive it as a standard part of prenatal care! Some women schedule once to get a feel for the work and then end up continuing until they give birth. You can always call me and we can chat about your needs and preferences.
Can I Only do abdominal massage?
It is my pleasure to just do external abdominal work, or any other stand alone treatments. For birth preparation, I do suggest one full session where we assess pelvic mobility and pelvic bowl tension before birth. For chronic GYN conditions, multiple sessions of combined therapies will have the most success.
I was told I need surgery to fix my prolapse. Can you help with that?
YES, pelvic bodywork can help prolapse, in fact it is a MUST. Pelvic organ prolapse is a function of posture, pressure, and position. We will address patterns of imbalance in the pelvis that may be causing or contributing to the prolapse. Before even considering surgery (which usually creates more long-term problems than it solves), I strongly urge you to investigate the many options in treatment, self-care, and lifestyle support. I am happy to discuss these with you, and please come in right away for a pelvic care session.
Can I do pelvic work with an IUD?
Yes, with a few modifications. I will not do womb massage or vaginal steams with an IUD in the uterus. We can work on the bones, pelvic bowl, and abdomen minus the uterus.
How soon after birth should I schedule a postpartum pelvic visit?
I will do home visits beginning immediately after birth. Yoni steams and womb work are best initiated shortly after birth for the quickest, most complete healing. For breastfeeding help or urgent midwifery care please call right away.