Report of results of 8 months of A Headache in the Pelvis protocol after 15 years of symptoms.
I am a 35 year-old male who, until recently, suffered from chronic prostatitis for over 15 years. I am writing to share my experience in hope that someone else currently suffering from my predicament can heal as I have.
Starting at about age 18, I began to notice symptoms of high urinary frequency and a great sense of urgency when I felt the need to urinate. By the time I was 24, the symptoms reached the point where I was uncomfortable much of the day. I went to see multiple doctors, including several urologists who did several invasive procedures. I had diagnoses that ranged from chronic prostatitis to a narrow bladder neck. Other than taking alpha-blockers, doctors told me they could not do much to help me.
I somehow learned to get by with my symptoms. I always sat on the aisle row of a movie theater or airplane to facilitate my many visits to the restroom. I would map out the restrooms first upon entering a new mall or other unfamiliar place. I tried to avoid any event where I would not be assured access to a restroom hourly. I typically felt the urge to urinate every hour during the day. Multiple visits to the restroom at night were not uncommon. I budgeted more time to sleep because the quality of my sleep was so poor.
In October of 2002, the inconvenient and annoying symptoms of my condition turned into a persistent pain. Urinating no longer relieved, even temporarily, the pain and sense of urgency to urinate. I felt pain in and around my urethra, my bladder, and my prostate. Multiple visits to several urologists resulted in a diagnosis of "chronic prostatitis." I started taking any pharmaceutical that the doctors suggested, including antibiotics, alpha-blockers, Ambien to sleep at night, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs. None of these helped. By Thanksgiving, I wasn't able to sleep more than a few hours per night. I began missing work. I spent entire days in tears. I suffered from panic attacks. I went to the emergency room. I started to avoid people as much as possible. My increasing anxiety made the pain even worse.
I can remember thinking in December, 2002 that everything I had spent my whole life trying to achieve was coming to an end. I had an MBA from Harvard Business School. I had a great job. I had a loving wife and two children. I had a strong relationship with God. Yet, I couldn't see how I was going to survive. I didn't see how I could possibly maintain my job with this pain. I didn't even think I would be able to enjoy watching my children grow older. Sex was out of the question because it just exacerbated the symptoms. I would have gladly given up all my money and material possessions to be cured of the acute pain that plagued my every moment.
In desperation, I turned to the internet. Fortunately, I learned about the work of Dr. Wise and Dr. Anderson. Contrary to many other approaches I read about on the internet, their approach appealed to me because:
1. It had a fundamental basis. In other words, it made sense that the pain I was feeling was the result of constriction of the pelvic region.
2. It did not entail pharmaceuticals or surgery. Surgery is permanent. Pharmaceuticals were not working and had bad side-effects. I was intent on not resorting to narcotics of any kind.
3. Their approach allowed me to be proactive about my pain. Some internet sites claim that chronic prostatitis is caused by an as-yet unidentified and untreatable infection. What good would it have done me to convince myself that I had an untreatable infection?
4. The symptoms I felt and the way I felt them matched those described in A Headache in the Pelvis.
5. My symptoms historically have been linked to stress. Having increased tension in the pelvis during times of stress seemed to fit my profile as well.
My wife drove me to San Francisco to start therapy. I first saw a urologist who ruled out other possibilities and confirmed that I might benefit from this course of therapy. I attended daily physical therapy with a therapist trained in the techniques. In addition to internal stretching performed by the therapist, I was put on a program to stretch various muscles and fascia daily. I began learning "moment-to-moment" relaxation. I also began learning the paradoxical relaxation technique. Within a week, I was much better. My wife drove me home to Los Angeles, where I continued physical therapy twice a week and later once a week for about three months. I became better and better at "moment-to-moment" relaxation of the pelvic muscles, to the point that I didn't need to think about relaxing those muscles any more. I continued daily paradoxical relaxation using tapes provided by Dr. Wise. Amazingly, the pain diminished with each week that passed. There were occasional flare-ups. However, the general trend was and continues to be in one direction -- better.
It has now been eight months since I started this program. I have had to dedicate significant time to this effort. However, I feel like a miracle has been granted to me. My urinary frequency has dropped to only once per night and once per two hours, at most, during the day. I feel little, if any, pain. I feel almost no pain following sex. I am better than I have been in over 15 years!
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From Dr Wise, another patient story reproduced with permission:
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