The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast
Ep 133: Yoga for Painful Sex with Casie Danenhauer
How is the health of your pelvic floor is related to sexual dysfunction and painful sex? This is a topic that many of us find uncomfortable to talk about, but that a lot of us, particularly women, struggle with. Dr. Casie Danenhauer, someone who has experienced pelvic pain herself, reveals how she has combined techniques from physical therapy and yoga to create a holistic approach to healing.
Dr. Casie Danenhauer is a pelvic floor physical therapist, registered yoga teacher, and Founder of Enlighten Physical Therapy, where she focuses on providing conscious care for pelvic health. After using a combination of yoga techniques and physical therapy to address her own struggles with pelvic pain and painful intercourse, Casie realized that a holistic approach is the most efficient and effective path towards pelvic health. Since then, she has integrated yoga, breathing and meditation exercises into her physical therapy practice to create a unique East-meets-West approach.
By speaking openly about her own experience with pelvic pain, Casie hopes to break some of the stigma and shame that surrounds the topic. She explains more about the pelvic floor, some common symptoms and conditions associated with painful intercourse, and how therapeutic yoga, physical therapy and breathwork can be used in combination to treat these conditions. She also offers advice on how yoga teachers can responsibly talk about and cue the pelvic floor, and be a part of a client’s healing journey.
Whether you have students who are dealing with pelvic pain or painful intercourse, or you just want to be more aware of how yoga and physical therapy can be integrated to address pelvic health conditions, you’re sure to find value in this episode.
[6:30] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Dr. Casie Danenhauer.
[8:10] What does Casie do and how did she get into it? She shares her journey with physical therapy and yoga, and how she came to integrate the two in her practice.
[16:01] Shannon and Casie discuss the language and connotations of using expressions like "pelvic dysfunction".
[16:58] When did Casie start dealing with her own pelvic health conditions?
[21:34] Pelvic health professionals can make a big impact on people and make a difference to people.
[23:02] Casie shares some of the treatments that helped with her pain with sex, and how she moved into becoming a pelvic floor PT.
[25:41] That Casie has shared the personal aspects of her own struggles with her pelvic health condition openly is very powerful.
[27:00] What are some conditions associated with painful sex, and what are the symptoms associated with each?
[29:32] What were some treatment methods Casie engaged in to treat her own pain, and who would she engage to help in her treatment now?
[32:20] What can yoga teachers do to support students who are dealing with painful intercourse?
[39:22] Casie recommends for yoga teachers to reach out to your students PT to find out more about what they are dealing with.
[43:13] How can yoga teachers use the same pose for different purposes? Casie breaks down with the example of cat-cow.
[49:10] What are some cues yoga teachers can give for students who need to build strength in their pelvic floor?
[50:23] Casie shares some key issues to be aware of when addressing a student who is struggling with pelvic pain or painful intercourse.
[51:47] What are some differences in Casie's approach compared to the medical approach?
[55:55] Connect with Casie on Instagram, or check out her website for more information on the work she does.
Quotes from this episode:
"There's a million different ways we can prescribe a breathwork, but most of it, honestly, is just giving the patient permission to move in ways and give attention to their body and specifically, their pelvic spaces, when maybe they've never even heard of that as a possibility."
"I was really, really moved by how powerful pelvic floor PT can be in helping people with really basic ‘quality of life’ level issues that we take for granted until something goes wrong."
"That's part of my main mission is to de-stigmatize all of this stuff, and take out the shame."
"That, I feel is the most healing aspect, is just being able to voice what we're experiencing in our body."
"Pain levels decrease with mindfulness."
"The brain and the nervous system is influencing all of the tissues in the body."