Survivors of sexual abuse deal with multiple issues. The most common and effective way to deal with these issues is with a variety of psychotherapy techniques. However there has been a lot of research and articles discussing muscle memory. Emotional and mental trauma can manifest itself physically in the body the same way physical trauma does. Aside from the obvious trauma that can occur in the pelvic floor muscles after sexual abuse several coping mechanisms also occur. As many with chronic pain will do, in order to survive day to day the survivor will “check out” of the pelvic and abdominal region.
This lack of awareness can eventually cause significant quality of life issues down the road. The pelvic floor and abdominal muscles are classic regions where we hold stress and tension due to the amount of nerves that reside there. If these muscles are in a chronic state of tension, spasming can occur. This will ultimately create weakness and/or pain. Pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, incomplete emptying of bowel and bladder, and abdominal pain can all result from this lack of awareness that can be a result of this survival technique.
Psychoemotional support is absolutely essential in learning safe and effective coping techniques, however balancing this with pelvic floor therapy can help decrease the chronic symptoms that can result from lack of pelvic floor muscle awareness. With the use of biofeedback and physical feedback from safe touch by a licensed pelvic floor therapist there is hope that acceptance can occur which will ultimately result in an improved quality of life. Acceptance of the here and now starts now. Release muscle tension from what has happened in the past and allow your mind and body to move forward.