Saturday, February 12, 2011

More about strengthening the pelvic floor

In case you don't all read the comments, here are a few that I thought would be helpful from my last post. Can I just say that Bonnie is amazing? Her health and fitness knowledge is incredible! Lately as I've read her blog, I've been completely awestruck at the success her clients have found with the Tupler technique!

Here are her comments, with a few links to posts she's written with even more info. Thanks so much Bonnie for added info!

The pelvic floor is something I was trained extensively on, along with the Tupler Technique to be licensed as a prenatal/postnatal trainer in the Tupler Technique.

I read both of the articles - found some of the information to be in line and some things described a little inaccurately.

Squatting IS fantastic, and is a great place to kegels, as the 2nd article states. I do this with all my prenatal clients.

One thing not looked into much, but WAS somewhat commented on in the comments section was using the transverse also in conjuction with the pelvic floor. In fact, one of my clients tried for years to strengthen her pelvic floor with the StepFree system (like a tampon but for strengthening) but it would always fall out UNTIL she started doing Seated Tupler exercises. Her story is awesome:

Another thing that is recommended is the GYNOFLEX - which allows you to strengthen and get bio feedback and a good mind-body connection with the muscle:

Goes into the different modalities that can be used.

One thing I would correct Katy on is her understanding of a lengthened vs. tight muscle. A shortened muscle does not need to be a tight muscle. You CAN tighten a weak muscle. A lengthened muscle has been stretched out - like the recti during pregnancy, as well as the pelvic floor which goes from long and narrow, to short and shallow. The short and shallow factor is why people are prolapsing. If the vaginal canal is long and narrow it holds in the bladder, bowel and the uterus.

Also, when pushing out a baby, if the transverse is used rather than forcefully blowing out the pelvic floor, much of the ligament laxity damage is minimized and the bowel bladder and uterus won't "hang out" in the prolapsed position.

One side note is that the pelvic floor is one of the 5 muscles automatically used when the transverse abdominus is being used. Many people tell me they feel like they are working their pelvic floor while doing the seated tuplers, which is another reason why the client I mention above had great results.

However, when a client is pregnant, we have them relax the pelvic floor while doing transverse work to prepare for labor, where you use the transverse strenghth for pushing and totally relax the pelvic floor so baby pops out. We call this technique PERFECT PUSHING®.

I could go on and on about this - I have also seen Dr. Kegel's original work - including videos full of clients, and small children who had bed wetting problems (although not a good video to watch during a lunch break!) - and these clients who showed marked improvement were not just clients who used his device, but utilized the slow and fast twitch muscles of the pelvic floor. The one GREAT point was that relaxation NEEDS to be a part of the pelvic floor - and that squatters have strong pelvic floors.

No comments: