When I began my practice, my particular focus was on-trend with the rest of the nation: exposing Women’s Sexual Health. There were very few therapists trained in pelvic floor dysfunctions, and it was rare to find someone who treated men. But two years into my practice I had a physician call to ask me if I would consider treating her male client for chronic pelvic pain. We discussed the issue that my only experience treating male clients was with tailbone adjustments—an easy treatment as the anatomy was identical to females. Scared out of my mind and completely unsure of myself, I gave the physician my brave answer, “Sure no problem-I’ll figure it out.”
I felt an obligation. There were ZERO therapists within many, many miles that treated males for pelvic problems. So here was this gentleman, willing to try ANYTHING, even go to my clinic named, “WOMANOLOGY.” He had suffered for years with pain in his testicles and anus. His symptoms were ignited with any type of sitting, requiring him to stand all day at work. It also became very painful for him to get an erection or to ejaculate, making intimacy with his wife nearly impossible. While his symptoms mimicked those of many of my female clients, we candidly discussed training (and lack thereof), yet he was desperate for help and was willing to work with me.
The evening before his first appointment, I scoured every anatomy book in my library. Still nervous, I explained the situation to my husband and BEGGED him to let me palpate my first prostate on him. He gave me an adamant and astounding, “HELL NO!!!!!!”
“But honey, it’s for science!!! Imagine all the men out there you could be helping,” I rebutted.
After chasing him around the house all evening with blue, latex-free gloves and ‘Slippery Stuff’ lubrication, I finally resolved myself to learning sans live male model. So there I sat–like a virgin, navigating computer images of the “male pelvis” via my Interactive Pelvis & Perineum 3D Anatomy Computer Program– for the very first time.
Thanks to the 3-D computer program (and no thanks to my husband), my client actually had significant relief from the pelvic vice-gripping pain, which with he had been chronically plagued. The success of this treatment was so monumental; the male floodgates opened and eventually I rebranded my entire practice because 30% of my clientele were men. So yes… many many men have pelvic pain and dysfunction too. Male Pelvic Floor therapy is now widely accepted and courses are finally being offered to physical therapists. This is fortunate for the sake of my husband who, to this day, locks himself in the bathroom if he sees me advancing with gloves.
The Hoo-Hoo Whisperer