Stop, breathe, relax and let go...
I’m sure you are all either on or about to go off on your summer holidays. It is the perfect time to stop, breathe, relax and let go…….
I spend a lot of time teaching pelvic floor exercises to help women suffering from incontinence and prolapse.
But I also spend a lot of time teaching how to relax the tummy muscles and pelvic floor. Most people find this confusing and have never thought that their pelvic floor and tummy muscles could be tight or overactive. But you would be surprised at how much of a problem this over activity is. It can stem from stomach holding to make ourselves look slimmer to fit active sports people. Also, when feeling stressed or anxious cortisol and adrenaline floods through your body and your breathing becomes more shallow and fast. For different reasons, from time to time, we all breathe really badly.
Overactive and tight muscles can lead to serious problems such as dysfunctional voiding, constipation, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. I will often start treatment with breathing and breath awareness.
If you click on this image courtesy of Burrell Education you can see that as we breathe in and the diaphragm descends the stomach should release and the pelvic floor should drop. On the out breath the diaphragm lifts, therefore creating a negative pressure that pulls in the tummy and lifts the pelvic floor.
When you breathe into your lower lungs, remember that your lungs are 3D, you must breathe down, back and out. Imagine filling up and expanding tree rings or opening a closed umbrella. And let that tummy go!
Stop, breathe, relax and let go.
Also, slow down. we often breathe too fast. To benefit from the relaxing and de-stressing effects of breathing we must breathe slowly. Watching this video can be a useful way to slow down your breath.
Practice this throughout the day, a few mins at a time, in sitting, standing or lying down and see how it makes you feel. Let me know what you think.