Yup, I’m going “down there”, and so should you – with your Physiotherapist who has a specialty in working with the Pelvic Floor. And you should make taking care of your Pelvic Floor part of your regular health care routine.
Your pelvic floor supports your pelvic organs, assists in urinary and fecal continence, communicates with and stabilizes connecting joints, plays a role in sexual function, and acts as a lymphatic and venous pump for the pelvic bowl.
When the muscles of the Pelvic Floor are not working at their optimum function, we can experience incontinence, pelvic and/or low back pain, pain and/or discomfort during sex, edema and hip pain/dysfunction.
We are often coached to “strengthen” our pelvic floor –
BUT, most of us have very little ability to make a connection with our pelvic floor.
I’ve asked clients to demonstrate a Kegel exercise and have seen so many things – from tilting the pelvis backward, to lifting the hips off the mat (while lying on their back). They often hold their breath, clench their buttocks, suck in their abs, clench their jaw and squeeze their thighs together.
Over 50% of people aren’t able to do a proper Kegel. And many people shouldn’t be doing Kegels anyway!!!
Often the root of the problem, (and in most cases to do with the Pelvic Floor that problem is pain) is further back than we think it is.
So before Kegels, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start”. (thank you Julie Andrews for this Sound of Music ear worm!)
A = Alignment
If you are holding your body, or you have adopted, unknowingly, non-optimal strategies to support yourself through your pregnancy , illness, or life in general, those need to be undone. You deserve the opportunity to become aware of why your alignment is not ideal and of what would be ideal, because the core just simply doesn’t work as it should if the body is held in non-optimal positions.
B = Breath
This is my favourite piece of the puzzle!
Breath work lets people understand the relationship between the respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic floor and how powerful the breath is with regards to making their core respond appropriately, with respect to preparation for birth and during birth, post-partum or illness recovery, and the rest of life.
C = Coordination
This is where you put it together – take alignment, great breathing (so that the core is functioning optimally and organically), and then apply all of that to movement. Because we are dynamic beings. We need to move and we need to move as well as possible.
People think, “I’ve had a baby”, “I’m menopausal”, “I’m over 60”, “I’ve lived through Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Prostate or Colorectal or Cervical Cancer” and that these factors mean that what they are experiencing with their pain is just the way it has to be.
Well, guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way at all! Change can happen. Of course there may be physical alterations that have occurred, but many of those can be worked with and function can be improved.
Love yourself. Be grateful for all your body and mind do for you, and get in touch with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. If you are more comfortable starting off with simple exercises and breath coaching, feel free to contact me or another health care provider who has the training to support and serve you as you start this journey to a more full life!!
Much love to you,