We encourage patients to engage in cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, massage, meditation, guided imagery, nutritional therapy, and lifestyle modification among other modalities. Many patients experience a break in the cycle of chronic pain and inflammation through these approaches.
Pelvic Rehabilitation and Yoga
Restorative Yoga encompasses all the components we are trying to obtain with our pelvic rehabilitation program. Physically, by helping to create space in the pelvis, improve posture, flexibility and ultimately core strength. In addition, practicing restorative yoga can strengthen the mind body connection which can help to calm down one’s central nervous system. Yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation are a holistic fitness package. Yoga is a workout not only for your body, but for your mind and emotions, as well. Yoga poses massage the internal organs, strengthen muscles, and increase circulation, all of which detoxify the body.
The benefits of restorative yoga include:
- Stress Relief
- Breathing Techniques
- Improved Posture and flexibility
- Improved Body Awareness which can help one “find their pelvic floor” and aide in creating more space in the pelvis
- Improved Core Strength
- Improved Circulation and Blood Flow
Pelvic Rehabilitation and CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help manage chronic pain. The perception of pain is in your brain, so you can affect physical pain by addressing thoughts and behaviors that fuel it.
What can CBT do for you?
- CBT can change the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors related to pain, improve coping strategies, and put the discomfort in a better context.
- CBT can change the physiological response in the brain to pain. Pain causes a stress response which can amplify pain sensations via chemicals in the brain. CBT can help to reduce the stress response and thereby allow the body’s natural pain relief mechanisms to be more powerful .
Proper Breathing Technique
Proper Breathing Technique is important and can help relax your pelvic floor. Learning to breath properly and effectively may be the fastest and simplest way to relieve pelvic pain. The diaphragm and the pelvic floor are intimately connected. If the diaphragm is not moving down as it should when we inhale, then the pelvic floor cannot relax with inhalation. The goal in teaching the proper breathing technique is to coordinate your breathing and your pelvic floor mobility. As you inhale, your pelvic floor relaxes. As you exhale, your pelvic floor lifts.
Image Credit: www.burrelleducation.com
Focusing on diaphragmatic breathing can result in:
- Relaxation of Pelvic Floor Muscles
- Slowing down Heart Rate
- More efficient oxygen exchange
- Anxiety Eases and Mind Calms
Understanding Your Breath and Pain
When we understand the physiology of the diaphragm, we can see how proper breathing can produce such dramatic results. The diaphragm is a large, dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. It is the most efficient muscle for breathing – in fact, it was designed to be a key part of our breathing apparatus. It’s instructive that small children typically breathe from the diaphragm. However, most adults do not.