Note from Liz: I am so grateful to be surrounded by extremely knowledgeable (& gracious) local professionals when it comes to fertility. My contributing guest bloggers today are Joelle Samples (Health Coach & Merciér Therapist) with yinRoot and Dr. Natalie Marshall (Physical Therapist) with Vitalize Physical Therapy.
I have known Joelle for over two years and have recently gotten to know Dr. Natalie this past year. They are each passionate about sharing their knowledge and agreed to co-author a special piece this month for #endometriosisawarenessmonth all about how we can care for our bodies when we are affected by an endometriosis diagnosis (or even if we just suspect that we may have the disease). Enjoy the read and if this strikes a cord with you, don't hesitate to reach out to Joelle or Natalie for more information on working with them.
Endometriosis (aka endo) affects women of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and body types — endometriosis does not discriminate. Approximately 176 million women worldwide (1 in 10) are impacted by endometriosis, a women’s health issue that occurs when endometrial lining grows outside of the uterine walls. This tissue can grow on organs within the pelvic cavity, such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes and outer walls of the uterus. In addition, it has also been found on other organs like the bladder, rectum, and small and large intestines, leading to urinary and digestive issues. In extremely rare cases, it has also been found on the lungs and in the brain.
When a woman is on her menstrual cycle, the endometrial tissue bleeds and sheds from these different areas causing inflammation, scar tissue, and adhesions. Because endometriosis affects the internal structure of the abdomen and pelvis, the associated muscles, nerves, fascia, blood supply and lymphatic system can be comprised. This can result in reduced mobility, pain, and fertility challenges.
Symptoms of Endometriosis
Endometriosis can look different from woman to woman based on to the severity of her diagnosis. Women may experience one or all of the symptoms listed below; in rare cases, she may not experience any of these symptoms.
Holistic Ways to Manage your Endometriosis Diagnosis
Creating a team of like-minded practitioners that are dedicated to addressing the root cause of endometriosis, is key to managing the symptoms. While endometriosis may never completely go away, in our experience, many women that implement these recommendations live with little to no symptoms at all.
If you suspect you have endometriosis, and you are looking for support in the Indianapolis area, we would love to connect!
About Joelle Samples
After receiving her Bachelor of Science from Ball State University, Joelle went on to receive training as a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Merciér Therapist. As a Women’s Health & Fertility Coach, Joelle works with her clients to address the root cause of their fertility and menstrual cycle challenges. She provides guidance, education, support and encouragement as the woman seeks a more gentle approach to care. You can learn more about Joelle, her personal story, and the services she offers at yinRoot.com.
About Dr. Natalie Marshall
Natalie is a pelvic and orthopedic physical therapist helping women and men live, work, and play free of pain and embarrassment. She combines her passion for unconventional therapy with her extensive professional training, making a great blend of “east meets west” physical therapy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a Doctorate degree from Belmont University and continues to take speciality courses. You can learn more about Natalie and her practice at vitalizeindy.com.
Just because I’ve been pregnant before or because I’m now a childbirth educator does not mean that I have perfected the art of being pregnant. Quite frankly, I am just as stubborn, clumsy, and forgetful as any pregnant woman. However, I’ve done a few new things this pregnancy that have been worthwhile that I’d like to share with you, my Indy FertilityCare clients, followers, and supporters.
1. I have pursued chiropractic care on a regular basis.
Although I had seen a chiropractor in the past for occasional aches and neck pain, my training to become a Birth Boot Camp Instructor is what opened my eyes to chiropractic care and the advantages for optimal positioning of baby and health in pregnancy (shorter labors, less aches/pains/discomforts) and I wanted to give it a try. Dr. Kristen Hartwell DC of Sacred Spines and Billingsley Chiropractic Center has taken good care of me during my pregnancy and I can report that I feel lighter and more agile. I am also sleeping better than I have in my previous pregnancies. I can keep up (more or less) with my two young toddlers even at 38 weeks pregnant.
2. I finally sought out pelvic floor physical therapy.
Like chiropractic care, I knew pelvic floor therapy helped a lot of women and I refer my clients to it all the time. I knew needing to use the bathroom midway through an intense exercise class or peeing mid-cough or mid-sneeze (having a bad cold was the worst!) was not normal, even for a pregnant woman.
After two vaginal deliveries (and some tearing in each), my pelvic floor was not as strong as it used to be. I finally decided that it was time to get help and I’m so glad I did. Elaine Morrison, PT of Zionsville Physical Therapy has been my physical therapist and through her expertise and my hard work of committing to daily exercises, I’m happy to say I can make it through a Les Mills Body Pump class or prenatal yoga class with no leakage or bathroom breaks! I have a stronger pelvic floor and have a larger toolkit of ways to build strength now and postpartum after my delivery this time around. Let’s just say not all kegels are created equal!
3. I have said NO more often and set better boundaries.
This one was HUGE for me (and I am still a work in progress). I said no to new clients as of a few months ago and no to writing opportunities, speaking gigs, and volunteer opportunities which made me heart excited, but that I knew I couldn’t do justice. I feel more free because of it. Not because these weren’t worthy endeavors (most were things I would have loved to do), but because I could not say yes to them and yes to my other commitments (family, work, personal time) simultaneously. I am only one person, and I have 24 hours in each day just like each of you reading.
I have been choosing to prioritize my emotional, physical, and mental health this pregnancy and I know that also directly impacts my stress levels and helping me sleep and rest appropriately. It is hard and sometimes frustrating to have to say no, but each no has been a little bit easier. Some books that have given me much-needed perspective from other women walking this journey of being recovering “people pleasers” include: The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands and Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. These books helped me realize that I’m not the only person struggling with this and that it is a struggle worth fighting.
How about you? What are the new things you’re doing in this season of your own life?
Want to have an amazing birth? I offer local classes in Zionsville, Indiana and will be offering a comprehensive 10-week class this Fall 2018. Having a baby sooner than that or interested in teaching childbirth education to women and couples looking for modern, evidence-based learning? Make sure to check out the excellent virtual classes and the instructor and doula training programs offered by Birth Boot Camp.
Certified FertilityCare Practitioner & Birth Boot Camp Instructor
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