Words by Rebecca Lindon
“Each time we deny our female functions, each time we deviate from our bodies’ natural path, we move farther away from our feminine roots. This can create distress within our bodies and can set the scene for further problems, physically and emotionally, for ourselves and our families.”
Tami Lynn Kent, Wild Feminine
The pelvic bowl is a woman’s energy centre - the place through which we draw-in and release energy. It is the place where we manifest from and bring forth life in all its forms. Our ancestors were very aware of this innate wisdom and that’s why there is so much ancient womb symbology seen in the form of triangles and spirals.
In recent centuries, the rise of the patriarchy and this loss of womb worship has left women feeling disconnected from this space within us…. unsure of its power and importance and therefore prone to energy blockages. Sexual abuse, sexual assault, birth trauma and emotional blockages centred around our key relationships can all create scarring and chronic tension in the pelvic bowl which affects us both physically and through negative emotional patterns.
Let us focus a little on the trauma of birth. There are so many physical and emotional stumbling blocks that take place around the birth experience. Take a moment to remember your birth/s, what emotions do they bring up? Publicly we often see that image of the mother, father and baby with the words ‘we’re so in love’, and the photographs that follow of baby’s milestones as mama smiles on. We rarely talk about the intentional cutting that may have taken place during their birth, the forced caesarean, the difficultly pushing the baby out into the world, the miscarriages, the feeling of being powerless as your birth is directed by health professionals. If you have never really faced those events and the emotions associated with it (guilt, shame, anxiety, sadness, anger) they will store themselves in your pelvic bowl, your energetic centre. Scar tissue as a result of episiotomy can also become hard, blood cannot access the tissue easily and this is often the case for decades on. These occurrences may manifest as physical pain during sex, incontinence, low libido, lack of sensation or emotionally as belief patterns that ripple out into the world around you.
This year my dear friend and reflexologist Gemma Challis trained in Holistic Pelvic Care; a physical practice that restores balance in the pelvic bowl, physically, emotionally and energetically via internal vaginal massage. The aim is to release tension and trauma through the trigger points and fascia and foster greater connection to the pelvis and access creative potential. To help a woman feel fully embodied. In certain regions of France, post partum HPC is practised after birth as standard but in most of the western world, a woman receives no pelvic checks at all after birth. The work that Gemma and other HPC practitioners are doing for women is hugely important in restoring feminine health and wellbeing.
Gemma invited me to experience a pelvic evaluation and treatment involving tissue manipulation / massage alongside womb meditation. Whist I was apprehensive about such an intimate experience, Gemma has been treating me via reflexology for many years and I have a high level of respect and trust in her goal to provide support and healing to women. I fully recommend talking with a practitioner before your session to ensure you feel comfortable in their presence.
The treatment begins with a discussion about the physical and medical history of your pelvic bowl and identification of your goals. This is followed by an assessment of the pelvic floor muscles before an internal massage. During this process, Gemma worked on certain trigger points and whilst some were easy and comfortable, others were tender in the tissue and created a sudden flowing of tears. As this happened, we discussed the emotions that were coming to the surface and then meditated to release the energies and ground them into the earth to be transmuted. For me, the biggest emotional blockages were around lack of support (as a single mother this is not surprising) and a disconnect from my feminine side. My Grandmothers both died when I was young and (whilst my mother was present from a distance) I was raised by my father from the age of 11 as I moved from a child into womanhood - as a result I can be fiercely independent to my own detriment and find it difficult to show vulnerability in the presence of others. As we let go of that tension, I could feel energy flowing into the left side (feminine side) of my pelvis and was aware of the presence of my female ancestors…. a magical moment that I have been able to recreate many times since.
Whilst I have no physical pain in my pelvis, Gemma has treated women who have seen the alleviation of bowel and bladder issues following treatment snd she herself has shared how receiving HPC has cured her own decade-old pain during sex. I also witnessed my own pelvic floor muscles strengthen from the start of the treatment compared to the end, as well as feeling markedly lighter emotionally in the weeks since.
Ultimately, your body is the guide during HPC treatment, the practitioner is led by you and what your body requires to restore pelvic balance. If you are currently struggling emotionally following birth, assault or abuse or are experiencing pain and discomfort in your pelvic area (and have been checked medically to ensure this is not the result of a serious condition) then please do consider finding a pelvic health practitioner in your area. Self care can absolutely include walks in the woods, meditation and nourishing your body through food but sometimes we need help along the way to identify deep-seated energetic blockages that we have been unable to shift for ourselves.