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ELDOA for painful bladder + interstitial cystitis

I have applied ELDOA in combination with myofascial stretching, global postural stretching and segmental strengthening to solve various personal health issues, but the most notable change has been with my struggles with interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic type of bladder and pelvic pain syndrome of which the cause is "unknown". Symptoms include painful urination, urgency and painful sex and it can be linked with a low quality of life and depression. I suspect that this goes largely undiagnosed as I was often misdiagnosed with a urinary tract infection, fed antibiotics unnecessarily and lectured about my personal hygiene for most of my life. From age 8 to 30 I experienced symptoms about 50% of the time.

Prior to discovering ELDOA, I had reduced my flare ups significantly with acupuncture and cupping - particularly when applied in the lumbosacral region. I still experienced very painful episodes about 1-2 times a year, but I was thrilled to have a coping mechanism in acupuncture and beyond happy to live with that for the rest of my life in comparison with how I had felt previously. But then, I noticed that over a year had gone by without any flare ups and I didn't know why. I had started practicing ELDOA in that time and was practicing L5/S1 daily, but I hadn't made the connection yet...

Then I attended ELDOA level 4, which covers the exercises for the pelvis. As Dr. Guy Voyer was highlighting the ligamentous links between the bones of the pelvis and the urinary bladder it all started to become clear. Of course there was a connection between the lumbosacral pain and the urinary bladder/pelvic pain I was experiencing! I suppose I always knew there was after experiencing relief from acupuncture in that region, but I didn't have the anatomical understanding to fully make the connection. During the lecture I felt tears coming on, partially out of relief to finally understand where the pain was coming from, but also out of frustration because the answer was so simple and obvious and I was angry that this had never been presented as a possibility previously.

After attending that course, I was then able to add several more exercises that were specific to the pelvis and I have gone even longer periods of time without any flare ups. I apply segmental strengthening exercises and stretching for the muscles that integrate with the pelvic floor to both prevent and treat flare ups.

In the past 7 years I have only experienced 2 flare ups, and though it is still a little painful at the onset, I find that I am able to remain much more calm and relax my way through it now that I have ELDOA as a tool to help me in those moments, so the flare ups never get too severe. The clearer understanding and acceptance of my "weak link" is both relieving and empowering. This is why when clients come to my Pilates gym in Neukölln, they receive a custom set of ELDOA exercises that they can use to prevent, manage and treat their own issues.

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