The Power of Your Flower
Approximately one in four women will experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction in their lifetime, with urinary leakage, painful intercourse and frequent infections in the “nether region” among the most common indicators that something is wrong.
Yet many will ignore the symptoms and go untreated, either out of embarrassment or because they don’t know that help is available, says Karyn Staples, PT, Ph.D., of ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio in Peachtree City. And those who do seek treatment often don’t share it with even close friends and family members.
“It’s an uncomfortable conversation, especially if you grew up in a household where nobody talked about sex,” Dr. Staples says. “And at times it’s something people will joke about. Like, ‘Whenever I do a box-jump I pee.’ But there’s nothing normal about doing an exercise and peeing all over yourself. It means something is no longer working right, and it doesn’t have to stay that way.”
The pelvic floor supports the bladder, uterus, and rectum like a hammock, and helps control their functions by wrapping around the openings to the urethra, anus and vagina. Traumatic events, like childbirth or a hysterectomy, can do considerable damage. The muscles may also become weak, tight or spastic from disuse or surgery.
“This is an important part of the body that women need to know, yet many go their entire lives without touching or exploring themselves,” Staples says. “What are these muscles? Why should I know anything about them? How do I even exercise them correctly? Should I be exercising them? How do they work in coordination with the other muscles in our abdominal area? Our breathing diaphragm? Our lower back?”
To help women overcome their fears, and begin a new conversation about their bodies, Staples will conduct a special one-time course on Nov. 19, “The Power of Your Flower: What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health.”
“This ‘flower’ is the most delicate part of our body. It’s something we should appreciate and get to know,” Staples explains. “The idea of it being a source of energy has roots in the seven chakras. This is where a woman brings new life into the world. There’s a lot of power in that.”
This will be a movement class, Staples says, but nothing too strenuous. People should come in comfortable clothes, ready to work.
“I will also be providing a lot of tangible information on pelvic health like handouts that they will hopefully take back and share with their family and friends.”
Staples has successfully treated “hundreds” of women for pelvic floor dysfunction, with most getting results after just six visits. She recalls one who was 13 weeks postpartum after a vaginal delivery that caused tearing in the pelvic floor area and was having difficulty controlling her urine.
“By starting with simple breathing exercises, then moving into strengthening exercises, and finally into more functional positions like squats or lunges, we were able to get the urinary leakage under control.”
Another client was experiencing dyspareunia — the medical term for painful intercourse.
“Now the pelvic floor muscles become too tight,” Staples says. “So, we work on breathing, stretching and other physical therapy techniques while also educating the patient on what they need to be doing at home to move towards an enjoyable experience and no longer have a painful experience.”
Staples wants women to know that this will be a safe environment where they can feel free to discuss intimate details about their bodies. When she works with individual patients to discuss more personal matters, it’s always done in a private examination room.
“But there are elements of this that we can discuss publicly out in the open,” Staples says. “It’s still a personal conversation because this is a personal part of our body, but it’s also part of all us and we need to know how it should function.”
ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates Studio is located at 1777 Georgian Park in Peachtree City. To schedule an appointment with a physical therapist or a private Pilates instructor, call 770-487-1931. For information about any of the ProHealth programs and services, visit www.prohealthga.com.
The Power of Your Flower
What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health
The Power of Your Flower: What Every Woman Should Know About Pelvic Health will be led Dr. Karyn Staples on Tuesday, Nov 19 at 6 p.m. at ProHealth Physical Fitness and Pilates Studio, 1777 Georgian Park, Peachtree City
Cost for this one-time session is $30 or FREE with any Pilates Package purchased by November 19.
To purchase tickets stop by the front desk or call 770-487-193 www.prohealthga.com.