More than likely if you are reading this blog, you either currently have a pelvic wand, or are considering using one and we congratulate you on taking the next step towards a pain-free life and getting back to the activities you enjoy doing. Whether you took it upon yourself to purchase one, or your healthcare provider recommended it, you are probably wondering what you do with it now. Don’t fear, NewFlora is here to help guide you through the process.
Pelvic wands are used primarily to treat myofascial pain in the pelvic floor muscles and can be used vaginally or rectally. If you are using a NewFlora wand, or are considering purchasing one (link wand product page), we want to get you oriented to the wand and all the benefits it can provide. You will see that there is one end that is bigger in diameter and will often be used for vaginal insertion, while the smaller end is more ideal for rectal insertion. However, feel free to choose which end you prefer for either rectal or vaginal work.
General guidelines for getting started
- Clean your wand. It is very important to clean your wand thoroughly before and after each use with soap and warm water.
- Use Lube. Choose a water based lubricant for silicone wands. Oil or silicone based lubricants break down the material of the dilators. You’ll want a decent amount of lube to minimize discomfort and it can get a bit messy so you may want to grab a towel before you lay down.
- Find your zen. Find a comfortable place to lay down and where you will not be distracted. Lie down with your knees opened outwards. You can use pillows or cushions to support your knees, this will help you ease any tension in your legs and hips when using the dilator. An empty bathtub can be a good place because it provides support to your back and you can rest your legs on the sides of the tub.
- Breathe. Begin to calmly breathe, making sure that your rib cage and belly are expanding all around with each breath, and limit the amount that your chest is involved. You may want to put on calming music or do a meditation beforehand, especially if the thought of putting anything inside makes you nervous, tense, or fearful.
Using your wand: A step-by-step guide
- Choose an end. Either end can be used depending on what feels most comfortable to you. The wider pointed end provides a greater surface area and helps relieve deeper muscles for more general relief whereas the thinner, rounded end allows for easier insertion and can address more focused areas of tension.
- Apply lube. Apply a generous amount of water-based lubricant to the wand and at the opening of the vagina or rectum. Do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) as it may cause irritation, nor silicone-based lubricant as it will break down the material over time. For tips on finding the right lubricant, check out our hygiene blog here.
- Starting the session. Place the wand at the opening of the vagina or rectum, you can use a mirror to help guide you if needed. This is a good time to check in and make sure your body is still relaxed and your breathing is steady and slow.
- Insertion. Slowly, insert the wand, discomfort inserting should be minimal. If you start to feel discomfort, check in with your body and breath before inserting further. As you insert the wand, it should curve to conform to the side wall of the pelvis.
- Find the trigger point. Sweep the area, imagining you are going around a clock. Avoid the 12 o’clock as this is the area of the urethra and is not a muscle. Once you find an area that feels tight, or is tender, place steady pressure through the tip of the wand. Hold the wand steady for approximately 45-60 seconds and breathe until you feel a change in the intensity or type of pain.
- Repeat the process. Continue to sweep the area finding different points and repeat the release. Do this to both sides of the pelvic floor muscles.
- Use vibration. If you notice it is hard to relax, or the pain/tenderness is pretty intense or won't release, our Vibrating Pelvic Wand (link to vibrating wand product page) can help. Vibration helps to distract the brain and give a different sensation, allowing quicker release and often is more comfortable.
We generally recommend using your wand once or twice a day until you begin to notice a change in your symptoms. You can reduce it to 2-3 times per week or continue once per week for maintenance or as part of your self-care routine. Additionally, using your wand regularly may help with reconnecting to your body and pelvic floor.
Myofascial pain typically feels dull or achey, and can also be intense but it may also feel sharp or stinging. Myofascial pain should change relatively quickly either in the type of sensation, the intensity of the pain, or both. If you do not experience a reduction in pain or it is becoming worse, first ensure that you are in a comfortable position where you can relax your legs, hips, and abdomen and that you are breathing. When we hold tension in our bodies, our pelvic floor muscles often will stay contracted and not relax. If you still continue to have pain, please check with your healthcare provider.
The amount of time you will need to spend will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how your body is responding. We generally recommend at least 10-15 minutes, especially if you are just getting started. If you are using your wand for maintenance, 5-10 minutes may be sufficient for targeted areas.
If you are experiencing significant pain, or your pain worsens, you may want to consider seeing a pelvic floor physical therapist who can provide more guidance and create an individualized plan for you or review how to use your wand in person. Ask if NewFlora’s Pelvic Wands are right for you!
To read more about pelvic floor physical therapy, check out our blog here.