Mila Mintsis | Acupuncture | Pelvic Health Summit

Mila Mintsis | Acupuncture | Pelvic Health Summit


(music) – Welcome back to the
Pelvic Health Summit. I’m here with Mila Mintsis. She is an acupuncturist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction. She has a practice in Midtown Manhattan, and we’re so excited to have you here. – Thank you for having me. – So can you tell us a
little bit more about your practice and approach? – So I’m a licensed acupuncturist. I specialize in the
pelvic floor dysfunction as well as I treat a lot of concussions and orthopedic conditions. And my treatment style is
unique because when I come up with a treatment plan, I actually combine the modern knowledge of
Western medicine together with the old wisdom of Eastern medicine. And you know, for example,
if I’m doing a session I might use trigger
points and motor points, but then I will add on
Japanese acupuncture and auriculur acupuncture
and scalp acupuncture or you know, whatever I feel is needed for that specific situation. – That’s so interesting. So can you tell us about
the patient experience? What’s it like when we
step into your office for the first time? – So usually, you know, I’ve
never had a patient that love needles. So initially when they come
in, they always make sure that they tell me that they hate needles. They’re nervous about it, which is normal. You know, I always tell
people, you know, it’s normal to be nervous. It’s a new experience. It involves needles. Why should you not be nervous? And then once they get on the
table and they realize that the needles themselves
are very different from injection needles, they’re
actually the size of the hair and the experience itself
is very, very comfortable. So usually in their follow
up sessions, they fall asleep on the table and they feel so relaxed and they never wanna leave. – So I’ve heard of acupuncture
before, as I’m sure many of our viewers have, but
can you go a little bit more into detail into what it is? – So acupuncture is actually one of the branches of Chinese medicine. And Chinese medicine is
a complete medical system that was invented about 5,000 years ago,
and it actually involves, it has other branches in it as well. And you know, which is dietary
therapy, chi gong, herbology. And it focuses on treating
the whole individual where in other medical systems,
we look at specific parts. In Chinese medicine, they
really emphasis looking, you know, the mind and body connection and really looking at the,
you know, the whole individual and emphasizes the holistic approach. Specifically to acupuncture, the process itself involves placing small, tiny little needles into
different points in the body as well as trigger points,
motor points and so on. And by stimulating those points,
you’re actually stimulating the muscles through the nerves
or you know, the joints, whatever needs to be treated. And it has a local
effect which is you know, the specific area that you’re
treating, and it also has an effect on the brain which
once your body’s stimulated with the needles it induces
production of certain chemicals such as endorphins and that helps with the healing process as well. – Very cool. So can you tell us a little
bit about the patients you see and what pelvic pain
conditions they come in with and how you’re able to
address those concerns? – Yeah, so interestingly
enough, a lot of my patients are male patients with
high stress, high anxiety, high pressure jobs. And a lot of them, most of them have pain. They have pain in sitting,
they have pain in the perineum and other parts of the pelvic floor. And then my other patients are post-ops, so people with abdominal surgeries, people with hernia repair,
after hysterectomy, also people with tailbone
injuries or a lot of different urinary problems such as incontinence. – Thank you for sharing that with me. So in terms of the patient journey, at what point are they coming to you? Are they coming to you when they’re first presenting
symptoms or are they coming, you just mentioned after surgery. Can you tell us a little
bit more about, you know, when patients are getting
to you and should they be coming earlier? – So a lot of the patients
that come to me have actually been to other doctors, and at this point, we’re lucky to have doctors
that specialize, you know, in pelvic floor therapy, which
was actually not the case even a few years ago. And they, when they’re coming
in, they are already educated on their condition. And with acupuncture, the
beauty of it is the fact that it complements all the other therapies. So if, you know, patients
are undergoing injections or getting physical therapy,
acupuncture complements it. It does not negate the effect. And then also a lot of the
patients that get referred to me have pelvic floor symptoms but
they also suffer from anxiety and anxiety, insomnia, depression. And just to help, you
know, to calm them down, just to help to treat, you know,
not their physical symptoms but also their mental symptoms as well. Usually, you know, out of
all of the other therapies that are out there, acupuncture
seems to be able to, you know, to treat the mind
and the body at the same time. – That’s so important. We’ve been talking a lot
about the mind body connection in the summit. So can you tell us an example
of the way that you are integrating with the PTs that
are in your practice as well? – So in my office actually,
there’s a physical therapist that specializes in
pelvic floor dysfunction. And a lot of times, a patient will come for physical therapy and then they will see me. It can be done in the
same day or it can be done in a different day. And even patients, if
they’re getting injections, they a lot of times they come
in on the same day as well. And it complements with physical therapy. A lot of times they’re
able to do internal work and then I do all the external work. So I will treat all the, as
an example, all the muscles of the pelvic floor as well
as muscles of the lower back. If there are any hip
problems which are, you know, all of these other muscles
are associated with the pelvic floor so they
always contribute symptoms to the pelvic floor. And then also, you know,
we’ll discuss with patient if there is any anxiety going on or if they have trouble sleeping,
that’s something that we will focus on as well. – Great. In addition to the help
with anxiety and sleeping, what are some of the other
major benefits of acupuncture, especially in terms of the pelvic floor? – Yeah, so in addition to
anxiety and depression, the benefit of acupuncture is
that you can actually promote relaxation of the pelvic floor
muscles and the other muscles that I had mentioned. So the muscles of the lower
back, the hips, the buttocks. And then also, by placing a
needle locally into the tissue, you’re stimulating the tissue
and you’re locally increasing circulation to that tissue and the nerve. And because of that
increase of circulation, that helps to bring the inflammation down and that improves function. I also treat a lot of,
I specialize actually, in trigger point therapy
and I deactivate wherever these trigger points
that cause pelvic pain, but also affect the nerves
that supply the internal and external genitalia
as well as the urethra and the bladder and the anal area. And it’s also, acupuncture
is really good for treating scar tissue. So for people that are post-op, you know, it helps to reduce
numbness in the scar tissue or a lot of times, there
could be hypersensitivity. If there’s an abnormal pull
in the muscles of the fascia created by the scar tissues,
it will help with that as well. And also, a lot of times if
a scar is sitting on top of an organ, so for example, if
there’s a scar over a bladder, it can actually irritate that
organ and create symptoms in that organ. So a scar over a bladder can
actually create urinary urgency so by treating that scar, you
can eliminate that symptom. – So what are some of
the most common questions that patients come in with? – So I guess the first question
that usually comes from my pelvic floor patients
is where do the needles go. The needles never go into the genital area but rather they are placed
into the muscles or the nerves that supply the genital area. And then also a lot of people
are, you know, they sort of fear needles or concern,
you know, if it’s going to be painful, and it’s actually, it’s not a painful procedure at all. It’s very comfortable. Most people feel relaxed after and a lot of people do
fall asleep on the table. – Tell us how you became specialized in pelvic floor dysfunction
as an acupuncturist. – So I actually had a family
member that was suffering from a pelvic floor condition,
and this was a few years ago. And he went to a doctor and
the doctor said that there was nothing could be done about it. And you know, to me that almost
sounded like a challenge. And also at the time, that was
not a very well known field. There wasn’t a lot of, you
know, there weren’t many doctors specializing in it. There wasn’t a lot of
information available about it, and just you know, I wanted
to help and I became, because it was so unknown, I
became more interested in it. I became more curious about
it, and I feel like to be really good at treating
pelvic floor symptoms, you really have to be passionate about it and you really have to educate
yourself on the subject. And you know, once we see
how grateful people are, once you’re able to help
them, that is even more, you know, motivating to kind
of go deeper into the field and you know, do work,
do more work within it. – Definitely, and I know
you mentioned that you work directly with the physical
therapist in your practice. Are there other practitioners
that you work closely with? – I also work with physicians
and massage therapists. – So can you tell me a little
bit about, as you know, an Eastern medicine practice
how you’re able to work with Western doctors and integrate together? – So for us to be able to integrate, and I think this applies to
my profession in general, we really have to be careful
about the language that we use that we speak to other
medical practitioners. And it has to be the language
that everybody can understand, and when you know, this
medicine was designed thousands and thousands of years
ago, they used the language that they knew at the time. So you know, if we describe
something, you know, a condition and it has
excess heat, you know, in this day and age you
can just say that it means inflammation because that’s
exactly what they meant, you know, thousands of years ago. But once again, they used
a language that they knew at that specific time. And you know, once we’re all
speaking the same language, you know, then we’re
able to work together. And I think a lot of
Western practitioners now, and you know, medical
doctors specifically, they recognize the benefit of acupuncture. They have become more open to it, and that’s because, you know,
there’s also a lot of studies. There are scientific studies
that have been done that are, you know, helping to explain acupuncture and the mechanism behind it. And because of that knowledge
that we’re getting now, I think we’re more able to
integrate into Western medicine. – That’s really exciting. So what are some reoccurring
things that you see that can be addressed preventatively? – So from my observation,
in my own practice, I notice that a lot of
my pelvic floor patients suffer from anxiety. And you know, in some cases you
can almost hypothesize that, you know, the anxiety and the
high stress is actually what cause their symptoms in the first place. And it’s very interesting
to me that, you know, when we’re little, we’re
actually taught how to brush our teeth or, you know,
we’re taught that we have to shower everyday. So we just, you know, they
teach us how to take care of our physical body but nobody
really teaches you how to, you know, how to deal with
stress or how to take care of your emotional well-being. And then we grow up and we’re,
you know, we’re exposed to a lot of stress or we’re
dealing with emotions of anxiety or depression, we don’t really
know what to do about it. And things such as
meditation and breathing is something, it has actually
been scientifically proven to be really effective
in cases of, you know, high stress and anxiety
and even, you know, Harvard spent so much
time and money, you know, researching meditation
and it’s been proven that it’s you know, one of the
best things out there. And I really wish that,
you know, this is something that would be taught to
people when we’re little so that when we grow up
it becomes, you know, it’s kind of, it’s ingrained
in us and it’s part of our daily routine. So as an adult, you know,
just like as you would not skip on brushing teeth,
you would not skip on doing a meditation session. And if, you know, if
it’s done consistently, it can have really, really
incredible benefits for dealing with anxiety. And you know, also breathing
exercises and that helps to calm the nervous system
down and that helps with stress and anxiety as well. I would say for people that
have desk jobs that do a lot of sitting, also sitting
with bad posture, you know. So that can really mechanically
put a lot of stress on our pelvic floor muscles. Plus if we’re exposed to
a lot of stress at work, that will, you know, that
can be, too, a problem. So for those people, I would
recommend swimming or yoga and those types of activities. It still, like provides
for a good workout, but it’s not too strenuous
and then, you know, it allows for, you
know, proper circulation and it also allows for
like, you can stretch your abdominal muscles, your
pelvic floor muscles and so on. Because exercises that are
too strenuous, you know, if you do excessive abdominal workouts or people that do CrossFit,
that can actually weaken our pelvic floor muscles
or it can actually create a lot of tightness in
the pelvic floor muscles. And it’s actually, it’s a
very well-known thing that a lot of women that do CrossFit actually suffer from incontinence. And you know, for people that
suffer from constipation, as soon as you develop
those symptoms, you know, that’s something that should
be addressed right away because eventually as, you
know, so you’re sitting on the toilet and straining,
eventually that could lead to problems in the pelvic floor. Something from Chinese
medicine specifically, sitting on cold surfaces can actually, they would call invasion of cold. So like when the cold settles
in your body internally, what it really means is,
you know, it can cause severe constriction in the
blood vessels and the muscles and that can lead to a lot of pain. And I would say also wearing really tight underwear, and that applies to women mostly, that constricts, you know,
circulation, lymph flow and that can create problems
in the pelvic floor as well. – Wow, thank you, super informative. Can you tell us some
patient success stories from your practice? – I actually had a
female patient last week who came with a lot of pain in her pelvic floor specifically, but then she was feeling a lot of pain and a lot of burning with urination. And then she was also having
a lot of hip problems. And after talking to
her and just examining her pelvic floor, I realized
that she does a lot of yoga, which is great and yoga
is really helpful for pelvic floor muscles, but
she always has a habit of, you know, like really
sucking in her stomach and just really holding
in her abdominal muscles. And I felt that, you
know, after I palpated her pelvic floor muscles,
I just felt that there was a lot of tightness in
the abdominal muscles and the psoas muscle, and
it was obvious when I was actually pressing in
all the different spots on the abdomen, some of her
symptoms could be reproduced. And you know, I treated it. We did a front treatment,
we did a back treatment, and then a few days later, she
emailed me and told me that her symptoms were gone. – Wow, that’s amazing. Do you have a message of hope
you can share with people out there who are suffering
right now from anxiety, pelvic floor dysfunction, a
number of these conditions we’ve mentioned? – So I would just say don’t be
afraid to reach out for help and also don’t be
embarrassed by your symptoms. Don’t assume that it’s just
you that is suffering from those symptoms. There are a lot of practitioners now. There are a lot of doctors that
are interested in the field that, you know, really truly want to help. There are a lot of people
that specialize in it, so you know, there are
a lot of support groups that are out there. So really, you know, don’t
be afraid to reach out, and pelvic floor symptoms
are definitely treatable now. – Can you tell us how you
talk to your patients about the complexities of pelvic pain? – So a lot of the times
when people first come in, they’re mostly just focused
on their physical symptoms and in a lot of cases, you
have to explain to them that, you know, a pelvic condition
is actually, in a lot of cases, it’s more than that. It’s, you know, you have
to look at the environment, you have to explain the
mind and body connection. They’re suffering from depression
or anxiety, or you know, they’re under a lot of stress
that can definitely contribute to their symptoms. And once you explain to the
patient that there is a lot more goin on and for them to get
better they would actually have to, you know, participate
in that as well, usually, you know, they’re grateful
for the fact that, you know, now they know that it’s, you
know, it’s a lot of layers to their problem. And usually it’s the, you
know, the behavioral aspect, it’s the relationship that
people, different relationships that people have outside,
you know, with the at work, at home and so on. It’s their mental health,
it’s the diet, you know, it’s everything else that’s
out there that wants to be corrected for them to get better. And usually, a lot of them
do appreciate, you know, that you don’t just focus
on the physical symptoms, but you look at the whole picture. And once they’re more aware of
it, they become more willing to participate in their health. And actually, what really
fascinates me is when I was looking at different
treatment approaches for the pelvic symptoms, and
I was looking at different acupuncture points and so
on, and there’s actually one specific point that is
located under the tailbone. And when you look at the
different indications for that point, it you know, in addition to the physical symptoms,
it actually tell you that that’s the point that
you would use for anxiety and depression and even epilepsy. So it’s so fascinating
to me that, you know, even you know, like thousands
and thousands years ago when they were treating the
pelvic floor conditions, they actually recognized
that in a lot of cases, it wasn’t just the physical
but it was, you know, it was the other aspects of
life that were, you know, really involved and needed
to be addressed in order for the people to get better. – Definitely, so can you tell
us where people can find you? – Yeah, so my practice
is located in Midtown. I am on 39th between 5th and Madison, and my website is
milamintsisacupuncture.com. – Awesome, thank you so much. – Thank you. – I’ll link all of Mila’s
information in the group. Thank you so much for joining us. Now I’d like to hear from you. Please share with us one
takeaway from the interview in the comments below. Give us a like and share
this group with someone who you think will benefit. Thank you. (upbeat music)

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *