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Heal Pelvic Pain Chapter 1

Heal Pelvic Pain Chapter 1

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Published by susannam

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Published by: susannam on Dec 03, 2008
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12/08/2012

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Chapter 1At the Body’s Core
Say goodbye to your pelvic pain. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how long you’ve suffered, no matter how manydifferent pills you’ve taken or treatments you’ve undergone, the program in this book can helpalleviate your pain and start the healing. No drugs, no surgery. Instead, this is a program of natural healing—of exercises,nutrition, and self-care therapies that will focus on the true underlying condition of your pain.Heal the condition, and the pain will go away—and that’s just what the program in this book canhelp you achieve.To start, I’ll explain what pelvic floor disorder is, why doctors have trouble diagnosing it,why you may have had so much trouble treating it so far, and how you can feel better as quicklyas possible.The first thing you should know is that you are not alone. Of course, nobody likes to talk about bladder problems or painful sex or itching or burning in the genital region, so you may nothear or read much about pelvic floor disorders. But the truth is that millions of us suffer fromthese disorders—women and men, athletes and couch potatoes, young and old, even children.Mostly, it’s women who suffer. As I write this, 9.2 million women have pelvic pain butdon’t know it because it has not been properly diagnosed. And the sad fact is that if you’re awoman, you have at least a five percent chance of suffering
chronic
pelvic pain.But your pain right now is what counts. That’s why you’re reading this book. You may beone of the more than 30 million women who has Irritable Bowel Syndrome or one of the 700,000with interstitial cystitis.
 
Maybe you suffer some form of incontinence. If you’re the athletic type, there’s a fair chance you experience incontinence when you’re out running or playing tennis or doing anaerobics class at the gym. If you’re pregnant or gave birth recently, you probably complain o“leaking.” And if you’re postmenopausal, you may be wondering whether it isn’t time to start buying those adult diapers so you can get through the day without worry.Maybe you have some form of sexual dysfunction; 43 percent of women do. Pain duringintercourse, performance problems, declines in sexual response and enjoyment are all morecommon than you think. All can adversely affect your relationship with your partner. And all can be treated with the natural healing program in this book.
The Pelvic Floor
What is the pelvic floor? Take a look at the diagram. The pelvic floor is all the muscles, plus the nerves controlling the muscles, plus the tissues—called fascia—that connect everythingtogether, plus the ligaments that link bone to bone and bone to organ that are all attached to thefront, back, and sides of the pelvis, from the pubic bone in the front of the body all the way back to the tailbone. These muscles, nerves, tissues, and ligaments sheathe the floor of the pelvis andtogether act like a sling or hammock to support the pelvic organs—the urinary tract, the digestivetract, and the reproductive organs—including the bladder, the uterus (or in men, the prostate),and the colon.This is an essential part of your body’s core, the center of gravity in your frame, the placewhere movement originates—in a sense, the seat of raw power in your body. Eastern religionsattribute spiritual as well as physical significance to this part of the body, seeing it as the placewhere the vital energy of your life force resides.
 
In much of Hindu tradition, it is the coiled serpent of 
 Kundalini
, waiting to be awakenedinto energy. In Chinese culture, the pelvic floor is the home of 
chi
, the life energy that must flowfreely in our bodies in order for us to remain healthy. In Japanese martial arts, it is the
hara
, thevital center of the self—located just three fingers below the navel and three fingers inwardtoward the spine. The recognition of this vital life force is at the heart of spiritual practice inthese traditions, and it is the focus of the physical exercises that invariably accompany such practices.Western scientific research confirms that a strong and healthy pelvic floor at the core isessential to overall health and fitness. It’s critical to feeling good. It’s key to that sense of  physical vigor that is so important to your sense of well-being.
The Muscles of the Pelvic Floor
Experts in evolution theorize that the pelvic floor musculature once controlled the tails of our ape-like ancestors, before hands proved to be more effective. Eventually, the use of handsnaturally selected a new branch of evolutionary development. In that new branch, whicheventually became us, the tails went away, but the muscles remained. Now, however, instead of controlling wagging and hanging from trees, the muscles took on the function of helping tosupport the body’s core. So today, the evolved pelvic floor serves three vital purposes:
It upholds and cushions the organs within the pelvis and lower abdomen—urinaryorgans, digestive organs, reproductive organs;
It controls continence by signaling elimination urges to the bladder and bowel and byopening and closing the urethra and anal canals to allow voiding;

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