Today I have some incredible benefits to share with you of using a mind body approach to relieve chronic pelvic pain. This is part two of the series: “7 Benefits of Mind Body Pelvic Pain Relief”. If you haven’t read part 1, you can click here to read that first, and then come back here to read part 2. So many people think of mind body healing as an either or thing, “Either my symptoms are mind body or they are physical.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. A mind body approach can (and should) be part of EVERY treatment plan for vulvodynia, painful sex, pelvic floor dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, pudendal neuralgia, and other types of chronic pelvic pain, not only because it effectively addresses the pain, but because it effectively address many of the other issues that come along with chronic pelvic pain as well. Mind body healing not only helps your body heal, it improves the quality of life while you do! That can’t be said of most other treatments for female pelvic pain. So let’s dive into four more reasons that I absolutely LOVE mind body pain relief!
7 Benefits of Mind Body Pain Relief (in addition to lasting relief!), Continued
4) Better Sleep
When you learn how to quiet your mind and bring your attention into your body, over time it relaxes your nervous system and leads to more and better sleep. Here are just a few of the many things I hear from women as they work through the Healing Female Pain program… “I practiced ‘Being With Sensations’ when I went to bed last night and fell right to sleep! I can’t believe it. That’s the first full night of sleep I’ve had in years.” “Every time I use a mind body tool I fall asleep!” “At night I had trouble relaxing and falling asleep. I had lived with this for years and felt like I had no control over it. With the tools I learned from Lorraine, I can not only fall asleep, but I get better rest and recharge during the night.”
5) Heal Old Wounds
If you’ve had traumatic experiences in your past that you know are impacting your body and life now, a mind body approach may be exactly what you need. Many of the women I work with have experienced some type of emotional, sexual, medical, or physical trauma in their past that is impacting their ability to feel safe in their body and their relationships now. Learning how to understand your body, feel your emotions, and get a handle on obsessive thinking heals the effects of these experiences, and their impact on your nervous system and life now, in a way that talking about it in therapy does not. On a regular basis I hear from women who tell me that they felt more shift in one coaching session than they had in 10 years of therapy. I’ve also had that experience myself. Mind body coaching helped me heal the effects of childhood abuse in a way therapy never did. Why? Because it specifically addresses the effects of trauma and how it’s impacting you now. This doesn’t require talking about the past, or even knowing what the trauma was! Which is especially helpful if you don’t remember what happened (which was the case for me). Healing trauma doesn’t necessarily require rehashing the past, it’s all about retraining your brain and nervous system that they are safe now. And that’s not actually that hard to do once you have tools to help you do it. I have seen mind body healing transform how women feel in their body and in their life in a way years of therapy hasn’t touched.
6) Feel Comfortable Inside Your Own Skin
We have an epidemic right now of women not feeling comfortable, safe, or at home inside their own bodies. This is not surprising considering how we as women have been conditioned to respond to our body and emotions (which are felt in the body). For the most part we’ve been trained to reject, criticize and try to improve our body, and to suppress and control our emotions (and our sexuality). I have written lots about all of these topics on my blog.Suffice it to say that I haven’t met a woman yet who loves and accepts her body the way it is, or who doesn’t have self-critical thoughts about how her body looks and/or functions (ie. too fat, too skinny, too tired, too ugly, etc etc etc) – or about how she feels (too angry, too sad, scared, etc).
You can’t feel at home inside a body that you are rejecting.
A mind body approach brings you back to your body and your emotions and helps you reclaim what is rightfully and beautifully yours – exactly the way it is! When you do that you start to feel at home inside your own skin, in a way you may never have before… “When I did the exercise the second time I could sense the contours of my body. The thought was—Oh, here “I” am. My eyes began to fill with tears.”
7) End the Cycle of Random Inexplicable Pain
When you have underlying mind body factors contributing to pelvic pain, those same factors can create other issues as well. In fact, if you’ve had different types of mysterious pain or chronic pain syndromes at different points in your life, it can be an indication that there are underlying mind body factors. Many women with pelvic pain have also struggled with chronic fatigue, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivity, migraines, or other chronic physical pain (knee, back, neck, shoulder, etc.) as well. Sometimes these symptoms can flip flop, so that when one gets worse another gets better, and vice versa. The good news is that getting to the root cause, and addressing the mind body components of pelvic pain will help relieve all of these other symptoms as well. Which means…you can stop bouncing back and forth between different health issues that require different doctors, meds, and treatments….and start putting your time and energy into enjoying your life!
In summary, mind body pain relief is a completely non-invasive approach, that has many lasting benefits!
Whether you’re suffering with painful sex, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, or some other type of chronic pelvic pain – whatever else you’re doing to heal your body – it makes sense to learn more about a mind body approach. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. As always I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!