Endometriosis is related to as a “woman’s condition,” is not generally talked about or well understood yet affects up to 10% of Irish women.
Endometriosis is one of the most commonly seen gynecological conditions in Ireland and is a very difficult condition to live with. If you have been suffering with Endometriosis and are interested in another perspective on it read on . . .
The sort of pain that causes you to cancel . . .
The main symptom of Endometriosis is recurring pelvic pain. This pain can range from mild to severe cramping or stabbing pain that occurs on both sides of the pelvis, in the lower back, and even down the legs. The pain is usually linked with menstruation but is much more severe than “normal” period pain and can last for days. It is the sort of extreme pain that causes you to miss a family or social event. This kind of pain can be very debilitating and result in a lot of emotional distress.
Other symptoms associated with Endometriosis –
- Excessive bleeding during menstrual periods or bleeding between periods
- Pelvic pain when not menstruating
- Pain during or after sexual intercourse
- Painful urination, or urgent, or frequent urination
- Painful ovulation
- Fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods
- Endometriosis is often associated with infertility issues.
What’s happening . . .
Technically what happens with Endometriosis is the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, the endometrium, starts to grow outside your uterus.
The problems occur because even though it is outside your uterus, the endometrium continues to act as it normally would — it thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. But because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped and triggers an immune response which leads to inflammation.
Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions. Adhesions are abnormal bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other. When Endometriosis involves your ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form.
From a medical perspective, the description of what occurs with Endometriosis is clear. The cause of Endometriosis, on the other hand, is not. There are quite a number of theories but none have been proven. Common treatment for Endometriosis can require a variety of medications and modalities including pain medications, hormone therapy such as birth control pills, hormone-blocking treatments, or surgery to try and control the symptoms.
Trying to control symptoms can be like treating the leaves of the tree without dealing with the root.
From my experience, the root cause of Endometriosis is different for each person. Everything from a difficult childbirth, to a car accident, to sexual abuse, to the after-effects of surgery. All can register as trauma in your system. Your body is designed to repair itself but if it can’t, because the trauma is too overwhelming, it can leave patterns of restriction and these can lead to the symptoms associated with Endometriosis.
Also, I have found in practice that endometrium is unusually potent tissue. In the uterus, endometrium provides an optimal environment for the implantation of the fertilized egg. It is the soil, if you will, that the egg is planted in. Its function is to nurture and promote growth, all of which is beautiful.
The difficulties occur when the endometrium spreads outside its natural environment of the uterus. It is the potent growth aspect of endometrium that causes much of the disharmony associated with Endometriosis. The “wild” endometrium grows out of control connecting tissues and organs that don’t naturally connect.
Working with the flow . . .
Of all the theories put forward for the cause of Endometriosis the one I have found closest to what I experience in practice is the theory of retrograde menstruation. This theory proposes that during a woman’s menstrual flow, somehow the flow is reversed and the endometrium flows backwards through the Fallopian tubes and out of the uterus attaching itself to the lining of the abdominal cavity where it then proceeds to invade the tissues as Endometriosis.
There are no reasons offered in the theory of retrograde menstruation as to why the flow reverses. From a craniosacral perspective, the disturbance of flow is part of the overall disturbance and confusion which trauma can cause in a person’s system.
The menstrual flow, like all the other flows and rhythms in the body — like blood flow or the rhythm of breathing — are all intimately linked and affected by the flow and rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid.
The flow and rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid are affected by trauma and helping to release trauma and regain harmony across all rhythms and flows is something I work closely with in practice.
I work to help your system release patterns of restriction which are disrupting the flow and rhythm of cerebrospinal fluid. This affects all the other flows and rhythms in the body including the menstrual rhythm and flow and helping to get this flow and rhythm back in harmony helps ease the symptoms of Endometriosis.
With Endometriosis, there is a lot to consider and assess. It starts with finding the root cause and then helping the restriction pattern causing the problem to release. Craniosacral therapy is a very gentle approach so it is particularly good with people who are in a lot of pain like people with Endometriosis.