Wondering what you can do besides pelvic floor physical therapy for your pelvic pain? This week we compiled the yoga sessions our PT, Melissa Patrick, has been hosting on our Instagram. Find the best yoga session for you based on the pelvic pain you are experiencing directly below its description.
Working with neuropathic symptoms around the genitals, anus or perineum? Allow Melissa Patrick, PT, DPT, RYT to guide you through an exploration of movements to find relief and ease in the entire body.
Find the stretch that suits you best! Melissa covers three poses, using props for variations, to help you design a practice that meets your body where it is today. These pose variations are designed to relieve tension in the posterior chain and may provide relief for those working with symptoms of pudendal neuralgia.
Let’s open through the front line of the body to reduce tension along the posterior chain. These supportive and gentle backbends can be a great way to reduce strain & stretch along the pathway of the pudendal nerve. Backbends have other benefits, too! They help us to breathe more deeply by improving recruitment of the diaphragm. The better belly breaths we can get, the more our pelvic floor can lengthen and relax. Not to mention, deep breathing helps to calm our nervous system and induce physiological quieting. Finally, backbends have a natural antidepressant effect! Because backbends activate the heart, they invigorate and uplift the mood. Happy heart opening!
Explore three different poses to relieve tension in the muscles around the pelvic girdle. We will explore variations of butterfly pose, wind relieving pose & wide leg fold to facilitate lengthening and opening in and around the pelvic floor.
The tailbone is a connecting point for a number of pelvic floor muscles. In today’s practice, we will focus on increasing spinal mobility and elongating the myofascial planes of the posterior chain to alleviate strain on the tailbone and relax the pelvic floor. Props needed: Wall, chair or table, blocks, blanket
Standing goddess with spinal twist
Those working with Coccydynia, or tailbone pain, often complain of pain when sitting or standing for long periods of time, rising to stand, or leaning back while seated. If you have tailbone pain during activity, it may be related to trigger points in your pelvic floor muscles or even glutes. Seek a pelvic floor physical therapist to learn more about why you may be experiencing tailbone pain.
Explore movements to support the hips and pelvic girdle with Melissa Patrick, PT, DPT, RYT. Develop awareness of how to coordinate your breathing with pelvic floor relaxation, learn about the vulva, and take a moment to get curious about what feels good in your body!
20 minute floor based prenatal practice to open through the hips and lower back.
20 minute postnatal practice to engage the core and the pelvic floor. Learn how to assess for diastasis recti, too!
Simply prolonging your exhales during breathing relaxes the body. We will work with an inhale:exhale ratio close to 1:2 to slow the breathing rate and calm the nervous system.
- Breathe in through the nose
- Breath size should not increase substantially
- Breathe out thru pursed lips to facilitate longer exhale
Voluntarily decreasing breathing rate shifts us out of the sympathetic, or ‘fight or flight’, response that tends to dominate our body when we are in states of pain. The fight or flight response involuntarily increases breathing rate and volume. When we exhale blood moves out of the lungs which causes a small increase in blood pressure. In response, the nervous system reflexively decreases the heart rate and dilates blood vessels. This is known as the parasympathetic response, also commonly referred to as the ‘rest and digest’, or relaxation response.
Indications of parasympathetic activity:
- Decreased muscular tension
- Decreased heart rate
- Sensations of calm and ease
Charge your batteries for an energized and expansive day! Breath and body awareness melt tension and allow you to connect with your pelvic floor.
Body scan practices allow us to increase our internal awareness and consciously relax all areas of our body. This is a great practice for those new to meditation because it gives the mind something to focus on. For those working with pelvic pain, a body scan can help to bring your attention away from the painful parts of your body to areas that don’t cause discomfort. This allows you to consciously increase positive feedback to your nervous system and help you shift into a state of relaxation and rest. For today’s practice, we will be lying down so bring pillows, blankets and bolsters to set your body up for rest and relaxation. This practice is very beneficial at the end of the day and can even improve sleep quality. Enjoy!
Join Melissa as she guides you through a body scan and offers a healing visualization to bring stability and calm to your inner and outer worlds.
Forward folds are a great way to stretch your posterior chain and can help alleviate tension in the pelvic floor. Did you know that when you bend forward, just 1/3 of the motion comes from your lower back? The other 2/3 should come from the hip joint. Improving your lumbo-pelvic rhythm, or hip-spine coordination, will pay off not only in your yoga practice but in the rest of your movement practices! Let’s take a look at three poses that will help you build into a forward fold practice with awareness of the mobility in your pelvis versus your lower back. Grab a block, strap, bolster and chair for today’s practice.
Supine hamstring stretch
Half happy baby
Seated wide leg fold
Caution: If you have Pudendal Neuralgia, forward folds may not be indicated for you. Move slowly to test the waters or reach out to our PT Melissa Patrick, to schedule an individualized guided movement session where she can help you design a practice that fits your body’s unique needs.
Try these variations of bridge, supported shoulder stand, and legs up the wall to reduce symptoms of heaviness in the pelvis caused by pelvic organ prolapse.
Join Melissa to explore variations of child’s pose, supine twist & forward fold to facilitate digestion and ease symptoms of constipation. Bring a bolster, blocks and a chair/bed. Pro tip: twist to the right first. Watch to find out why!
Join Melissa in this standing mindfulness practice to relax the pelvic floor and release tension in the body with hands on techniques. Great for sitting pain, nerve symptoms, and anxiety!
Explore the senses as you find a comfortable seat and welcome in the sensation of breath.
Find pain relief and cultivate clarity in today’s Mindful Monday practice. Melissa will guide you through a body scan, using the visualization of the water element, to welcome ease and relaxation into the body.
Guided imagery and visualization are mind-body techniques that use the power of the mind to calm your sympathetic nervous system and reduce the stress hormones coursing through your body. Reducing the ‘fight or flight’ response in the body allows for a reduction in inflammation and activates the healing process.
Working with chronic pain? Guided imagery offers many benefits, without side effects, including increased relaxation, reduced systemic cortisol (stress hormone), improved sleep and potentially a reduced need for pain medication.
Tune into the sensations of nature with this Mindful Monday practice. Melissa guides you in engaging the five senses to enhance the calming effects of nature in the body. Give yourself permission to slow down, get comfortable for ten minutes, and let the sounds of nature wash away your worries. We learn to embody the practice of mindfulness by truly becoming ‘the observer’. Simply engaging the five senses, to receive our environment or what we are visualizing, allows us to become present instead of focusing on worries from the past or anticipations from the future. Becoming aware of and emphasizing positive sensations in the moment has a positive effect on anxiety and depression and has the potential to reduce pain by activating the relaxation response.
Cultivate stability and steadiness in your body in this Mindful Monday practice. Using the visualization of the lake, Melissa reminds us that we have a choice in how we respond to disruptions in our lives. Allow yourself to find balance in your breath and ease in your body during this ten minute practice. Guided imagery (a mind-body technique also known as visualization) is a well recognized and scientifically validated way to relieve pain, stress, anxiety & depression. Visualizations have the power to affect endocrine, immune and autonomic functioning in the body, reducing heart and breathing rates as well as blood pressure
Let’s give some attention to a few of the 36 muscles that attach to the pelvis. As we work with muscle release using a foam roller and ball, we’re also impacting our fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that encases our muscles, nerves, blood vessels organs and bones. It acts like a web, all over our body, to keep everything in place.
Restrictions in the fascia can occur as a result of poor posture, frequent sitting, scarring from injuries or surgery, inflammation and even general stress. When fascia isn’t sliding and gliding well, it can limit our range of motion, cause trigger points to develop, irritate our nerves, and cause pain locally or even in other parts of the body.
MFR focuses on compression of these web-like tissues to increase their pliability and moisture content. Think about a sponge, when you compress the fluid out of it, it is ready to be hydrated again. Fascia functions in a similar way.
Using diaphragmatic breathing during MFR is important. When first starting out, these techniques can feel intense and the body can react by tensing up. Using long, slow deep exhales helps to relax our muscles and calm our body to maximize the effects of the MFR.
Join Melissa for this Mindful Monday practice where we learn to navigate transitions and challenges. We tune into the breath and utilize the metaphor of the bridge to bring us out of the past or future and into the present moment. Melissa offers the reminder that your healing journey is your own. You have the capacity to go at your own pace, heal in your own time, and design your own transitions with self-compassion. Meditation is a studied and effective way to reduce stress in the body & we know that stress can exacerbate pain by causing more inflammation. Meditation wakes up our PARAsympathetic nervous system, the ‘rest and digest’ system, that helps our body heal + renew. PARAsympathetic activation moves the body out of the ‘fight or flight’ response (of the sympathetic nervous system) which causes stress hormones like cortisol & epinephrine to flood our body & can slow healing down.
Join Melissa Patrick, PT, DPT, RYT for this 15 minute restorative yoga practice to help relax the pelvic floor muscles, improve the mobility of your respiratory diaphragm and relieve full body stress. See below to learn more about the benefits of each pose. Recommended props: 2 blocks/pillows; 1 strap, leash, tie or belt.
Reclined butterfly : stimulates the abdominal organs like the ovaries, prostate gland, bladder & kidneys, improves circulation, relieves stress, depression & improves symptoms of menstruation & menopause
Half happy baby : stretches the inner thigh muscles & helps reduce tension in the lower back which can improve the movement in your respiratory diaphragm
Constructive rest : balances the hip rotator muscles, alleviates compression in the lumbar spine & sacroiliac joint, puts the body in an optimal position to release the psoas, a muscle that for some, is a primary driver of pelvic pain
Spinal twist : directing the breath into the lower belly in this pose will release tone in the abdominal wall & pelvic floor
Savasana : practice being fully aware of the breath’s natural movement and rhythm here & allow the benefits of the practice to sink in
If you would like to work with Melissa one-on-one to develop an individualized yoga program to meet your body’s unique needs during your pelvic healing journey, please visit our website to request a session with her!
Interested in more yoga, meditation and general relaxation videos? Find the rest of our archived videos + informative blogs below:
Are you unable to come see us in person? We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!
Due to COVID-19, we understand people may prefer to utilize our services from their homes. We also understand that many people do not have access to pelvic floor physical therapy and we are here to help! The Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center is a multi-city company of highly trained and specialized pelvic floor physical therapists committed to helping people optimize their pelvic health and eliminate pelvic pain and dysfunction. We are here for you and ready to help, whether it is in-person or online.
Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.
In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page.
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