Pelvic Floor Health: Things You Can Do at Home by Charisse Balance, DPT, RYT
A bit about the pelvic floor
Pelvic floor PT (PFPT) focuses on the skeletal muscle function of the pelvic floor. It also focuses on the muscle function of the abdominal wall and diaphragm, as all three (PF, Abdominal wall and diaphragm) work together to stabilize the midsection and provide support to the internal organs.
This is SO important because your pelvic floor is responsible for “the three Ps”: Peeing, Pooping and Pro-creating (Sex). All very important activities of daily life! Our society places so much shame on discussing your “private parts.” I believe that this has led to a cultural disassociation from the pelvic floor and as a result, a significant lack of awareness of these muscles. Your pelvic floor muscles are skeletal muscles, just like your biceps and quads. You have voluntary control of these muscles. You should be able to voluntary contract, relax and lengthen these muscles for optimal functioning – if not, then it is likely you have pelvic floor dysfunction.
It’s SO IMPORTANT to become familiar with your pelvic floor – how it looks, how it feels, what is normal. Think of a breast exam.
If you do routine exams on yourself, you will become familiar with the normal consistency of your breast tissue – you will know what lumps are normal. In that, you will be able to recognize when an abnormal lump arises.
Likewise, it is important to become familiar with your vagina – yes, I said it. Look at it, feel the outside (vulva), feel the inside of your vaginal canal – know what YOUR normal is. I tell my patients to do malasana (yogic
squat) over a mirror to become familiar with what their perineum and vulva looks like.
Charisse Balance, DPT, RYT is a a pelvic health physiotherapist serving prenatal and postnatal mamas in San Francisco. Her offerings aim to promote optimal pelvic floor muscle function through a variety of modalities such as : vaginal steaming, sEMG biofeedback, neuromuscular reeducation, myofascial release, manual therapy techniques, restorative yoga, yin yoga and prenatal yoga.
Charisse believes in the importance of educating her clients on what is going on in their bodies anatomically, as there is empowerment in this knowledge and self understanding.
Learn more here and find Charisse on Instagram @balanced.physioga for updates on offerings, workshops and fun PF health info!