Treatments for abdominal adhesions (including pelvic adhesions) currently fall along two lines. One is the current western medical model which generally consists of surgery and pain medication. Another is through natural medicine and generally consists of massage or manual therapy, specialized physical therapy, and movement.
While it can be hard to imagine that massage in the belly can make a significant difference in abdominal and pelvic adhesions, I have consistently found over almost a decade in my practice as an LMT that it can have a huge, positive, and lasting effect when practiced correctly. Indeed, results can be gained even through self-treatment, as I talk about in my online programs. Additionally, the techniques taught in those videos are (for the most part) the bulk of what I use in session with my own clients.
As far as treatment with a qualified practitioner in any field goes, it is unfortunate that there aren’t a huge number of specialists in this field. However, there are many practitioners who can likely help you at least get started.
Keep in mind as you are searching out someone to help you that there are many different practitioners with many different philosophies about how healing can be achieved. There are practitioners who are aggressive in their treatment, practitioners who use only gentle energetic treatments and everything in between. The hard part of your job is finding someone who “fits” with you. No matter what the practitioner’s approach, make sure you choose someone who you feel is really paying attention to you, someone who has a strong understanding of the way the body works (both in it’s individual parts and as a whole), someone who understands or at least accepts the complexity of pain patterns, and someone who you feel will support you as you search for the answers you are looking for.
Personally, I think that it is best to seek out a practitioner who feels a commitment to treating your adhesions in a way that doesn’t make the underlying problem worse and that doesn’t simply mask the symptoms. I think there are practitioners both in the western medical model and in the natural medical model who are capable of doing this.
It is probably best to start your search among practitioners who have specific training in treatments for abdominal adhesions. There will always be the very talented practitioners who do not have specialized training but are still very capable of helping you – these are a bit far and few between. If you would like to see directories of practitioners who have specialized training, I recommend these sites: Arvigo Therapy (Maya Abdominal Massage) or Chi Nei Tsang or the Barral Institute. These folks do not practice in exactly the same way I do, but they have solid training in the belly.
One word of caution, I have pretty consistently heard from people who have gone to other practitioners for treatment that while wonderfully talented and caring, some of the practitioners try to get too much done in the first session. For some people this has resulted in getting really overloaded by the work and having pain flares that sometimes last months. Be very clear with any practitioner you work with that you would like to take the slow and steady rout for treatment. In my experience, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary flares if you take the time to go at a slow-medium pace.
That said, everyone is different and pain flares may happen even during the most steadily paced treatment. Healing crisis is real and frustrating and often necessary. Patience with the process (as long as you have a practitioner you trust), while difficult, will be helpful.
Knowing your own self-care is also essential. Even when working weekly with clients, I teach them self-care so that they can manage their own pain flares between in-person sessions.
When you are considering and choosing therapy for your adhesions, ask lots of questions and make sure that the therapist is a good fit for you and your needs. We are all happy to talk to you about your individual situation and most everyone will tell you very frankly whether or not they think they will be able to help you.
Good Questions to Ask Any Therapist You Are Considering Working With
◊ Why do you work with abdominal adhesions?
◊ What is your background and experience?
◊ Have you had success with patients you have treated?
◊ How long and how often should I expect to receive treatment?