IPT® and Pregnancy
IPT is very suitable as preparation for delivery. Currently, about 90 pregnant women have received treatment during pregnancy. These women gave birth mostly naturally and spontaneously. They did not need pain relief and did not suffer from ruptures/episiotomy.
All this is based on experience, no scientific research has been done (yet). IPT has been applied in many deliveries during labor. IPT proved to be very effective, particularly in the case of non-progressive dilation or birth and/or necessity of induction.
To ensure optimum safety for mother and child, only IPT Practitioners that are also midwives are allowed to work with pregnant women. Luckily the number of these IPT Practitioners is growing and with our accreditation by the KNOV we hope to soon see many more midwives in this field.
Can IPT help me?
IPT is suitable for every woman who wants to know more about her body and who has a request for help in situations like:
- Pain during sex
- Lack of sexual drive
- Unexplained pain in Pelvic area
- Unexplained (lower) back complaints or tailbone pain
- Heavy menstrual pain
- Uterus / bladder prolapse
- Unintended urine loss
- Chronic inflammations of the vulva
- Trauma from sexual abuse
- Traumatic delivery
- Fertility problems
- Painful/numb scar tissue after giving birth or Caesarean section
Integral Pelvic Therapy works on different layers:
- The mental layer: Next to the extensive intake and the informed consent, at the first actual session, there will be a talk between the practitioner and you. What is being discussed are the pieces that are not in balance in your life and how you can be coached in this.
- The physical layer: Through soft and precise external and internal techniques, the fascia and muscles in the pelvis are examined, smoothed out and adhesions solved. Trigger points are addressed, as well as other tension patterns, allowing the pelvis to function in balance again. As a result, instead of a numb or painful feeling, sensitivity will return allowing the natural selfhealing capacity of the body to work its wonders.
- The emotional layer: It often happens that emotions are stored in the body, especially in the vulnerable area of the pelvis. IPT lets the emotions be felt so that they can be processed and/or released.
- The energetic layer: Energy can be felt like a kind of electrical charge in your body. If a blockage occurs in this, it feels like a “stiffening” in the tissue. After treatment, the energy can flow freely throughout the body. Women can have the feeling to “shine from the inside”.
- The spiritual layer: Sometimes there is an unprocessed event in your life or in the family line that can have an impact in your system. By using bodywork combined with visualization techniques these events can be given a place whereby the balance is restored. This can result in a feeling of more energy and vitality.
The pelvic bowl
When the pelvic bowl is healthy, flexible, full of life-energy and free of obstructions in the tissue and muscles, a woman will feel radiant and she will naturally have a shine to her appearance radiating from the inside-out.
However, as we go through life with all her ups and downs, tension gets stored in the body. Women are not always aware of the, sometimes hidden, problems in their pelvic area. As these problems arise slowly, over time, women can have the tendency to accept things like; pain during intercourse, feeling nothing or hardly anything at all or experiencing a lack of sexual energy as “normal”. Many seemingly small complaints like occasional urine loss, dryness or pain in the vulva area are sometimes seen as “part of the deal” of getting older and nothing to make a fuss about.
How and why is tension stored in the body?
Tension can get stored in the body due to a physical and/or emotional stressor.
The physical layer: Physical stress can develop due to heavy physical activity, wrong posture, pregnancy and giving birth, surgery or repetitive movements. This kind of stress has an effect on the muscles and fascia of the pelvic floor.
Pelvic floor muscles: In some women, the muscles in their pelvic floor are hypertonic (too tight) which causes problems like chronic pelvic pain, numbness or pain during intercourse or vaginismus. Also unexplained chronic lower back/hip pain and/or constipation problems could be due to a hypertonic pelvic floor. Other women have a hypotonic pelvic floor (too weak) that can contribute to problems like stress incontinence or organ prolapse. Most women however, have a combination of both…
Fascia: The fascia is connected to the muscles in the pelvic area. It is an interwoven system of fibrous connective tissue, and found throughout the body. Fascia provides a framework that helps support and protect the entire body as a unit, as well as serving a role in the immune system. In the normal healthy state, the fascia is relaxed and wavy in configuration. It has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. But the fascia can become tight or restricted through stress.
When the fascia is restricted, it will pull on the muscles and cause trigger points in the muscle tissue. This can also cause problems like an uneasy, tight feeling in the pelvic area, pain during sex, feelings of disconnection from the pelvis, painful cramps during menstruation or orgasms that are experienced as being painful.
The emotional layer:
Your body has a memory of its own;
Going through life, we all experience things like; failure, disappointments, fear, suffering, sexual harassment, sudden loss of a loved one, illnesses, accidents etc. All these experiences, when not expressed or released properly can get stored in the body.
Unfortunately, sexual harassment happens all too often, be it at home, during childhood or later in life. All these traumatic experiences become locked in the body. Trauma of this kind is mostly stored in the pelvic area. This kind of wounding often leads to difficulty in setting boundaries in all aspects of life and/or difficulties with relationships. Also, this pain and trauma can have a devastating effect on the general wellbeing and the whole experience of life.
“Your body is your subconscious mind” -Candice Pert-
Dr. Candace Pert, a neuroscientist and pharmacologist, discovered that our glands, organs, tissues and cells are storage places for emotions and memory. She claims: “Your body is your subconscious mind”. In her studies she found evidence that explained the strong body-mind connection and that emotions have an effect on our well-being. For more background information you can check out her book: “Molecules of Emotion”.
So, all in all, as we move through life, stress has a tendency to build up in our system. Luckily as humans we are a very adaptable species. We learn to live with all these issues and try to live our life around these problems, making the most out of every situation.
What if you were to learn that there is! a way you can live free from discomfort, in contact with your feminine body, whilst setting healthy boundaries as well as fully enjoying your sexuality, with the ability to express your full potential?
How is tension released?
During an IPT session internal massage is used to find restrictions of the fascia and muscles. These restrictions lead to muscular trigger points. Through alignment of the fascia and gentle internal trigger point massage the tissue gets soft and freed of restrictions. Stored emotions can now be released and expressed and at the same time the tissue gets aligned.
Through bodywork the pelvic floor and vagina can come back to their natural state. The healthy tissue allows for more flow and a higher awareness as well as a healthy muscle tension in the pelvic area. Women then have the ability to strengthen and also to relax the muscles in their pelvic bowl. This is the key to prevent problems due to a too tight and/or too weak pelvic floor, as mentioned above. There is no numbness or pain left in that area, women report to feel liberated and free. A sense of “coming home”.
The more we work with bodywork, the more we feel that “the issue is in the tissue” and needs to be addressed exactly there. This way old traumas can be resolved on a cellular level, allowing a more free and flowing life.
What happens during a session?
Intake: Before a session takes place, there will be an extensive intake conversation. Your personal and medical history will be discussed as well as the request for help.
The actual treatment is separate from the intake conversation, so a well informed decision can be made.
When you and the practitioner both have the feeling IPT will be beneficial, an actual appointment is made for the treatment.
The treatment itself can take up to 2 hours. For your safety it is important that you can be fully “present” in your body during the whole session. Being present in the body means that during the treatment you are able to stay in contact with your body and the practitioner. Under skillful and careful guidance by your practitioner you are encouraged to stay in contact with your body, fully experiencing any feelings, memories and/or emotions that may arise at that moment. The practitioner will provide a safe space in which you will be allowed and encouraged to feel all that needs to be felt, expressed and experienced.
Depending on the request for help the practitioner can work externally and/or internally on/in the pelvis. In order to ensure safety for both you and the practitioner during this delicate work the practitioner will ask for and emphasise embodied consent in every step of the way.
Embodied Consent: Embodied consent means that you, as a client feel a full “yes” in your head, your heart and your body. So often in our lives we have “allowed” touch or physical handling that was not 100% within our consent. During an IPT session you will experience time after time what it is like to actually be “in control” of what is happening to you. This alone can be a very empowering experience.
-Healing starts when feeling safe!-
- The session will take place either on the floor with you lying on a matress or on a treatment bed
- The room will be warm, inviting and comfortable
- Only your lower body needs to be undressed
- You will be covered with warm blankets
- Clean gloves, hygiene pads and lubricants will be used