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Myths & truths about 6-pack abs and pelvic health

If you guys enjoyed the last wellbeing talk on pelvic health, here's some more for you, on the importance of breath work and a good functioning pelvic floor by our lovely physio Sarah Parker!


Research has shown that your transversus abdominus (TVA), pelvic floor, diaphragm and multifidus which are your "core" fire in anticipation of your movement without you having to even think about it. If you have had a dysfunction, however, whether that be a surgery, birth, trauma or injury then this sequence may get a little messed up and confused. If this is the case for you then I would come and see me or another pelvic health/musculoskeletal


Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles


These pelvic floor muscles are autonomic meaning they just do what they need to do without you having to intervene but we can tap in to them by re training our breathing pattern and working on optimum posture. A few weeks of pelvic floor training and breath work while progressing quite basic exercises will re-set your bodies patterns and help with improving function. If you have a long history of dysfunction and recurring pain and/or injury then it may take a little longer to unpick and need a proper assessment so reach out if you need me. Your wonderful body will always try to keep you going no matter what and so will pick up strategies in order for this to happen. You may not notice at first but over time your body will compensate and sooner or later this will result in pain or injury. So if you've had a pain or niggle or injury that just won't go away then this may just be the missing piece of the puzzle as physio's often overlook this part of the body. I'd imagine you're here because you care abut your body and want some answers.


The right breathing & body posture habits


If you want to get started take a look at your breathing and see where you're at. APICAL BREATHING When you take a deep breath in do you fill up the top of your chest first? If this is the case then you are breathing in to the apices of your lungs and potentially using your accessory muscles which we need only use if we are in danger (fight/flight/freeze) or completely out of breath to allow more air in to the lungs. Your accessory muscles are power muscles really and we shouldn't be using them all the time as they will get fatigued. They will also be working a LOT harder if your posture is poor and/ or you sit at a desk most the day. HELLO sore neck, shoulders and headaches! This type of breathing also means that your body will think it's in fight/flight/freeze and when you're body thinks this is the case it will release the appropriate hormones for the situation adrenaline (to make you strong and powerful and get you out of there quickly) and cortisol (as pain relief so you don't feel anything while you're fighting for your life). And trust me running on adrenaline constantly will totally fuck you up! I've been there and I can vouch, it is not a nice place to be.


BELLY BREATHING If when you take a big breath in your belly rises, your waistband expands and your ribs gently rise up and outwards without much going on in your chest and shoulders then you my friend are in the wonderful state of rest and digest. I even feel calm when I am writing and reading this back. How about you? Your diaphragm is moving downwards giving your guts a lovely massage (yes they have studied this on MRI and your guts actually compress when you breath in). This breathing gets your body back in to equilibrium and allows homeostasis which means your systems are working at their optimum.


HELLO good gut function, better sleep and less anxiety! I know where I'd rather be!! All being well with these basic bodily functions (breathing and posture) it should allow your body to do what it needs to do in good timing and we should let it do just that. If you interrupt them in any way by trying to brace the muscles yourself in preparation for movement you will come in to some trouble.


Pelvic health workshop deets'


If you would like me to have a look at your body then don’t hesitate to get in touch and if you’d like to learn more i’m doing a pelvic health workshop which explores this in a lot more detail - When: July 19th Where: Zoom online What time: 1600 - 2000 GMT Price: £50 Book here: www.sarahparkerphysio.com/workshops


Love, Sarah x

15/07/2020

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