Do you suffer from period pain, organ prolapse or other pelvic issues?
In 2018 I held a workshop in Hobart, Tasmania on restoring pelvic health with Ortho-Bionomy self-care. We discussed the cult of core strength, the myth of the pelvic floor and why women (and men) should consider not doing pelvic floor strengthening exercises. The pharmaceutical and surgical solutions women are offered for pelvic pain and dysfunction sometimes make things worse or give only temporary relief. But restoring your natural pelvic alignment can bring long-term relief – I’ve seen this happen for many women, including myself.
Embrace your rounded belly to allow your pelvic organs to rest naturally in the pelvic ‘bowl’. This can prevent or relieve period pain and other menstrual issues, as well as reducing stress incontinence and organ prolapse. It can even restore hormonal imbalance. Avoid the ‘flat belly’ obsession and get your real body back.
Relieve pain for yourself with these simple self-care techniques:
(Remember: only use these if they feel comfortable, and ask your health practitioner before trying them if you have any concerns)
Walking is the first step towards relieving pain in this area, so go for a walk whenever you can – if it feels ok, walk for about 20mins a day, or just as long as you feel comfortable – you don’t need to do a 2 hour hike!
Then, whenever you sit down, sit on your ‘sit bones’. What are they? They’re the big bone in each of your buttocks. They form the base of your hip bones/pelvis and are made for taking your body weight. If you’re sitting on your sit bones you’re not sitting on your little coccyx or tailbone – that’s what you sit on if you slouch or hunch your body forwards, and it wasn’t made for sitting on! When you sit upright over your sitting bones your spine can align itself above the solid foundation of your pelvis, and you’ll be able to sit more comfortably.
Now that you’re sitting on your sit bones, try this exercise to remind your body that you can move your pelvis comfortably: begin to roll your hips forward (as if they were 2 wheels) as far as you’re comfortable, then roll them backward as far as comfortable. Do this SLOWLY and carefully so that your nervous system pays attention to how you’re making the movement. Your head may go slightly up and down but your upper body shouldn’t move forward and back. Then gradually reduce the distance between the forward point and the backward point until you reach the centre, then sit still on that ‘centre point’ for a few seconds to recalibrate your body’s understanding of centre or balance. Repeat this exercise once or twice each day.
Next, try these movements – they’re really good for relieving pain in the pelvis, especially around the sacrum – the flatter bone at the back of your pelvis just above your tailbone. Use them once a day or more as needed.
- Lie face down on your belly and bend your knees, raising your feet in the air. Slowly circle your feet around in the air, noticing where they are more comfortable. Allow the legs to rest in any comfortable position.
- In the same position with feet in the air, slowly cross your ankles together, then separate them and move your lower legs out to the sides. Then cross your ankles again, the opposite way this time, then swing your legs to the side again. Continue the movements while comfortable, remembering to move slowly.
- In the same position as above, now rub your feet all over each other including the tops, sides and soles. Then rub one foot down the inside of the other leg and up again, then repeat with the other leg and foot.
If you use these most days over a week or two you should notice some reduced pain, increased comfort and greater ease of movement. Stop using them if they feel uncomfortable at any time. If you’d like to explore more of these simple pain relief solutions, be sure to download my free guide: Simple Self-Care for Pain Relief here on my website, and check out the other offerings I have available for you to help yourself.