I am so excited to introduce you to my amazing former client. Kelly relieved pelvic pain using the Healing Female Pain approach and I asked her to share her story with you not only to give you HOPE that you can relieve your pain, but to give you a glimpse of how and what is possible for you too!
You can listen to the full interview here:
Or read the highlights below…….
Kelly’s Journey to Relieving Pelvic Pain
Lorraine: I’m so grateful, Kelly, that you’re here and willing to talk, so thank you very much!
Kelly: Oh, you’re welcome, and I’m happy to!
Lorraine: I want to start with… where you were before you were drawn to a mind body approach. How about, if you give us a background on what your symptoms were before you took the Healing Female Pain Program.
Kelly: Definitely. It was probably the year before finding your program that I started feeling symptoms in my pelvis. And at first I went into my typical cognitive mind, Type A action plan of, “I’m going to this, this, this, and this, and I’m going to heal this, and it’s all going to be better in this amount of time.” And I started to do that stuff, and it wasn’t working, and it wasn’t working, and over that year of really resisting, surrendering into what was happening, I was seeing doctors, and I was doing my own exercises, and I was doing what I thought I should be doing to make my body feel better, and nothing was working. I was getting more frustrated, more anxious. I wasn’t talking to many people about it because I felt shame. Here I was, a healthcare practitioner, a wellness coach, nutrition, movement, Pilates, Yoga, Gyrotonic, doing all these things to heal other people’s bodies and thinking I had all the knowledge I needed to heal myself, and it wasn’t working. So there was so much shame and hiding around what I was feeling, and just internalizing it all. So…it was probably a year, year and a half, until the pain got so bad that I literally couldn’t move anymore.
“It was probably a year, year and a half, until the pain got so bad that I literally couldn’t move anymore.”
Lorraine: Did you have a diagnosis?
Kelly: ….at first, we were thinking it was the hamstring tear. That’s what we treated first, and we were treating that with prolotherapy. And I was getting physical therapy to balance the pelvic floor, so internal work, because I had symptoms on both the left and right side, so we figured it had to do something with the pelvic muscles. And after going through months of that, it helped a bit, but then it would come back. I could not return to my normal activity, which looking back, my normal activity was not honoring my body anyway. It was waking up and getting to the gym by 5:00, and work, work, work, and then go, go, go, and no rest and relaxation.
Lorraine: So you were …putting a lot of pressure on yourself to do things really perfectly?
Kelly: Lots of pressure. Definitely. Lots of pressure on myself and at that time, I wouldn’t have said, “Oh, I have stress,” or that I put pressure on myself. I wouldn’t have said that then. Now, obviously, looking back at my old lifestyle, it’s like, oh my gosh….So anyway, the diagnosis, at first, was around hamstrings and imbalances on the pelvic floor. Over time, it turned into…Pudendal Neuralgia….And I kept searching and searching because nothing was helping. I wasn’t feeling better.
Lorraine: So, how was that impacting your life? How did that affect what you could do in your life?
Kelly: …It definitely decreased, my work…. I didn’t work like a typical physical therapist. But I did use Pilates, Gyrotonic, and yoga to treat patients, so that was very active and physical. I would do cooking and wellness classes, go into people’s kitchens, and traveling for retreats and workshops. Basically, my whole identity was taken from me. I really felt like, if I don’t have my body, I can’t do my work, I can’t make money, I can’t do the things that I do on a daily basis. …Plus I have two kids, two boys and the mother responsibilities, the grocery shopping, things I used to love to do. Everything became hard because of my constant focus on the pain. My life revolved around the pain.
“Everything became hard because of my constant focus on the pain. My life revolved around the pain.”
Lorraine: Yes, and that’s a pretty common experience for those of us who’ve had pelvic pain. And it sounds like you did medical treatments and you also did lots of alternative treatments, because you were already in that world, using a lot of alternative things.
Kelly: Exactly. The things I started with was the prolotherapy with the hamstring area, physical therapy for the pelvic floor and I started working with a naturopath and we started doing the blood work to get hormones, adrenals, and everything internally balanced. Acupuncture and my own reading and watching webinars and reading books and trying to figure it out, but yes, I used a lot of different things.
Lorraine: What changes have you seen in your physical or emotional symptoms like anxiety…that you had going on before you started doing mind body work.
Kelly: It’s a totally different way of being now…
…Less pressure, perfectionism…There’s no striving for perfect…I feel an ease and it’s becoming stronger and stronger as I continue to live this life…it’s a different way of living. Being aware of your thoughts, slowing down, getting plenty of rest. If my body says, “Rest,” I rest. Before when my body said rest, I would drink more caffeine and still wake up at 4:00 in the morning because of the gym…
I live much more in the present moment and it’s changed the whole house. Obviously, the whole journey was a journey for all of us to take together and as you know, it was almost a divorce between my husband and I and, luckily, after speaking my truth and really uncovering it through a private session and then being able to speak my truth to him, he opened up and since that point, we’ve been on the journey together. And again…it’s not all put on a smiley face, which is how my life totally used to be. It was like, just put on a happy face, I didn’t even realize I was doing it, that was just my way of being. That’s what I learned to do as a child.
And now, we show emotion. I feel very comfortable being in sadness and allowing the sadness and asking that sadness for guidance and trying to uncover what’s around that. Or if it’s anger… There’s been a lot of work that’s been done between my husband and I, and when I see… When I feel myself get into that fight or flight or when I feel tense, even with the pelvic floor specifically, I might be standing at my computer working and I’ll notice that I’m tensing my pelvic floor and I just relax it. So throughout the day, numerous times throughout the day, I will notice areas that might be tensing and be able to open it up, but then also question, why am I tensing up? So if something’s going on, I question, what is going on emotionally?
Or for instance, if a pain comes back, and no doubt, there are times that I feel like, Oh, like a tweak in one of those areas that I used to feel pain. And it’s like, “Oh my God! I can either go the direction of the amygdala brain, going crazy and all these thoughts and worrying and catastrophizing, or I can choose to go in the other direction of going on with life and it really not phasing me.
Lorraine: So I just want to reflect back a few things I’ve heard from you. Definitely, you feel like you have more ability to step out of that stressful obsessive focusing on your symptoms or catastrophizing; you’re more able to connect to your emotions and allow them, both for yourself…and with your relationship?
Kelly: Yep, definitely.
Lorraine: So, it’s improved your relationship with your husband it sounds like.
Kelly: Yes. It’s definitely… Well, most importantly, it’s just gotten me in touch with my stuff. What I realized through all of this and continue to realize is I never felt like I had, and it sounds weird, but I never felt like I had a true sense of, “Who am I? What do I like?” As opposed to just kind of going with what other people are doing and liking and seeing it and copying and not intentionally, but, I’m living for self now. And I’m discovering, really, my own likes and dislikes and being curious about that and sharing that and that’s been huge, just uncovering who I am.
Lorraine: You’re listing lots of wonderful changes and I’m wondering how that’s affected your symptoms or even more than that, your ability to work, be present for your kids, do the things you want to do in your life. Have you noticed any shifts in those things?
Kelly: Oh, my gosh, of course! I feel like the shackles are off. I feel like I shackled myself for many years before, and then the pain… I thought the pain was shackling me, but really, it was myself shackling me too. So now, there’s a freedom. There’s a freedom and there is so much gratitude for the little things. I have no desire to get 50,000 things done in a day. I desire to really feel good, and feel ease, and feel love and enjoy the pleasure, fun. And the fun part is still something I’m working on. Just fun, just having fun.
I’m able to drive my kids places. I’m able to travel, and I’m going to be flying on a plane.
I’m able to drive my kids places. I’m able to travel, and I’m going to be flying on a plane.
Lorraine: Also little things, like being able to walk or go to your kids’ games. Has there been a change in that at all?
Kelly: Oh my gosh, totally!…I walk now everywhere. Just this morning, I walked the kids to the school, and it was cold. There’s a resilience in my body now. My body is strong. My body is resilient. I wear black, tight stretch pants, which before I used to live in, and I love being able to wear them again and not wearing skirts in the winter. I definitely go to the kids’ games, being able to volunteer when I want.
“There’s a resilience in my body now. My body is strong.”
Lorraine: I want to ask you about something… that you worked on, and I think a lot of women experience around their pain. They’re so frustrated and angry at their symptoms, because they can’t do what they want to do, and that makes them feel like they’re missing out on their life…Can you speak to that at all…?
Kelly: Sure. It was horrible. I really…I felt hopeless, I felt alone, I felt confused. And there were days that I would just cry, that I would just lay in bed and I would cry. Because I couldn’t do the physical work that I was doing. ..So there were many down days.
Lorraine: I just want to highlight that, because that’s so beautiful, that you went from a place of being in such resistance to your symptoms, and this was my experience too, through to now where you are, where you can see, “Wow, my body was really helping me, and look at where I am now. It’s actually my friend and it’s on my side.”
Kelly: Exactly…And as they say, you don’t always have to believe it at first, but you want to think it. It was really hard until I had the support of you, and the support of the group, and other people going through similar situations, and all this was online. It was huge, ’cause I felt stuck in my house, even though I literally wasn’t stuck. I would literally go outside sometimes and just stand in nature, just to get out there, even though I didn’t feel comfortable walking. But again, because of how dark it got… it just opened me up to being so grateful for the little things now – the snuggling in bed with my kids, the ability to go to the park with them and walk to the park with them, and to play football with them, to do anything with them.
“it just opened me up to being so grateful for the little things now – the snuggling in bed with my kids, the ability to go to the park with them and walk to the park with them, and to play football with them, to do anything with them.”
Lorraine: Would you say that having pelvic pain helped you get to that place?
Kelly: Oh definitely… Another huge thing that it changed is my work… I had been wanting to get away from doing the physical work. But because that…brought in money to the family, I thought, the story I told myself was I can’t stop doing that because that’s where the money is. So this journey also helped me to switch the work that I do, to the work that I feel like I should be doing…and it’s only because of my journey that I ever would have…The journey is what taught me things that I’m teaching other people now.
“The journey is what taught me things that I’m teaching other people now.”
Lorraine: Fantastic. I have a Healing Female Pain program coming up in a couple of months, and I’m wondering if you could say a little bit about what you liked about that program or how it helped you.
Kelly: Of course. There’s no doubt, I recommend it to any woman with pelvic pain, and really, pain anywhere…I, 100%, a 1000% recommend it. You teach it in a very gentle, compassionate way. I always felt in good hands with you and the group program, and especially the one-on-ones, you’re in the Facebook group. Your support, you’ve supported me, you support everyone there, your comments, the connection between the people in the group program is amazing.
“I recommend it to any woman with pelvic pain, and really, pain anywhere…I, 100%, 1000% recommend it.“
Lorraine: Great! Can you say a little bit about how that supported you, being able to go through the process with other women?
Kelly: Yeah. I mean, definitely, I made friends through it. One of the other participants lives close to me…We’re still friends and have seen each other in person. It just helps to know that you’re not alone.
Because, it’s not like a low back pain that you’re in general conversation talking about to people. So, it was nice for me to know that other people are struggling with some of these same things, and that we’re all in this journey together. The support of just knowing other women are going through it is wonderful…and it helped when I was going through bad times to be able to share that because…in the beginning I couldn’t talk to my husband about it, and there’s not many other people, for me at least before this program, I didn’t have a lot of girlfriend connection because I always put on a happy face and everything was perfect, so I didn’t talk about this stuff with anyone.
…I never realized that other women talked about this stuff, and we all had issues. I don’t want the superficial conversation anymore. I want to go deeper, and I enjoy that now. I can share things, and it’s all, it’s real. Sometimes before I can remember, I would almost think about what I was going to say to somebody before the interaction. I would be a bit anxious in situations where I knew I’d have to chat with people for long periods, and now it’s just the conversation flows. I enjoy social situations much more than before. People would think that I enjoyed them before, but inside there was an anxiety or uneasiness with conversations.
Lorraine: So, you’re having more authentic connection, it sounds like and more support from your husband?
Lorraine: That’s awesome!
Kelly: And just being real with it all. There’s nothing… There’s no reason to be anything else except for what I am. It’s like that. I’m worthy just as I am.
Lorraine: Yes, yay!
Lorraine: It’s really amazing to witness that transformation in you Kelly, and how it’s affected your life and your body and everything. So wonderful! Do you have anything else you’d like to share or any advice for women who, are at the very beginning of their journey right now, they’re just in a lot of pain looking for answers, not sure what to do?…
Kelly: Definitely take the program, 100%. That’s a great place to start, no doubt. That support, the knowledge, the tools and strategies. The tools and strategies work and not just for the… “Okay, well, I’m going to use these tools and strategies to heal, and then I’m not going to use them anymore.” That’s not what it’s about. These are tools and strategies that help you for the rest of your life. Or at least, that’s the way I look at it. It’s just a way of being… that you have these tools to use in everyday life. So, you’ll be able to use the tools forever.
“These are tools and strategies that help you for the rest of your life.”
It’s easier said now, of course, I really mean it that being an ally with your body and being patient and realizing that it really is happening for a reason, and to not be scared to dive deep and do the journaling and ask the right questions. Again for me, I definitely needed the private work too…to be like, “Hello, Kelly. Do you not realize?” You know, you called me out.
Lorraine: So the program gave you a sense of what the journey would look like and where the things that you needed to focus on were, so that you could get your attention off of trying to physically treat your symptoms and really start to make the changes in your life, in how you’re relating with yourself that were really going to…help relieve the pain. Is that right?
Kelly: Yes, definitely, definitely. You teach how to go into this different system, as opposed to the medical model, which tells you, “Go to the doctor, get a treatment and you’re supposed to get better.” This is, “Okay, how can we heal ourselves?” …With mind body syndrome, that’s what we need to do. We need to do the work on ourselves. And you teach us how to do that in a strategic way.
“With mind body syndrome, that’s what we need to do. We need to do the work on ourselves. And you teach us how to do that in a strategic way.”
Lorraine: Fabulous. Well, thank you so much Kelly for taking the time to really just be so open and share your experience. Not that many women are out there sharing their experience with healing pelvic pain. And I think it makes a really big difference for women who are at the beginning of the journey to see that there is hope. And some ideas of what that journey can look like.
Kelly: Oh, thank you Lorraine. I really can’t thank you enough…
Click here for information about the Healing Female Pain Program.
I just registered for the class last night and I am really anxious about it. I suffer from pudendal nerve entrapment so Kelly’s story gave me some courage and was right on time!
Thank you Lorraine.
You’re welcome Ebonee! I’m glad to have you in the group!