You learn something new every day:
In Women, Hernias May Be Hidden Agony – NYTimes.com.
Unlike hernias in men, which are far more common, those that afflict women are usually small and internal and rarely cause an obvious bulge. Symptoms can be suggestive of other problems — ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis or adhesions from a previous operation — but surgically correcting these conditions does not relieve the devastating pain.
“On average, women go through four prior surgeries, and some a lot more than that, before the real cause of their pain is identified,” said Dr. Deborah A. Metzger, a gynecologist in Los Altos, Calif., who specializes in chronic pelvic pain.
When a woman lies flat on the examining table, the signs and symptoms of a hernia disappear. And the usual exam, an ultrasound, rarely reveals the real problem. Lacking an accurate diagnosis, doctors often send patients to be drugged up by pain specialists and psychiatrists.
Not only is this something to keep in mind, the next time I have a client complaining of intermittent, undiagnosed abdominal pain, it helps to explain a few things.
First of all, when doctors can’t find the source of a problem, they often decide that the problem must be ‘psychosomatic,’ i.e. ‘not real.’ They may not directly say so, but sending a woman suffering from excrutiating abdominal pain to a psychiatrist can be an act of violence in itself. It sends the signal, “I don’t believe you,” and “you must be crazy.”
Second of all, it illustrates a scenario where non-invasive therapies like Reiki could appear to have an effect, however temporary. Lying flat on a table causes the hernia symptoms to disappear, and a treatment which mainly promotes relaxation–and thus the release of abdominal pressure caused by stress–could mask the symptoms for awhile longer.
This doesn’t mean I’m recommending Reiki for hernias. It does mean that I have a some better questions to ask in cases of pelvic pain.