HOLISTIC PELVIC CARE™ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dr. Kathy Sawhill is certified by Tami Kent, MSPT, as a provider of Holistic Pelvic Care (HPC™)
What Is Holistic Pelvic Care ™?
Holistic Pelvic Care ™ (HPC™) is a gentle intravaginal technique developed to assess and then restore balance to the pelvic bowl. It helps expand a woman’s awareness of her own healing potential. Pelvic manual therapy, a specialty of Women’s Health Physical Therapy, is considered routine healthcare for women around the world, including in France where the government covers treatment cost. Tami Kent, MSPT has broadened the conventional medical model of pelvic manual therapy to include restoration of not only the physical but also the energetic and emotional balance, coining the term Holistic Pelvic Care, HPC™.
Who Would Benefit?
HPC™ benefits adult women of all ages and is a valuable addition to any wellness program. Dr. Sawhill’s main interest in the technique began with the search to find a better solution than pads and adult diapers for common urinary incontinence after giving birth. In practice, this technique addresses most if not all issues related to the female body including menstrual irregularities, painful periods, irregular cycles, fibroids and cysts. HPC™ addresses fertility and libido issues, painful intercourse, urinary leakage, frequent urinary tract or vaginal infections, back and pelvic pain after trauma from falls or motor vehicle accidents.
Additionally, HPC™ benefits women who would like to facilitate healing after procedures and surgeries such as ablation, hysterectomy and childbirth (vaginal and cesarean). This technique can help prepare a woman for any new phase of her life from death of a spouse, adopting a child, blending a family, even in moving effortlessly into career or life change.
HPC™ helps restore balance, heal and reclaim oneself after abuse or miscarriage, regardless of when the incident(s) occurred. Depending on how effective your history of therapy and self healing, it is recommended to have a relationship with a counselor or therapist if abuse is part of your history because of the potential for emotional and physical trauma to resurface.
What Is A Typical Session Like?
The first session includes a verbal intake and assessment along with a review of the anatomy of a woman’s pelvic bowl. Physical assessment of the musculature is done gently, without the bright lights of gynecological offices. You will be lying comfortably with your shirt on, under blankets, on a heated massage table in a darkened private room. During the assessment, Dr. Sawhill will determine which muscles are actively engaging and which are not via pelvic squeeze or “Kegel” exercise. Internal pelvic trigger points and tension patterns are also evaluated. Gentle treatment to balance the pelvis and pelvic bowl consists of gentle fascia release, trigger point work, breath-work and visualization tools. Treatment is generally calming and meditative. Dr. Sawhill will guide your focus as well as teach you the home care exercises that will facilitate healing and reclamation of your body.
Follow-up sessions begin with a brief re-assessment and then treatment. The number of follow up sessions can vary with each woman but usually no more than 8 or 10 sessions spaced out over time are indicated for most issues. Seasonal or annual treatments as part of a wellness program are recommended for those women without special concerns.
NOTE: this treatment is appropriate even if a woman is menstruating at the time of treatment.
Is HPC™ Painful?
The pelvic massage is gentle and respectful, following the lead of the woman and of her body. It should never hurt and your response to it guides the direction of the treatment. Although HPC™ is subtle, the effects are profound. Women typically notice benefit with one session.
What Effects Will I Notice After a HPC™ Session?
Women describe immediate effects of relaxation, a sense of well-being and increased strength in their pelvic muscles. Some women find that they need to rest and/or go to bed earlier the night of a treatment. Allow yourself ‘personal time’ to integrate the treatment following the session. Exercise like cardio and weights after a session is fine, try not to over-extend yourself either physically or emotionally. An Epsom salt bath the evening of a session is a delightful way to end the day.
How Long Is Each Session?
Allow 60 minutes for initial HPC™ intake and treatment, and 30 to 45 minutes for follow-up sessions.
Because of the delicate nature of this treatment, a general 90 minute initial visit to establish one’s overall health is required. If you are already a patient/client of the clinic, feel free to schedule your first Holistic Pelvic Care™ visit!