Don’t Be Too Squeamish

You have been trying hard to use all the right tricks to insert a tampon. You have become famiilar with your anatomy. You are using the best position. You are becoming aware of what your muscles are doing to “close up” your vagina and to “allow it to open“.

But somehow, you seem to be hitting a roadblock. There is some obstacle in the way. It just feels like it won’t go in, and quite frankly, it’s starting to gross you out.

Sometimes this is exactly the problem.

Sometimes, inserting a tampon feels, as one of my patients memorably described it, like “touching your eyeball”.

There is no better way to make a muscle contract than fear. What does this have to do with tampons?

Well, remember, the vagina “opens” and “closes” due to the actions of the vaginal muscles: the Guardians of the Gate. The Guardians of the Gate are given their commands by the Empress – the brain. When the empress is not happy, she commands the Guardians to “close the gate”!

In fact, any negative emotions will cause a reflex “closing command” from the Empress. She is rather

like the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…the slightest annoyance results in a

knee-jerk hysterical reaction, and next thing you know she is shrieking “Off With Their Heads!”

(By the way, the Empress – the brain, that is – doesn’t have to be this irritable. There are many ways to train her to be more relaxed, more like a pussy cat than a sabre-toothed tiger. But here I want to focus on emotions).

To get the Empress (that was the brain) in a good mood, so she doesn’t send a wild command to the Guardians of the Gate to “CLOSE!” just because there is a mild breeze, you need to channel some positive emotions her way.

This means working on re-interpreting what you might be feeling.

If you feel squeamish, read this as a sense of adventure faced with the unfamiliarity of the territory.

If you feel frustrated, sense this as fuel to accomplish your task.

If you feel tense, interpret this as power.

I’m not asking you to deny what you are feeling – simply read it in a different language.

Knowledge is power, and practice brings a sense of ease. You may need to practice every day for a week even looking at the area, so it starts to become more familiar. This is Mind Work, just as important as Body Work!

Practice your Mind Work before your period is due, and before you will be using tampons.

This is like an explorer going on a reconnaissance mission before the real thing.

Understand that the vagina and vulva are resilient and strong. You can’t hurt this by doing this. They are an incredibly resilient part of a woman’s body. To quote the great actress Betty White:


Keep working your mind – or put another way, make it work for you!

Read on to Step 7

To get started on your Mind Work straight away, download my book Outsmart Your Pain, available here.


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