Tag Archives: pelvic floor

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

If you were watching daytime ITV last week, you would have witnessed a conversation on Loose Women about weak pelvic floor and leaking.

It wasn’t discussed in a manner that was very helpful to other women who find this embarrassing or want to stop this happening, but don’t know where to begin, who still believe squeezing and core exercises are the way to go for a”strong” pelvic floor.

A strong or weak pelvic floor can leak. A weak strong (yes, your muscles can be both) pelvic floor can be “tight” because its working for other muscles , and if its doing the work of other muscles, its exhausted (weak), and does not need any further strengthening without the other muscles its compensating for being strengthened first. For example, the glutes, external hip rotators or inner thigh muscles could be unorganised, which is another way of saying they aren’t working in harmony with the other muscles in the movement chain, maybe because of an injury, a scar- which can inhibit other muscles working well, or just sitting for a living

So, if you are doing pelvic floor exercises and they aren’t working, stop,it isn’t you, and you aren’t doing anything wrong, have a go at doing something else instead.

Heres 2 things you could start to work on instead:

  1. Awareness of your jaw clenching throughout the day. The jaw and pelvic floor fascia is connected, but the brain can also make the connection to use the jaw for strength, especially when during childbirth you clenched your jaw , the connection between that and pelvic floor contraction and relaxation was made in your brain – what gets fired together gets wired together…Clench your jaw, is your pelvic floor more toned when that happens? If it is, you cant walk around with a clenched jaw all day…or, maybe you have..
  2. Breathing. Its becoming more commonly known now, thankfully, that proper breathing using the diaphragm rather than the upper chest and shoulders can improve intra-abdominal pressure, thus improving pelvic floor tone , that doesn’t especially mean making a strong pelvic floor weak or strong, but making it work in tune with the other abdominal muscles and diaphragm, so they all work well together, they are more organised. Slow breathing can be practiced before you get out of bed in the morning and when you get into bed at night, in the bath or any other quiet moment to yourself – you need about 60 seconds each time to practice at first. Allowing the exhalation to be a little bit longer than the inhalation , as this is when the oxygen enters the blood cells. Always be aware you practice breathing without clenching the jaw, for me, who has a busy mind, this is the tricky bit, I clench my jaw often, but, with awareness, thats reducing and pelvic floor function has improved.If you find you would rather practice diaphragm breathing on your front, you cn do this too, some clients find this easier, as you are sing the surface your lower abdominals are resting on as feedback , breathing into your lower belly as your press it into the floor, exhaling as it gently lifts away from the floor. always aware the jaw is relaxed, the face soft, the shoulders down your back and glutes relaxed, no tense.

Practicing these 2 very simple free techniques 2 – 4 times a day, will see you get very fast and lasting results, it may, like me, make you aware of how much the jaw clenches, how much stress you can have in your life, even when you think you don’t, how much control you think you have and how surprised you will be when you see how everyday life affects your inner self.

 

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Neuro Kinetic Therapist

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall, UK

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Pilates Classes and 1:1 personal training

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor – Know the names?

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:

Breathing slowly

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 🙂

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.postutegeek.co.uk