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May 27, 2014 in Home Page Slider

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Common Pelvic Pain Pattern after Birth

May 3, 2014 in Pelvis, Post Partum

We have some wrong ideas around our body and birth in this country.    We all assume after a birth that the body just goes right back to it’s pre-birth state.  What I have found in working with hundreds of post partum women is this is not necessarily the case!  At first I thought I was just seeing women whose births were a little more traumatic than “normal” births.  But what I’ve come to realize is even “normal” births still leave their mark on women’s pelvises and they tend to be affected forever.  Unless they get the energy of the birth released from their pelvis.

 

While I’ve already written about the trauma’s that occur in the pelvis from childbirth, see this article here, what I’ve come to find even more prevalent in post partum women is a common pelvic pattern that gets stuck in their body after birth.  In releasing these patterns woman have experienced profound relaxation and normalization of their body, they feel like themselves again!

 

What I find is the sacrum on the right hand side gets jammed superiorly and has decreased mobility when I try and move the sacrum in the sacroiliac joint.  The left side of the sacrum can move just fine but the right side has decreased mobility.

 

The sacrum a lot of the time is still in a nutated position with the tailbone more posteriorly than what is normal.  There is a jamming up of the sacrum into the ilia and vertebra and when I distract the sacrum and encourage the tailbone to move into a more forward or anterior position all the women give a huge sigh of relief.  Front of pelvis

 

There is also a decreased mobility or accessory play between the pubic bone and the sacrum.  While standing on the right side of a woman with my right hand underneath holding onto the lower part of the sacrum and my left hand on the pubic bone there is a decreased mobility of the pubic bone to be able to move to the right.  When I reverse this motion on the other side of the body the mobility is fine.

It’s like the lower aspect of the sacrum is shifted to the right in the body, decreasing the shearing like accessory play in the pelvis.

 

In the majority of these clients the mobility of the left side pubis symphysis and pubic rami are more restricted than the right.  The left ischium is more splayed out than the right like the baby’s head had more pressure against this side than the right.

 

Internally it is more common to find increased tension in the left side pelvic floor muscles and a shearing of the bladder tissue to the left.  When palpating the bladder tissues there is less space on the left side around the pubic bone internally than on the right side.  I’ll also feel a pulling to the left of the bladder near the bladder neck.  Most of these woman complain of bladder leakage and when the bladder is restored to it’s normal position their incontinence improves and goes away.

 

While I originally thought these patterns were associated with a more challenging birth, women whose birth would be considered normal or “easy” are still presenting with these findings.   It doesn’t matter how your birth goes, whether it was fast, easy, or hard, your body is affected by the process and remains imprinted with this pattern until released from the bones.

 

In palpating the bones you can feel a hardness in the pelvic ring where the bones have experienced more pressures than other areas.  Believe it or not our bones have a gentle give to them when compressed.  Where there has been excessive pressure or trauma the bones feel really hard and can’t give to compression.  Typically I find one side pubic rami, most commonly the left, has more hardness than the other and that side ischium tends to be more splayed out to the side when palpated.  Bringing the ischium back to midline and releasing the hardness in the bone allows for greater distribution of energy throughout the pelvic ring.

 

This is critical for women who are having symphysis pubis dysfunction in their second pregnancy when they didn’t have any in their first pregnancy.   It’s the birth trauma from the first birth that is causing the pain during the second pregnancy.  I find that when I release the hardness from the bone, the pressures around the pelvic ring are able to disperse easier and take the excessive pressure off the pubic symphysis.

 

The greatest help we can give post partum women is to make sure their ischiums have come back together into midline after birth.  So many women are walking around with one or both ischiums still in a splayed out birthing position.   By helping them come back into the center and balancing this new position with the iliums can help women find more balance in their pelvis, make it easier to feel grounded and simply relax their entire pelvic area.

 

While it’s important to work with releasing these patterns from the bone, the healing is not complete until you normalize the pelvic floor muscles internally.  It’s like an pancake you have to work both sides, outside and inside, to rebalance the pelvic structures.

 

Too many women are complaining of pelvic pain after birth.   It is my belief that many of them are walking around with this common post partum pelvic pattern or their pelvis is still in a birthing position.   Helping to release these patterns from their pelvis allows them to reclaim their body after birth!

 

 

Love is in the Air, Is it for you?

February 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Can You Say “I Love Myself?” 

Unfortunately not many people can.  Most women are really good at pouring the love out to others, partners, children, family and friends that when it comes to actually loving themselves, it’s a hard thing to do.
I think all of us are on a journey to learn to love ourselves more.  Here are three things that I feel have had the greatest impact in my ability to have greater love for myself.
 

4 Secrets to Loving Yourself

 

Secret #1:  It’s either Love or Fear, which are you in right now?

The world is only made up of two different kinds of energy, Love or Fear.
You can’t experience both at the same time.  Every emotion and feeling boils down to either of these two energies.
When we are feeling love our bodies and cells expand and we are open and receptive.  When we are living in fear our bodies and cells contract and we close ourselves down to life.
Being aware of the state of your feelings is the first step to changing it.  When I notice myself contracting in a fear based response, I simply notice it and focus in on sometime that can open my heart to love instead by doing Secret #2.

 

Secret #2:  Have Gratitude for Everything

 
One of the easiest things we can do to bring in more of what we want in life, including love, is to have gratitude for everything.
Be grateful for all your talents, gifts and abilities that come natural and easy to you.
Not everyone has what you have.  Honor that and cherish the blessings that you bring to your life and the lives of all that you encounter.
Keep your focus on what you do like and not about what we don’t like about yourself.
Where your attention goes, energy flows and results show.  Focus on the positive and be grateful for having them so you have more positive showing up.
Feel that gratitude in your body and embrace it fully.  That is love.

Secret #3:  Use your Imagination to remember your perfection  

 
Our mind knows no difference between our imagination and our reality.  We can use this to our advantage.  
 
Using your imagination I invite you, as you are today, to go back to the time of your birth and see yourself standing at your mom’s bedside. When you come out, picture the doctor handing you, as the baby, to you as the adult. You are holding yourself as a little newborn baby.  Look down at that baby in your arms and see the perfection, goodness and wholeness of that little being in your arms.  Feel that in your body.  All those not so good feelings you have about yourself, do you see or feel them in this baby.  
 
Our body knows no time or space so that little babe in your arms is still inside of your being.  She’s just been covered up from your life experiences.  Remind yourself of that perfection still inside of you and focus in on that.  
 

BONUS:  Secret #4:  Your life experiences don’t define you, they teach you.

 
Neither do your roles in life.  Who are you really, besides wife, mom, friend, your job title? 
 
Getting to the core of who we really are as a spiritual being gives greater meaning to our lives. 
 
I choose to believe that I am Soul inhabiting a body versus a body that has a soul. 
 
From this higher perspective I can choose to experience my life from a spiritual state of mind. All that happens to me is for my highest and best good and I’m here to learn from it.  When I can see my lessons, I can grow and expand my awareness so it doesn’t happen again.  This helps to lessen the guilt and judgement of what’s happening to me and I have a greater ability to love myself more.  
Isn’t that what life is all about?  How do you find ways to love yourself more?
 

Pain with Sex

January 16, 2014 in Childbirth, Pelvic Floor, Women's Sex Issues

Sex Doesn’t have to be Painful!

When you think of having sex, what’s your initial reaction?  Is it one of fun, pleasure, and enjoyment?  For many women it’s not.  In fact it’s down right painful.  Their response is one of fear, pain and simple avoidance.  It’s sad that some women are not interested in ever having sex again.    It doesn’t need to be this way.

I”ve seen so many women in my practice who have gone to multiple doctors who all look at their vagina’s and say, “well, it looks normal in here.  There’s nothing wrong, must be all in your head, try a little bit more wine beforehand!”  And for most women suffering from pain with sex, all the wine in the world won’t help their situation.

What most doctor’s aren’t trained in looking at is the mobility of the tissues.  How can the vaginal, or pelvic floor muscles move and stretch?  They aren’t pressing around in there to find out.  So when they look at the tissues, it all looks normal and healthy.  Yet if they were to just press on the sides of your vaginal opening they would most likely find brick walls or tissues that don’t have the ability to expand or stretch.  We need our vaginal tissues to be able to move up and down and expand out in a circle in order to enjoy intercourse without pain.

There are two types of pain with intercourse, insertional pain and deep thrusting pain.  Insertional pain is a problem with the pelvic floor muscles being able to expand and stretch open to allow the penis to enter.  Deep thrusting pain is an inability of the vaginal tissues to move up and down.  The uterus or bladder may be inhibited from moving upwards so every deep thrust is like hitting a brick wall, creating pain.  Both of these issues can be healed by seeing a women’s health physical therapist.

Some common issues that can create painful intercourse for insertional pain are falls on your tailbone and buttocks, childbirth, and trauma from abuse whether physical or emotional.  Impact injuries to the tailbone area cause the muscles to tighten up to protect the area not allowing them to relax and stretch.  Any tearing to the pelvic floor area during childbirth creates scar tissue making the area less mobile.  Also I find many women’s pelvis are still in a childbirth position with their sit bones still splaying out to the side putting stretch on the pelvic floor tissues.  Helping them to come back together again relieves the strain on the tissues.  Emotional or physical abuse creates a subconscious tightening of the pelvic floor  area.   Helping women reconnect and reclaim this area and feel safe again can help  the muscles release this held tension.

C-section or any lower abdominal surgical scars or car accidents usually cause deep thrusting pains.  Scar tissue prevents the organs from moving up and down and creates a wall between the tissues.  Every time there is deep thrusting that hits this block, pain is created.  Massaging your lower abdomen and making sure your tissues can move freely upwards and side to side should help alleviate this pain.  I have a video on my website, How to Massage Your C-Section Scar that you can view for free.  It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since your surgery you can always get more mobility in the tissues with massage.

Please help spread the word to women so they know there is help for them in this area.  It really saddens me that women are not able to enjoy themselves fully.  A women’s health physical therapist can help you with this issue.  For the most part, I just need to see someone one time and they are back to enjoying intercourse again freely without pain.  Reach out, get help and enjoy sex again!  Good luck!

Valuing Your Body and Instincts During Birth

January 10, 2014 in Childbirth, Pelvis, Pregnancy

 

Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for you and your body.  So many changes occur to your body as it swells to unrecognizable shape and proportion.  Then comes the uncertainty of birth.  How is this baby supposed to get out?  Really?  You can read all the books, watch all the videos and attend all the childbirth classes you want to prepare yourself for the anticipated day of your babies arrival.  Yet nothing can really prepare you for what you are going to experience.  Because no one really knows what YOUR experience is going to be of how YOUR baby chooses to come out.

 

This may sound kind of gloomy but let me reassure you of one thing.  That baby will find it’s way out one way or another.  The more prepared you are for your birth of what you CAN expect will help you relax into the process of what needs to occur. Read all the books, watch all the videos and take all those classes.  Know what needs to happen in your body for birth and what you truly desire to happen for you and your baby.  Then let it all go!

 

Letting Go In Labor

 

That’s right, let it go.  Because birth is really about letting go.  Allowing the process to happen.  Your body is designed to get your baby out.  When we can really connect into that sacred space deep within us you will know exactly what you need to do to help get your baby out.  Many women would benefit from really finding this space of knowingness within so they can listen to it during labor.  Yet most modern day hospitals and OB’s aren’t designed/trained to help women find this inner wisdom.

 

 

Giving Up your Power During Birth

 

We give our power over to our doctor and disconnect from our inner knowingness.  So many women in my practice have shared how they had a cervical check and were only 6-7 cm dilated and shortly after needed to push but was told not to push because they couldn’t be at 10 already.  When we listen to the people around us and not to our body’s signal, because we don’t know any better, more of that disconnect occurs.  When you try to stop from pushing when your uterus is pushing your baby out it creates all kinds of energetic blocks in your pelvis.  Your baby gets the confusing message, come out, no don’t come out.  There is a holding energy that anchors in your pelvis.  You lose that trust of your body that you once had or maybe never really had.

 

It’s challenging for a first time mom to understand what is going on in her body during labor to really trust herself to know.  Yet the more you can connect into your inner knowingness the more you can question other peoples judgements of your situation.  Your body knows how to do this so if you feel like pushing listen to your body.  Value the wisdom that your body knows how to get this baby out.

 

I saw one mom you came in for a post partum session and I kept feeling the energetic pattern of the babies head going into her right hip while there was a twisting of her upper body to the left.  When I asked about this she reported her husband was holding her right hand up by her shoulder while she was pushing.  Instinctually she let go of his hand and reached over to the left side bedrail and pushed.  Then her baby shifted into the center of her pelvis to come out.  Yet there was fear when this happened and this pattern was stuck in her body.  Identify and releasing the fear allowed the pattern in her body to let go.  Twisting her upper body to the left put some torque into her pelvis to shift the baby over into the outlet to get the baby out.  When I explained to her why she did what she did, she was able to value her body’s instinctual knowingness better.  YOUR BODY KNOWS!

 

So how do you connect to your inner knowingness?

 

It starts with a practice of quieting yourself and really connecting into your body.  Connect into your pelvis.  Feel the baby down in your pelvis.  Feel any sensations you feel in your body.  Become still and quiet and just feel what you feel inside of you.  Where do you get drawn?  Bring your breathe down to your pelvis or wherever you get drawn in your body.  The more you can practice this now the easier you will do so during your birth. During labor clear all the distractions around you and connect inside of your body.  See and sense what your body wants to do and get into that position.

 

A colleague of mine was in labor with her second child and she was feeling like she was losing her hold on the contractions and not getting anywhere as her labor wasn’t progressing.  She kicked everyone out of her room and quieted herself and went down and connected into her pelvis.  She got up and knelt on her knees with her butt up in the air and head down and stayed there till she felt something change inside.  Then she was able to continue on with her labor and push her baby out.  She did not know of inversion before this but this is a great technique to rotate a baby whose head is coming into your pelvis in a more challenging way, (OP or occiput posterior).  She got this information from her body and knew what to do.

 

So whenever you are feeling stuck with anything in life, whether it be birth or anything else, connecting into your pelvis and womb space can offer you a creative answer or direction.  If you need any support in feeling this connection I’d love to help you out.  I am amazed at the significant changes in my life since I’ve really embraced and reconnected to my pelvis.  It’s a powerful area and worthy of our attention.

 

 

 

 

Is Your Due Date Coming and Your Baby Not Dropping?

October 24, 2013 in Pelvic Floor, Pregnancy, Uncategorized

Is your baby due in a couple of weeks and he’s not engaging into your pelvis?  Feeling your baby should be dropping down into your pelvis a little more than he is?

There is one major thing you need to check to see if it is what is stopping your baby from coming on down.

 

CHECK OUT YOUR PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLESpelvic floor muscles

 

I encourage every woman, about to give birth, to assess her pelvic floor muscle tone.  (Actually every woman should check their pelvic floor muscle tone, whether you are having a baby or not!)   This is more than just perineal massage.  This is about making sure your pelvic floor muscles have the ability to release and stretch.  When doing your perineal massage, you need to make sure your pelvic floor muscles have spring to them.  They should give and release like when you push down on a trampoline, it gives way and then comes back up.
Imagine the opening of your vagina is a clock you are facing.  At 12:00 is the urethra and clitoris and a 6:00 is the perineal body, junction between the anus and the vaginal opening.  From 3 to 6 :00 and from 6 to 9:00 are your muscles.  If you push down and out to the side at a diagonal you will see whether your muscles give or not.  They should give easily to your pressure and spring back up when you release.

 

PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES AS STOP LIGHT FOR BABY

 

I liken the pelvic floor muscles to a stop light, signaling the baby on what to do.  If you have too much tone in them, as in red light tone, that’s telling the baby to not come down this way.    Red light tone is where the muscles have zero deformability to them.  You press on them and they are bricks and don’t budge.  This may be caused by a passive tension in the muscles from our unconscious holding or clenching of these muscles from an injury.  Actively we can clench these muscles if we want to stop gas from passing.  The problem is so many women are walking around with tension in these muscles and they don’t even know it.

 

Have you ever caught yourself with your shoulders up by your ears and once you were aware of it you were able to relax them back down.  That same kind of tension can be found in our pelvic floor muscles.  The only difference is we don’t have the visual cue of our shoulders to let us know the tension is there.  But we do know what is there if we assess the pelvic floor muscles.  When you find increased tension in the muscles, and it can be one side or both sides, simply put a gentle pressure on the muscle and breathe down into it.  With awareness, passively held tension can release.   If it’s resistant to release you may need some help from a Women’s Health physical therapist.

 

Red light tone can also be caused from a fall on the tailbone that happened anytime in your life. Having the tailbone offset can create tension in the muscles keeping it in that position.   Getting your tailbone back into alignment is not something you can do on your own.  I haven’t found a way yet to help someone do this to herself so again seeing a women’s health PT can be very helpful.  (You can find a WHPT near you at www.MoveForwardPT.com)

 

I’ve seen a couple of women come in with a baby’s head off to one side, heading into the hip, instead of the pelvic inlet.  In evaluating their pelvic floor muscles the opposite side pelvic floor muscles had increased tone, like it was repelling the baby’s head from that side.  As soon as those muscles released the baby’s head shifted to midline.   In one case the baby’s positioning change was so dramatically I wished I had taken before and after pictures of her belly.

 

Yellow light tone in the pelvic floor muscles, means there is some tension and resistance to the tissues to being stretched but it can do it a little bit.  Yellow light tone just means the baby will have a little bit more resistance coming through.  If you work with this tension you should be able to let go and get your tissues into a green light state.

 

Green light tone in your pelvic floor muscles is the go for it signal for the baby to come on through!  This is the kind of tone in the muscles you want with no tension in them at all.  You press on them and they spring and stretch easily and pop right back up when you release that pressure.  Babies love green light tone in the muscles!

 

So what kind of tone are you carrying around in your pelvic floor?  Assess yourself and find out now, before you go into labor.  If you do find tension in the muscles work with them to see if you can release it.  You’ll be so glad you did and your baby will be too!

 

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