It’s a Strain! Constipation

How constipation affects the pelvic floor and core

Personal question time! And not something you maybe expect at the start of a post! BUT – How often do you visit the loo to pass a stool? And what’s the consistency like? Was it smooth and soft and sausage like or was it hard and like pebbles to pass?

Constipation can be an uncomfortable and wearisome condition. It is a dysfunction of the bowel that is characterised by infrequent or hard to pass stools. Common causes will include not eating enough fruit or vegetables, not drinking enough fluid and also being inactive. It can also be caused by reduced motility in the large intestine that slows movement of waste through it. This leads to bloating and abdominal pain. Called Slow Transit Constipation, it has been mainly found to affect women. Not particularly helpful when you are trying to heal a diastasis or improve the connection with your core.

Another cause that both men and women can experience, is a lack of coordination between the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor. This lack of coordination is called pelvic floor dyssynergia and leads to excessive straining in order to help empty the bowel. It is thought that this problem starts in early childhood. Children that have perched on the toilet without foot support or an inner seat ring have adopted positions that have lead to poor pooping strategies.

Those that are regularly constipated or have to strain to pass a bowel movement cause unnecessary downward pressure on the pelvic floor and supporting ligaments plus also into the abdominal wall. It should be no surprise then that there is a strong connection between poor bowel function and problems with the bladder and vaginal or rectal prolapse. So what can you do to help?

Solutions to Constipation

There are three components to help effectively pass a stool and avoid any issues with the pelvic floor or core.

  • Positioning
  • Improving the coordination between abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor
  • Stool consistency
Positioning:

By positioning your body as shown below it will help make it easier to pass a stool and prevent damage to the ligaments and muscles of the pelvic floor.

Picture credit: Sue Croft from Pelvic Floor Essentials

Tips:

  • Maintain the curve in your back as you lean forward at the hips. Don’t slump.
  • Place your hands on your knees which should be positioned 30 cm apart.
  • Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips in order to get the best position at your pelvis. You can use a couple of toilet rolls or a little foot stool to place your feet on (keep feet flat where possible). If you don’t have a foot stool available come up onto your toes.
Coordination:

If you are concerned about a lack of coordination with the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and you have tried the other two solutions and they have not helped, I would arrange to see a women’s health physiotherapist or someone who specialises with bowel health and seek advice here. They can help provide instructions on how to better coordinate these muscles.

Stool Consistency:

This is a general guideline. If you suffer with bowel management issues I would strongly advise seeking the help of a qualified dietician who can provide more bespoke guidance for you.

  • Increase dietary fibre – this helps to produce softer bulkier motions that move more quickly through the digestive system and therefore make it easier to pass. Aim for 2 pieces of fruit and 3-4 vegetables a day. Be cautious of dried fruit as their higher sugar content may bloat you exacerbating the abdominal wall muscles.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids – for fibre to do its job effectively it is important to consume at least 2 litres of fluid a day. Water is ideal as it contains no sugar. Minimise tea and coffee as they contain caffeine that can irritate the bladder. Decaf options would be a good solution here.
  • Massage your tummy – take one hand and gently rub it clockwise around your belly button. This helps stimulate the digestive system and move waste through.

This chart helps you identify the types of stool you are passing and what it means for your gut health.

And Breathe….

And Breathe…

Breathing is one of the fundamental functions our body needs to perform in order for us to live. This process, also called respiration, is driven by a muscle called the diaphragm. This dome shaped muscle located beneath our lungs contracts and relaxes helping pull air into and out of the lungs.

But, did you know it also has a strong link to pelvic floor function? The diaphragm, core and pelvic floor muscles work together under a pressure relationship. Take a look at this moving visual from Burrell Education which beautifully demonstrates this.

link between diaphragm and pelvic floor

How It Works

When the diaphragm descends (we breathe in) the pelvic floor also descends and when the diaphragm lifts (we exhale) so to does the pelvic floor. It also has an effect on the abdominal wall. You can try this for yourself.

Lie down on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. For approximately 1-2 minutes just focus on a deep breath in, letting your tummy soften and then have a long breath out. Close your eyes whilst you do this and concentrate on the sensations you can feel in and around your tummy, lower back and pelvic floor. Pay particular attention on the ‘out breath’.

This is something I use when assessing pelvic floor and core function on ladies who come to see me when they require help with either of these areas. If you feel no connection there may be a few reasons for this.

What Can Disrupt the Diaphragm’s Function?

  • excessive coughing – smokers, those with frequent colds/coughs, asthmatics
  • repetitive vomiting – especially after a stomach virus
  • constipation or abdominal bloating
  • lifting heavy objects and breath holding
  • pregnancy – growing baby reduces the space in the abdomen
  • obesity
  • poor posture – being hunched over reduces the space for us to breathe effectively. Try taking a breath whilst shoulders are slumped forwards.

The diaphragm is like any other muscle and needs to be able to contract and relax through its full range of motion. When disrupted by one of the above factors and over a long period of time it will eventually adapt and lose its ability to work effectively. Even simply having tight intercostal muscles and restrictions through the back can affect the amount of breath you can take in. Ladies who have had abdominal surgery or any surgery within their torso, may find breathing difficult due to restrictions from scar tissue within the abdominal wall or in the back.

Not All Is Lost

Here are a few simple things that can help –

1.  Stop Smoking

2. Eat Well – ensuring you get all the necessary vitamins and minerals means we should be able to keep coughs and colds at bay. Having sufficient fibre in your diet will also ensure that you are less constipated. Avoiding processed foods will help here to along with reducing bloating.

3. Keep hydrated – being dehydrated will lead to harder stools and constipation. Aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day and this will reduce the chances of this occurring.

4. Check your breathing – when lifting, its quite common for people to hold their breath. This places an outward and downward pressure disrupting the core and pelvic floor and potentially weakening it. We should be looking to ‘exhale on exertion’ instead, something that I cover in my Holistic Core Restore® courses.

5. Massage therapy – a specialist in abdominal soft tissue therapy will be able to find spots within the abdominal wall and ribcage and help release them allowing for much greater and smoother breaths to occur. Massage Therapy.

6. Stretches and mobilisations for the trunk – this can help free up stuck areas and therefore provide space to breathe. I have a short video showing some releases I use with clients that would be useful to you. This will be available on my social media channels after the 23/6/20. Links to both my Facebook page and Instagram page are below:

Facebook

Instagram  

Learning More About the Pelvic Floor

Learning More About the Pelvic Floor

We’ve all heard about it before and we know that for some it can be a bone of contention, but what is the pelvic floor? This article will help you learn more about it, its role, where it is and what the signs and symptoms are of dysfunction.

What is it?

 

page6image1162925616

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that attaches within the base of our pelvis. It has three layers of muscles that act like a hammock to essentially keep all our pelvic organs in place. Each layer has specific roles to play which I’ll outline below.

Pelvic Floor Job Description

Here is a list of what it is responsible for:

  • Supports the pelvic organs (bladder, rectum and uterus) like a basket within the pelvis and keeps them stable against gravity.
  • Controls our bodily excretions such as urination and passing of stools. It does this by coordinating the opening and closing of the sphincters (anus and urethra)
  • Coordinates sexual function during intercourse help to achieve and sustain an erection, and allow penetration.
  • Stabilises the pelvis – due to the muscle attachments to the pelvis and hips it creates a more stable unit.
  • Acts like a sump pump to pump blood and lymphatic fluid back up towards your heart.

Signs That Things May Not Be Working So Well.

There may be times in your life where the pelvic floor is not able to do its job as well as it should and its important to recognise what those signs and symptoms are.

There are two main types of dysfunction:

  • a weak pelvic floor (hypotonic or under-active)
  • too tight a pelvic floor (hypertonic or overactive)

Hypotonic pelvic floor

When the muscles cannot voluntarily contract.

  • you pee a little when you cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, run
  • follow through when passing gas
  • fail to reach the toilet in time
  • a sense of heaviness in the vaginal opening
  • can see something protruding from your vagina or anus
  • tampons fall out

What causes it?

  • during pregnancy the weight of the baby will press down on the pelvic floor
  • vaginal childbirth will stretch the muscles
  • being overweight
  • straining whilst trying to poo / constipation
  • coughing constantly
  • hormone levels – lower levels of oestrogen after menopause
  • consistently breath holding whilst lifting

Hypertonic pelvic floor

When the muscles don’t relax when asked or they contract when asked for a relaxation.

  • slower urinary flow or a feeling of incomplete emptying
  • urinary urgency or frequency
  • difficulty emptying the bowels or passing ‘skinny stools’
  • painful sexual intercourse
  • not being able to feel a pelvic floor muscle contraction or release
  • pelvic pain
  • erectile dysfunction in men

What causes it?

  • stress – tension can be stored in pelvic floor muscles
  • bladder of bowel dysfunction
  • hyper mobility – those with excessive hip / pelvic mobility will compensate
  • learned behaviours that cause gripping in abs, pelvic floor and or buttocks
  • pelvic surgery – can cause scar tissue or irritate pelvic structures
  • infection or inflammation – UTI’s or chronic thrush
  • injury – pelvic floor muscles can compensate following an injury in the pelvis
  • trauma – a fall onto buttocks or tailbone or trauma such as sexual abuse

What you can do

If you believe you have any of the above symptoms it’s important to go get medical advice. Please ignore some of the incontinence adverts or others out there that say that these issues are ‘common and normal’ and that there is nothing you can do (apart from buy their product for the rest of your life). These symptoms are indeed common but they are NOT normal. It is a sign of dysfunction that CAN be helped.

You can make an appointment with your doctor, a women’s health physiotherapist or if symptoms are minor enrol on a pelvic floor and core restoration programme.

I am in contact with local women’s health physiotherapists who I am happy to put you in touch with. Please complete the contact form to find out more.

Holistic Core Restore® Everywoman

I run a 6 to 12 week pelvic floor and core restore programme designed to teach women how to connect better to this important area of their body. In this programme we look at the essential aspects that affect the muscles and teach strategies on how to correct any issues that may have arisen. I link this in with functional exercise, optimal nutrition and self-care strategies treating the approach as a whole rather than in individual parts. The programme is offered as either 1-1 or as a group programme. For further details please click on the image below.

 

Diastasis – Mind The Gap (Part 2)

Fixing the ‘Gap’ Could Take More Than Just Exercise

At the beginning of this year I wrote an article called ‘Mind The Gap’. It described what a Diastasis was and how you could check to see if you had one. It also provided some brief advice on how a Diastasis could be managed ensuring a woman’s core was strong and functional. The advice centred mainly around exercise and soft tissue therapy.  However, recovery needs to go much deeper if a woman wants to truly experience a good connection with her core.

As a Holistic Core Restore® coach I can provide you with a really great core programme which will help you strengthen the deep abdominal muscles and ensure you are moving well, however, if your diet, gut health, toileting habits and rest and recovery is not up to scratch, your progress may be much slower or even worse, reversed. So what else do you need to do?

Diet

Our tissues require protein in order to help build and repair themselves. Proteins contain amino acids which are the building blocks to our tissues. If we are lacking protein in the diet our body will repair slower. Ideally we want to consume protein at every meal. Not only does this ensure we are eating adequate amounts but it also makes us feel fuller for longer, helping us avoid snacking on sugary foods in between meals. We should also consume lots of vegetables and berries. A varied diet of vegetables will ensure we are getting essential vitamins and minerals that are key to optimal cellular function. Berries are also high in anti-oxidants which helps fight off disease, again something that would impede recovery. Don’t forget that vegetables and fruit contain fibre which is important to gut health and the easy passing of stools. I discuss gut health next.

Gut Health

We all know that feeling when we’ve eaten too much or eaten something our tummy hasn’t agreed with. We feel bloated, sick and our tummy looks swollen. It is usually caused be excess gas production or disturbances in the digestive tract. There are particular foods that can aggravate the digestive tract and cause it to swell and become painful. Processed sugar and carbonated drinks are the worst offenders and should be avoided. There are other foods that can trigger a response but can be very individual to people. What may upset one person, may not effect another. I always recommend keeping a log of times when you feel bloated and write down the ingredients of what was in that meal.  Over time you may begin to see a pattern and identify foods that aggravate the gut and therefore you can eliminate them from your diet.

Toileting Habits

It’s important when we use the toilet, that we are positioning our bodies in a way that allows easy passage of both urine and faeces out of it. Sue Croft, a Women’s Health Physiotherapist from Brisbane, Australia, advises we adopt two separate positions when we use the toilet. One for urinating and one for defecating. She advises to have your knees raised higher than your hips when preparing to defecate. This is to help reduce the pressure through the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. You can use a toilet stool (Squatty Potty) to help rest your feet on when your knees are elevated.

You also want to be mindful of not pushing or straining whilst urinating or defecating and to keep relaxed. When you strain you are creating a pressure within the abdominal unit which will place stress on the diastasis and prevent it from strengthening. Keeping yourself hydrated and eating foods that contain fibre will ensure your stool consistency is not too hard. As mentioned above, if you are straining to pass a hard stool, you are creating an outward pressure on the pelvic floor and abdominal wall. Not great for muscles that are trying to come together, but instead are being pushed apart.

Rest and Recovery

Failure to rest or get a good night’s sleep will impede your body’s ability to heal. When we are sleeping this is the body’s time to recuperate, regenerate and restore things back to normal function. If you are struggling to get adequate rest or get some sleep, take note of what could be stopping you. Are you under stress, have too much to do, is the room you sleep in too bright, too cold, too warm, or are you drinking drinks such as coffee or alcohol that are stimulants rather than relaxants. Take a look at the causes and find strategies that will promote sleep. Visit the Sleep Council for ideas.

As you can see, a much more holistic approach needs to be considered if the body is to truly heal and for a diastasis to reduce, allowing better control through the core. If all of the above approaches are put into practice along with a focused core and pelvic floor strengthening programme, positive results will be gained.

The Holistic Core Restore® Diastasis programme is designed specifically for those who have a discernible gap and feel disconnected with their core and or pelvic floor. The programme is bespoke to the woman and includes a hands on assessment along with massage therapy and taping techniques to help support the muscles. It is only available as a one to one programme respecting every woman’s individual needs. For details of the programme and how to enrol click here.

Your Posture Could Be The Key To A Healthy, Happy Body

The Oxford English Dictionary defines posture as – ‘the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting’

When I was younger my Grandma was always nagging me to ‘sit straight’ or ‘stand tall’. ‘Why?’, I used to reply and she would respond with, ‘you don’t want to end up like me, all crooked and uncomfortable’. At the time I was like, ‘whatever!’ but as I get older, I’m starting to see her point. Being ‘crooked and uncomfortable’ isn’t so great.

There are some key benefits to ‘sitting straight and standing tall’ or as I call it, having a good posture.

  • reduces or prevents pain in the body, mainly back, neck and shoulders
  • muscles can work together and in balance preventing over-use injuries
  • experience fewer headaches
  • increased energy levels
  • improved circulation and digestion
  • look and feel more confident
  • better ability to take an effective breath
  • greater connection to the core and pelvic floor

As a women’s health personal trainer and massage therapist, who specialises in core and pelvic floor restoration, the posture is of real importance to me. If a woman I am training is not standing or sitting in optimal alignment, I will know that their ability to connect to their core and pelvic floor is likely to be compromised. But why?

How Your Posture Will Affect Your Core and Pelvic Floor

  • Sitting or standing in a slouched position essentially ‘switches off’ the muscles. The muscle is in a slackened state and doesn’t do anything. The longer they stay doing nothing the less responsive they will be when called into action. As a result, other muscles, such as those in the lower back, need to take over. Or you may find you are creating tension in other body parts to create stability and strength. Clenching the jaw is a common default.
  • It can lead to or worsen a Diastasis Recti (tummy gap). Diastasis recti (DR) is common after having a baby, as the abdominal wall undergoes a stretch to make way for the growing baby. However, its important to highlight that women who have not birthed a baby and even men can have/get a diastasis. When sitting or standing in a slouched position, it places pressure on the abdominal wall, causing the edges of the rectus abdominis to drift apart or separate further if already existing. If you are not sure whether you have a diastasis, contact me, to book an assessment.
  • Activation of the pelvic floor is hugely driven by breathing.
Experiment:

Try this for me…… If you are sitting whilst reading this then I want you to adopt a position where you are slumped forward, back rounded and shoulders forward. Take a breath in and notice your ability to do so.

Difficult, yes?

Now, sit upright in your chair, spine long with shoulders set backwards, opening your chest. Take another breath in and then compare that breath intake with the one before.

Was it easier?

When we slouch, our ‘breathing muscle’, the diaphragm, is unable to move as well as it could preventing us from taking a full breath in. As you can see from the graphic above, our diaphragm is linked to the abdominal wall, our back muscles and down to the basin of our pelvis, the pelvic floor. This is our core unit.

When the core unit is compromised it can create dysfunction, leading eventually to hernias or pelvic organ prolapse.

How to help improve our postures.

  • Sit tall – most of us sit for prolonged periods of time so should be mindful of sitting well but comfortably. Try this. Imagine there is a piece of string on the top of your head and someone is pulling you upwards. This will encourage you to lengthen the spine and neck. Ensure the ribcage is in line with the hip bones and open the chest by gently rolling the shoulders up, back and down.
  • Adjust your seats – when working at a desk or driving a car it’s important that the seat is in a position that puts your posture in good alignment. Adjust where necessary, or consider a back support. If nursing, use a cushion to support the baby, preventing you from slouching forwards at the shoulders.
  • Keep hydrated – the skin contains 64% water and muscles 79%. Without water, these two bodily components cannot work effectively. Aim to drink two litres of water a day, more if exercising or breast feeding.
  • Move more – avoid sitting for too long. Set regular breaks throughout the day to get up and move. Walk around or do a few stretches, something that will activate the muscles and release stiffness. In the Holistic Core Restore® Release programme we include releases and mobilisations that can be used at home or at work to help ensure people stay mobile, in good alignment and pain free.

 

Mind The Gap

Diastasis, what is it and do you have one?

If you google the word ‘Diastasis’ Wikipedia will describe it as ‘an abdominal separation that is commonly defined as a gap of roughly 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle’ (your six pack – yes we do all have one. Whether we see it depends on how defined it is and if its hiding behind a layer of abdominal fat). This condition has no associated morbidity or mortality.

 

It is a common occurrence for a woman during pregnancy and post birth due to the growing uterus stretching the abdominal wall and separating the borders of the recti muscles to accommodate the growing baby. This is completely normal with approximately 60% of women experiencing it. However, it is not just expectant mums that can experience a diastasis. Ladies who have not given birth; men; and small children can also have a diastasis. Why?

If an individual has been lifting heavy weights incorrectly or has been performing abdominal exercises in an unsafe way, after a while the pressure placed through the abdomen can become too much and the muscle separates. If you suffer from constipation or bloating this can also cause pressure on the abdominal wall and therefore a separation. Your posture can also be a factor.

For new-born babies, a diastasis is present due to their abdominal muscles not being fully developed and connected. The condition usually corrects itself with time.

How to tell if you have a diastasis?

Aside from performing a physical assessment on the abdominals, there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate the presence of one.

  • A pooch or bulge in the centre line of your abdomen especially when you strain/contract the muscle.
  • Lower back pain
  • You look in the mirror and see a dip down the middle of your ab muscles.

You can check your own abdominals to see whether you have a diastasis although it is always recommended that a professional do this along with other useful assessments to ascertain core functionality. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feel flat on the floor.
  2. Gently raise your shoulders off the floor slightly and look down towards the abdominal wall.
  3. Using your fingers, gently press above and below your belly button and then along the midline of the rectus abdominis muscle and see if your fingers drop into a gap.
  4. If you feel a 1-2 finger gap you have a mild diastasis. It’s important to feel for tension along this line also, as a firmer tension confirms the muscles are in a reasonable position to withstand pressure. A weak, soft midline will indicate that the muscles are weak and therefore not as able to maintain pressure through the core, hence why the lower back is placed under strain and you get pain.

If you have found a gap it’s wise to have this confirmed by a professional who can perform further checks and ascertain core functionality.

IMPORTANT – you can have a small diastasis and the core be able to do its job well!

 

Can it be fixed?

The answer is yes!

If a diastasis is considered to be of a particular width or the edges of the muscle are not strong enough, where the abdominal pressure cannot be managed, then work can and needs to be done to help.

For some women, diastasis recti may correct itself after delivery as the abdominal muscles regain their strength. However, if you’re still experiencing symptoms or separation eight weeks post birth then certain exercises may help. After an assessment, a women’s health physiotherapist, postnatal fitness specialist or Holistic Core Restore® coach can provide you with specific exercises that you can perform at home or at work to help strengthen those muscles and help bring the 2 edges of the rectus abdominis muscle closer together.

 

As highlighted above the core muscles can still work sufficiently even if there is a small diastasis, so the focus will NOT be on getting the abdominal wall to join completely but to just get it to a position where it is considered the pressure can be managed. This will be constantly monitored by your physio or core specialist.

The key thing here is how well the person is able to manage any intra-abdominal pressure when lifting or moving. If that individual holds their breath when lifting, or lifts too heavy, or lifts incorrectly or performs exercises that their bodies are just not able to support then pressure in the core unit will be increased and therefore place unnecessary load either through the abdominal wall causing an increased diastasis or worse a hernia, or the pressure moves down into the pelvis and causes a prolapse through the pelvic floor muscles. Again, your specialist will coach you through the correct way to breath when you lift and how to activate the core and pelvic floor when you do so. They will also look out for other muscles that may fire instead of the ones that should be. This imbalance can also slow down the recovery of a diastasis.

 

How Bumps Lumps and Star Jumps can help you.

Bumps Lumps and Star Jumps offers specific programmes to help with healing a diastasis. Prior to any exercise programme, a complete and through assessment is completed which helps ascertain EXACTLY where that lady is with her pelvic floor and core function. From there a blend of massage therapy, releases for stuck tissue and core specific techniques are used to help start the process. Once the abdominals begin to respond then the exercises are progressed further and are designed around the typical movement patterns we use in day to day life getting us ‘Fit for Function.’

For further details click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Abdominal Scar Could Be Stopping You From Reconnecting With Your Core.

Why Your Abdominal Scar Could Be Stopping You From Reconnecting With Your Core. January 2019

If you have had abdominal surgery what advice were you given to help with your recovery? Lots? A little? Nothing? And if you were given advice, how useful was it?

Were you informed about what type of foods would help promote your healing; what exercises would help or hinder your recovery; or given any self-care tips to make your recovery as positive as possible. Were you given some advice as to how to look after your scar?

Based on the conversations I have had with women who have had some form of abdominal surgery, myself included, I would say that most people’s experiences didn’t blow them away. In fact, it left them feeling a little bewildered and anxious.

It’s really quite important to understand your body and its process of healing. Without this knowledge we could end up doing things or not doing enough to help the body and therefore feel worse than we did pre-surgery. Tissues can get stuck and tight, the scar site itself may not be healing well enough, or you may start finding injuries occur elsewhere in the body due to compensatory movement patterns that were brought on by discomfort at the scar site.

 

How long does tissue take to heal?

 The whole process of healing can take at least a year. The chart below is from woundeducators.com and helps us see what the phases of wound healing are and how long each takes.

As you can see it can take a while for our tissue to recover completely and even then, the strength of that tissue may not be what it was prior to the disruption.

With respect to exercise its key to know when it is appropriate to be loading this new tissue. If it’s not quite ready there is a risk that that tissue can be damaged further, and healing slowed, or if not worked on through stretching or scar tissue therapy then the tissue can become stuck and cause a change in movement due to a lack of flexibility. A balance needs to be struck with appropriate care.

 

How a scar will affect the function of other body parts including the core?

A well respected manual therapist named Thomas Myers has proposed that we have 12 ‘myofascial lines’ that run through our body and connects all the body parts, muscles and tissues that run through each of these lines. With this in mind you can see how cutting through one part of the body can have an impact on the rest of the body including the core and pelvic floor. A lack of control or connection around the scar means a weakened connection and response to its surrounding areas. So, if the abdominal wall has been interrupted then it stands to reason the connection to the core muscles will be affected.

 

 

How can we fix this?

There are ways that this disconnection can be improved. If a scar and its surrounding tissues can be manipulated, it is possible to increase blood flow (helping provide oxygen to the skin), improve mobility around the site of the scar and the surrounding areas (helping you move better and not compensate in other areas) and start to make that scar feel more apart of you, as sensation is improved! If we feel more in our abdomen we can connect to those muscles better and train them to work to support our back and our limbs and let them do the job they are designed to do.

Taking on a course of scar tissue therapy and combining this with some bespoke personal training sessions that work on improving flexibility in and around the scar site and then strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles will really improve any symptoms being experienced.

During scar tissue massage sessions various techniques are used on and around the scar. This includes hands on skills, manipulating the tissue with fingers; an instrument assisted soft tissue massage tool; a yoga tuning ball or similar; and more specific stretches that can performed on a massage table. Treatment sessions are generally sixty to ninety minutes long.

Personal training sessions focus on specific techniques that help reconnect the core with breathing, and then coordinating that with movement, minimising any unnecessary pressure in the abdomen.

Regardless of the age of the scar, results can be achieved, albeit a little slower for an older scar than a more recently attained one.  Work can begin on a scar as soon as it is healed and there is no inflammation, weeping or soreness.

Certain techniques can even be taught to the client so that they can continue work outside of treatment sessions and long into the future. It must be said that, as scar tissue has a blood supply and is innervated by nerves, just like other tissues, it can grow and proliferate just like the roots of a plant. If not kept in check, symptoms experienced prior to work, can begin to reappear.

Its also important to stress that your body needs nourishment, with good ‘clean’ ‘real’ foods. Diets high in sugar and that is processed, is highly inflammatory to the body and will drastically slow down its healing. Keeping hydrated is important to, as our tissues are 75% water. Being dehydrated will cause your tissues to respond slowly and become stuck and stiff if not looked after well.

If you have an abdominal scar and are feeling disconnected to your core and pelvic floor please drop me a message and I can arrange a consultation with you to see what work can be done to reconnect you back with that area of your body.