How Can Pelvic Floor PT Help My Endo?



First off, we hope that everyone's new year is off to a great start! I don’t know about you, but January came and went. We are excited for 2019 and our hope is to connect, face to face, with many more of you. This year we will be having our monthly ‘Snacks and Chat’ meetups as well as our new “Modality of the Month” email. This monthly email will featuring a local LA provider whose focus is on integrative health and alternative healing modalities. 

With that said, February’s modality of the month is brought to us by Casie Danehuaer, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, from Santa Monica based company Enlighten PT. Some of you may remember her from our past meetups where she taught a pelvic-floor 101 class and endo-friendly yoga!



Q&A WITH CASIE 


How does pelvic PT play an important role in endometriosis healing?

Pelvic floor physical therapy (PT) can be incredibly important for patients with endo. Often times pelvic floor PTs are the first healthcare providers to make the connection between the disease process (the actual endo tissue) and it’s effect on the muscles, fascia, blood supply, and nervous system surrounding the pelvis and reproductive organs. There is usually a protective response or guarding pattern that occurs with chronic pain or inflammation in the pelvic area due to endo. While pelvic floor PT will not get rid of endometrial tissue the manual therapy, gentle stretching, breathwork, and other pain management strategies we include in treatment can make a huge difference in the health and mobility of the tissue. It can help halt the inflammation/chronic pain/guarding cycle that can ramp up patients' pain. 

PT is also incredibly important source of patient education because we usually have a lot more face-to-face time with our patients than their doctors or surgeons. I spend a lot of time educating my patients about the disease process, the need for holistic/ whole system approach to managing endo, and how PT can help to decrease menstrual pain, pain with sex, or just pelvic pain in general associated with endo. My main goal with pelvic floor PT is help them improve their function and then give my patients the tools and education they need to self-manage their pain which is incredibly empowering for the patient.


Your experience working with Endometriosis patients?


I have worked with many women at all stages of managing their endometriosis both in my private PT practice and in group settings through my Retreat to Your Root wellness retreats and workshops. I have found external and internal myofascial manual therapy to be highly effective in helping to release guarding patterns and muscular trigger points that often develop in response to stagnation, inflammation, and chronic pain associated with endometriosis. I've seen the benefits that manual therapy coupled with mindfulness practices including gentle yoga-based movement/exercise, cycle tracking, and meditation have been successful in helping my patients manage their pain. These approaches allow for improvement in mobility and blood flow to the pelvis which often times decreases the severity of pain and allows for much improved function (whether the goal is to be able to go to work during menstruation or have penetrative sex with their partner). 

Activities that calm the nervous system are also incredibly important for treating endo as often times the whole system gets caught in "fight or flight" mode. Through my retreats especially I encourage my patients to incorporate activities that add pleasure into their life, help them to relax, and nourish their souls as a way to allow their nervous system to come into "rest and digest" mode which is where healing takes place. 


What is the most common feedback you get from your endo patients? 


I often hear, "Wow, I feel so connected to my pelvis! My body feels open and relaxed and so much softer" after the manual therapy we perform in the clinic. I hear the similar reports after yoga-based movement and breathing sessions focused on the pelvis and pelvic floor.



MORE ABOUT CASIE AND HER LIFE'S WORK IN PELVIC HEALTH


Dr. Casie Danenhauer is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga instructor and owner of Enlighten Physical Therapy: Conscious Care for Pelvic Health in Santa Monica, CA. Her mission is to provide conscious care for her clients. She combines her skills as a pelvic floor physical therapist and yoga instructor to facilitate a unique and holistic path towards healing. Her philosophy maintains a balance between evidence-based science and an integrative consideration of the physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual systems for maximizing whole body health. 

The key in her holistic health approach is balance, open communication, and empowerment of her clients to take charge of their own health. The benefits to this approach are exponentially greater than simply “curing” ones’ pain. Conscious care allows for the opportunity to live more mindfully, enjoy abundance of health and joy, and engage in a richer life." 



CONNECT WITH CASIE

Phone: 424-625-2279 Email: casiedpt@gmail.com

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