Relaxation Tips for Pelvic Pain
Constant exposure to stress over a long period of time can be detrimental to your health. It can lead to chronic pain, impair your body’s ability to regulate the stress hormones, and affect your body’s defense mechanisms against illness. With your body in a constant state of tension, trigger points can develop in the pelvic floor muscles that can generate pelvic pain. Having stress management strategies are key to staying healthy. These are two ways to tune in to your body – both mentally and physically- to allow for full relaxation of your body.
Yoga Nidra in Corpse Pose
- Yoga nidra, or “yogic sleep” is the state of deep relaxation. It is the final step of yoga practice, aiming for complete rest of the mind and body.
- You can practice relaxation toward the end of the day or after an exercise/ stretching/ yoga session.
- Lie comfortably on your back, with a small rolled up towel under the neck. You can also place a bolster or pillow under the knees.
- Stretch out the arms away from the body and rotate the legs inward and outward a few times, before allowing them to drop completely.Turn your head side to side, before letting it come to rest in the center.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. With each exhalation, allow parts of your body (head, arms, torso, legs) to get very heavy and melt into the floor.
- Now focus your breathing in the belly and pelvis, allowing the belly to rise when you inhale and flatten as you exhale. Feel the pelvic floor (bottom of the pelvis) gently drop and “open” as draw the breath in and lift up slightly and “close” as you exhale.
- Can be done in sitting or lying on your back
- If sitting, the entire length of the spine and back of the head should be supported by cushions or pillows so that the body feels relaxed in that position
- Choose a starting point (head, feet, center of the body). Focus on one part of the body at a time, observing any physical sensation. Does your skin feel cold or warm? Any tightness or discomfort in the body? Do both sides feel symmetrical?
- Observe any emotions that may also come up during the body scan. Does pain or discomfort trigger any specific type of feeling?
- As you scan each part of the body, notice where you have the most tension. Tighten those muscles for a few seconds, then allow them to relax. Repeat a few times.
- When you get to the pelvis, squeeze the anus to feel the pelvic floor contract. Hold for a few seconds, then release completely.
- You can try this practice for 5-10 minutes daily before sleep or with the deep relaxation method.
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Pelvic floor disorders impact 1 in 3 women and many are surprised to learn pelvic floor physical therapy doesn’t only deal with the pelvic floor. Because our pelvic floors connect to so many other muscles and joints, it can affect many other parts of the body as well. Hence that hip or lower back pain may actually be due to pelvic floor dysfunction. The good news—pelvic floor dysfunction is not considered a normal part of aging and can be treated successfully. Subscribe and receive my tips along with insights on the latest advancements on physical therapy including pelvic health.