By Penny Hill, Rising Sun Massage
A trainer I know refers to the exercises that most of us do as ones that make the “mirror muscles” look good. You know, the tight abs, the great arms and the chiseled legs.
But today I want to talk about a set of muscles that – while no one is going to see the results of your hard work – are nonetheless critical to your well-being. They are, ahem, the pelvic floor muscles.
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, nerves, tendon and ligaments. They attach front and back and side to side forming a hammock that supports the organs in the lower torso: the vagina, rectum, uterus and bladder.
Like all muscles of the body, they need exercise. As the pelvic organs are acted on by gravity and other pressures, they tend to move downward. This can cause changes in continence of, let’s call them, wind, water and earth. The other common causes of a weakened pelvic floor include childbirth, obesity and the associated straining of chronic constipation.
An online search will yield good exercises to strengthen these muscles. But here is an easy start. Lie down on your back and tighten the muscles at the very bottom of your torso, between your legs.
There are three separate areas to work. Start in the middle – these are the muscles that control the flow of water. Now think of tightening the area in front of that, and then the area to the rear of that. That’s it.
You may find in the beginning it is hard to locate these areas. You’ll recruit muscles from the glutes and abdomen, but keep going. Eventually you’ll be able to isolate just the ones you’re aiming for.
Remember to relax the contractions, too. You are re-establishing neural connections that have atrophied and, over time, it will become easier.
Penny, LMT, Certified EFT Practitioner can be reached through ConcordiaMassagePros.com.