What Traditional Chinese Medicine Can Teach You About Pelvic Pain

By Lorraine Faehndrich

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the root cause of chronic pelvic pain, as well as all other chronic pain and illness in the body, is stuck stagnant energy.

That means that no matter what symptoms are manifesting in your body (pain, tension, infection, inflammation, anxiety, etc.), and no matter what diagnosis you have (vulvodynia, pelvic floor dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, pudendal neuralgia, etc.) the underlying cause is stuck stagnant energy.

A good way to understand this is to imagine water.

Fresh free flowing water is healthy. Imagine a fresh, clean flowing spring, a waterfall or a river.

On the other hand, stuck, stagnant water is not healthy. Think of a stagnant pond or a swamp.

Just like water, according to traditional chinese medicine, fresh flowing energy is healthy.

And stuck energy is not.

So, to create pelvic health, you want to focus on getting the energy in your pelvis moving again…

Free flowing energy in the pelvis creates and supports a healthy environment in the pelvis, including:

  • Healthy blood flow bringing oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues and organs.
  • Healthy and properly functioning organs
  • A healthy vagina
  • Balanced pelvic floor muscles

There are lots of things that support fresh flowing energy in our pelvis. For example,

  • Movement
  • Breath
  • Sounding
  • Fresh air
  • Fresh water
  • Fresh healthy food
  • Being in nature (I especially LOVE being in fresh flowing water!)

But from what I’ve seen and experienced myself, BY FAR the most impactful thing you can do to move energy in your pelvis (and therefore relieve pelvic pain, anxiety and depression…and create radiant health) is to retrain your brain that your own energy is SAFE to feel.

This includes your emotional energy, sexual energy, and life force energy.

Until you retrain your brain that your energy is safe to feel, it’s going to continue unconsciously suppressing your energy.

It does this in many ways (that I’ve talked about at length in previous blog posts).

  • Tension and contraction (including pelvic floor tension)
  • Restricted breathing (shallow breathing or holding your breath)
  • Mental distraction (obsessive thinking, worrying, analyzing, self-criticism, etc).

When we have experienced trauma of any kind, or grown up in an environment (family, culture, religion, school) where it is not safe to be who we are and express our full self – including our emotional and sexual self, our brain learns that it is dangerous for us to allow our energy to move.

Energy suppression is a survival strategy, especially if we’ve experienced any trauma or negative conditioning around our emotions or sexuality.

And let’s face it, most women have experienced negative conditioning around their emotions and sexuality, if not emotional and sexual trauma.

Our brain and body basically learn to automatically and unconsciously hold back our emotional and sexual energy, our life force energy, in order to allow us to survive and even thrive in a culture where being a fully expressed emotional and sexual woman is often not welcome or safe.

Understanding this is crucial to creating radiant health and vitality.

Because relieving pelvic pain, and creating pelvic health, is a process of reconditioning your brain that it is safe to feel and allow your energy to move.

Including your emotions, your sexuality, your intuition, and your life force energy (chi or prana).

It is a process of reclaiming yourself.

So to summarize, according to traditional chinese medicine:

Pelvic pain, anxiety, depression, tense muscles, and chronic infection = stagnant energy (think of a swamp).

Pelvic health, vitality, and freedom (pain relief) come from fresh flowing energy (think of fresh flowing spring water).

So the question is, how can you teach your brain to allow all your beautiful energy to flow again?

My blog and courses are full of tools to help you do just that! Here are some of the things I recommend and teach you how to do…

  • Breathe, especially into your low belly and pelvis
  • Be present with sensation
  • Feel emotions
  • Focus on pleasure (self-pleasure, pleasure breaks)
  • Drop resistance
  • Lead Your Mind
  • Ask your body what it needs
  • And more!

When healing feels overwhelming, or you notice yourself spinning off into anxiety or depression, increased symptoms, worry, obsessing, or trying to figure things out…come back to this one very simple concept.

To relieve pelvic pain, you just have to allow your own energy to move again.

Just like a fresh flowing river, your energy will restore health and vitality.

This is about so much more than healing vulvodynia or ic or any other chronic pain.

It’s about reclaiming yourself and feeling vitality, wholeness, radiance, and joy again.

You can do that.

Our medical model falls short when it comes to chronic health conditions because it is leaving out a huge piece of the puzzle.

We can learn a lot from other medical models, like traditional chinese medicine, that have successfully applied this holistic approach to health for thousands of years.

Get On the Path to Lasting Relief from Pelvic Pain with my FREE "7 Reasons You're Still in Pain" e-book.

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2 Comments

  1. Ian MacFarlane

    As a man I will never know the problems women face from me and other men, but what you write makes sense to me and has made me more aware of the problems I have probably ushered into the lives of women with whom I’ve had relationships. Thanks for the clear insights

    Reply
  2. jeanne Quintile

    Thank you Lorraine. I still struggle, everyday..a therapist has entered my life so I look for guidance there…….

    Reply

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