Pelvic Floor Lengthening

This series is designed to give you a better understanding of how your body works and to also help you lengthen the muscles that are a part of, and support the pelvic floor.  

You’re probably here because you’ve been diagnosed with a tight or overactive pelvic floor (I prefer the term hypertonic, so I’ll use that here instead) or maybe you’re just curious. Either way, welcome 🙂 these videos are for everyone! You don’t need a hypertonic pelvic floor to benefit from them. 

What is a hypertonic pelvic floor?

Just like any other muscles, the pelvic floor muscles can become tight. Tight muscles need to be lengthened through stretching and massage. The pelvic floor muscles can be a little tricky to stretch though because they are tucked away in the pelvis. 

A hypertonic pelvic floor can cause symptoms such as:

– Tailbone, hip and/or back pain

– Constipation

– Issues with starting a wee and/or complete emptying

– Pain with penetration or orgasm

– Urinary urgency and frequency

– Issues in labour with baby’s presentation (typically asynclitism of baby’s head which can lead to many interventions) 

What can be done about it?

Luckily there is a lot that can be done and you’re in the right place #epic #finally

Often stretching is only allocated five minutes at the end of an exercise class. With our modern ways of living our muscles spend a lot of time in a shortened contracted state (our pelvic floor isn’t a fan of all the sitting we do!) and so they need just as much time to lengthen as they do to strengthen. Cue these videos and all the rolling and massage ball work that we do as part of my programs. 

I personally know the pain of a hypertonic pelvic floor. I experienced it throughout my pregnancy up until about 8 weeks postpartum. I used all of these techniques plus internal release by my physiotherapist to heal from mine. 

Addressing a hypertonic pelvic floor involves a holistic treatment. Whilst isolating and lengthening the pelvic floor will be key to your recovery, just like all things core and floor related, working the whole body is essential. This means that you need to continue with the core and floor program and if you can, seek the care of allied health professionals to  encourage your body to be better aligned and address any other tightness issues in your body.  

In addition to the tips and tricks taught in this video series the following things may also help to give you relief and lengthen your muscles:

– External massage either by a physiotherapist or masseuse to help release tight muscles that surround or are connected to the pelvic floor (bum, hips, jaw, core and back muscles especially the psoas and QL). Tight muscles in other areas affect how the pelvic floor performs and the space it has to lengthen. 

– Osteopathy or Chiropractic care to assist with posture and alignment. When the body is not correctly aligned, things don’t sit where they are meant to. This affects how much room the muscles have and how they work. 

– Acupuncture to bring about better blood flow to the pelvic area and to assist with healing. 

– Dilators and pelvic wands (please speak with your physiotherapist about this). These work the same way massage balls and rollers do but they are used internally (through the vagina) 

– Internal release by a physiotherapist that specialises in this area. Basically this is a massage of your pelvic floor muscles done through your vagina. It works the same way as external massage using trigger points and lengthening techniques. 

– Managing stress with meditation, music, having a bath, exercise or doing whatever it is that you love! 

How to use the Core and Floor Program if you have a hypertonic pelvic floor: 

To be able to participate in the videos below, you will need to be able to diaphragmatically breathe. So if you haven’t watched the theory on this yet, please go back and watch it now, have a little practice with the exercise videos and then revisit this. 

As I mentioned above, continuing to work through your C+F program is essential to healing. A healthy pelvic floor is one that is balanced. This means that it can contract when and at the strength it is needed to AND that it can lengthen completely.

When completing the C+F program you need to focus on healing YOUR issues. If you have a hypertonic pelvic floor this means that you will focus more on the lengthening on the inhale than the lift and wrapping on the exhale. Some people will advise you to not contract your pelvic floor at all. If you’re under the care of a physiotherapist or osteopath its best to be guided by them as they are giving you an individualised care plan. If it doesn’t feel right to contract, or the contraction causes pain, don’t do it……….yet. Work on these lengthening videos and once you feel your symptoms start to ease, gently bring the contractions back in. 

The key is to DO YOU and do what you need at the time. You may do the C+F program over and over again and do it differently every time based on what’s happening for you. 

If contracting feels good and is pain free, go for it but don’t let it be your main focus. Focus more on the lengthening. Keep going with the rest of the program though as strengthening other areas such as the bum and core will assist with correcting any alignment and weakness issues that may be the cause of your hypertonic pelvic floor. 

I had a hypertonic pelvic floor at the back and a weakened pelvic floor at the front. So when I inhaled I focused on really releasing and lengthening the back of my pelvic floor and when I exhaled I focused on lifting the front. This sounds near impossible but I promise it isn’t. The more in tune you become with your body the easier responding to its needs. 

Ok, I’ll get off my high horse now and let you get on with lengthening. As always, any questions, please just get in touch via our Facebook support group or email xx B

Watch this video first 🙂 

I made this video before I made the following video series. It gives a basic overview of a hypertonic pelvic floor and different techniques from breathing to stretching to help lengthen it. We use some of these techniques in the following video and it helps if you’ve watched this for a better understanding. 

If you are pregnant, you may find some of the stretches in this video impossible to do due to not being able to lay on your back or because of your beautiful perfect bump. Its still worth watching so you have the knowledge for the other videos and for post birth 🙂

This session is perfect for everyone (my opinion obvs :-)). 

If you’re pregnant, you may want a bolster or some pillows to help you be comfortable in a position like child’s pose. 

We are simply breathing and working on lengthening the pelvic floor with breath and visualisation. Please give this a chance, practice makes perfect. You will get that light bulb to switch it, it just make take a few goes before it does #keeptrying

If you are extra tight in other areas you may want to take some time to roll or massage those areas out before or throughout this video. 

 

This video is perfect for everyone too #yipee

This videos includes tips and tricks on how to let your pelvic floor go throughout the day. Its especially epic for those of us who are bum clenchers. 

 

Pregnant people – many of you will still be able to do some or all of this video. It will depend on what trimester you are in, how you feel on your back, if you have pelvic girdle pain and the size of your bump. So please don’t bypass it without watching first. There is a pregnancy specific video below just for you though 🙂

These are my favourite stretches and breathing exercises that I used to heal my overactive pelvic floor. I LOVED filming this sesh and I hope you enjoy it too. Apologies for Mr Delicious’ appearance – my babysitter was concerned he wasn’t breathing properly (he was ;-))

This is a delicious session and is ideal for everyone, even if you don’t have a hypertonic pelvic floor. 

This was designed for preconception or postpartum people. It’s especially perfect for those who spend a lot of time sitting! 

If you are pregnant, please don’t do the psoas stretch on the abdomen. You will be able to do most of the stretches and rolling in this video but please see the pregnancy video below for something just for you and if this doesn’t feel right, please don’t do it now, save it for postpartum xx 

The juiciest session that ever did exist! Need I say more. 43 minutes of mind and body lengthening. With pregnancy modifications #Yewwww!

I’m going to go ahead and bet that this one will be a fav! 

An epic short little lengthen sesh for when you’re time poor. Especially epic if pregnant! Make this you’re little go to lengthen and self love sesh! 

Happy lengthening team! 

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