Massage Your Pelvic Floor to Relieve Vaginal Pain
Your vagina hurts. Burning during sex. Pain while sitting. Heaviness in your pelvis. Maybe it’s a constant ache. And you want it fixed yesterday! Otherwise you probably would be surfing the internet for kittens playing with string instead of stringing together information on how to make your pussy feel better, right?
While pelvic and vaginal pain are complex issues with a variety of contributing factors, it be overwhelming trying to figure out what to do. It can also feel hopeless and debilitating, like you’re broken and inept. These feelings can be exacerbated by the fact that so much of this condition and its treatment seems to be out of your control. At least that’s how I felt after two years of often biweekly urogynecologist, physical therapist, psychologist visits and almost obsessive research to find a solution to my own sexual pain.
Now that I’m done telling you things you probably already figured out, let’s get to the stuff that you care about: something that can help!
The following paragraphs outline how to perform self-massage for your pelvic floor and vagina to help you (literally) take your healing into your own hands. For some of you reading, your reaction might be similar to the first time you were instructed how to use a tampon: “You want me to do what where??” But take a deep breath and open to the possibilities.
The pelvic floor is composed of approximately 15 different muscles (more if you count those which exist both left and right). Any one or any combination of these muscles can become imbalanced, either holding too much tone or not enough, which can cause pain, incontinence, and other pelvic dysfunctions. Applying direct stimulation through massage signals the brain to excite the contributing nerves, toning up or de-Hulking these muscles. If you have ever been to a women’s health professional or pelvic PT who performs intravaginal work, this work will be similar. To read about the benefits of self pelvic massage, click here.
Materials You Will Want
Clean hands or gloves
Possibly a mirror
Pillows for leg support if desired
10 to 15 minutes of quiet (longer if you would like to be more thorough)
Massage should always feel comfortable! If you are exceeding your pain threshold – i.e. if you are clenching your butt cheeks or teeth – you are getting a little overzealous and should ease up.
Thinking of your vaginal opening as a clock can help with orientation. Your clitoris is 12 o’clock and your anus is 6 o’clock.
Use whichever finger is easiest for you during the internal massage. Some women prefer their thumbs, others prefer their index fingers. I will be using thumbs to illustrate in the instructions.
Healthy muscles feel supple/bouncy, flexible, and be pain-free when pressed upon. Areas which feel hard, too easy to sink into, or produce pain are imbalanced. Focus your massage efforts there. Your goal is to try to even the tissue feel from one side to the other.
Do not over massage. Muscles may not adopt 100% healthy tone or even show much change at all after the first session. This is normal especially for cases of chronic tension. Be patient. If more than a minute of compression or two minutes of massage passes without change, move on to a different area. Stop sooner if soreness increases. You may revisit this area later in your massage if it feels right to do so.
Listen to your intuition! If it feels right to hold something longer or move in a certain way, do so.
Do not perform internal massage if you have any active infections or open wounds.
Do not perform internal massage if penetration is painful. As you perform the external portions your ability to do the internal massage may increase. Be gentle and patient
Find a comfortable position to sit or lay with your knees bent and feet flat.
Take a minute to feel around your inferior (bottom) pelvic bones by gently compressing the issue until you feel the bones. Begin by feeling around where your libia majora meet above your clitoris to locate them. Try to make it the whole way back to the tip of your coccyx which is an inch or two below the anal opening. This step is not necessary for every time you perform self-massage, but it is helpful to the visualization process and to help develop greater awareness of your pelvic bowl.
Using whichever finger is most comfortable press on the perineal body. This is the space between the vagina and the anus. Massage either with circular motions or straight pressure until the area seems to melt and release.
Insert the tip of your thumb into the vagina directly at 6 o’clock and use your fingers to gently pinch the perineal body to further soften the area.
With the tip of your thumb still directly at the opening, slide it side to side to feel for tension. Compress and/or rub any tension you find.
Keeping your thumb on the inside, place your index finger on your anal opening and create a pinching motion. Feel for thickness or resistance in the vaginal wall in several places. These are the places you will work.
If comfortable, try inserting two or more fingers to the vaginal opening to spread the tissues out to the side, expanding the tissues as they would during sex.
Move your thumb into the vagina up to the first knuckle and begin searching for tender, hard, or unusually soft tissue starting at either the 5 or 7 o’clock positions and work your way up the vaginal walls toward 12 o’clock. (Starting at 6 o’clock at this depth may be uncomfortable as you would be pressing on the rectum. You will also want to avoid pressing directly on 12 o’clock as you will compress the bladder/urethra.) You may find trigger points – unusually tight and very tender points in the muscle – during this process. Some discomfort while working on these is expected, but remember not to exceed your pain threshold. To release these points, apply firm yet tolerable
pressure and hold until the sensation decreases or a minute passes. Whichever happens first.
Compressing with your opposite hand externally toward the internal hand while visualizing a link between the two hands may help facilitate the release.
Repeat this at varying depths on both sides.
Once you have released the intravaginal tissue, turn your attention to the anal sphincter. Feel around the anal opening for tight or less mobile tissue. Compress and/or massage these areas.
If comfortable, insert the very tip of your thumb into the rectum. Pushing gently outward, again feel for tension and compress into these areas.
Allow yourself to sit quietly for a few minutes, noticing the changes in your pelvic bowl. This massage can be effective as a stand alone practice. It can also be greatly enhanced by combining it with professional work such as physical therapy or Arvigo® Maya Abdominal Massage which can help to even the pelvic bones, low back muscles, thigh muscles, hip muscles and abdominal muscles which will in turn contribute to the balance of your pelvic floor.
I would love to hear your stories on your pelvic healing journey, your experiences as you perform these pelvic and vaginal massage techniques, or any questions you have in the comments below! You can also reach me directly at (856) 857-7535.
I hope this tool aids you on your path to a pain free vagina and pelvis!