Pelvic Floor Acupuncture….You Put Needles Where??
I recently travelled to Florida to attend a Pelvic Floor course for Acupuncturists. I think like you, my first thought was “this sounds very uncomfortable” but perhaps using a few alternate words! During the course I spent three days with Acupuncturists from all over North America and it honestly blew my mind! Nothing like this is being taught in schools here in Canada and there is so much that can be done to help our clients that I never knew possible! There were around 20 people in the class and we had the opportunity to practice on each other, learning how different people react to the treatments as each person is unique in so many ways. We practiced on classmates with female and male genitalia, each with their own histories and concerns.
When we think of pelvic floor and acupuncture, one might picture needles in places we don’t usually expose to our Acupuncturist. However a huge amount of this course covered not only our pelvic area, but also all the muscles and tissues that run from the diaphragm to our knees as these all tie into our pelvic floor. This was very much an external orthopedic approach to the body, using little to no Traditional Chinese Medicine, but that’s not to say that they cannot work together (I use both). The orthopedic approach uses palpation to find areas that are restricted or causing pain and then use needles to address dysfunctional tissues. When needles are inserted into tissue they create an increase in blood flow which oxides and modulates the nerves, muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments which allows your body to heal. Trigger points can also be used to help bring muscles back to homeostasis (some need to be relaxed and some need to be active). Healing can be immediate or require on-going treatments, usually on a weekly basis, but it does depend on the specific patient’s circumstance.
Patient comfort is the most important aspect in a treatment. Prior to any treatment your acupuncturist will discuss methods and areas of treatment to ensure there is consent. At any time treatment can be stopped or changed as needed as the patient is always 100% in control of the situation. The healing journey should always be in a comfortable and trusting environment. The initial consultation and treatment includes a thorough history and evaluation and a discussion about the proposed course of treatment for you.
So what can you treat using Pelvic Floor Acupuncture?
Almost anything to do with your pelvis! Here is a list (but not limited to):
- Bladder control/incontinence
- Bowel control/incontinence
- Vaginal pain/vulvodynia
- Tailbone pain/coccydynia
- Low back pain/pelvic girdle pain
- Pudendal Neuralgia
- Painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis
- Painful Intercourse
- Pelvic Organ prolapse
- Penile pain
- Pubic Symphysis pain
- SI(Sacro-Iliac) Pain
- Post and Prenatal care
- Scar rehabilitation (cesarean/episiotomy/abdominal surgery)
I have been a Registered Acupuncturist here in Smithers BC for 6 years now. My focus of treatment to date has been musculoskeletal function, menstrual health, and obstetrics. I am excited to be adding this specialty of pelvic floor and pelvic health to my practice and am looking forward to helping you feel healthy and live your life feeling good in your body! At Trillium Integrative Health Centre, we also have a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, Hannah Barnes, who I would recommend seeing concurrently with Pelvic Floor Acupuncture so we can work together to help you get the most out of your healing journey. We are happy to answer any questions you have. Please call the clinic on 778-640-1119 or email Hannah (Hannah@trilliium-health.ca) or myself, Savanna Levenson (Savanna@trillium-health.ca) directly!