THE WISE-ANDERSON PROTOCOL
6-Day Immersion Clinic
The Wise-Anderson Protocol is a pioneering treatment that was developed over an 8 year period in Stanford University’s Department of Urology. The Wise-Anderson Protocol focuses on training patients who suffer from pelvic pain to learn how to rehabilitate the chronically contracted and spastic muscles of the pelvic floor, as well as relax the tension of the pelvic muscles and the arousal of the nervous system that feeds and perpetuates chronic pelvic pain.
Published research has shown that the Wise-Anderson Protocol helps the majority of patients who attend a 6-day immersion clinic. A study we published in 2015 reports that after six months of following our treatment, one third of patients voluntarily discontinued all medication.
The clinic, offered throughout the year, is limited to 14 patients who learn the protocol in private and group sessions. The aim of these clinics is to train patients in how to reduce or resolve their pelvic pain without the need for ongoing professional assistance.
IN THE PAST THERE HAS BEEN NO SOLUTION
Chronic pelvic pain syndromes have been a puzzle to the best medical minds for a century. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, prostate massage, and surgical procedures, which form the backbone of traditional treatments, have been of little use in dealing with these debilitating afflictions. In our book A Headache in the Pelvis, we describe our out-of-the-box medical treatment that is based on the understanding that pelvic floor dysfunction is not caused by prostate, bladder, uterine or other organ pathology but instead by chronically contracted pelvic floor muscles.
PELVIC FLOOR DYSFUNCTION IS BOTH A LOCAL AND SYSTEMIC DISORDER
Relief from pelvic floor dysfunction, with its often bewildering and troubling symptoms, is what those seeking help from any treatment are looking for when they go to a doctor. Conventional medical treatment, however, almost universally misunderstands pelvic floor dysfunction. The remedies it offers at best are partial and short-termed and at worst, remedies like surgical intervention or certain injections, can exacerbate the problem.
The fundamental error of conventional treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction is that it does not grasp the fact that pelvic floor dysfunction is both a systemic and local problem — systemic in that the nervous system, typically frequently aroused, chronically tightens up the pelvic muscles. It is a local problem in that chronic worry, anxiety and nervous arousal in certain individuals results in the local pain and dysfunction of the pelvic muscles. Without effectively treating both aspects, pelvic floor dysfunction remains.
Our 6-day clinic, offered throughout the year, is devoted to resolving both the local and systemic dimensions of pelvic floor dysfunction by training our patients in the most advanced internal and external physical therapy self-treatment (local treatment), and practicing our relaxation protocol, Extended Paradoxical Relaxation, which is aimed at reducing nervous system arousal daily.
THE CONTENT OF THE CLINICS
• Individual medical evaluations are done with physicians associated with our clinics prior to the intensive program, at which time the nature of the condition of the participants will be evaluated and the appropriateness of the treatment protocol determined.
• Participants undergo a specific form of physiotherapy self-treatment training consisting of pelvic floor related Trigger Point Release developed for pelvic floor dysfunction and physiotherapy self-treatment instruction on a daily basis.
• Participants are trained to use an FDA approved Internal Trigger Point Wand that allows the patient to safely and effectively loosen the pelvis in a way that has only been available through competent, professional treatment.
• A comprehensive year-long training in Extended Paradoxical Relaxation is an integral part of the instruction during the clinic and is geared toward training participants to use the recorded lessons of the course at home. Specific cognitive strategies for reducing the impact of frequent negative/catastrophic thinking that accompanies chronic pelvic pain syndromes are part of the curriculum.
• The main goals of the Wise-Anderson Protocol are to train participants to self-administer the physiotherapy and behavioral components of treatment at home on a regular basis. Patients receive a map of their trigger points and areas of restriction. Pelvic floor physiotherapy is done in conjunction with regular Extended Paradoxical Relaxation.
• Training is done in a small group and consist of approximately 20-30 hours of treatment over the period of 6 days.
Patients attending the Wise-Anderson clinics are typically people who have had pain and dysfunction from months to years, have seen numerous doctors, and have unsuccessfully resolved their pain using the conventional treatments. We have established these monthly clinics to allow us to treat in a 6-day period patients who live far away. A more comprehensive explanation of the treatment is described in our book, A Headache in the Pelvis.
Perhaps the greatest suffering for patients with pelvic pain is the sense of helplessness that patients feel in the presence of their pelvic pain and dysfunction. The aim of the Wise-Anderson Protocol is to empower patients to help resolve their own symptoms.
When we are successful in helping people with this problem, we are able to give them tools to reduce or abate their symptoms. When participants comply with the home practice portion of the protocol, some symptom reduction can often be seen within a few days. Stable reduction or resolution of symptoms can take months to a few years and in many individuals who respond to our treatment, improvement tends to continue over time with the use of the protocol.