Do you have Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD)?
Often called the “Private Journey,” Incontinence and other types of PFD are things we don’t often share with others. If you are on this “journey,” you are not alone and we are here to help! As Certified Yoga Therapists and Specially-Trained Yoga Teachers, our goal is to educate you, motivate you and help you improve your bladder and pelvic floor function.
What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?
Incontinence and Prolapse are both considered PFD and have varying degrees of symptoms. Some signs of PFD are if you leak urine or feel your pelvic organs push down or out of your body during the following:
- Getting in and out of the car or getting up and down from the floor
- Lifting children or carrying heavy items such as shopping bags or a laundry basket
- Laughing, coughing or sneezing
- Not being able to make it in time to the bathroom
- Walking briskly and exercising
- Painful intercourse
How Does the Pelvic Floor Get Weakened?
Because the Pelvic Floor consists of many muscles and functions, it is important to remember that YOU have the power to improve the functionality of this critical part of your body. It’s important for you to understand how things work “down under”, and why this area often gets weakened and the muscles become lax. Perhaps your posture, your every day activities, or even your current exercise program is weakening this area and you are not aware of the long term consequences!
VIDEO: Learn how your Pelvic Organs are situated in your body and why keeping them toned will keep you continent and free of Prolapses.
Lack of movement and exercise has an adverse effect on muscles in and around the pelvic area. Studies show that prolonged sitting with a slumped posture can also affect these muscles negatively. And in reverse, too much of certain exercises like jogging, running, lifting weights and/or stomach crunches can create excessive downward pressure. This can cause straining and weakening of the pelvic muscles.
Quick Anatomy of the Pelvic Floor
Here’s a quick overview to understand why the muscles in the pelvis can get weakened. From an anatomical perspective, the job of the Pelvic Floor is to support several organs – bladder, uterus, prostate and rectum. If these muscles lose their ability to adapt to different movements and changes in pressure from above, the organs can sag down toward, or through, the openings of the body. This is called Prolapse. There is a higher trend of Prolapse in those who are overweight and in women who have had a hysterectomy.
Stress incontinence – leaking urine while exercising, laughing, coughing, or sneezing – affects almost 25 million women in America (about one in three women). Stress Incontinence occurs when the pelvic muscles and the urinary sphincter weaken. The risk of stress incontinence is higher for women who have given birth, in the elderly, and in men who have had prostate surgery.
Can Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Be Reversed?
There is no magic pill or potion that will restore and strengthen your Pelvic Floor muscles. Surgery and targeted exercises are the two most popular solutions for improving function. As with most surgeries, it is often the last resort and used to repair Organ Prolapses and serious Incontinence issues. If you are not looking at a surgical intervention right now, then give Yoga Therapy a try! This area of your body is within YOUR control and YOU have the power to improve its function with dedication and perseverance. Are you ready to try? If so, we are here to help and guide you!
What is Yoga Therapy for the Pelvic Floor?
Physical Therapy is a common approach to helping Pelvic Floor Dysfunction because of its focus on treating pain and movement disorders to improve body mechanics. However, the body is not separate from the mind and the spirit and thus looking at the whole person has opened the door for Yoga Therapy to be a valued healthcare modality for improving PFD – from Incontinence to Prolapse. (Additional resources)
The Yoga Vista Comprehensive Yoga Therapy Program for the Pelvic Floor was created by Sherry Zak Morris, E-RYT500 and Certified Yoga Therapist, and Viki Boyko, E-RYT500, Franklin Method Educator and Certified FM Pelvic Floor Fascia Trainer. We believe there is a behavioral and spiritual aspect to PFD that is just as important as addressing physical functionality.
Education and mindfulness are KEY to long-lasting results because knowledge of how your body works and self-awareness of your habits and behavior will empower you to make the necessary changes needed. Additionally, we believe that working your whole body in a systematic way can impact the health and function of your Pelvic Floor muscles… because everything is inter-related!
Need Support for your Pelvic Floor Healing?
You are never alone! Choose from our Support options:
Pelvic Floor 1:1 Coaching Program
Assess the situation, form a step-by-step action plan tailored to your concerns and map out goals.
Group Coaching Program
5-Week Group Coaching Program for those suffering from Incontinence, leaking, Pelvic pain, mild to moderate prolapse, sexual discomfort.
Private Coaching & Exercise Program
Online Pelvic Floor Private Movement class Tailored to your specific needs, includes follow up exercise sheet for you to practice.
FREE! Private Facebook Group
Connect with others who are going through similar issues