Updated: Nov 6, 2020
And reasons to go inside. Lets talk about it...
Image from @medical_knowledge0 on instagram
Am I really writing a post about Vagina’s? Honestly? Well... it has been a hot topic of conversation between me and some of the people and clients in my life for the past couple of months. In addition to this I work with pregnant women, older women, women with trauma and women who may be on medication (for whatever reason). All of these factors (including what you eat, drink, if you smoke, where you are in your menstrual cycle, how much you are (or are not) having sex, exercise practises, what you wash with, how you wash, tampons, condoms oh my goodness the list..) can sometimes mean a change in hormonal/musculoskeletal balances of the body/pelvis and as a result...we may require a little attention inside the pelvis and sometimes the best way to get to those particular areas are through le vagin.
So I am... but I'm not. Catchy title though huh?
Okay where am I going with this?
Yes die vagina can go through an array of changes and experience a number of things but I’m not here to talk about vaginal drynes or STD’s as… I am a massage therapist.
So let’s talk about massaging... le chatte.
Why would you massage inside the vagina? What musculoskeletal/hormonal/emotional issues may require internal massage? What could lead to chronic pelvic pain that requires a specialist to go inside?
A few examples include:
SI Joint disfunction
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Remember the vagina is not just what we see on the outside, the internal passage that leads to the cervix is how you can access certain muscles to help release tension and rehabilitate the whole pelvic girdle.
More than what meets the eye...
So what are the types of massage that require access via the pochwy?
Pelvic Floor Massage
Let's go deeper... (no pun intended)
Pelvic Floor massage
A strong and functional pelvic floor acts as part of your core for pelvic stability: It is also going to stop you from pissing and shitting yourself, it’s going to stop organs falling out, it’s going to keep fluid pumping around the body, and it’s going to assist in a raging erection and a killer orgasm.
In more detail
The pelvic floor is a very important collection of muscles for men and women which acts as a support for our bladder, rectum and uterus (should we have one). If the pelvic floor is dysfunctional, weak or under a lot of stress from weight it can sometimes allow internal organs to protrude through the openings of the pelvic floor; these protrusions can be known as a prolapse or hemorrhoids; which can be very uncomfortable. The pelvic floor also wraps around the openings of your bladder and your rectum. So when under pressure (jumping on a trampoline, or sneezing) the pelvic floor is what prevents ‘leakages’ from happening. The pelvic floor also has a circulatory role for your blood and lymphatic system. It acts as a pump to pump lymph and blood upwards in your body (a similar role to your calves) and if the pelvic floor is not pumping lymph and blood back up he body, swelling and congestion can occur. Your Pelvic floor is an important part of your core providing stability for your pelvis. So if you have taken a fall or suffered a pelvic injury, have SI joint issues or a hypermobile tailbone (as a few examples) your pelvic floor will play a big role in re-stabilising and keeping alignment to your pelvis (kegel exercises are great for pelvic floor strength). Your pelvic floor also plays a part in erection sustainability, orgasm intensity and comfort during intercourse. Sometimes the pelvic floor can be over-active in contracting causing pain and discomfort during sexual activities. Pelvic floor massage can help train the muscles to relax when needed.
A dysfunctional pelvic floor can cause pain, discomfort, anxiety, depression and a loss in sexual appetite, (and there's more), so if your are experiencing discomfort I do encourage you to seek help. Lot's of people are timid when experiencing discomfort in the pelvic area and that's okay, but you don't need to sit with the pain.
Pelvic floor massage can help treat dysfunction of the pelvic floor, releasing tension and trigger points internally, allowing for the pelvis to realign and for contractile tissue to activate in a functional way. It can treat urinary and rectal issues and it can help aid pain and discomfort during sex. Alongside strengthening exercises it can regain tensility in order to play the role it is designed for.
Let us not limit this massage to the vagina for a moment, internal massage for the pelvic floor isn’t just for the ladies. A few issues which may require internal-rectal massage include:
Levator ani Syndrome
Coccyx fractures and breakages
man and woman pelvic floors are not too dissimilar
Most commonly used in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (but also used for consitpation). This can be performed by a specialist, by your partner or there are also tools you can buy so that you can do this by yourself.
There’s a study (of 28 women, so let’s not get too set on this as fact) that says the average vaginal introitus size (entrance) is 26.2mm, 2.62cm or 1.03in.*
Get a ruler… that really isn't very big.
And when you’re pregnant you need to somehow push a small human out of it.
So in the third trimester perineum massage is encouraged to increase the tensility of the perineum so that when asked to stretch during labour there is less chance of it tearing.
Think of it like Blu Tak. When it’s cold and you pull it, it's more likely to tear apart. But once it’s warmed up it becomes malleable, easier to stretch and is much less likely to tear. Or like a ballon, sometimes you stretch and pull a balloon a few times before trying to blow it up to make it easier. Perineum massage is like warming up the muscle, training it to make it more familiar with stretching and contracting so that when labour hits and a little head comes sliding towards the vaginal opening, it expands graciously like a pre-stretched balloon and the little tiger can slip right out (or something along those lines, roughly... in theory). Though not the most pleasurable experience perineum massagehas been known to really aid childbirth and childbirth recovery.
And I sell perineum balm by Nom Nom (link here) to help with perineum massage as part of my pregnancy package deals (how convenient).
Sexual trauma is real. Very very real. The statistics are high. I say that without a figure or any statistic because any percentage regarding sexual trauma on any human no matter what age is a percentage too high whether you be male, female or non-binary.
Yoni massage can help heal sexual trauma and also expand your knowledge of self and sexuality. It focuses on reconnecting self and sexuality, as well as deeper exploration of self and sexuality. It can be practised alone at home (there are tools that you can use to treat yourself) or with a specialist. Of all the massages this is one that you’re not going to find in a physiotherapy/osteopathy/chiropractic clinic so I would highly recommend you do a lot of research and ask for recommendations before seeking a yoni massage therapist.
Yoni massage can also really help with other issues such as fibroids, endemitriosis and vulvodynia. A specialist is also not always required, this is a massage you can do at home alone or with a partner.
Yoni massage can be assisted with tools and crystals
However as with all massage treatments it is important that you have somebody who is qualified, who you trust and equally have a good rapport with. Whether you or somebody else is navigating their way around that particular area of the body there needs to be respect. Whether it is a black door in a dark alley or a reputable clinic with gold stars, always seek internal massage from somebody you feel comfortable with. A certificate on the wall does not always mean kosher and you do not have to sit with discomfort or anxiety on a treatment table. Ask all the questions you want, go for a second opinion if you need, do your research and the moment you feel uncomfortable you have the right to leave. You can even take a friend or ask for a chaperone. Male, female or non binary.. It’s your body and it’s your therapy.
I’ve included a couple of links below of some websites which I think may interest you if you are thinking/considering/interested in taking a dive into the vagina for massage, for any reason at all. Also please feel free to get in touch if you would like more information or further recommendation.
*Human Reproduction, Volume 21, Issue 6, June 2006, Pages 1618–1622,