From the wise words of Instructor Kelly, “KEGEL, KEGEL, KEGEL!” You may also hear her say, “SUCK and TUCK LADIES!” Instructor Kelly knows the importance of a strong pelvic floor as well as proper posture. I love taking one of Instructor Kelly’s class as she makes me actually focus on if I am engaging my pelvic floor while exercising. Why does she do this you wonder? She does this because many women are not educated about their bodies and how to care for those very important muscles.
The female body is a miraculous machine! It can carry a child for nine months. Then those same bodies give birth! It truly is a beautiful thing. However, this beautiful thing can lead into many problems and complications for women. It can lead to incontinence, diastasis recti, and prolapse just to name a few. Not all of these problems occur from child birth, so if a baby may not be in your future, it is still crucial that you take care of your pelvic floor!
Pelvic Floor Seminar
Thankfully Aerial Dance believes in educating women as a whole, not just a pole dancer/aerialist. They want to ensure that we take care of our bodies and minds to the fullest. That is why they provide various seminars and learning opportunities FREE of charge to help educate us! I was lucky enough to attend the Pelvic Floor Seminar.
I was blown away with the number of things I did not know about my body as a woman. It was clear that at 28, I still have a lot to learn about my body. Our presenter was Meagan Peeters-Gebler Meagan is a Physical Therapist who specialize in women’s health with Orthopedic Spine Therapy. She began the seminar with getting us acquainted with our bladder an organ that we all know so well. She also compared our bladders to puppies who form bad habits.
Meagan explained a normal functioning bladder and some abnormalities some women experience. I learned a lot about the ways that I abuse my bladder as a teacher. I hold, hold, hold, and hold my pee through out the day all while consuming half my body weight in ounces of water. It was a very simple concept to understand, but until she pointed it out, I thought my pee habits were normal. Turns out that I am expecting my bladder to do way more than nature intended it to. This means I need to retrain my bladder to create healthier habits. From healthier bladders we moved onto caring for your body after a C-section.
Meagan shared with us that there are many layers of tissue that must be cut in order to deliver a baby by c-section. This was not completely new information, but not having delivered a child of my own I couldn’t quite fathom what it is like for a natural birth or c-section.Meagan stated that doctors cut each layer to deliver the baby, but after delivery they stitch all of the tissue back together as one rather than a layer at a time. This information startled me. Those individual layers enable our bodies to move fluidly and now those layers are all stuck together. She said it was like sewing your uterus wall to your stomach………. I was not comfortable with that information. Now as I plan for my future intend to make it clear to my doctor that I would like each layer of tissue stitched separately.
Another important tip that Meagan shared with ladies who have had c-sections is to touch and massage the scar. Massaging the scar will help reestablish neural pathways. It can reduce pain in the scar itself. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort with your scar ask your doctor about physical therapy. C-section scars are tied to many causes of pain in the body other than your abdomen. Physical therapy is something to consider even if your c-section was years ago.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Do’s and Don’ts
All of our lives women are taught that we need to squeeze are pelvic floor muscles, but we are not taught the proper way to do so. I always thought that you needed to squeeze your pelvic floor on the inhale, but really you should squeeze your pelvic floor on the exhale. Crazy right?
You pelvic floor like many muscles reacts to stress. When squeeze on the inhale and hold our breath we are teaching that muscle to stay clenched. Some women struggle with too tight making going to the bathroom difficult.
When we think about our pelvic floor we want it to be squeezed when we are relaxed so that it holds all of our insides inside, not only when it is under stress. We must retain our bodies and brain to the proper way of exercising those important muscles. So what do we need to do?
- Make sure your bladder is completely empty.
- engage in breathing the lifts and expands your whole rip cage and abdomen (many people’s rip cage and abdomen are restricted during breathing not moving at all).
- On the exhale squeeze your pelvic floor You may not have a strong feeling of your pelvic floor at first, but will gain more feeling as you go.
- If you are new to exercising this muscle do small rep cycles like you would any exercise and work your way up. (You wouldn’t run a whole marathon if you only run once in a while same idea for your pelvic floor!)
- It is important to not hold your breath, squeeze your abdomen, butt, or thigh muscles while squeezing your pelvic floor muscles.
Ladies these are only a few of the key take aways for the seminar! If you are interested in learning more, I can share with you the recording that I have from the seminar.
Until Next Time,