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The Pelvic Floor Connection - the first step to great pelvic floor health

Mar 05, 2024

Your pelvic floor is probably the most under appreciated part of your body. 

Not only is this sling of 14 muscles responsible for holding in and releasing your wee and poo, it has many other surprising and vital functions in your body.

Your pelvic floor:

  • is a fundamental part of your breathing mechanism
  • is the foundation of your core group of muscles which hold you up
  • protects your spine and hips
  • forms part of your fight or flight response to stress
  • is essential for sexual function
  • holds your pelvic organs (bladder, bowel and uterus) in place
  • allows a female body to give birth to a baby

This incredible part of your anatomy is a powerhouse which facilitates all these functions - mostly without us thinking about them at all - but when things go wrong, it's definitely time to start paying a bit more attention.

Your pelvic floor will let you know it's not happy by showing symptoms like pain - especially painful sex or feelings of heaviness in the vagina, incontinence - that's an involuntary leaking of wee, wind or poo, or prolapse - that's when the pelvic organs start to bulge into the vagina or rectum. You may also notice changes around how you go to the toilet - maybe you're constipated more often or feel like you have to push out a wee. 

These symptoms are your pelvic floor's way of asking for help.

Incontinence and prolapse are not natural parts of ageing and so there are many ways to prevent and treat these issues. 

Pelvic floor squeezes (aka Kegel exercises) are the first line of treatment for pelvic floor issues. They are commonly used and have a 30% to 90% success rate in women with stress incontinence (leaking wee when you cough, laugh, sneeze or do an activity).

But pelvic floor squeezes can be difficult to do. 

In one study, 40% of women who received verbal instructions from medical professionals were unable to perform a pelvic squeeze sufficiently. 

Arnold Kegel himself noted that many patients stop doing their squeezes as they easily become discouraged. 

Isolated pelvic floor squeezes also need to be repeated daily for a number of weeks before you see any changes. Kegel recommended an incredible 500 squeezes a day.

Let's face it, it's just tricky to gain conscious control of a group of muscles which usually work without us even thinking about them and which we can't see. 

But given that these particular muscles are so vital to so many of our basic functions, not engaging with them is just not an option. 

Up 50% of women will experience pelvic organ prolapse and up to 80% will experience urinary incontinence at some point in their lives.

These conditions mean that we are less confident, less independent, have a lower quality of life, and are more likely to end our days in care and yet, for many people, these issues are avoidable. 

So what can we do about it?

At Sheela, we believe that everyone should have access to the knowledge and tools they need to prevent, manage, and treat pelvic floor issues at every stage of their lives.

The gold standard is an individual assessment with a pelvic floor (women's health) physiotherapist who can give you a personalised treatment plan and teach you how to squeeze and release your pelvic floor muscles.

But there are loads of reasons why this might not be an option for you.

If you can't access a private women's health physiotherapist, you can still access pelvic floor healthcare.

We've created something cost effective that will give you a great mind/body connection so you can find and isolate your pelvic floor muscles, learn how squeezing them feels in your unique body, and get some inspiration to figure out a pelvic floor exercise routine that might work for you.

We've created a short course called The Pelvic Floor Connection.

In this course, you'll learn how to connect to your pelvic floor and get rid of that 'am I doing it right?' feeling, once and for all.

You'll learn where your pelvic floor is and what it does.

You'll learn how to squeeze these muscles (and only these muscles) and how to integrate these squeezes into more global movement - like when you're exercising or moving around.  

This is the skill that is going to help you prevent and treat incontinence and prolapse.

This is a three module course that you can complete in 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months, depending on your own unique needs. 

In the first module, you'll explore how your pelvic floor muscles coordinate with your breathing and how you can harness this relationship to execute more effective pelvic floor squeezes. 

In the second module, you'll learn the difference between conscious and unconscious muscle control and how to harness the power of your brain to improve your mind/body connection and the strength of your pelvic floor squeezes.

In the third and final module, you'll learn how exercise works and what that means if you want to improve your pelvic floor function. 

Finally, you'll get a 12 minute daily full body exercise routine which will improve tone and flexibility in your pelvic floor as well as your core, hips, back, and glutes. You can use this routine any time you feel your pelvic floor is in need of a tune up or a bit more attention. 

We've designed this course with lots of different approaches to improving your connection to your pelvic floor so even if you've struggled with pelvic floor squeezes before, you'll find success with a different approach.

This course is packed with practical exercises that will progressively build your mind/body connection so if you've never done a pelvic floor squeeze or even if you've 'felt nothing' or been unsure if you're 'doing it right' before, you'll be confident in your pelvic floor connection by the end of the course. 

We're launching this course to coincide with International Women's Day on the 8th of March. 

There is a massive gender gap in health - women's health issues are notoriously underfunded and under-researched. We think this is a scandal - particularly when it comes to pelvic floor issues which affect most women. Women are expected to 'just put up with it' - even if these conditions are debilitating and having a huge impact on our quality of life. 

We believe pelvic floor health education is something that should be taught from a young age - particularly to women.

The Pelvic Floor Connection is our way of making a positive contribution - we want as many women as possible to take this course and overcome one of the most common hurdles to lifelong pelvic floor care. That's why we're keeping the price really low and making it available all year round. If you'd like to know more, click the link here.

No matter your age or circumstances, it is always possible to improve your pelvic floor health and that could make a huge difference to your quality of life. 

Get access to The Pelvic Floor Connection here





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