I have to admit, when I read websites and online programs on pelvic floor and core health I feel a mix of excitement and frustration.
I am excited because these sites are helping to open the door of self-awareness and conversation about these topics that are often taboo or just straight up not part of our collective common knowledge.
I am frustrated because I know how difficult it can be for most women and men to learn correct abdominal and pelvic floor technique.
As you might already know, there's now an online explosion of information about how address pelvic floor and core health. What did we do before Google? There are valuable things you can search for on Google and YouTube to learn to do yourself - like changing the headlight of your car or unblocking a plugged central vacuum system, or learning different hacks for a Diva Cup. The list goes on… BUT, there are some things you can’t learn online.
Research shows that based on verbal and written instruction alone, 75% of symptomatic women are doing pelvic floor exercises incorrectly (Moen et al., 2009). There is no research for proper abdominal technique, but based on my clinical experience it is very similar to the pelvic floor statistics in that most people are using incorrect techniques.
I typically spend a good portion of an appointment educating my clients about the anatomy and function of the muscle and different ways to cue a contraction. During this one-on-one time and the follow-up appointments there often is a dramatic shift in learning and practicing proper technique. Learning proper muscle control comes from trial and error with real-time feedback from a qualified practitioner. In my practice, I provide this feedback as my client is practicing the technique by using assessment practices and diagnostic tools, including EMG biofeedback and Real-Time Ultrasound Imaging.
Since everybody is slightly different, my goal is to help my client understand, feel and know what "correct abdominal and pelvic floor technique" means for them and to take this knowledge, control and awareness of their own bodies out into whatever physical activity their heart desires.