Vaginal lifts and fairy tales of the pelvic floor
Author: Carolyne Anthony
Is this article, fitness expert Carolyne Anthony discusses Kegel, how everyday movement can activate the pelvic floor. Watch her video to see how to correctly exercise your pelvic floor.
Vaginal lifts, what does that even mean?
Maybe your first thought was Kegel – a contraction of the sphincter muscles by either lifting or squeezing the pelvic floor. Women are taught to do these by stopping the flow of urine. You can Kegel while you’re driving, eating, standing in line. Anywhere!
What does Kegel actually do?
Not much. Kegels activate the sphincter muscles – these are the muscles around your anus and urethra. They don’t necessarily activate the whole pelvic floor and they also don’t activate the whole pelvic floor in conjunction with the rest of your body.
Your pelvic floor doesn’t necessarily ‘lift’. Not like you may think it does. There are layers to the pelvic floor and each layer works in a different way. Rather than give you a detailed anatomy lesson on the pelvic floor (which is my job), I would much rather let you know what you are doing right now in your daily life that has a good impact on your pelvic floor.
How your daily life impacts your pelvic floor
- Breathing – your pelvic floor works with the rhythm of your breath. In layman’s terms this means if you’re breathing, your pelvic floor is working.
- Walking – if you have the ability to walk, whether briskly, slowly, upstairs, downstairs and in my lady’s chamber (the loo) you’re doing well. The pelvic floor muscles are attached to the bottom of the pelvis and movements such as walking activate it. Also standing up activates your pelvic floor. As does sitting down. Going to the loo requires a functioning pelvic floor too.
- Eating and sleeping – if you eat and sleep well this can benefit all the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in your body. Fresh air and sunshine too. I know I sound like your mother but honestly, she was right.
What doesn’t help your pelvic floor is stress, fatigue, worry, emotional issues and tension. And if this is going to be detrimental to your pelvic floor, then it is detrimental to your whole body, mind and spirit too.
The Impact of Menopause
Menopause seems to bring out all the naysayers, telling you your life is on a downward spiral into old age. The articles on the pelvic floor during menopause suggest it becomes drier, thinner, incontinent, basically useless, and you’ll NEVER have sex again. And what do they tell you to do about it? Kegel.
In my opinion, a Kegel is in place if you REALLY need to go and you can’t find a bathroom. Other than that, the pelvic floor will respond to activities of daily living.
While your female hormones do decrease during menopause, they don’t disappear entirely, so while your muscles may get thinner or drier without the estrogen levels, exercise and nutrition can certainly help restore healthy tissue. In fact, because you now have more androgens floating around, you may even get stronger in menopause. If your sex life is failing because your pelvic floor seems to be dysfunctional, I would try a better, more attractive, sensitive partner before you blame yourself. And there’s always lubricant.
A holistic approach is required
The point is that nothing works in isolation and just ‘lifting’ your pelvic floor, or just doing a bicep curl, or a squat or a plank, is not going to create health. Whether it’s your pelvic floor or not.
About the Author
Carolyne Anthony is the Founder/Director of the Center for Women’s Fitness. Carolyne has been in the Dance, Fitness and Pilates world for over 35 years. She has a Diploma in Dance from The Stella Mann College, UK as well as Pilates Certifications through Polestar, BASI, PhysicalMind and The PMA. Carolyne is an author, Birth Doula, Reiki practitioner, Myofascial release practitioner and an Esoteric Healer. Her company-The Center for Women’s Fitness, is a continuing education organization for women’s health courses, with more than 2000 certified teachers in 40 countries. You can contact Carolyne via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.thecenterforwomensfitness.com