More women need to take a huge sigh of relief and realise that the pelvic floor is probably the hardest muscle group in the body to try and work. I don’t know about you but every time most women I know try to work the pelvic floor their eyebrows get an amazing workout lifting or frowning!!!
Which one are you a lifter or a frowner?
Most women who have a pelvic floor weakness either just live with it and spend a small fortune on panty liners or seek help usually being referred to a women’s health physio. The standard rehab technique currently being “Kegals” or otherwise known as “pelvic floor squeezes”. These conscious muscle contractions work the muscles in the pelvic floor but there are only 30% of the muscle fibres which can be squeezed on demand!
If you are amongst the high percentage of women that feel the pelvic floor is their personal nemesis, that have no clue whether their pelvic floor actually exists let alone if it is being squeezed when they tell it to then I have great news, for those of you that didn’t know this already Kegal’s or pelvic floor squeezes are not the only way to get rid of those panty liners for good.
If 30% of the pelvic floor can be contracted on demand, how do we activate the other 70%? This is the bit that blew our minds when we first started our journey learning hypopressives. When we inhale the pelvic floor lifts, at this moment there is a subconscious contraction of the pelvic floor (that’s the magic 70% of the muscles working). Now we know that when we breathe our pelvic floor lifts, the question I am sure you are asking is why are so many women affected by a weak PF? We all breathe right?
Absolutely and the simple answer is because most of us either shallow breathe so the ribs barely move or belly breathe, so pressure is pushed back into the time and the goes to the weakened area often the pelvic floor or prolapse if you have one. By introducing deep breathing into the rib cage this will start to improve our pelvic floor contraction massively and reduce the abdominal pressure.
I need you to focus on this gem of information before you get disheartened and feel like nothing is ever going to work for you. There are other things you can do as well; everything is connected and lots of things help. We need our pelvic floor to be strong normally when we have no time to think and actively squeeze it, which is also where this technique comes in.
When you sneeze do you get time to squeeze it? When you cough can you lift it? If you must run after the dog, toddler or bus can you hold it? Its unlikely, but if your pelvic floor has been strengthened subconsciously, by breathing deeper, then it is strong without having to think about squeezing. It works when we need it with out thinking about it, perfect right?
We hope that once you understand that there are very good reasons why not everyone has success with the traditional strength exercises you will join our tribe of strong women who are using a simple and effective technique to give their pelvic floor the workout it really needs. Stop pulling those funny faces as you try to squeeze and just start to breathe!!
Hypopressives is the new kid on the block in the UK, it has been successfully used in Europe since the 1980’s but now its our turn to see the amazing benefits of this core rehab method. It combines the deep diaphragmatic breath with postures and pressure control to improve core function. The benefits to this training include as we have already discussed an easy way to work and strengthen the pelvic floor, a reduction in pressure which will help improve the symptoms of prolapse often avoiding surgery, recovery from post abdominal surgery, postnatal recovery, rectus diastasis, back, shoulder and neck ache and discomfort. Also, in a world that is becoming more hectic and stressful we also find by taking time out of our day to focus on breathing, posture and restoring the natural balance of our core also helps with mindfulness, wellbeing, and relaxation.
The major point I wanted to get across from this is that if you can’t kegal you are not alone, if you feel you have tried everything else then maybe investigate Hypopressives and let’s get you started on your core rehab journey, just one breath at a time 😊