Hi, I'm Rachel Gofman!
I'm a Doctor of Physical Therapy and
Pelvic Pain Coach
I'm often asked, "What made you choose to specialize in pelvic pain?"
The answer I always give is the honest one, and it's that my path chose me...
About 7 years ago, my life was turned upside down when I developed chronic pelvic pain.
It came on suddenly.
When the pain first started, I did what everyone does when they have a new onset of pain, I went to the doctor to get checked out. I expected that doctor would tell me what was wrong, give me some medication, and I’d be on my merry way. That didn’t happen. Instead, I went on to spend a year going from doctor to doctor, having invasive test after invasive test, and finally at the end of it all I was told, “there’s nothing wrong with you.”
I was eventually given diagnoses such as Unprovoked Vuvlodynia, Pudendal Neuralgia, and Interstitial Cystitis. All of these were diagnoses of exclusion that were handed out based on the location and presentation of my symptoms. I was offered a myriad of treatments from several types of medications, to nerve blocks, to injections, to pelvic floor physical therapy.
Upon investigating my options, none of them felt quite right because no one could tell me why my pain came on so suddenly, or what the underlying cause was. Every option felt expensive (financially, emotionally, and physically), and everything being offered to me was for the purposes of symptom management, not symptom resolution. I wasn’t interested in temporary treatments. I wanted to heal.
I was devastated and felt out of options. And I knew there was some type of emotional component to my pain given that my pain began shortly after a traumatic event, but I just couldn’t understand how that could be true.
Then, I remembered...I’ve been here before. Several years prior, I’d developed chronic low back pain, also after a traumatic event. I went through years of physical therapy and several failed cortisone injections. Then, I discovered the mind-body approach and healed my back pain within six months.
When I was trying to heal my back pain, all of the mind-body work that existed at the time was centered around back pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia. So I had no idea pelvic pain could also be caused by the same thing. But then I came across a single story from someone who healed their chronic pelvic pain through a mind-body perspective and it all clicked. This was it. This was my path out of chronic pain, again.
Over the next 3 years I would cobble together my own self-healing program.
At the time, I took information from anywhere I could find it. There was no clear path forward, so I found my guidance through various books, podcasts, and youtube videos. And it was a really bumpy ride. There were more ups and downs than I could count.
And I was completely alone. There was no one to help me through it. I couldn’t find any provider who was not only educated in a mind-body approach, but was confident to apply it to pelvic pain. So over the course of four years, I did it myself.
Because I never found that provider for myself, I became that provider for you.
No one should have to navigate this journey alone.
In the process of healing myself and becoming a practitioner, I became a pelvic health physical therapist, have taken extensive training on the modern treatment of chronic pain, and became an integrative life coach. I have so many more tools now than I had when I was healing myself. But what I’ve learned through all of my training, is that healing isn’t about the “tools.” Every tool is effectively used for the same purpose, to help guide your nervous system to find safety and rewire your brain out of chronic pain.
In order to do this, we must take a zoomed out perspective. We must take into account ALL of you. Not just the physical part that hurts. It is a truly holistic approach. We have to address all the possible inputs that your brain could be perceiving as “dangerous,” and therefore could be contributing to your pain.
Pain is a danger signal. We often assume the danger must be physical to cause physical pain. But so often it is emotional. I’ve found in my own experience as a patient, and in my work with clients, that the symptom that we so badly want to go away is there as guidance. It is usually sending us a message we had not been able to hear otherwise. We want to be able to learn to tune in to our internal guidance and create a more quiet communication so our body doesn’t have to scream so loudly. Then, the symptom can subside. A mind-body approach helps you do just that.
One of the most important lessons I learned in my healing journey is that I had to start living my life again before my pain was gone. Pain had made my life so small, and I kept putting things off “until my pain was gone.” But what I learned was that I was doing it backwards. I actually needed to start living 𝘯𝘰𝘸 before my pain was gone for my symptoms to reduce. I needed to start making choices to expand my life. To create a life beyond my pain.
So, I did just that. Slowly, I started to make decisions for a future version of my life I didn’t fully believe was possible, yet. I held my belief that this was the way out. And for me, it was.
I now live my life pain-free.
I trust myself.
I trust my body.
I live a life I never thought could have ever been possible for me.
I want to help you do the same.
My wish is that no one has to navigate their healing journey alone.
You deserve guidance and support.
Doctor of Physical Therapy - Columbia University
Bachelor of Science, Neuroscience - Brandeis University
Integrative Life Coach - The Ethical Coaching Collective
Beyond Pain Education: Mastering Novel Psychosocial Strategies to Treat and Cure Symptoms: Advanced Training for Physical Therapists and Other Manual Medicine Providers - Dr. Schubiner and Charlie Merrill, PT - Spring 2020 & Winter 2021
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Chronic Pain - The Integrative Pain Science Institute
Trauma Informed Pain Care - The Integrative Pain Science Institute
Mindfulness Based Pain Relief- The Integrative Pain Science Institute
Pain Education and CBT for Chronic Pain - The Integrative Pain Science Institute
Somatic Trauma Therapy Certificate Program - The Embody Lab
Coaching the Subconscious Mind - The Ethical Coaching Collective
Female Sexual Function, Dysfunction, and Pain - My PFM
Vagus Nerve Masterclass - Jessica MacGuire