I was always an active person. I loved to dance, work out at the gym, and take long hikes. When I became a mom, I thought that pushing the stroller to the park, lifting my kids up, and taking the stairs whenever I could was enough. But it wasn't.
Over time I became stiff and inflexible (I also had a crooked spine from a car accident that didn't help). It got so bad that one night, I had lost sensation in my arms from the tight muscles and I couldn't pick my son up. I was constantly in pain.
And then one day, I saw this foam roller thing on TV and they were saying it could change your life and reduce your pain. I ordered one online that day and when it arrived, I couldn't wait to try it out. The first time I used it, I felt the pain and tightness start to release from my hips, back and shoulders. It wasn't an instant fix, but with regular use, my pain gradually faded away.
Whenever I would slack off on using the foam roller, I could feel the tightness creep in. That was stress build up. Luckily, all I needed to do was bust out the roller and I was on my way to relaxed muscles again. (PS Yoga works in much the same way and I now do yoga for maintenance)
Your body holds on to stress and trauma in your fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds and connects all of the muscles, organs, and nerves in the body.
When you get a massage or use the wall, floor, tennis balls, or foam roller to provide deep, slow pressure to your muscles, your muscles relax and you release the stored stress and trauma in your fascia. Working out the tension in your shoulders, arms, legs, and back is relatively easy.
But what about the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that not only allow us to have healthy digestive systems by contracting during urination and defecation, the pelvic floor muscles literally hold many of the organs in the body in place. Many people think they have weak pelvic floors but in reality most people have overworked, stressed, and tight pelvic floors.
A tight pelvic floor happens when the muscles are constantly in a state of contraction (think: holding your pee). When you are stressed, your pelvic floor muscles contract in order to protect your organs. This is an amazing survival mechanism but it can lead to a whole host of problems when your muscles are constantly contracted.
Most people are not aware of their tight pelvic floor until a larger problem emerges such as: pain during sex, pain during urination or bowel movements, incontinence, and prolapse (when one or more organs fall out of place because the muscles can no longer hold them in).
Common symptoms of a tight pelvic floor:
Many women experience slight incontinence issues like peeing a little when they sneeze or laugh and leaking during impactful exercise. Most doctors will recommend doing Kegel exercises for incontinence issues and if they're lucky they may suggest going to a pelvic floor physical therapist and at the worst, the doctor brushes it off and says it just happens with age.
So how can you improve the function of your pelvic floor?
Named after the American gynaecologist, Arnold Henry Kegel, Kegel exercises are voluntary contractions of the pelvic floor muscles but in particular, contracting the Pubococcygeus Muscle (PCM). The PCM is the middle layer of muscles of the pelvic floor and it is the primary muscle responsible for the control of urine.
Kegel exercises or pelvic floor exercises were developed to help specifically with urination and incontinence issues. The most common way that is recommended to learn how to do them is to pay attention to what muscles you are contracting when you stop urination midstream.
There are many different recommendations for how to do them such as hold for 3 seconds then release for 3 seconds or doing a quick succession of contractions but they don't actually address the main issue with the pelvic floor... most people have a tight pelvic floor from constant stress.
Pelvic floor therapy is a form of physical therapy that specifically targets the muscles of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor therapy can be done by a physical therapist or you can do some exercises at home on your own. Unlike Kegel exercises that focus solely on the PCM, pelvic floor therapy includes exercises to strengthen your core, back, and legs as well as your pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor therapy also includes education on how to release the muscles when they are tight as well as how to breath and relax the pelvic floor.
Unfortunately, pelvic floor therapy is not readily available everywhere. If you live in a big city, you should be able to find a qualified professional. In addition, not all insurances cover pelvic floor therapy unless there is a crucial medical problem. Pelvic floor therapy for preventative and maintenance care is not usually covered by medical insurance plans.
Back in the 1980's, Dr. Joseph Kramer developed a way for people with AIDS to safely touch and heal each other by using Taoist Erotic Massage. The methods were so effective at helping heal from trauma that after a thorough investigation he was able to legally train professionals in the state of California his methods which became known as Sexological Bodywork. Despite the clinical nature of the therapy, it is considered to be sex work in 49 of the 50 states. Only the state of California has a a legal means of providing these services. There are many other opportunities globally but it is still considered illegal in many countries because the genitals are touched.
Sexological bodywork is a massage therapy that is performed by a trained therapist. It is an internal (vaginal or rectal) massage that primarily targets the fascia in the pelvic floor. The therapist will always have gloves on and you are not allowed to touch the therapist. The therapist will feel for any trigger points, knots, or tightness in the muscles and then release them with either their fingers, knuckles, or elbow from either inside or outside the body.
Ancient civilizations have understood the benefits of massaging and working with our genitals. The yoni (the sanskrit word for "womb" and "source") is full of fascia as it includes many organs including the cervix, uterus, ovaries, vagina, and vulva as well as all the muscles of the pelvic floor.
Your yoni is not only the sacred space that is the home of all creation that should be revered and honored, but it is also an incredibly powerful tool for self-healing. When you massage the yoni, you are not only able to release stored trauma and tension in the pelvic floor, but you are also able to connect with your body and your pleasure in a deeper way.
Women are rarely taught how to truly care for this area. Most women are only taught how to clean. They are not taught about the benefits or how to release the tension and trauma that is stored there. Most women are taught (either directly or indirectly) to be ashamed of their body, their yoni, and their sexuality. This leads to even more trauma being stored in the fascia of the yoni and adversely impacts the health of the woman.
Unlike tantric yoni massage where the (original intention of the) practice is done to deepen the connection between two partners or a yoni egg practice where the purpose is to strengthen your vaginal muscles, yoni dearmouring is a way to connect with your body and your inner wisdom on a deeper level while releasing and healing trauma. When you dearmor your yoni, you are not only releasing the physical tension that is stored in your pelvic floor but you are also releasing the emotional and mental trauma that is stored there as well.
There are many benefits to yoni dearmouring, some of which include:
When the muscles of the pelvic floor are strong and healthy, they can provide the support that the organs need. People will often get massages for the rest of their body but they will spend a lifetime ignoring their yoni and pelvic floor until there is a problem. If you are experiencing pain, decreased sensitization, difficulty orgasming, or you know that you live a stressful life without the proper outlets to release your stress, then you may want to consider yoni dearmouring as it doesn't require anyone other than yourself (although a glass wand is really beneficial to get the most out of it).