Pilates for Women’s Health and the Pelvic Floor
Jul 31, 2012 08:03AM
By Tanya Joy Brueckner
Imagine a hammock hanging in between two huge palm trees on the most beautiful island setting you have even seen. You love to relax on that hammock every day in peace and comfort while the ocean breeze brushes over you. You want the hammock to last a lifetime so you can enjoy this beautiful place. But without proper care and maintenance, issues may arise causing the hammock to malfunction, ruining your peace and tranquility.
After this bright self-visualization exercise, let’s address what the real story is here. We are not talking about a hammock made of rope to support your lounging beach body. In fact we are talking about a gathering of muscles, ligaments and tendons creating a hammock in your pelvis called the pelvic floor. Not quite as tropical and fun as a hammock, but extremely important to the structure of our core and our overall well-being.
Over time certain activities such as excessive coughing and sneezing, child-birth, inactivity and aging can cause the pelvic floor to weaken and cause problems just like a hammock may begin to tear or sag if not properly cared for. Some problems that may result from a weakened pelvic floor include incontinence and dropping of the organs into the muscle, ligament, tendon pelvic floor (MLT Hammock). See, the MLT Hammock is the foundation of the core. The MLT hammock supports the major organs in the lower abdominal cavity and stabilizes the pelvis. A supported pelvis equals a supported spine and helps fight back pain and postural imbalances.
Strengthening these pelvic floor muscles (MLT Hammock) are an important role for both men and women to protect themselves from these problems. One great way to improve strength in your pelvic floor is through Pilates. Pilates focus is on strengthening the body’s powerhouse or core by tightening the pelvic floor muscles by lifting up and in with the abdominals. Visualization is a strong component of Pilates practice. To engage the pelvic floor, consider visualizing a beam of energy coming up from the sand under the hammock, up to the midline of the body, and pulling out of the head. With Pilates practice you are utilizing the mind and body with breath, visualization and exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor, the core, and the whole body.
Tanya Joy Brueckner is a certified Pilates instructor with Envision Personalized Health. They are currently offering a “buy one get one free” private Pilates Reformer package. Call 619-229-9695 or visit EnvisionPersonalizedHealth.com to learn more.