Sometimes we go, go, go and never rest. We do not take the time to relax or spend time with ourselves. We push ourselves to the limit and assume being busy is what success is. We assume we always have to exercise and build strength and endurance and ignore the relaxation portion. The only way to be fit and healthy is to work out all the time and eat really good foods, right? It has absolutely nothing to do with finding yourself and working on your mindset, or learning to allow relaxation in your body. I challenge that.
Relaxation is just as important to your mindset, your happiness, your life, and your recovery as performing an exercise program. If you do not learn to SLOW DOWN and LISTEN to what your body is telling you, you are going to go too far and then it will be too later. Let me put this into perspective for you.
Scenario: You have recently had your very first baby!! It has been about 8 weeks after having the baby and you and your significant other have a night alone. You try to be intimate and realize it is painful. You follow through assuming it is normal because your group of friends all talk about how sex is never the same and it is painful after giving birth. You then start to feel pressure in your lower abdomen with standing and moving around and when you go to the bathroom you feel something that should not be there. You are afraid to look, but it goes back when you are finished going, so that’s normal, right? What now? The reasoning I hear from patients:
I did not know it was not normal.
I did not know anyone would be able to help me.
I thought I just needed to workout more.
The problem I have with the above is they NEVER LOOK and see what is going on! I’ve not had one patient come in and tell me they looked and saw this, or looked and saw that. I get them coming in after having a doctor tell them they have prolapse and it’s normal to have pain but try PT just in case.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE?!?!
PAIN WITH SEX IS NOT NORMAL. I DON’T CARE HOW MANY KIDS YOU’VE HAD.
There are several things we can go into here, but my post this week will be on trigger points throughout the vagina so make sure you tune back in and I will have another coming about prolapse. But today’s post is really about this:
IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR BODY BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER PREGNANCY HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR NORMAL IS AND HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG?
And, please do not hear what I’m not saying. You do not have to be pregnant or have been pregnant to have the above issues. Actually, what I’m talking about today is directed to ALL WOMEN.
My point for today is that we need to learn to sit back, chill, and listen. Stress can be held in the muscles in your vagina which can contribute to pain during intercourse and other impairments. You also want to take into account that exercising (aka Kegels) your pelvic floor muscles is NOT FOR EVERYONE (again, another post coming soon). How many of you work out all the time but do not pay attention to your relaxation or flexibility throughout the pelvic floor? I know I didn’t, until I had pain with sex. Now, I do.
It is just as important. So, first and foremost we have to learn how to breathe properly. I have posted a video below of myself, on my YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe!) for you to see how I recommend you begin this. Use it as an exercise with ANY impairment. With anything you may be dealing with: stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, etc. Breathing with your diaphragm has been shown to have a tremendous amount of positive effect.
Secondly what I want you to focus on is meditation. I want you to consider doing meditation and FOCUSING on what is going on. In our scenario above it would be:
what exactly am I feeling
how does this make me feel
how is my body reacting
how is this affecting my relationships and ability to function
how do i get help
Meditation is POWERFUL and will give you a free mind to improve everything you are going through. You just have to start. You have to do it!
Calm App for Meditation- FREE
I also want you to focus on STOPPING and TAKING A BREATHE. When things are busy, overwhelming, stressful, etc. Just start by breathing. Do your best not to let anything get you down. Spend time with yourself and breathe it out. If you do, your body naturally slows down what is happening and you will feel more energized and more able to handle the situation.
Lastly, I have attached another video from my YouTube channel on stretches I recommend specific for pelvic floor impairment. Remember: these are not for everyone and you should get a consult prior to trying if you are concerned. I have found these are my favorite and most effective for my patients.
Ignore the mess in my house, and the weird noise because I’m in an empty room, we are still in the process of unpacking!!!
In case you missed it, the moral of this blog is to: Slow down, pay attention to your body, and listen to it. If you need rest, then rest. If you need fruit, then eat fruit. If you need sleep, then sleep. Let’s stop lying to ourselves and pretending we can do everything effectively. It’s not possible and we all know it.
Take time to relax, breathe, meditate, and stretch. It’s CRUCIAL!