Rehab for endometriosis – Interview with rehab psychologist Teresa Götz

Teresa Götz

Teresa Götz is a rehab psychologist in a specialized endometriosis rehab

Rehab for endometriosis is a helpful thing – but how does it work, how can you apply for it and what is the best time for it? Rehab psychologist Teresa Götz answered these questions for us in a Zoom interview. She leads the pain management group for endometriosis patients at the certified endometriosis rehab Bad Waldsee.

The rehabilitation and spa clinics are independently certified by the Endometriosis Research Foundation (SEF) and Euroendocert GmbH.

Currently certified rehab clinics for endometriosis are:

Many thanks to Teresa for this interview!

How to apply for rehab?

It is best to talk to your family doctor or gynecologist. They know what to do, can help you with the application and can write an expert opinion that will be sent with the rehab application. You will receive the application from the responsible cost unit, usually the pension insurance. Your doctor will submit the completed rehab application for you.

After an operation, you can apply for rehab in the hospital with the doctors and the social services – it is best to ask for this as early as possible! Then it is a follow-up treatment, which must be started within two weeks after discharge. However, the chances of approval are highest here.

Wie genau läuft so eine Reha bei Endometriose ab?

The rehab will be designed as individually as possible. Before the rehab you will be sent a questionnaire in which you can describe your health problems and wishes.

You arrive at the rehab, get your room and first talk to the doctor in charge. There you discuss where your biggest problems are and which rehab offers are best suited to them. For example, if you are not feeling well psychologically, you can make an appointment with a psychologist, or if you would like to learn more about nutrition, there are appropriate seminars at the clinic. You can express your wishes about what you would like to try, e.g. Tai Chi, water gymnastics, yoga. Together with your doctor, you will find out how much exercise you can do at the moment, so that the program can be adapted accordingly.

And so an individual treatment plan for rehab is created.

Typically, moderate sports are prescribed for endometriosis, some relaxation exercises such as yoga that you can choose yourself, nutritional counseling, information lectures on various topics such as endometriosis or stress reduction, massages such as foot reflexology and treatments for scars after surgery.

The plan determines your daily routine for the 3-4 weeks in rehab. You can always check with the doctor if the plan fits or if you want to change something.

In addition to the treatments, there are often additional leisure activities, e.g. a movie is shown. Unfortunately, this is limited at the moment because of Corona.

At the end, there is a final discussion and you receive a rehab report. There, the doctor also recommends measures for at home, such as rehabilitation sports.

What is the benefit of specialized endometriosis rehab?

Well overall, every rehabilitation has its advantages. Many patients say it’s good to get away from the daily grind or the hamster wheel. You really have time there to look at yourself and your health and can recharge your batteries.

In the rehab you also get information and this is where the advantage of the certified endometriosis rehab starts. During lectures and consultations on nutrition and relaxation as well as pain management, we can go into much more detail about endometriosis. There are also lectures where endometriosis is explained in more detail, so you can also get trustworthy information about the disease.

In an endometriosis rehab you will also meet other women with endometriosis and thus find women who have gone through a similar story as you. Good friendships have already developed here and you can support each other.

The included psychological and social counseling is also a plus. Talking to outsiders, e.g. about the job situation in the job counseling, or about the desire to have children and relationship problems in the individual psychological counseling can be very relieving. You may get new food for thought or tips and can plan what you want to change at home.

Also see the rehab as a chance to try something out. There are always different sports or relaxation options or massages offered, so you can try them out and really notice which ones help you. You can then adopt these measures at home and leave the others.

Every rehab is good for your health, but the more specific the indication, the more precisely the treatments can be tailored.

When is the best time to do this?

There are different times when rehabilitation can do good.

One possible time is directly after an operation, as follow-up treatment. In the rehab you are relieved because you do not have to run a household and can slowly increase your performance.

Another good time can be when you have been sick for a long time. If you have been ill for a long time, rehab can help you and show you possibilities that can be continued at home. If you have been sick for a long time, it is also possible that the health insurance company will ask you to go to rehab.

Even if it is questionable whether you can still do your job. In this case, the rehab will look into the possibility of retraining, e.g. from a physically demanding job to an office job. Also so-called LTAs, e.g. a height-adjustable table or a usually limited EU pension can be discussed here and possibly also applied for if you are too ill to work in the foreseeable future.

What can you do for yourself at home?

Many things can also be started from home.

This starts with information about endometriosis via books, reputable websites, lectures or courses. In most cities there are health courses, e.g. from the health insurance or courses at the VHS. These are usually subsidized or covered by the health insurance.

Also various possibilities for relaxation are available through courses or the Internet. It is always recommended to try different things – like yoga, meditation, TaiChi, walks or similar.

Sport is always a good idea, because quite apart from the health effect, happiness hormones also have a pain-relieving effect! Here it is important to see which sports are well within your reach and also feasible! Rehab sports or prescribed physiotherapy can also be an option!

It is also beneficial for endometriosis to stop smoking. This is often a first step, which can also be supported and accompanied in courses or hypnosis therapies.

Above all, nutrition plays a major role in endometriosis and nutritional counseling is also partially reimbursed by health insurance.

For those who also feel bad mentally, social counseling, for example at Caritas, or psychological counseling is a good option! Endometriosis is not a psychological disease but because of the stress and pain it is completely normal to use such a psychotherapy in addition to the therapy! There is usually an initial consultation to explore if you get along well with the psychologist, if the chemistry is right and if there are issues where psychotherapy would be helpful.

Self-help groups can also provide support and new ideas.

It is always important to take care of yourself and work with self-care. It is okay to not feel well or to be in a bad mood because of pain. Pay attention to your needs as much as you can.

On the other hand, distraction from the disease is also important, of course, so you can see what else is out there in life.

So there are a lot of things you can start doing at home – but in rehab you have everything in one place and you can concentrate on yourself – that’s a huge advantage!

Thank you Teresa for the really informative interview! We look forward to hearing more from you!

You can also share your experiences with us! Because every experience can answer questions from other women with endometriosis and thus be very helpful! So report about your rehab no matter where you did it and how you found it! The more experiences, the better for women looking for the right rehab!

We will not publish anything without your consent, anonymous testimonials are also possible!

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