Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor – Know the names?
A Hiatus is a word that can be used to describe a gap in the program schedule of a TV series, maybe your favourite series ended in May and it has a Hiatus until September. Its bittersweet isn’t it really…you love the program and don’t want it to end, yet you also love the long summer nights (hopefully the sun is out…) and want a break away from the TV to do fun things!
So, there is a Hiatus in your Pelvic Floor! Only its always there, it doesn’t come and go! But it is a gap – and one that has to be there, as its called a Urogenital Hiatus which is at the front insertion of the levator ani – an area free of muscles which is there to help you when you are ready for childbirth(so I’m relating to the female pelvis here..obviously..!) but also the area for the vagina and urethra.
So its important that the Levator Ani has good tone to support the internal organs in this area – we are mainly concerned with the bladder and the uterus, as a weakness in the fibres can cause prolapse or incontinence. However, a stressed lifestyle, which can also mean someone who has nutrition stress or dehydration (lack of nutrients and drinking more caffeine than water for example) can have too much tone in pelvic floor muscles than too little. Reducing stress by looking after ourselves more, even if its 4 minutes a day, can help reduce pelvic floor muscles that are too “tight”, you can then see that doing more tightening pelvic floor muscles on top of this doesnt do much to help.
The Levator Ani is a powerful muscle consisting of 2 main parts – it’s also a horseshoe shape and is made up from bundles of muscles – part one is:
1. puborectalis and pubococcygeus, which start from the area of the pubis and slings around to the rectum the lateral part is called the iliococcygeus all important for the internal organ support.
2. coccygeus muscle – which is found behind the levator ani and stretches between the spine of the ischium( can you see the ischium in the picture here) , sacrum and coccyx(tailbone)
Now you know more about your pelvic floor (applies to men as well…a healthier pelvic floor helps improve sexual performance) one of the easiet things you can do to help relax it is to breathe through your lower belly.
Place your hands on your lower belly and breathe in pushing into your hands with your breathe, hold for 4 counts. Exhale as the belly lowers down, hold for 4 counts. Repeat for a minute up to 10 times a day for 10 days.
You might find this easier lying down at first, so maybe a bit tricky to do at work 🙂
Ways to help your pelvic floor:
2 litres water a day(more if exercising)
Nutrients from greens – broccoli, cauliflower, watercress, cabbage, red onions, garlic, spinach, basically lots of greens every day…
Looking after your nervous system by relaxing more – massage, walking min 20 mins everyday in nature(woods, beach, by a lake)
Doing exercise that you actually like doing, not whats fashionable.
Sleep – going to be by 10.30 x 5 times a week, improving the quality of sleep and allowing your body to repair itself.
Magnesium, a good quality magnesium also helps.
Simple eye and vestibular exercises that help balance as well as pelvic floor and abdominal connection(more on this next time)
Enjoy Life 🙂