Pelvic Floor Tension, Emotional Tension and Prolapse.
What do you know about the pelvic floor and emotional tension? It is very common to believe that tension only lives in our shoulders or back, but did you know that this same tension can affect your pelvic floor and cause prolapse?
There are many different causes of prolapse, but in this article I want to talk about pelvic floor tension and emotional tension as causes of prolapse.
Tension can push the pelvic organs to descend and also weaken the function of the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Tension
Very often people think that in order to improve the pelvic floor muscles functionality (i.e. reduce the symptoms of leaking pee or prolapse) they need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by performing some level of contraction like Kegels.
But what if the pelvic floor is tense already? Unfortunately, for some women it will be hard to do a contraction. This is because the muscles are already in constant contraction and by contracting already tense muscles we won’t gain any strength, we’ll just add to the tension.
Tension will interrupt the functionality of the pelvic floor muscles.
Let’s say you feel tension in your shoulders, this doesn’t mean that your muscles around the shoulders are weak and won’t be able to lift your hand anymore. It just means that they hold a contraction, and so to improve the functionality of the shoulder muscles all you need is to relax them. Once they are relaxed, your muscles come back to their strength and functionality.
The same goes for muscles and connective tissues in the pelvis.
Once you know where your pelvic floor tension is located and you learn how to get rid of it, everything comes back to its normal functionality.
Muscle tension also can happen due to traumatic past experiences, like for example a mother’s birth experience. If a mother feels that her birth experience did not go as she wanted and it left traumatic emotional stress it can turn into physical tension and cause prolapse. In this case it’s very helpful to work with a professional perinatal therapist.
Pelvic floor muscle tension can be caused by your lifestyle, such as sitting in front of the computer all day at work. Your poor posture for a long period of time causes tension to accumulate in areas of your body, like your neck, back and pelvic floor.
Even something as simple as hunger can cause physical tension. From my own experience, I know a modern mother is always on the go and often hungry because she doesn’t have time to slow down and eat. This can for sure add up to stress and muscle tension.
Emotional tension can happen due to stress or traumatic experience. Our body’s natural reaction to stress is to tense our muscles. Often these are pelvic floor muscles, or muscles in our neck, shoulders, back and chest. After the stressful experience is gone, our body usually relaxes that tension.
But many times, we stay under stress for a long period of time, and our body accumulates this tension, which can turn into chronic tension. This can then cause a lot of troubles in our health, such as prolapse.
It is very important not to let the tension of your muscles stay for a long time because eventually muscles will lose their full strength and flexibility.
Imagine how it would feel like if you could train your body to let go of all that tension? Wouldn’t it be great if after a stressful situation, or just after a long day of work, your body wouldn’t stay tense but instead would relax after each stress episode?
I know for me it would be ideal to know exactly where my body accumulates tension and how to release it. I practice yoga and do a lot of exercises for my pelvic health on a daily basis, and because I know how important relaxation is, I take my self-care seriously. I practice some sort of self-care every day to release any kind of accumulated stress or tension in my body. By now I know what works best for me. And I’d like to share it with you.
Here are my favorite ways to work with tension and reduce symptoms of prolapse.
Restorative yoga is something that we all can do every day. My advice is to keep it as simple and short as possible so that you can do it every day. 10-15 minutes of restorative practice will play a significant role in healing prolapse.
Gentle Vinyasa Yoga.
Some people prefer this type of yoga session because it helps to manage their mental distractions and focus on the present moment. Our minds are so busy and when we perform something in a fast moving pace the mind doesn’t have the opportunity and time to stay in thoughts, or analyse anything. And finishing this type of workout with a breathing exercise would be ideal for stress and tension release.
Breathing exercises to release pelvic tension.
Breathing exercises work very well for tension release and also it’s good for your overall healing. You can watch my 15 min video session here.
Massage is a very good and enjoyable way to relax. I always recommend massages to postpartum women every day. This doesn’t mean you have to book a professional masseuse, you can do it by yourself or ask your partner to help you.
I personally love heating packs, they provide a nice relaxation in the area. I combine my heating pack with castor oil pack. I apply a tea spoon of castor oil on a wash clothes, apply it on the area, and another towel on top, following by heating pad. And rest for 15 minutes.
Try all or any of those tips and see which one resonates with your body better.
No matter what are the roots of the tension whether it’s emotional cause or physical circumstances tension needs to leave our body. And it really doesn’t matter what you practice to release the tension, what matters is that you do it on a regular basis. Especially when you deal with complications after birth.
I wish you all the best in your healing journey!
P.S.: If you’re dealing with prolapse it’s helpful to perform some of the self-care practices I prepared for you in a quick PDF.