Dr. April Bolding, PT
Phoenix Heart ARISE Program
The Phoenix Heart ARISE™ Healing Program was developedby Dr. April Bolding, PT, CCE, CD. It is a holistic healing kit that guides you to health and more optimal pelvic floor function. It was created to help people prepare for childbirth and heal after birth as well as heal from pelvic trauma, pelvic pain, and leakage.
Every aspect of this product was inspired by, made by and tested by women who worked to overcome their own pelvic issues. They’ve been through it and want you to know that you don’t have to live in silence, shame or resignation about pelvic floor difficulties. We can help each other.
Experiencing the Phoenix Heart and listening to Dr. Bolding's guided meditations was a real awakening for me. It feels like the beginning of a new life. I felt so held and nurtured as it lead me on a journey of true understanding. I feel free in my body. I have access to places that have been stuck for a long, long time. This has led to a feeling of true happiness.
Choose the Phoenix Heart audio module that best aligns with your goals:
Preparing for Childbirth
Pelvic Pain (includes pain with sex, endometriosis, etc)
Survivor (sexual trauma, medical pelvic trauma)
Preparing for and Healing from Pelvic or Abdominal Surgery (hysterectomy, endo removal, fibroids, etc)
Each audio module has three components:
Education about the issue
Neuromuscular re-education exercises to train the mind-body to work together to restore proper function
Phoenix Heart ARISE™ healing kit in includes:
Pelvic Floor Self-Assessment guide
Handmade heart-shaped rice pack designed to protect tailbone
ARISE Step by Step audio program for clearing out and healing the body and pelvic bowl
Audio for the specific healing module you need to meet your goals
An online booklet outlining the program
Seeds of affirmations designed to inspire & heal
Surprise offerings to enhance the experience of this ritual (including blessed salt and ReBirth-day candle)
The cost is approximately equivalent to one physical therapy session. Each module has what is the equivalent of six to eight physical therapy healing sessions. This is meant to be an empowering, accessible, cost-effective choice for all. However, if you need a more economical alternative, you can choose to get the audio only. This includes the ARISE Step by Step visualization, which is the spirit of the Phoenix Heart program, as well as one of the above audio modules of your choice. If you have overactive or tight/painful pelvic floor muscles, I highly recommend getting the complete kit.
The module is to be used either in conjunction with in-person PT care or to be used independently, depending on your needs. When you use it in conjunction with PT care, you'll need fewer PT appointments. It is an excellent tool for practitioners to recommend to their clients who could benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy but wouldn't otherwise get PT. It is my honor to provide this breadth and depth of healing to you in this format.
To purchase, choose the module you'd like with a kit ($155) or audio only ($88). To save you shipping costs, I offer an option for you to pick it up if West Seattle is accessible to you. Please email us to coordinate. All audio will be emailed to you, so make sure to include an email upon check out.
Handmade heart-shaped rice pack
Baby girl born pretty quickly today with no tearing/stitches. They said I very calmly controlled the last pushes. : )
Thanks for your visualization!
Text from the birth room! The mother used Phoenix Heart Preparing for Childbirth module preceding birth
April's Phoenix Heart has changed my life! I've endured abdominal and pelvic pain for years without relief. I used to rely on ibuprofen to get me through my days and nights, but with the heated heart, I'm finally medicine free! The Phoenix Heart is the perfect size, shape, and support for my pelvic floor and abdomen. I'm eternally grateful for the Phoenix Heart and relief it's given me. I love it so much I have two!
Olivia Joy, physical therapy client who started using her Phoenix Hearts
The rebirth visualization was powerful. It made me feel very emotional. It was nice to put myself back in that birthing space and finally let it go.
C.N., Phoenix Heart rebirth visualization in the Postpartum module
Calling in the Phoenix
The Phoenix is a powerful, feminine force rising.
She is not a caretaker, but she will show you how to work with your power without apology.
She will remind you of what you've forgotten.
Birth – Death – Rebirth is her way.
She doesn't have time for nonsense.
She will come to your aid when you call but she will not do your work for you.
You are more capable than you ever let yourself imagine.
She is your reflection if you dare to see yourself as you really are.
And what of fire?
Fire is her life spark, her home, her nest where she burns all that doesn't serve.
She finds others' fear of fire curious.
Her freedom, fierceness, come from releasing that type of fear-mongering.
She has shattered the illusion long ago that she could ever die.
Embodying all her many trials, deaths and transformations is her nature.
Because she exists, the masculine force knows its place within the balance of All That Is.
The feminine is the life bringer and she lives in every one of us.
We call on her, the Phoenix within, not to live unscathed,
but to be reborn again and again.
Why the Phoenix Heart ARISE Step by Step Program?
We all are survivors in one respect or another. Growing up female or more feminine on the gender scale puts us at risk for dehumanizing treatment in these times. It is a known fact that we mostly don't talk about it as we are being groped, harassed, stared down, violated, dismissed and demeaned. It happens all around us and to us. The 1 in 3 or 4 or 5 statistic of women who are sexually assaulted is flawed only by the acknowledged fact that it's under-reported. Each one of us has accumulated experiences of some kind or another. It might be that we get to a place of stability, where we aren't subjected to this type of treatment so overtly. Those other experiences were so long ago — we hardly remember and it's better now. Well, we might have moved on or forgotten, but our body remembers.
"So I ran faster, but it caught me here..." —Tori Amos, "Precious Things"
Our body can only be ignored for so long. It has ways of getting our attention so we take the time heal. We can continue coping, numbing, running but again, either our body turns up the intensity to get our attention, or we realize we're tired of living like this or we have to prepare our body for childbirth, partnered sex, or surgery. Maybe we don't want to pass any of this pain, dysfunction or ancestral trauma on to our children. If we do the work, then there's less for them to do.
As a physical therapist who works with many pregnant and post-birth mothers, I see how pregnancy and childbirth compel women to reconnect with their pelvic bowls. This can be a most unwelcome reunion. This area can hold pain, shame, damage, instability and trigger anxiety and panic. Our body remembers experiences where our body's boundaries were breached, like when consent was not given, there was insensitive handling of our body, a difficult childbirth all the way up to overt trauma and violence. Pelvic floor muscles can remain tight and hypervigilant in its protection long afterward any event. This can cause pelvic pain, pain with sex, difficulty yielding pelvic floor muscles in childbirth, etc.
How do I help women address this?
Without having to go through every or any details verbally, we work on an energetic and spiritual level of clearing out all that doesn't serve her so her body will be clear again. It's like pulling the primary cause of pain or dysfunction out by the roots. Then we can do the manual therapy, neuromuscular re-education, stretches, strengthening and activity modification to rebalance the body and move toward optimal function. That first step of flushing out the pelvic bowl is what the ARISE Step by Step program does. It's what I feel we have been missing when it comes to relieving pain and restoring function within the pelvic bowl/floor. Traditional physical therapy can address the other parts effectively. It's this type of integrative, intuitive practice that makes my practice uniquely healing and successful.
Consider this 2017 quote by Gabor Mate, MD, author and visionary:
"Trauma is fundamentally a disconnect from the self, a disconnect from the body and a disconnect from the Essential Self. Why do people disconnect? Because it's too painful to be connected. So this disconnection is not a mistake. It's not an accident. It's actually a coping mechanism… No longer are you in touch with your gut feelings or your emotions and that means you start living life inauthentically. Coping mechanisms that help the child endure can be the source of pathology later on. In fact, invariably they are. And this is recognized in medical and scientific research. It's just not recognized in medical practice."
This is where we need to change the paradigm.
The ARISE Step by Step program not only helps you clear the root causes of pain and dysfunction, but it re-connects you to this place — your place — of power. We aren't really taught about our body's pelvic landscape and function. The names and words used to describe this region fall short and deprive us of an acceptable, common language to speak about it. It's our body. We should know about it and have a basic, respectful way of speaking about it. We need to teach our children the proper names for their "private" regions because at least one study found that knowing these words lowered their risk of being sexually molested. It's a safety issue for children and for us.
If we have power in our pelvic region, why don't we know about it and why aren't we standing in our power?
The current systems at work on this planet are based on a patriarchal system. Within this imbalanced structure, feminine power has been subjugated for the unconscious masculine's use and abuse and we survive largely by disconnecting from this region. Our feminine sexual centers are highly sought after, to the point of making it dangerous to be a woman sometimes. Part of our work now is to clear the subjugation, the stealing, the disrespect, and reclaim ownership of our bodies, our boundaries, and to bring love and light back into this region. This is where we carry our children, our creations, our emotions and relationships. Moving from surviving to thriving, from disconnection to connection, changes the way our we see ourselves and each other. It nurtures loving wholeness in our children and equilibrium in our relationships. This changes the world by bringing us back into balance — the sacred feminine and conscious masculine. Divine Union. It is attainable but we must be the change we want to see in the world.
Secret: There is a collective safety net placed in each heart.
Inside the outer fold is a list of hotline numbers just in case you need to talk with someone right away, anytime, day or night. When I had the vision to make these hearts, it was very clear to me that I needed safety numbers in them. Even if they are not needed for the work around the Phoenix Heart, the woman would always know she could find a number for domestic violence help or whatever crisis she might deal with. When we approached a label maker to print these, they said that there were too many numbers to fit on a label. I felt resistance to changing anything. Sarah Mosher, my former client and the co-designer and original sewer of these hearts, agreed and wouldn't compromise either. She found a way to photocopy all the numbers on fabric and sew them in discreetly so every woman has access to them. This is the type of support that is sewn right in for you.
Every Phoenix Heart ARISE™ Healing kit purchased makes it possible for us to donate to survivors of abuse and sexual assault.
This is only the beginning...
The ARISE Step by Step program is a safe program where people of all different values and backgrounds can begin to reconnect, heal and thrive. Since I aligned with this work and started the meditations, I've had great movement in my life. I've made big choices and shifted into allowing my divine feminine room to grow and release. I've created appropriate distance from my husband and he has truly moved into grace and honored my need for healing the womb space. Although the work for me is moving at a slow, sensitive pace, I'm able to find non-judgement around the process. I'm finding a new kind of hope and having realizations around my overall health. Thank you so much for offering what you do to women!
PT client using Phoenix Heart ARISE pelvic pain module
Hotline numbers stitched into each heart