The Alliance for Pelvic Pain on April 27 and 28 was a huge success! Please enjoy the following interview with Amy Stein regarding the retreatâ€¦
What was the goal in creating the Alliance?
The goal was to create a safe learning environment where participants feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and feelings. In addition, we wanted to help women meet other women suffering from chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and to teach them self- healing and self-care techniques that they could practice at home. Furthermore, we wanted to help participants learn about the medical physical therapy approach and mental health approach to treating CPP and to learn about how bowel, bladder, and sexual function can be compromised due to CPP.
What were the highlights of the weekend in your opinion?
The highlights were the ability for these women to realize that they were not alone and they were able to bond with each other. We were also pleased with the teamwork of the interdisciplinary health care providers. CPP is a complex condition that affects multiple aspects of life and which requires the participation of several disciplines to account for all areas affected. The Alliance team all worked very well together and we felt huge reward and accomplishment by offering this to these women.
What was some of the feedback you received from participants?
Some of the comments that we heard were, â€œThis was a life changing experience!â€ â€œThis was the best weekend of my life!â€ â€œThis was a monumental event and Iâ€™m glad that I was a part of it.â€ â€œI felt so relieved to meet so many women with my same condition and to know that I am not alone.â€ â€I learned a lot this weekend from a medical approach, a self-care approach, and about the mind-body connection.â€
How did the Yoga sessions complement the lectures and workshops?
It helped with more mind-body awareness as well as educating the participants on relaxation breathing and relaxation poses. It complemented the mental health care providers in educating patients on how to calm the nervous system and de-activate the fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) response. It also gave patients more options for various stretching positions.
Would you do this again? What do you look forward to incorporating into future Alliance retreats?
YES! I would love to do this again, assuming we have as good of an organizer as Alex. From a physical therapy perspective, I would like to incorporate more self-care techniques. We look forward to providing more support groups related specifically to their condition. We would also like to have male patients in the future.
Stay tuned for interviews with the other providers and quotes from the attendeesâ€¦