Along my travels, I’ve come across many different therapies including Acupuncture, Active Release Therapy, Cranio-sacral Therapy, spiritual healing, Neuro Muscular Release Therapy, and Chiropractic care to name a few. Yoga, Crystal Healing, and True Body Intelligence are therapies where I’ve received formal training.
Recently I was introduced to Holistic Pelvic Care™ for Women. Most of us have had massages, but massage therapists tend to stay within the “safe” areas. No therapist goes near the breasts, even though, undeniably, there are muscles there. God forbid anyone gets into the pelvic region for fear of admitting vaginas need TLC. The pelvic floor is a web of muscle fibers and fascia, yet we ignore it completely.
About eight years ago, during the birth of my second child, I suffered a massive tear that took 40 minutes to stitch up. This tear brought up some issues I couldn’t ignore. For example, I can’t sneeze or cough or jump on a trampoline or run without pissing myself. Fucking Hell! I’m only forty for Christ’s sake. And then there were the positions, for the most part, sex was enjoyable, but there were odd positions that would make me wince in agony.
I filled out an extensive intake/history questionnaire, and Dr. Schiller conducted a consultation before the session began. She was lovely, warm and genuine. I felt safe and cared for in her presence. Dr. Schiller explained what would happen in the treatment. Yes, she was going to have a good ole rummage around in my vagina. She was going to move her fingers internally in different areas and assess and treat the tense, tight or strained muscles, and scar tissue through light pressure or gentle stretching.
She left the room so I could get undressed from the waist down. Upon returning, she had me connect to my pelvic floor muscles through my breath. I couldn’t believe that my breath could reach that part of my body. But, of course, the diaphragm connects all the way down to the pelvic floor muscles through the fascia.
She had me focus on filling up my pelvis. Slowly, I began to feel filled with vitality and strength just through breathing. I began to feel more connected to my body, more aware. Can you remember the last time you took a conscious breath and focused on a particular feature of your body and had gratitude for its presence? For the first time in my life, I acknowledged that a part of me existed. The feminine part was there with so much power and life and creativity, but I ignored it and felt shameful to acknowledge that side.
She had me focus on my ovaries. Of course, I have ovaries! What I suddenly realized was that I have not been living in my whole body, and I have been neglecting the very part of my anatomy that makes me a woman.
She moved her fingers clockwise around the pelvic bowl to get feedback from me where the painful areas were. I mostly felt discomfort in the anterior region of the pelvic bowl, underneath the bladder. I couldn’t believe how different the sensations were. Some were hot and searing, and others were more like an uncomfortable pull. She felt the scar tissue and was able to do some myo-fascial release.
We discussed the fact that I had given everything to my children and my husband for the past fourteen years, which left little for me. It was time to reclaim my space, my root, my center, and my pelvic bowl. I know it sounds like a serving dish but what I didn’t realize was I had been dishing out all my energy, creativity and power to everyone except myself. I became a crazed, wild-eyed, screaming banshee on the edge of a nervous breakdown who shouted all the time at everyone. I was resentful of my family for not appreciating every single sacrifice I had ever made to take care of them.
When Dr. Schiller came to one area that was very uncomfortable, she said to me, “What happened when you were 14?” An intense heat filled my pelvic area and spread through my body. Tears began to stream down my face and the unresolved cries of a fourteen-year-old girl came to the surface. I had an experience at that age where my consent wasn’t fully given. It was like I was caught in headlights and frozen and things just happened that were out of my control.
As I lay there crying, my muscles started releasing while she was pressing on my anterior vaginal wall. Suddenly, everything made sense. I have always believed our bodies are our record keepers holding every bit of information or unresolved emotion we have endured. Here I was on this table letting go of something that happened to me 26 years ago. I thought I had dealt with this that I was free of this, but my body was telling me different.
My inability to stand up for myself, my lack of recognizing my needs, my giving everything to everybody to my detriment, the shame I felt for wanting to experience my sexual desires up close. I was claiming my power back one tear at a time.
Then Dr. Schiller had me do something profound. She talked me through calling a part of my soul back from that experience and that person. I had heard about leaving parts of yourself in certain experiences that have been traumatic or ones that you can’t let go of. You know when you’re daydreaming, and your mind takes you back to that guy in college who broke your heart. What about the guy whose heart I broke? Or the other guy, who is making at least six figures now. What would life be like if I’d married him?
From every experience of humiliation, degradation, self-denial, exploitation, betrayals and so on, all of these emotions are stored deep in the body until you are ready to face them and deal with them. Over time, all these unresolved emotions tense and tighten your body in such a way that it begins sending out warning signs telling you it’s desperate to let go of all that pent up rage and pain. For the first time in my life, I allowed myself to feel the emotion that that fourteen-year-old had felt. Then, I let it go. I found a part of me I didn’t know I had lost.
After the session, I got dressed and made my way out. I thanked Suzanne for creating a safe place for me to heal that part of me. A part that I had locked away and disassociated from. She helped me realize that I was hiding from my power. I was people pleasing and not standing up for myself, using my voice. My body was paying the price, so were my husband and children. I mean who doesn’t want to kill their family now and then. At least, I can laugh about it now instead of resenting my nearest and dearest.
She recommended the book Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit & Joy in the Female Body by Tami Lynn Kent. Tami Lynn is the founder of Holistic Pelvic Care™ for Women. In her book, she asks the question, “Why all these raging vaginas?” I had no idea how much anger I had been stifling all these years, suppressing the rage ready to boil over, a pressure cooker that is ready to explode. From early childhood to present day, all the times I’ve not spoken my mind, or suppressed that inner guidance that screams danger get the fuck out now, or had my self-esteem torn to shreds by some one I loved and trusted, all that anger, all that rage, all between my legs.
I walked out of the office into the sunshine ready to face the life I had created, the life I wanted. I know there are still more changes coming, and it’s just the beginning of realizing I am a brilliantly powerful being who’s creating the life she wants. If you had said to me 15 years ago I would be recommending this kind of therapy or even experiencing it for myself, I would have said “you’ve got to be nuts!” Who knew it just took looking inside my vagina to figure out who I am.
-Originally Published by Feminine Collective on March, 6, 2015