Learning how to lift the pelvic floor to engage the core can be a very frustrating experience. Many’s the woman who has been earnestly squeezing her bottom for years in the hope of keeping the rude bits in good shape post babies.
Engaging the pelvic floor and seeing the abs flatten nicely is an effortless experience – and really rather pleasant. A good thing to try is lying in the bath and gently lifting the pelvic floor. As if by magic, the belly button sinks. Then, to pass the time, we gently pull in the belly button – and bingo, the pelvic floor slides up and we can have a pleasant time holding the man of our dreams tight.
Or maybe not. Here are three reasons why lifting the pelvic floor can be such a frustrating experience:
- Abdominal bloating. When caused by eating something that does not agree with us. Typical foodstuffs include gluten (wheat), dairy, eggs and, sadly, chocolate. Some of us can’t eat the onion family, including garlic, without gaining a stomach looking as if about to give birth to a 6 month old fart. For many reasons, we can also become intolerant temporarily to a great many foods. If our abs are bloated, for whatever reason, then we are going to find contracting the inner unit extremely difficult.
- Hormones. Around the time of the month, again it can get extremely frustrating trying to engage the inner unit properly. Whether this is before, during or after a period is individual. And, no surprise here, one of the many joys that can be experienced during the menopause is pelvic floor laxity, driven again by the female hormones, FSH and LH trying desperately to get us to release an egg or shed the lining of the womb. One of the best cures for either PMS or menopausal fun and games is to become extremely healthy. Not easy, since this involves going against current dietary advice and taking the highest quality supplements to rebuild our health.
- Battle scars from childbirth. Caesarian sections, episiotomies, tearing; the general ghastliness surrounding childbirth. These traumas to the abs, vagina or perineum leave scars that can deactivate underlying muscles. So we can eschew all foods we know we can’t eat, we can be unbelievably healthy, we can understand how to lift the pelvic floor and still have a hard time getting good pelvic floor movement. The answer lies in de-activating those scars. Sometimes the scars are causing pain, but not necessarily.
What is interesting is that a weak pelvic floor can also be an overtight pelvic floor. Because of the traumas of childbirth, sometimes the muscles tighten up and can’t let go, so become tight, stiff and weak. This can cause us to feel nervous about jumping or sneezing, or to live in fear of that sudden urge to pee. If this is the case, then tightening up the pelvic floor further can only make things worser. The bottom line is that an inability to be able to lift the gizzards, to draw in the navel effortlessly is never due to stupidity, but will always have a physical reason.