About a year ago a young (29) and seemingly healthy woman came to me with debilitating abdominal pain, a history of menstrual pain and irregularity and vaginismus- a condition where her vaginal opening was too small to insert tampons, have intercourse or pelvic exams. She had stopped all of her activities as they were inducing further pain in her abdomen and her back. She had been on continuous birth control pills to control her painful cycles and headaches that accompanied, and the only time she would actually menstruate is when she “felt she needed a cleansing” so she would stop her pills for a week and induce her period. Above all, she had not ever been intimate with a partner due to fear and pain. She was seeing a pelvic floor PT who recommended she receive some abdominal massage work to assist the PT treatment plan so the Universe sent her to me.
Needless to say after a few minutes of conversation it was very apparent that she was in deep distrust of her sweet body and it patterned a lot of fear from an overstimulated sympathetic nervous system response. She was also very stuck in her story and unwilling to make many, or any, self care adjustments; she was physically, emotionally and energetically stuck.
Our first few sessions were challenging as her body would only allow me to access the most superficial layers. Every time we moved a bit deeper into an area of discomfort- which seemed to be held through her whole system- she would tremble. Her pelvic bowl was very hypertonic, her belly tender and her solar plexus would trigger buried emotions that she would not allow to move through her. I would hold the intention every session for her spirit and body to integrate. Honestly I simply wanted to bring her into a place of trust and I really wanted her to see the day where she was intimate and pain free. But, the way she reacted each session I was sure she was going to bolt- however, she returned again and again.
Our conversations were a bit tough as repeated guidance around how to listen to her body, trust that if she does the work and trust in the work we do that she will find balance we very necessary. We talked at length about birth control pills and how she will never fully have a clear picture of her health if she continues to cover up what her hormones are doing. She was afraid of her migraines, we talked diet. She was afraid of painful menstruation, we talked about how she has support now. We talked, well I talked, and she just looked at me with resistance- but she returned again and again.
After a few more sessions she came in and told me. in a slightly underwhelmed tone, that her belly pain was gone. I was joyous. After a few more sessions she comes in and decides that it is time to stop birth control pills. I had a mini internal party over this news. After a few more, she comes in and says she had her first period since birth control and there was no pain. I was humbled by the unfolding before me. Slowly, session after session we went deeper. Slowly, she improved- and then the catalyst. In one session we began to really work with breath as I worked in her belly. She trusted my guidance and I could sense she was ready to move some of the old gunky stuck energy. I guided her in a rhythmic and repeated breath pattern that started to move deeper into her body. The releasing began and I saw a moment of fear in her- she wondered if she could handle it- but she kept breathing and allowing. After our session her eyes shined and she walked taller.
Our sessions became easier, her body was softer, more trusting and open. Then, last week she walks in with this very defeated look on her face. I ask “is it your back again”- nope not her back. She tells me she had another period. “Oh, it was painful?”- nope no pain. “Well then what is going on with you this week?”. She explains that her period came for 3 days and then disappeared for a couple and then came back for about 3 more. I explained that this is normal and still wondered what the issue was as having a painless period in a painless body was miraculous considering her pathologies when we first met. She told me she was frustrated with her period because she was dating this guy and ready to be intimate with him!!! I literally laughed out loud and almost fell out of my chair. She couldn’t see the beautiful irony in it all. Then, she smirked, relaxed and her journey continues….
Stay the course- trust your beautiful body- learn to listen to your gut!