As a holistic health-minded practice, Turner Professional Group values helping connect patients with other kinds of healthcare besides psychotherapy. Whether that is suggesting the massage therapist right here in our office or helping to coordinate referrals among any other kind of specialty, we are passionate about taking advantage of every healthcare perspective that could be helpful in getting you to your optimal quality of life.
There are many diagnoses that overlap in the world of physical and mental health, and sometimes treatment from more than one approach leads to the fullest recovery. Some of those diagnoses that are especially relevant to sexual health are dyspareunia and vaginisumus – both physical conditions that are listed in the psychiatric bible: The DSM.
One of the tools in a multidisciplinary health care practice that we routinely work with is Physical Therapists. Employing the help of a Physical Therapist at the same time as a Sex Therapist while working with these issues can aid in working through the emotional effects of the physical reality, helping to clarify and follow up with the Physical Therapist's homework recommendations, and understand other social/interpersonal/neurological dimensions to the experience of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Turner Professional Group recently toured the beautiful offices of Preferred Physical Therapy to learn about their expertise in working with pelvic floor issues that can affect many of our clients. The muscles of the pelvic floor can develop chronic tension or weakness just like any other muscle in the body. However, unlike your bicep, pelvic floor issues can affect many other aspects of life such as reproduction, sexuality and elimination. A physical therapist could make a big difference when one is suffering from the aftermath of cancer, surgery or scarring to the pelvic area, complications following childbirth, incontinence and muscle weakness or vulvar pain presenting as dyspareunia or vaginismus – defined in the links above. During our tour we learned about the different kinds of internal and external massage, biofeedback and body awareness training that physical therapists use to treat these conditions. Although the link to their page focuses on women's pelvic health, men could also benefit from these services in the context of prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction or incontinence. Although these can be intimidating or private issues, we felt very relaxed and supported in the serene and soothing environment, cared for by friendly and knowledgeable staff.
To help facilitate communication between mental health experts and physical therapy professionals, Turner Professional Group recently hosted an informational event for the Kansas City Women's Health Physical Therapy Group. Besides delicious snacks and educational vulva pillows, we discussed how to best serve clients' quality-of-life needs around sexual functioning and pelvic health. One of the highlights was discussing the Crystal Wand (available on Amazon.com) as a vaginal & pelvic health tool, and how sex therapists can help people who are normally uncomfortable with typical masturbation learn how to apply their PT's instructions in a way that works for them to ensure they maintain adequate blood flow and can work out tension-related pain.
Dr. George Turner shares that, "We are thrilled to be pushing forward on the cutting edge of multidisciplinary client care in this way. The research shows that 75% of medical patients want to be asked about their sexual health, but only 23% of medical professionals now do so. That is why we are here to fill in that gap, to help start those crucial conversations to get clients back on track to the quality of life they used to enjoy - or to get somewhere even better!"