Millions of women and adolescent girls suffer from pain and decreased function because of endometriosis worldwide. According to Endometriosis.org, about one in ten women experience endometriosis. Here in the United States, estimates are in the ballpark of 5 million American women affected by endometriosis.
What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis occurs when tissue that is similar to the uterine lining (endometrium) is located outside of the uterus. This tissue may be found around the ovaries, vagina, bowel, bladder, rectum, diaphragm, lung, and other places. The result could be inflammation, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, scar tissue, pain with vaginal penetration, abdominal pain, urinary dysfunction, fatigue, low back pain, hip pain, etc.
Scar tissue builds bridges between organs and these adhesions decrease the ability of the organs to slide and glide. The restricted mobility of the nerves, muscles, viscera, and surrounding connective tissue can cause blockages and pain. There are also practices outside of the clinical setting that you, as a patient, can adopt to help support treatment.
How is it treated?
Treatment options for endometriosis include pain management, physical therapy, hormonal treatment, and surgery. Manual physical therapy for the pelvic floor muscles, abdomen, and viscera can help free the restricted tissues and decrease secondary muscle tightness.
Why yoga for endometriosis?
New research on endometriosis reveals yoga reduces pain and improves quality of life. A randomized control trial was performed in Brazil, looking at the use of hatha yoga to treat pain caused by endometriosis. The goal of the study was to evaluate chronic pelvic pain, menstrual patterns, and quality of life.
Pain decreased in the group who practiced yoga. Quality of life improved, as documented by a participant questionnaire, was also statistically significant. The study demonstrates this: yoga is an effective practice in reducing the day-to-day chronic pelvic pain you experience as someone diagnosed with endometriosis.
Using yoga as an aspect of a holistic treatment plan for endometriosis allows you to have a tool that is safe, portable, and effective in improving quality of life.
How does this yoga flow target endometriosis?
After seeing how much it helps with my patients and clients, I know there is value in education about anatomy and in the benefits of yoga specific to your area of concern.
Some of you might remember Abbie from my first video, Relieving Pelvic Pain. She graciously agreed to be a part of my new video series. After filming, she asked me how I determined which postures to feature, which prompted me to create a blog post explaining the rationale. The content offers you a glimpse into how this particular yoga flow supports the treatment and management of endometriosis. Introducing Your Pace Yoga: Yoga for Endometriosis.