Last weekend I surrounded myself with other’s who are passionate about women’s health from educators to fitness pros to physios and holistic therapists. We all had one goal in mind, to serve women and provide them with support and tools and to help them as if they were a sister.
One topic that we talked about was pelvic floor weakness and what women can do to elivate this problem and knowing that they shouldn’t have to put up with it.
Diastasis Recti Recovery
This is one of the most common issues I see and hear about amongst postnatal women.
Diastasis recti, the gap caused by stretched tissues at the midline of the abdominals isn’t just about the rectus abdominis (your six-pack muscles) and is probably better described as a stretching, weakening, dysfunction of the entire anterior (front) and lateral (side) abdominal wall that also has the potential to have knock-on effect to the other ‘core’ elements such as the diaphragm, the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organs.
In this talk by the conference organiser it was highlighted that many just perceive or have concerns about the pelvic floor, this often causing them to be in a constant engaged state, it is true that none of us want to be “leaky” (this is the perception of what happens as a consequence of having a weak pelvic floor). It is important for us to not constantly engage our pelvic floor, or to even suck or tummy muscles. It is as just important to practice the art of letting go.
After a practical demonstration and some exercises it was clear that even if you think you have let go, you will not have completely disengaged them. In order for muscles to be strong, they need to be relaxed and exercised in conjunction with each other. To help build a stronger pelvic floor, you will need to practice switching them off as much as switching them on. Don’t forget that to avoid being leaky you need to ensure that your whole abdomen is in good shape, including breathing properly as the pressure within the abdominal cavity (caused by breathing, coughing, sneezing, sighing).
How can I help relax my pelvic floor?
Simples it’s called Vaping! Just stay with me on this.
So stand in a neutral stance and keep your knees soft (not bent but not locked), you then want to let go of your pelvic floor. The key to this exercise is to take deep breaths in and imagine every rib full expanding, with the space from your collar bone all the way down to your vagina getting larger each time. Breaths should be audible but not forcibly loud.
The next step is to imagine a vapour of smoke coming out of your belly button on your out breath (repeat 3 times), then repeat but imagine the vape coming out of your vagina (repeat 3 times) and finally repeat but imagine the vape coming out of your anus (repeat 3 times). Each time your pelvic floor should enter a deeper state of relaxation.
Try doing this as well as your pelvic floor exercises a couple of times a day, you should notice that your pelvic floor gets stronger and by helping you to breath deeper and fuller and correctly this may even help your diastasis healing! If nothing else it’s a great way of helping to release deep rooted tension and will give you 5 minutes to yourself!
With a combination of soft tissue therapy (taping, massage, resistance stretching, working on points of tension and trigger points as well as taping techniques), breathe work and letting go of your pelvic floor muscles (as described above) along with nutrition you can be well on your way to help reduce the separation within the abdominals. It doesn’t have to be the norm to “just live with it”
What’s your biggest concern regarding pelvic floor health?
If you can identify with any of the issues in this article and would like a confidential conversation or some more information, get in touch by clicking the button below.