WHAT IS PROLAPSE, AND HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE PROLAPSE?
If you want to learn more about what prolapse is, and how you know if you have prolapse you can read "Do I have prolapse?" If you already know that you have prolapse, and you want to learn how to heal prolapse naturally, you have come to the right place. In this article I will share with you how to take an integrative approach to pelvic wellness, helping you to take a whole body approach to healing prolapse, rather than focusing on the physical aspects alone.
WHAT IS AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO HEALING PROLAPSE?
When we consider ourselves as human beings, we can appreciate that we are more than a physical body alone. We are physical, energetic, emotional and spiritual beings. Along with that, if we contemplate how our emotional wellbeing can impact our physical health, we can begin to appreciate that each of these aspects of health can impact prolapse symptoms. Sometimes it can be challenging to get our head around how our emotional wellbeing may impact our prolapse symptoms. It is quite possible that you have already noticed that when you become stressed or anxious that prolapse symptoms become more obvious. Just as stress and tension can manifest in the body as headaches or increased blood pressure, our emotional wellbeing can impact prolapse symptoms. When we take into consideration these pillars of health (physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic) we are able to take an integrative approach to pelvic wellness.
HEALING PROLAPSE FROM AN EMOTIONAL PERSPECTIVE
To go into great detail of how to heal prolapse naturally is beyond what can be shared in a single blog post. This is why I have written my book Body Conscious : A woman's guide to holistic pelvic wellness and feminine embodiment. In Body Conscious I share how you can heal prolapse naturally, using the information, education, mindset shits, and practices that are offered within the book. In this post I will share some of my best tips as to how you can begin to address the emotional and spiritual aspects of prolapse healing so that you can get started today. In part 1 of this series I share how to address the physical aspects prolapse healing.
Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse often present after a significant transition in a woman's life. This could be from one of the physical transitions women move through during their life cycle, for example pregnancy, pregnancy loss, birth, or menopause. Symptoms of prolapse can also present after life transitions such a divorce, moving internationally, or children leaving home. Sometimes these life transitions can be traumatic in some way. Even if we don't consider them to be traumatic, they can be highly emotional. Emotional trauma and unprocessed emotions can impact our physical wellbeing, often manifesting in pain or other physical symptoms. Often women hold emotional trauma and unprocessed emotions within the pelvic bowl. When we don't take this into consideration in our approach to healing prolapse naturally, and if we focus on the physical aspects alone, we miss huge healing opportunities.
Trauma can be physical or emotional in nature. Physical trauma will almost always have emotional impacts. Emotional trauma can manifest as physical symptoms. Physical trauma that women experience in relation to the pelvic bowl can include birth trauma (e.g. disempowered sensation during birth, unplanned c-section), surgical trauma (e.g. hysterectomy), medical trauma (e.g. pap-smear or catheter insertion), or sexual trauma. Emotional trauma can often be more challenging to identify than physical trauma. Something as seemingly simple as a negative comment from a nurse during a woman's birth can have a significant emotional impact on a woman. Often it's a cumulation of seemingly small emotionally challenging circumstances that build to create an emotional impact on a woman. One of the first steps in healing from trauma is to identify that it has occurred. We can do so by asking ourselves some simple questions as we reflect on certain transitions in our life. Questions like, 'how do I feel about this particular life transition?' and 'where do I feel this emotion in my body?'
Having safe spaces to process our trauma can feel hugely healing. Feeling into how we would feel safe to move through this emotion, whilst feeling held and supported, will help us to identify how we would like to move forward in healing from trauma. There are so many different ways that women can heal from trauma and it doesn't always require us to recount events. At times sharing our story will feel therapeutic - to feel seen, heard, and witnessed in our experience, without judgement, can be healing. Sometimes though, sharing story doesn't feel quite right, and we feel called to heal using other strategies like movement, breath, and meditation.
HEALING THROUGH STORY:
Healing through telling our story can happen whether we share our story with someone else, or if we prefer, to journal / write our story. Self-expression that is met with kindness and love can be very helpful. It's important that whether we are sharing our story with someone else, or within the pages of a journal, that we are not met with judgement - from ourselves or another person. The purpose of this self-expression is for a woman to feel seen and heard, not to met with judgement or someone trying to find a way to fix the situation.
HEALING THROUGH MOVEMENT:
Movement is a powerful way that women can process trauma and emotions. Again it is the act of self expression that is important. The movement (as long as it doesn't aggravate the symptoms of prolapse) can be whatever feels resonate. Dancing, ocean swimming, beach walking, and nature hikes are just some examples of movement that women who I have worked with find powerful.
HEALING THROUGH BREATH & MEDITATION:
Breath and meditation can be potent healers. Using breath and visualisation together can be powerful. You don't even need to know what it is that you are moving from/through the body. The simple act of connecting with the body through breath, and creating the intention to move stagnant emotional energy is more than enough. Some examples of breath and visualisation practices that can be used as part of a holistic prolapse healing journey include:
- Exhale all that is no longer in service, and inhale healing white light
- Breathe deep into the pelvic bowl and gently sense the movement of the pelvic floor with the breath - connecting with the body and sensing your wholeness
- Sweeping around the pelvic bowl with your minds eye and collecting any stagnant energy and emotion that no longer serves, and breathing out though the mouth to release the energy
HEALING PROLAPSE FROM A SPIRITUAL PERSPECTIVE
Depending on your beliefs, we can understand these transition phases as opportunities for spiritual growth. Our body can act as a great teacher in our personal growth journey, and when we begin to tune in deeply and allow our body to show us the pathway towards healing we can embrace a holistic pathway to wellness. Physical sensations in our body can show us when we are moving on a pathway that brings us closer to, or further away from, physical and spiritual wellness. The questions become:
- What is my body telling me?
- What does my body need?
- What feel good and nourishing?
- How willing am I to let my body lead?
Often we approach our healing path using the mind to navigate the way, asking questions like 'How can I heal my prolapse?' 'What can I do?' 'What will fix this?' - The mind is fixated on how, and often is searching for a solution outside of ourselves. When we tune into the body, and let the body lead, we let the body show us the way whilst being in deep acceptance of the phase we are in. We acknowledge how we feel, we know we would like to feel differently, and we allow our body to show us what we need in order to move towards that. The mind approach can feel like we are racing the clock, scattered, unsettled, and frantic. The body approach can feel much more calm, peaceful, open and spacious.
As prolapse symptoms often present in times during significant transition phases in our life, part of the spiritual healing can be to create ritual with intention to move through a particular transition phase in your life in a way that feels good. Depending on your circumstance, and your personal beliefs, what kinds of ritual you choose to embrace (if any) will differ from other women. Some ideas for ritualistic practices are:
- Journaling - using journal prompts for self inquiry and introspective reflection - Kate and I share many of these styles of prompts in our Wholeness Podcast & in the downloadable PDF that accompanies Season 1 of Wholeness
- Breath practices
- Sacred art
- Women's circles
You can experiment with the practice offered at the end of this post to explore different aspects and elements of these practices that you could combine into your own ritual practice.
HEALING PROLAPSE FROM AN ENERGETIC PERSPECTIVE
In my personal experience, and in my experience as a clinician, women who experience pelvic health concerns often identify with one of three dominant sensations when contemplating their relationship with their pelvic bowl. Of course we are all different, and experience a spectrum of sensations. Usually though, women can identify with feeling either pelvic tension or pelvic disconnect.
Physically pelvic tension can feel like:
- Pelvic pain
- Pain with sex
- Abdominal gripping
- Difficulty relaxing the core and pelvic floor
- Jaw tightness, grinding teeth
Emotionally, women who sense they have pelvic tension often describe feeling like:
- An 'A-type personality'
- High achiever, trying to do it all
- Puts on a brave face, but feels like they are treading water constantly
- Holding a million balls in the air
Energetically, women who sense they have pelvic tension often describe their energy as
- Always being on
- Find it difficult to relax
- Productivity driven
- Unable to trust others to offer support
- Wanting to be in 'control'
HEALING FROM ENERGETIC TENSION
Healing from energetic tension often requires a woman to soften and to lean more into her 'being' energy. This can often be described as connecting to her feminine energy. How each woman does this will be unique to her. Ideas of connecting to being energy include:
- Slowing down movement patterns - trying walking rather than running, or yin rather than vinyasa
- Taking moments throughout the day to put one hand to heart, and one hand to womb space, and to breathe
- Sit with a cup of coffee/tea - without running around doing 10 other things
- Taking a hot bath
- Embracing a mindful activity - e.g. mindful art, nature walks
Physically, pelvic disconnect can feel like:
- Poor pelvic floor support
- Poor core control
- Unable to reach orgasm
- Pelvic heaviness
Emotionally, women who sense they have pelvic disconnect often describe feeling like:
- Feeling like they don't have clear boundaries
- Less able to voice their truth, particularly amongst people with dominant personalities
- Like they have lost their mojo
- Disinterest in sex
- Shame around their feminine body
Energetically, women who sense they have pelvic disconnect often describe their energy as
- Lethargic, tired, run down
- Not motivated in general
- Lacking enthusiasm
- Unable to take clear action
HEALING FROM ENERGETIC DISCONNECT
Healing from energetic tension often requires a woman to connect to their pelvic space in a positive way and dissolve shame around the feminine body. How each woman does this will be unique to her. Ideas of connecting to the pelvic bowl in a positive way include:
- Womb meditations
- Hand placement onto womb space and gentle breath into womb space
- Womb massage
If your wanting in depth information about a holistic approach to pelvic health, I would love to share with you my book Body Conscious: A woman's guide to holistic pelvic wellness and feminine embodiment, shares all of this information in depth. You can learn more about the book here.
If you would like to explore a body connection practice that will help you embody a holistic approach to pelvic wellness, I invite you to share in this Deep Core & Pelvic Floor Embodied Understanding practice. You can access the practice by filling in the form below.