I am in a movement class for teachers with 100 other adults. The instructor pulls out jump ropes. Within five minutes, most of the women are running to the bathroom. I never realized how universal pelvic floor weakness is for women and I vowed to help women fix this problem — and the answer is not a kegel.
Are you curious?
The first step toward creating strength in your pelvic floor is so basic, you already do it all day.
Breathing is a simple act but there are ways you can make it more effective for your pelvic floor.
The act of breathing has been shown to stimulate a physiological process that calms your body, slows your heart rate and helps alleviate pain. Breathing has been shown to help conditions from migraines to irritable bowel syndrome to anxiety disorders.
How does breathing work?
When you focus on your breath, you help balance your nervous system. Our nervous systems have two modes of operation: the Sympathetic Nervous System (“Fight or Flight”), and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (“Rest and Digest”). In this day and age, most people need to increase their Parasympathetic Nervous Systems by stimulating the vagus nerve, a wandering nerve that releases a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which slows your digestion and heart rate. This helps you absorb the food you eat and eliminate it. Acetylcholine is also anti-inflammatory, which is essential for healing.
In my practice, I have found that most women, after pregnancy and with changing hormones of aging, (lower estrogen), need help creating strength and balance in their abdominal muscles and diaphragms.
We have two main diaphragmatic muscles in the body — one in the chest and another in the pelvis. Together these two membranes encapsulate our core. While kegels are traditionally used to strengthen the pelvic floor, I have not found them to be entirely successful in helping women develop strong core muscles or in alleviating the symptoms of pelvic floor imbalance, urinary incontinence (urine leakage when coughing or sneezing), pelvic pain or prolapse.
Strong core muscles and pelvic stability start with learning a new way to breathe. This technique is the opposite of what most people are taught where my gym will help to learn the technique; then practice it.
Imagine sitting at the edge of the ocean.
Exhale as the wave comes in toward you, letting the air out as the wave crashes toward you.
Inhale as the wave recedes, allowing your belly to naturally expand in all directions, air passively filling your lungs as the wave moves away from you.
Exhale as the wave comes toward you, Inhale as the wave recedes.
- If you struggle with…
- Weak abdominal muscles or diastasis post partum
- Urinary incontinence (leakage)
- Pelvic Pain
- Hip Pain…then breathing is the first step toward creating abdominal and pelvic floor strength.
I have created a 6-week training program that will reconnect and rebalance the muscles in your abdomen and pelvic floor.
Make an appointment now to receive this one-on-one training. In 6 weeks you will have stronger abs and a sense of great strength deep within your core.
Pelvic floor strength is an issue that is often not talked about. Do you focus on creating strength in this part of your body? Please add any comments here to get this important conversation rolling.