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Why is yoga a helpful modality for healing chronic pelvic pain?

Today we hear from Herman & Wallace instructor Dustienne Miller CYT, PT, MS, WCS. Dustienne instructs the Yoga for Pelvic Pain course. Join her next month at Yoga for Pelvic Pain, Cleveland, OH on July 18 and 19!

We all know yoga can help chronic headaches, insomnia, anxiety, low back pain, and a myriad of other conditions. How can we apply the principles and benefits of yoga to the treatment of chronic pelvic pain?

Breathing
As rehab professionals who treat chronic pelvic pain, we know how critical it is for our clients to learn how to downtrain the nervous system. Breath awareness and training are a useful tool in reducing sympathetic nervous system override. Some clients may not have the awareness that they are holding their breath because of pain, or even anticipation of pain. Because of the direct mechanical relationship between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor, breath holding can lead to pelvic floor muscle holding. By building awareness, which is a learned skill, the client begins to notice and eventually control non-optimal breathing patterns.

Yoga offers several types of pranayama, or breathing techniques. Integrating breath with gentle movement has proven to be highly beneficial for men and women with chronic pelvic pain. Simple belly breathing lowers heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels. For more detailed instructions on two pranayama, dirgha (3 part breath) and ujjayi (ocean-sounding breath), please click here.

Grounding
Grounding techniques decrease dissociation and anxiety. Two easy postures to practice in the clinic are Seated and Standing Mountain Pose (Tadasana). When practicing Seated Tadasana, encourage your patient to feel the ischial tuberosities heavy into the chair while imagining a string lifting up the spine and through the top of the head. When practicing Standing Tadasana, offer the imagery of a magnetic pull from the soles of the feet into the earth. For more detailed instruction on Tadasana, please click here.

Being Present
Negotiating medical system can leave clients with chronic pelvic pain feeling traumatized. Sadly, the percentage of men and women who have experienced additional traumas (ie: verbal abuse, sexual abuse) are quite high. Training the mind-body-spirit connection is helpful for the client to stay in the present moment rather than think about past painful experiences or anticipate future expectations of pain. Encourage the client to move at their pace and comfort level. Teach them gentle, loving acceptance of themselves and where they are in their healing journey. Clinicians must be mindful to avoid any potential trauma triggers (ie: teaching Supta Badha Konasana, butterfly/adductor stretch, in an open gym area). An excellent book to read to enhance your understanding of the delicacy of this subject is Overcoming Trauma through Yoga by Emerson and Hopper.

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Upcoming Continuing Education Courses

Parkinson Disease and Pelvic Rehabilitation - Remote Course

Jul 23, 2021
Location: Short Form Remote Course

Athletes & Pelvic Rehabilitation - Remote Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Self-Hosted (SOLD OUT)

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Lisle, IL Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy

Acupressure for Optimal Pelvic Health - Remote Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Belle Chasse, LA Satellite Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Rehab Access Belle Chasse

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - Warwick, RI Satellite Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Performance Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - New York City, NY Satellite Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: KNOSIS Center for Physiotherapy & Wellness

Pelvic Floor Level 2B - East Norriton, PA Satellite Course

Jul 24, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Location: Core 3 Physical Therapy

Pregnancy Rehabilitation - Remote Course (SOLD OUT)

Jul 25, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Self-Hosted

Jul 25, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Berrien Springs, MI Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Jul 25, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021
Location: Andrews University

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Chamblee, GA Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Jul 25, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021
Location: Revelle Physical Therapy Atlanta

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Meridian, ID Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Jul 25, 2021 - Jul 26, 2021
Location: Idaho State University

Yoga for Pelvic Pain - Remote Course

Jul 31, 2021 - Aug 1, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Marietta, GA Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Southern Pelvic Health

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Smyrna, TN Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Benchmark Physical Therapy - Smyrna, TN

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Hilo, HI Satellite Location

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Big Island Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Portland, OR Satellite Location (SOLD OUT

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Bridgetown Physical Therapy & Training Studio

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Bradenton, FL Satellite Location (Sold Out)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Children's Therapy Solutions

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Findlay, OH Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Quality PT

Sexual Interviewing for Pelvic Health Therapists - Remote Course

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Tulsa, OK Satellite Location (SOLD OUT)

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Physical Therapy of Tulsa

Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Self-Hosted

Aug 14, 2021 - Aug 15, 2021
Location: Self-Hosted Course

Oncology of the Pelvic Floor Level 1 - Remote Course

Aug 15, 2021 - Aug 16, 2021
Location: Replacement Remote Course

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Troy, NY Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: The Green Room Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Lakeland, FL Satellite Course (SOLD OUT)

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Leading Edge Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Wichita, KS Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Summit Physical Therapy

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Baldwin, WI Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Western Wisconsin Health

Pelvic Floor Level 2A - Jonesboro, AR Satellite Course

Aug 21, 2021 - Aug 22, 2021
Location: Arkansas State University