Step 3 – Pelvic floor relaxation exercises
Movement is a method to communicate with your nervous system. Yin Yoga is a form of yoga where you assume a position before allowing yourself to relax into that position allowing your connective tissue and muscles to gently stretch over a few minutes. Many yin positions target relaxation of the muscles of the inner thighs (your adductors) as well as the pelvic floor. Relaxing these muscles can help immensely when dealing with vaginismus and other conditions involving pelvic pain. You can use the exercises from our pelvic floor relaxation playlist on YouTube as another tool to communicate safety to your nervous system.
Step 4 – Finding the “on” switch for penetration
On our sexual dysfunction page, we explain the ingredients in the recipe for orgasmic climax: desire, arousal, and stimulation. When penetration has been a problem, it can be difficult to muster up the desire. It can be hard to feel aroused without desire. Desire and arousal both send safety messages to the nervous system so how can we get past the fear of penetration in order to feel the necessary desire and arousal? We have to flick the “on” switch, which is the clitoris!
Clitoral stimulation can help to turn “on” desire and arousal which can create the relaxation, the lubrication, and the opening needed for successful stimulation. In my opinion, sex education in schools should teach us about stimulation and climax, and not just explain penetration. It is important to know your body and to know what excites you. Self-stimulation (masturbation) is a great way to learn what works for you. It can also be really good to focus on clitoral orgasms with your partner without penetration to help build the trust that is inevitably needed to send that big safety message to your nervous system.
Step 5 – Reduce stress
This may seem obvious, but I will say it regardless. Reducing stress is one of the best ways to communicate safety to your nervous system. You can take up meditation practice such as yoga nidra to help reduce stress and relieve tension in your body. Practice mindfulness, practice yoga, get good sleep, avoid people that trigger anxiety in you. Anything you can do to help eliminate stress from your life will have a positive effect on your vaginismus.