Do yoga and meditation help with pelvic pain?

Guest Blog by: Fay Smith

Yoga and meditation are great ways to relax and find balance again. According to Today.com, stress can make things worse when it comes to pelvic pain. Yoga and meditation are both proven stress-reduction techniques that can help. A 2019 study showed the impact yoga and meditation have on students’ stress levels. If you have chronic pelvic pain, chances are you’re dealing with stress or anxiety as well as symptoms of your condition.

Stress makes pelvic floor dysfunction worse for many women, so it’s important to find ways to manage it. Yoga is an excellent way to relieve stress, relax the body, and get back into balance again. If you are curious about the benefits of yoga, know more about it here.

Meditation goes back thousands of years and has been practiced all over the world. It’s a great way to focus your attention and clear your mind.

Read further to see how both these practices can help manage any chronic pelvic pain you are dealing with.

What is Pelvic Pain and What Causes It?

Pelvic pain is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms that can affect your pelvic floor muscles. Common conditions include endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, dysmenorrhea, and uterine fibroids. How severe your symptoms are and how long they last will depend on the cause.

Chronic pelvic pain can be related to several things. It can be caused by an infection, a gynaecological condition (such as endometriosis, a fibroid, or pelvic inflammatory disease), an injury to the pelvic area, a problem with the urinary tract, or a condition that affects the nerves. If you’re experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction, it’s important to seek out a pelvic floor physiotherapist to diagnose the cause and rule out any serious conditions.

Why is Stress Bad for Pelvic Pain?

Stress can make chronic pelvic pain conditions worse. It can make your symptoms worse, make them more frequent, and make them last longer. This can make you miss work, have trouble sleeping, miss out on time with friends, and more.

Cortisol

When you’re under stress, your body releases the hormone cortisol. This is good in small amounts, as it helps you deal with the situation in front of you. But chronic stress means too much cortisol in your system. When your body has too much cortisol, it can cause weight gain and affect your reproductive system. This can affect your menstrual cycle, your fertility, and your sex drive. It can also make your pelvic pain conditions worse.

Are Yoga and Meditation Safe for People with Pelvic Pain?

Different people will have different experiences with yoga, meditation, and other stress-reduction activities. Women with chronic pelvic pain can try these techniques to see which works best for them.

There’s no evidence that yoga or meditation causes stress to the pelvic organs. In fact, research suggests that yoga and meditation can help lower cortisol levels, which can make chronic pelvic pain conditions better.

Yoga can improve posture and flexibility, which can make life with pelvic pain easier. Better posture will take some of the pressure off your pelvic organs. If you can do yoga poses without pain, it may benefit your muscle and ligament health. It may also reduce stress and improve mood, which can help make your symptoms more manageable.

Meditation can help you get in touch with your emotions and let go of negative thoughts that are keeping you in a cycle of stress. It’s a great way to get back in touch with yourself and gain a little more control over your life.

Finding the Right Type of Yoga and Meditation

The best type of yoga for you will depend on your symptoms and your goals. One type of yoga that is good for beginners is hatha yoga[5]. This type of yoga is slow and gentle, and it focuses on posture and breathing. Yin Yoga has also been found to be helpful for those who struggle with pelvic pain.

If you’re dealing with anxiety or emotional stress, you could try a yoga class that focuses on breathing and meditation. If you’re not sure where to start, you could go to a yoga studio or talk to your doctor about what’s available in your area.

You can start meditation at home by finding a quiet spot and sitting in a comfortable position while focusing on your breath. You can also try guided meditation, which you can find online or in apps.

Start Slow

If you’re new to yoga or meditation, it’s important to start slow. Don’t try to do too much at first. Start with five minutes of yoga or meditation each day and gradually increase the time you spend as you get more comfortable.

Listen to Your Body

It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you start to feel pain, stop what you’re doing and rest. If you have a chronic pelvic pain condition, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting yoga or meditation. They can help you find a class that’s right for your pelvic floor dysfunction and make sure you don’t overdo it.

In conclusion, yoga and meditation are great ways to relax and find balance again. If you struggle with pelvic pain, stress can make things worse. Yoga and meditation are both proven stress-reduction techniques that can be part of your pelvic floor physiotherapy treatment.

If you are new to meditation and would like some guidance on how to begin and sustain a practice, you can book a virtual one-on-one session with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Self Compassion Practitioner, Jaisa Sulit at Proactive Pelvic Health Centre.

 

References

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk

1.https://www.today.com/health/pelvic-pain-stress-experts-offer-advice-suffering-rcna8615

2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6630857/

3.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-pelvic-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20354368

4.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22187-cortisol

5.https://fitpass.co.in/blog/hatha-yoga-poses-for-beginners

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