30 May The Importance of a Holistic Approach to Belly, Pelvic & Gut Health Concerns
The Importance of a Holistic Approach to Belly, Pelvic and Gut Health Concerns
Have you ever had that experience when you learn something profound that changes the way you see things and you can never un-see or un-learn it again? I have.
In fact, I have had several pivotal teaching moments that have made it abundantly clear to me that ensuring optimal belly health* is an essential strategy to ensuring a person’s ultimate vitality. Meaning if one’s gut, pelvis, gynecologcial organs or bladder are symptomatic this can actually derail one’s overall sense of wellbeing. Conversely if your abdominal and pelvic health are excellent this has a positive ripple effect on your complete health status. My belief that prioritizing belly health while respecting the interconnections between all of the abdominal and pelvic health organs/structures with a holistic approach has become the focus and passion in my work as a naturopathic doctor since 2001.
The biggest ‘aha’ moment however that I really want to share was when, early on in my career, I couldn’t un-see that a holistic approach is the most valuable way to effectively address belly, pelvic and gut health concerns.
Many moons ago, I had the unique opportunity of sitting in a conference room at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto as part of the dynamic team of the now former ‘Women’s Pelvic Health Centre’. As one of the first naturopathic doctors in Canada to work in a hospital, I was beyond excited to be joining an innovative, multidisciplinary team that included a urologist, gynaecologist, gastroenterologist, psychiatrist, sexual therapist, pelvic physiotherapist and a nurse.
We collaborated consciously, based on a shared and radical belief. We agreed that addressing women’s pelvic health with a more integrative approach that respected the interconnection between the elegant and complex systems within the belly would provide a greater chance of providing effective relief and results for women. And I am pleased to say we were right.
Waiting lists of women came from all over the province of Ontario while this clinic was open and reported symptoms that affected multiple systems in their bellies. These women often explained that jumping from specialist to specialist was not getting them any closer to feeling better. They were relieved to find holistic solutions that keenly recognized that their gut health was intricately linked to their gynaecological health, which was linked to their pelvic health, which was linked to their bladder health, which was linked to their mental state and sense of wellbeing.
For instance, a woman who is constipated notes how this negatively impacts her mood, causes headaches, increases PMS, creates difficulties with urination and leads to challenges in feeling intimate with her partner. A cohesive and multi-disciplinary approach that includes, for instance, conventional care, natural medicine, physical therapies (such as pelvic floor physiotherapy!), yoga techniques, abdominal massage and psychological support seems to provide more rapid and robust results in the majority of cases.
So, from this initial experience at Women’s College hospital, I would never be able to un-see these deeply woven links and interconnections within the health of our bellies. Flash-forward to the present and I am thrilled to be working at Vital Physiotherapy and Wellness where the skilled and dynamic team of practitioners shares this same principle- that addressing your pelvic and belly health with a holistic approach can be central to your wellbeing.
I hope that YOU will never be able to un-learn that your belly health is central to your vitality and will take action steps to seek holistic support to give your belly plenty of TLC.
With Belly Love,
To find out about how my Belly Be Well Program could be a fit for you book a FREE DISCOVERY CALL with me, here.
*Note: ‘Belly health’ is defined here as encompassing the health within the entire pelvis, abdomen and gut including the reproductive organs, bladder and digestive system.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. Any health related information that may be posted is not intended to be a substitute for individualized professional medical advice provided to you by Dr. Christine Matheson, ND or another qualified health care provider. Information is general in nature and may be helpful to some persons but not others, depending upon their personal medical needs. Do not utilize the information in this blog to diagnose or treat a health concern without first consulting with a qualified health care practitioner and reviewing your individual medical needs. For instance, when making any changes to your diet, exercise or health regiment, you should always consult with a qualified health care practitioner first. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.