With every breath, our pelvic floor and diaphragm are meant to work together, creating and regulating pressure. Deep breathing while using the ribcage, abdomen and diaphragm activates our Vagus Nerve, helping us move into a calmer parasympathetic state (“rest and digest”). We are better able to cope with stress, sleep better, have better bowel movements, feel less tension overall and in our pelvic floor muscles.
Do you usually breathe into your shoulders or your rib cage?
1. Put one hand on your chest, then put the other hand on your stomach
2. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth
Where did you breathe ie. which hand(s) did you feel rise? chest or stomach?
The breathing strategy that is going to benefit you is to breathe into your stomach (or lower rib cage to be exact).
So let’s practice breathing.
Position: Start by lying on your back. Place one hand on your chest and one hand over your belly/ lower ribs.
Inhale: Breathe in smoothly (rather than deeply) through your nose and bring that air down towards your belly. As you breathe in, your hand that is over your belly should rise.
Exhale: Through your mouth with pursed lips – like blowing out a candle. It should be a smooth, long exhale out.
To achieve excursion of your diaphragm, try to minimize the movement of your chest and breathe only into your lower ribs. This is NOT simply belly breathing. Breathing forcefully into the belly can create extra pressure on the front side of the abdominal wall.
Practice this for 2-5 minutes.
You can also begin to practice this in standing and seated once you feel more comfortable.
So…how important is your pelvic floor?
It’s imperative that you manage your pelvic floor problems NOW. Just like any other muscle in your body.. It can be weak, it can be overactive or you could have pain or dysfunction! Dysfunctions can happen at any age and can be treated at any age. You should not have any bladder or bowel leakage! You should not feel pressure or heaviness in your pelvic region. You should not have pain with intercourse. It is a misconception to think these issues are your new norm – they can be resolved with pelvic floor physiotherapy!
Contact us today to learn more and get your pelvic floor!
To help ease your concerns and answer any questions, I am offering a COMPLIMENTARY 10-MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION!
We can chat and determine if Pelvic Health Physiotherapy will benefit you! Don’t delay, call 905-503-2767 or email me: email@example.com to learn more!
Erin Albaum, MScPT
Registered Physiotherapist – Pelvic Health