The Connection Between Emotions and Pelvic Pain

by Endorsed Coach, Lorraine Faehndrich

In my experience, both personally and with the women I work with, emotions are almost always at the root of pelvic pain.

If they are not entirely responsible for the symptoms, they are contributing to them, or making it impossible to relieve them! And just to be clear, that does not mean pelvic pain is in any way your fault. It’s not, and you’re not doing anything wrong.

Here’s the deal.

We live in a culture that encourages us to suppress our emotions from day one. Our families, schools, religions…you name it. They are all set up to punish our expression of emotion and reward suppression.

And this is particularly true for women.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

  • Don’t be so difficult.
  • You’re too emotional.
  • She’s such a bitch.
  • Why can’t you just be happy?

We’ve all experienced this in one way or another, as children or adults. If we aren’t directly shamed or punished for expressing emotions, we’ve certainly been rewarded for not showing them.

After all, little girls are supposed to be “sugar and spice and everything nice,” right?

Umm. Wrong.

The truth is that we have emotions and we have them for good reasons, but our brains learn early on that it’s a lot safer for us if we don’t feel them.

As a result, we learn unhealthy strategies of dealing with our emotions. For instance, we unconsciously tense and contract the deeper muscles in our body, and we hold our breath so we can’t feel emotional energy. Or we keep ourselves distracted with activities like spending hours on the internet, binge watching our favorite shows, overeating, and massive To Do lists – all to help us avoid being present with emotional sensations in our body.

There are lots of problems with this, but the main one is that it’s impossible to relax muscles that are contracting 24/7 to protect you from feeling your emotions.

Depending on where the muscles that you’re contracting are, you can end up with….migraines and headaches, back or neck pain, hip or knee pain, or pelvic pain, including vulvar pain and burning.

If you’re suffering with pelvic pain, or you’ve been diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction, it’s very likely that one of the ways you’re unconsciously suppressing emotions is with chronic contraction of the muscles in your pelvic floor.

Chronically contracted pelvic floor muscles cut off circulation of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the skin and nerves in the pelvis. This can not only lead to pain, burning, or inflammation, but also issues with sexual desire, arousal and orgasm. It can also contribute to chronic yeast or bladder infections, issues with elimination and urination, and difficulty during birth.

When your pelvic floor muscles are chronically contracted to suppress emotional energy, no amount of stretching, massage, visualization, physical therapy, medication, or other treatments will permanently relax them. To do that you’ve got to learn how to welcome emotions in your body…so the muscles don’t tense up in the first place.

Are your emotions impacting your symptoms?

One way to determine if there is a connection between the way you’re processing emotions and your pelvic pain symptoms, is to start noticing what happens to your pelvic floor muscles when you feel stressed, anxious, angry or afraid.

If your pelvic floor muscles tense when you’re in a stressful situation – or when you feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, or fearful – it’s a good indication that the way you’re unconsciously processing emotion is impacting your pelvic floor and contributing to your symptoms.

Or, if you can’t tell if your pelvic floor muscles are contracting or not, because you can’t feel them, that’s also an indication that there may be an emotional root to your pain.

If your emotions are impacting your pelvic floor, lasting relief will only come when you learn new ways of welcoming and processing your emotions.

You need to re-train your brain that your emotions are safe to feel.

The good news is that that is very doable.

Start by paying closer attention to your body.

Which of your muscles regularly feel tense? Which ones feel relaxed? What happens in your body, and your pelvic floor when you are under stress – emotional or otherwise?

I invite you to begin becoming more aware of yourself and your emotions.  It’s completely non-invasive and the side-effects are all positive!

Reclaiming your emotions will not only allow you to relieve pelvic pain, it will impact your life in many other wonderful ways!

If you’d like guidance and support welcoming your emotions and re-training your brain, to relieve pelvic pain, I go in depth into those topics in the Healing Female Pain program. The next session begins soon!

 


Lorraine

Lorraine Faehndrich is a Women’s Mind Body Mentor and Pelvic Pain Relief Coach specializing in the relief of female pelvic and sexual pain.  Through her company Radiant Life Design, she empowers women with the skills, information, and support they need to understand the connection between their mind and body, allow their emotions, access their inner wisdom, and go on to live radiantly healthy joy-filled lives!

If you’d like to learn more about a mind body approach to relieving female pelvic pain – visit www.radiantlifedesign.com or download her free e-book 7 Reasons You’re Still In Pain.

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Why Trying To “Fix” Your Body Won’t Work…and What to Do Instead

Portrait of girl looking at the beautiful view of the mountains, Bali

by Endorsed Coach, Lorraine Faehndrich

I remember the moment I made the decision to stop struggling against my body.

Lying on my bedroom floor feeling frustrated, angry and alone, I realized that there was no way I was going to relieve pelvic pain until I made some kind of peace with where I was.

For far too long I had been frantically searching for solutions. Going from doctor to doctor. Worrying I was never going to enjoy sex again. Angry that no one knew what was going on, and feeling somehow damaged or defective.

I could feel how much stress, tension, and anxiety all of this was causing in my body and my life.

I was 100% focused on what I did not want.

So, I made a decision to do something radical.

I decided to stop.

Seriously.

I decided to make peace with my symptoms and the impact they were having on my life…

With the fact that sex hurt.

With the fact that I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted to wear, or do the exercise I wanted to do.

With the fact that the intense burning pain almost never went away, and was seriously impacting my ability to enjoy everything in my life, including parenting my amazing daughter, and doing work that for the first time in my life I was excited about.

And something amazing happened. Though the pain didn’t magically go away, an emotional weight lifted off my heart.

I felt at home inside my own skin again, in a way I hadn’t in months.

And, more than that, I discovered that my body had a lot to say to me!

Looking back, I can see that this choice is what allowed my body to heal.

And after years of helping hundreds of women relieve every type of chronic pelvic and sexual pain, as well as other chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression and other symptoms, I have come to see that the single most important thing you can do to relieve pain, heal your body, or change anything in your life that isn’t the way you want it to be, is to drop your resistance to it.

Let go.

I promise you. It’s possible.

What you resist persists, and pain is no exception.

When you’re struggling against where you are. When you believe thoughts that your life is over or that you’ll never be able to enjoy your life again, not only do you miss the blessings, guidance, and opportunities where you are, you create a whole lot of stress, tension, and anxiety in your body…things that make it impossible for your body to heal.

Of course, accepting where you are isn’t necessarily easy. Especially when you’re in pain, feeling stuck, trapped, and hopeless – and your symptoms are limiting your life in ways that make you feel as though your life is basically over…like you’re missing out.

But it is possible, and it can be as simple as a decision to accept where you are, just for now, and see what happens.

“You are where you are and you can get to wherever you want to go from where you are.”  ~Abraham-Hicks

Dropping the struggle and relaxing into where you are relaxes your body and your nervous system, connects you to your inner wisdom, and allows you to find and tune into the guidance you need from your body to heal.

Not only that, it allows you to get your focus off your symptoms and onto other things…including things you actually still enjoy. Which further relaxes your nervous system, decreases tension and stress, and allows you to feel better emotionally even before the symptoms are gone.

It moves you out of a vicious negative downward spiral of pain, fear, stress, tension, pain, fear, stress, tension; and into an upward positive spiral of peace, relaxation, relief, joy, peace, relaxation, relief, joy.

In my case, dropping the struggle, allowed me to start finding new ways to be with my body and find what did feel good again.

For example, I discovered that I actually could enjoy sex and intimacy when I honored my body, communicated with my partner, and made space for creativity and play. As a result, sex got way better and so did my relationship…even before my pain went away.

And, slowing down and honoring my body, making fewer plans and taking time to go inside actually expanded my world rather than contracting it.

Your body is ALWAYS on your side.

Sometimes it’s not immediately apparent how.

It may be that it’s stopping you from doing things the usual way to nudge you onto a different path, to help you expand your possibilities and tap into your full potential.

When you are in “fix it” mode it’s impossible to be open to those nudges.

Here are some things making peace with my symptoms helped me to do…

  • Understand my body.
  • Speak up.
  • Honor my truth.
  • Put myself first.
  • Say no.
  • Create healthy boundaries.
  • Learn new ways of experiencing pleasure.
  • Improve communication with my partner, and other people in my life.
  • And more…

Some of those things were hard for me to do.  I never would have done them if my body wasn’t literally demanding the change.  I see this over and over again with the women I work with.  When they truly drop the struggle, they are amazed at what they discover inside themselves.

“Now is just the jumping off place for the beginning of your journey.” ~Abraham-Hicks

I invite you to consider the possibility of making peace with where you are.

It just may be your first step to lasting relief too.

 


Lorraine

Lorraine Faehndrich is a Women’s Mind Body Mentor and Pelvic Pain Relief Coach specializing in the relief of female pelvic and sexual pain.  Through her company Radiant Life Design, she empowers women with the skills, information, and support they need to understand the connection between their mind and body, allow their emotions, access their inner wisdom, and go on to live radiantly healthy joy-filled lives!

If you’d like to learn more about a mind body approach to relieving pelvic pain – visit www.radiantlifedesign.com or register for Lorraine’s upcoming popular free class, Say Goodbye to Pelvic Pain.

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When It’s “Good” to Feel “Bad”

By Endorsed Mind-Body Coach Elaine Jeffy One of the most powerful keys to healing from chronic pain, anxiety, or loss is allowing, honoring and accepting our full range of emotions.  We live in a society that relies on intellect at the expense of feelings. The dark or commonly called “negative” emotions of sadness, fear, grief, and […]

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