In this episode of Sofia Unfiltered, Lauren talks to Dr. Rose Schlaff, a Pelvic Physical Therapist, Sexologist, and Founder of Be Well with Rose
Dr. Rose's Journey to Holistic Sexual Wellness
Dr. Rose Schlaff's journey to holistic healing began with her struggles. She recognized the lack of comprehensive care for intimate health as a pelvic physical therapist. Disconnected from her body and partner, she sought answers beyond standard medical approaches. Combining her knowledge, she devised a holistic system to restore pleasure and vitality. This led her to found Be Well with Rose, LLC, sharing empowerment and transformation through self-healing. Her mission is to break taboos, debunk myths, and facilitate open conversations about sexual well-being.
What is sexual health?
Sexual health refers to the overall well-being of individuals in terms of their sexuality and sexual experiences. It involves a positive and respectful approach to sexual relationships, the ability to have safe and pleasurable encounters and access to accurate information and healthcare. Achieving sexual health depends on comprehensive knowledge about sex, awareness of risks, access to sexual health services, and living in an environment that supports and promotes sexual well-being. This concept includes addressing issues like sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, sexual dysfunction, sexual violence, and harmful practices.
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5 Myths about Sex
Sex Discomfort is Normal: Pain during sex is not something we have to accept. Discomfort is not inevitable, and we should address any discomfort instead of thinking it's just part of the experience.
Tighter is Always Better: Having a super tight pelvic floor isn't necessarily healthier. A balanced pelvic floor is important, and it's okay for the muscles to relax before working on strengthening them.
Foreplay isn't Necessary: Intimacy isn't exactly like what we see in movies and shows. Real-life relationships need open communication and understanding, not scripted moments, to flourish.
You're Alone in Your Struggles: Feeling like you're the only one with sexual health struggles is a myth. Many people go through similar experiences, and you're not alone.
One Solution Fits All: Everyone's healthcare needs are different. What works for one person might not work for another, and that's okay.
Unmasking Sex Misconceptions
Dr. Rose Schlaff delves into common misconceptions about sexual wellness and intimate health. Clients often grapple with unrealistic expectations rooted in societal norms and media portrayals. Rose emphasizes that intimacy isn't a script from movies or TV, but a nuanced experience requiring open communication. Many women and people with vulvas feel isolated, assuming their struggles are unique. Addressing pain during sex, she dispels the notion that it's inevitable, advocating a holistic approach for both partners to redefine success. Engaging in playful scientific exploration, like trying new experiences, can rekindle connection.
The discussion extends to the problematic push for tightness and pelvic floor exercises (Kegels). Rose highlights the importance of balanced muscle function, explaining how tension can manifest in the pelvic floor. Contrary to the "tighter is better" narrative, relaxing the pelvic floor before engaging in strengthening exercises is vital. She suggests seeking professional guidance, as overactivity and weakness are complex issues needing individual assessment.
Beyond Taboos: Addressing Pelvic Health and Intimacy
The conversation between Lauren and Dr. Rose revolves around the need to redefine healthcare approaches and foster open communication about sexual wellness. They emphasize that healthcare shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all solution and that individuals should consider the changes and challenges their bodies undergo, much like the natural world's seasons.
Dr. Rose provides insights into pelvic health and sexual well-being, addressing common concerns such as pain during intercourse, difficulty reaching orgasm, heavy periods, urinary issues, etc. She encourages people to ask questions about their pelvic health, sexual experiences, and relationship communication. Dr. Rose also offers practical advice on initiating conversations about sexual health with partners using an ad-lib style guide.
They discuss the importance of overcoming misconceptions and assumptions to build deeper connections. Lauren shares personal experiences and highlights the need to give partners permission to change and grow. The conversation concludes by emphasizing the significance of open communication and vulnerability for maintaining intimacy and emotional well-being.
Understanding the Nervous System's Role in Sexual Health and Well-being
The discussion revolves around understanding the two main components of the nervous system fight-and-flight sympathetic system rest-and-digest parasympathetic system. These systems have a direct influence on our arousal and overall wellness.
Instead of seeking drastic changes, Dr. Rose encourages adopting a mindset of gradual progress. She recommends considering what small adjustment could bring about a 5% improvement in the present moment, whether it relates to feelings of safety, joy, relaxation, or peace. Such minor shifts, when consistently practiced, can lead to substantial changes in the nervous system over time. It's essential to acknowledge these advancements and take time to celebrate them, building both courage and confidence in the journey toward enhanced sexual health and overall well-being.
Exploring Empowerment, Boundaries, and Joy
Dr. Rose shares two key insights she has gained from her experiences. Firstly, she emphasizes the significance of checking in with oneself, especially for those who are often focused on caregiving and empathy towards others. Prioritizing emotional and physical depletion. Secondly, Dr. Rose highlights the value of setting boundaries and discussing one's needs and feelings. She emphasizes that this practice leads to authentic intimacy and prevents resentment.
Lauren and Dr. Rose exchange thoughts on how empowerment stems from self-awareness, overflow rather than underflow, and making choices based on personal desires rather than external pressures.
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