Pelvic Floor Meditation
If you have pelvic floor issues, you probably think about pelvic floor exercises first. But did you know that pelvic floor meditation might be more effective than pelvic fitness?
Pelvic Floor Meditation as a First Step
Meditation has been life-changing for me. I attribute daily meditation to my own mental, emotional, and physical health... and I've struggled with all three of those things. Developing the ability to quiet my mind and tune inward has helped me alleviate an anxiety disorder, rid myself of clinical depression, manage irritable bowel syndrome and several autoimmune conditions, and eliminate pelvic tension that caused bladder urgency, frequency, and feelings of pelvic heaviness.
If you struggle with any of these issues, then you are in the right place.
Why Meditation Improves Pelvic Health
Meditation helps bridge the gap between the mind and body. A regular meditation practice helps you learn how to listen to the messages and signals your body is sending you… Even just simple breathing and putting your hand on your body can help you learn how to listen.
In addition, meditation helps "tame the monkey mind" which — for people with pelvic floor challenges — is often focused on their pelvic area!
How a Regular Meditation Practice Changes Your Brain
Regular meditation changes your brain structure AND function. It can increase grey matter (which processes information) and it can prompt the brain to shift from high-alert, hypervigilent brainwaves to slower, more relaxed waves that create states of calm, deep focus, and sleep.
It also changes the function of your brain. Meditation teaches your mind to focus on something that’s not your problem. It’s not saying your problem is wrong, or that it’s not there, it’s just that for a few minutes you can do something else other than think about your issues.
People with pelvic floor issues often obsessively think about them all day long. Meditation gives you a break from that and helps you interrupt the pattern of constant vigilance and focus on your pelvic area. Over time, this creates new, healthier neural pathways in your brain.
How to Meditate
There are many ways to meditate, and many different styles of meditation! Some fundamentals are to find a comfortable position where your body is aligned (not slouched or slumped), find a quiet space, and bring your attention to your breath.
If you choose to practice seated, slightly tuck your chin to lengthen the back of your neck. This is also a beautiful, ceremonial way to gently bow to yourself, honoring your intentions for peace and calm. Next steps: think of your back-body (spine) as fearless and strong, while keeping your front-body soft and your heart open. Hands can be resting on your thighs in any position that feels good.
It's a Practice
Meditation is referred to as a "practice," because you have to practice it! It takes time to hone this skill, and you will probably feel like you've "failed" time and time again. You haven't. If you're practicing, you're not failing.
One common misconception about meditation is that you must completely clear your mind and have no thoughts. But really, it’s about getting quiet and focusing your attention on something else — such as the air coming in and out of your nostrils — for a few minutes. Focusing on your breath rather than the same old repetitive thoughts you’ve circulated thousands of times before, is the beginning of rewiring your brain into NEW — healthier — thought patterns.
Of course, seeing a pelvic floor specialist in person is essential to treat pelvic floor dysfunction. But if you're looking for a SAFE and easy way to begin treating your pelvic floor disorder at home — whether that's pelvic floor pain, pelvic organ prolapse, weak pelvic floor muscles, or anything else — meditation is an effective way to get started.
FREE Pelvic Floor Meditation Playlist
Specifically produced guided meditations (with visualizations) for pelvic health are helpful, especially for beginners, and you're in luck... because I have an entire playlist for you!
Playlist Link: Pelvic Floor Meditation
The image above shows just a small selection of the wide variety of pelvic floor meditations in this playlist.
The Nervous System and Your Pelvic Health
You might think the problem is only in your pelvic floor muscles, but what controls your pelvic floor muscles? Your nervous system.
What controls what you FEEL in your pelvic floor, and how you respond to these sensations? Your nervous system.
What controls your body’s response to life’s stressors, which impacts the tension in your core + pelvic muscles? Your nervous system.
What controls how you learn about (and how you care for) your pelvic floor? Your nervous system.
>> Playlist Link: Pelvic Floor Meditation <<
Your motivation may be stuck in a freeze response. Your muscles might be stuck in fight or flight. You might have an issue in your tissues (like levator avulsion), but the fear and stress associated with your injury creates tension and pain in other tissues nearby.
This doesn’t mean that you’ve done something wrong or that you need to be fixed… you’re NOT broken!
Your nervous system just needs a little balance.
Nervous system dysregulation (imbalance) can happen when your nervous system has been trying to protect you too hard, for too long.
"Step One" (below) is the foundation of nervous system regulation. It paves the way for "Step Two!"
You must create a feeling of SAFETY in your mind + body.
This can be done by orienting yourself to the space you're in, holding a treasured object (such as a special crystal or "worry stone"), self-havening (see the first tip in this video), slow deep breathing, EFT/tapping, and many other modalities that sometimes require working with a skilled practitioner.
From this feeling of SAFETY, you can meditate! You can also create new, more empowering beliefs... and your body will ultimately work better.
New belief systems will not "stick" if you're not calm and relaxed. If you are agitated, fearful, on-guard, anxious, bitter, angry, or resentful then you will not be able to "take in" any new beliefs (such as belief and faith in your body's innate capacity to heal). You might hear pretty words of faith and trust, but they'll slide off, like melted butter on a Teflon skillet, when your underlying state is one of worry and distress.
On a more physical/anatomical level, your brain is the command center of your body — it controls your levels of muscular activation and relaxation. If your mind is always on high alert then your muscles won't be able to relax. They'll always be jumpy and on edge, leading to hyper-activation, fatigue, sometimes pain, and poor coordination and control.
When beginning a pelvic floor strengthening program, it’s important to learn how to RELAX the pelvic floor muscles first. You can’t successfully strengthen if you don’t know how to relax! Unfortunately, many women with prolapse hold their pelvic floor muscles tight and clenched all day long to “keep everything in.” This excess tension is counterproductive. It does the exact opposite of what you want it to do! Instead of keeping everything in, it pulls everything down and prevents your muscles from successfully strengthening.
Meditation will allow you to be more like Velcro than Teflon when it comes to taking in new beliefs and making positive changes that last.
The guided meditations in my FREE PLAYLIST will allow you to relax, explore, identify, and embody a new you.
Our bodies WANT to be relaxed. Our brains work best when they feel safe, and our bodies (including our pelvic floor muscles) work best when they're calm.
If you got this far, then you must have an affinity for the mental and emotional work of pelvic health! In that case, you're in luck... I have an entirely new website dedicated to mind-body-pelvic health. Click the image below to visit my new site, briannegrogan.com!
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