Its hard to believe that a week has passed since Woman on Fire 2017. Jenny and I decided to go bigger and better this year so we upgraded the location, hotel and capacity to beautiful Brighton. We went from 70 attendees in central London last year to 170 this year beside the sea!
I taught classes on Breast Cancer Survivorship, Hysterectomy and a joint session with Jenny on Restoring the Functional Breath. Actually, I talked about the importance of breathing in all three of my presentations – the diaphragm is my second favourite muscle! I really agree with the American Lung Association’s statement – ‘If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters!’
Did you know?
- Dysfunctional breathing is shown to be present in 11% of the normal population, in 30% of asthma sufferers and 83% in people suffering from anxiety (Courtney 2009)
- Increased respiratory demand alters the breathing pattern and often reduces the respiratory muscles ability to perform their postural duties (Hodges et al 2001)
but especially that:
- Disorders of breathing and continence have a stronger association with back pain than obesity and physical activity – Hodges, Smith & Russell (2006) and Perri (2003) associated cervical pain/dysfunction with faulty breathing patterns
I spent a LOT of time talking about the anatomical connections of the diaphragm – from the scalenes, the psoas, QL, TrAbs, Rectus abdominus and of course, the pelvic floor! I looked at the research behind how changing your breath can change pain processing, autonomic function and mood (Busch 2012). We need to help women stop being afraid of their bodies – One of the key messages – Stop holding your breath to give yourself stability! Good diaphragm function and abdominal movement is ESSENTIAL for pelvic health and function (we need to help women stop holding their tummies in!)
We also talked about a couple of other points:
There is no such thing as bad posture: If you stay in one posture all of the time, it can possibly become problematic
You need to learn new, rich patterns of movement to challenge the neurological system
In order to have a functional muscle (any muscle!) you need a full range of movement – teaching women how to RELAX their pelvic floors, abdominals and pelvic floors is vital in working with pain, continence and stress management
Of course, one of the high points of getting 170 (!) women in one room, all of whom are passionate about women’s health, is that we get to re-commit to putting the word out that women don’t have to suffer with pelvic dysfunction. Knowledge is Power and having conversations with the women we meet about pelvic health and taking the shame and embarrassment away from women seeking help for common but fixable issues
I also got to spend time with my other co-author from the 3rd Age online programme – Jessica Drummond
Jenny, Jessica and myself have put this multi-layered programme on peri-menopausal health together to help clinicians serve this VERY under-served population! Think about the women you work with and the issues they face! For many women, their menopausal pelvic health issues can be traced back to their obstetric history – possibly more than twenty years in the past! Do you understand their needs? Do you know what you need to know to work with them? We are in the process of adding a TON of new material to this programme over the next three months – so there will be a price raise to reflect the added value – but if you enrol now at the current price, you have evergreen access to all the current content (and there’s a lot there!) but also you’ll have access to anything extra we add in the future. Plus…continuing education you can do at home in your pj’s!!
Until next time!
Onwards and Upwards