Meditation and other mindfulness-based practices have long been recognized for their abilities to ease pain, anxiety, and depression, and enhance overall emotional well-being. Now individuals with symptoms related to tight pelvic floor muscles and pelvic pain-related conditions like PCOS and endometriosis are noticing the positive benefits of 'dropping in.'
How does it work? Meditation and mindfulness activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn calms the body and encourages rest. They also improve emotional responses during times of pain, stress, or physical/emotional threat. And they help to strengthen the mind-body connection.
Research has found that practicing mindfulness meditation can:
- Reduce pain catastrophizing in those with pelvic pain
- Improve period-related pain in those who menstruate
- Improve PCOS-related symptoms
- Improve sexual function and reduce distress in those with pain during sex
(Although the terms are often used interchangeably, meditation and mindfulness have separate meanings. Meditation is a practice that includes a variety of techniques such as breathing strategies, humming practices, or mantras that are used to enhance the mind-body connection, calm the mind, and encourage overall wellness. Mindfulness, on the other hand, describes a focused awareness of your internal state, including your body, feelings, and emotions.)
Meditation that includes mindfulness of your pelvic floor — and the emotions associated with pelvic floor symptoms — can do wonders to improve your mind-body connection and help you feel more in control of your symptoms. By committing to a consistent practice (research shows that just minutes of meditation each day is enough to experience the benefits), you can start to take back control of your pelvic health.
To get started, try this relaxing pelvic floor meditation created by Origin physical therapist Rachel McCarthy-Moya PT, DPT, and schedule a visit with one of our pelvic floor therapists so they can help you better understand how meditation combined with pelvic floor physical therapy can help you feel better in your body.