Whole-Body Pelvic Floors (and Whole-Body Bodies)
My approach to pelvic floor health (and the health of any body part for that matter) is a little different to most traditional physios, mostly due to my training as a Restorative Exercise Specialist (RES) through Nutritious Movement.
Before becoming a RES, I had been finding that my approach to treatment was very localised to the specific area of dysfunction. I think that a lot of Physiotherapists and other health practitioners are very good at identifying the specific structures involved, eg. which particular ligament, muscle or joint is being affected, and then restoring mobility or strength as required to that particular area, without necessarily taking into account the lifestyle habits and all-day movement patterns that have lead to the particular injury or issue.
Through my studies with Nutritious Movement, I feel like I am now much more capable of assessing not just the whole body, but also the whole person.
The pelvic floor muscles (or any muscle in the body for that matter) do not work in isolation, but instead act as just one part of the whole system that is your amazing human machine. They require mobility, flexibility and strength of all of the structures in the body - from the feet, to the hip and butt muscles, to the spine, diaphragm and rib cage, to the shoulders (and so on). How you sit, stand and walk, and how much time you spend sitting, vs. standing, vs. walking vs. squatting vs. moving will affect your pelvic floor function, as will how much sleep you get and how much stress you experience.
In fact, the function of your entire body depends on the health of the structures (bones, muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, cells, skin), as well as the forces acting upon and within the system.
In particular, gravity, (which affects everyone, 100% of the time), pressures generated inside the body by the way that you move, breathe or hold tension in your muscles, and the pressures altered or generated by external factors, such as your shoes and clothing.
This is why just doing pelvic floor exercises or 'Kegels' may not give you the best functioning pelvic floor that you're after, and why pure 'core strengthening' exercises may not actually give you a stronger tummy to prevent or close an abdominal separation (or diastasis recti).
In the same way "You are how you eat", you are also 'How you Move!". Your body is constantly adapting to how you move throughout every day, not just how you 'exercise' for 30 - 60mins per day, 3-4 days a week.
One of my goals with anybody that I work with is to help you learn how to move well in your non-exercising time too for the benefit of your pelvic floor, core and entire body to help resolve your particular issue, but also, to keep you moving well for the rest of your life.
If you missed this video I posted on our Facebook Page, I'd highly recommend taking 6 minutes to check out this nice introduction to this revolutionary movement paradigm that I work within. If it resonates with you, the book is well worth the read or listen (I loved listening to the audiobook while walking!) You can find it for purchase here on the Nutritious Movement website - not a bad Christmas present idea for yourself or a loved one!
And no, I do not get any comission on sales ;)
Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday season and exciting times ahead for 2016!