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Why Kegels
Don’t Work
by Christine Kent, RN
The concept that prolapse and incontinence
can be improved by doing ‘reps’ of pelvic
floor contractions is an anatomical
misconception.
Arnold Kegel, a gynecologist practicing in
the middle of the 20th century, was the first
to place women on their backs and instruct
them to contract their pubococcygeus
muscles around his fingers.
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Kegel also developed the perineometer to measure the strength of pelvic
floor contractions.
Today there is a virtual army of physical
therapists who specialize in women’s pelvic floor
‘strength training’. The basis of this therapy is
placing women on their backs and inserting fingers into their vagina to
measure pubococcygeus muscle strength, a measurement often quantified
by a modern version of Kegel’s perineometer.
Many PTs have added “core strengthening” exercises to their regimen, all
of which have been borrowed from yoga and Pilates. These exercise
systems compliment each other, because contracting the abdominal
muscles leads to a coinciding contraction of the
pelvic floor. Women on their backs pulling
navel to spine while maximizing pelvic floor
contractions constitute the basis of most
physical therapy programs. This exercise pulls
the bladder toward the front vaginal wall and the rectum toward the back
vaginal wall, literally pulling these organs in the direction of prolapse.
Many women have reported increased prolapse symptoms after engaging
in prolonged Kegel exercise.
One would think that the massive population of women who are onto
their third or fourth or fifth surgery for prolapse might get a little edgy
when told by their doctor or PT to “Just do your Kegels” to avoid further
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 2
problems. Sadly, they don’t get angry, but ever more resigned to the fact
that they must be defective and pelvic floor dysfunction hard-wired into
their genes. If Kegels worked to prevent or reverse even a small
percentage of prolapse we would know about it after all these decades of
women Kegeling themselves silly. The reality is they don’t work at all.
The reason Kegels are useless is
because the concept of strengthening
a “hole” at the bottom of a “floor” is
anatomically inaccurate. There is no
hole and there is no floor. There is
only a flattened tube at the back of
the body that is slowly turned inside
out over time because of postural and
lifestyle factors that compromise
natural pelvic organ support.
“Kegeling” pulls the tailbone under and disrupts the natural pelvic organ
support and urinary continence systems. “Kegel” is a concept that was
based on an erroneous model of female anatomy, which viewed the pelvis
as a “bowl” with a “floor” that must be “strengthened”. Not only is the
entire anatomical concept wrong, but what has flowed from such
profound error in judgment has cost women immeasurably in terms of
time, expense, and suffering.
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Why Kegels Don’t Work 3
Each time we breathe in, the muscular diaphragm
underneath our lungs pushes all our abdominal
and pelvic organs down and forward. This means
that the bladder and uterus are pushed into the
rounded lower belly where they are pinned into
position by the forces of intraabdominal pressure.
The bladder, uterus, and sigmoid colon, which is
contiguous with the rectum, are positioned right
behind the lower abdominal wall and away from
the pelvic outlet at the back of the body. In this way they are protected
from the forces of internal pressure.
The only role the thin, sinewy pelvic diaphragm muscles plays in keeping
the organs well-positioned is by stabilizing intraabdominal pressure. The
pelvic “floor” functions like a trampoline or drum skin to rebound
pressure. Therefore, tautness of the muscles is a much more appropriate
concept than “strength”.
That tautness is obtained by stretching the pelvic diaphragm to its
greatest dimensions, which is accomplished when the body is held in
natural, upright, weight-bearing posture - whether seated or standing. If
the abdominal wall is not constantly pulled in, the breath can work to
push the organs forward and into the hollow of the lower belly where they
are safely positioned by the forces of intraabdominal pressure. When the
pelvic diaphragm is elongated is this way, the urinary continence system is
also supported. Sitting or standing with the lumbar curve fully in place
squeezes the tiny musculature surrounding the urethra so strongly that it
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Why Kegels Don’t Work 4
Pregnant belly supported by the
pubic bones
is difficult to tighten that area further. After every urination and bowel
movement the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm contract strongly. With
every orgasm these muscles contract strongly. Working and living in
natural female posture supplies the urinary tract with enough muscular
activity that the concept of “Kegeling” is made obsolete.
Nerve disruption due to stretching of the pelvic diaphragm is very
common after vaginal delivery. This phenomenon, widely studied by
gynecology, almost always completely resolves within a few months
postpartum. Sitting, standing and moving in natural posture assists nerve
regeneration while also preventing pelvic organ prolapse, currently at
epidemic levels in the postpartum population.
A commonly held misconception of female anatomy has given rise to an
entire industry of vaginal weights and exercisers, which women continue
to buy because they do not understand the true anatomy of natural female
pelvic organ support. The pelvic organ support system is a postural
system - they are one and the same. A realignment of posture returns
women to natural pelvic organ support and helps them avoid dangerous
and debilitating surgery.
For more information on how Whole Woman can help you, please scroll
to page 7.
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Why Kegels Don’t Work 5
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About Christine Kent
After suffering a profound uterine prolapse resulting from a
bladder suspension surgery, Christine refused the
recommended hysterectomy and struggled with her prolapse
for almost ten years. Reaching a crossroads in her life, she
vowed to find a solution to the problem. After two years of
full time research in the University of New Mexico medical
school library, drawing from books and scientific papers in
gynecology, orthopedics, physical anthropology, and 19th
century medical texts, and experimenting with her own
condition, she had put the puzzle pieces together.
Christine published her book, Saving the Whole Woman, Natural alternatives to surgery
for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence in 2003, which has sold tens of
thousands of copies around the world. She launched her website the same year and
began teaching women what she had learned on her forum. Within weeks, women
began writing back that they were seeing dramatic improvement in their symptoms.
She did a major revision of the book in 2007, produced her first video, First Aid for
Prolapse in 2005. It was completely redone in 2009 in DVD format and she has
subsequently produced First Aid for Prolapse for Elders, and a series of Whole Woman
Yoga® DVDs.
Christine holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Anthropology from Northern
Arizona University and in Nursing from the University of New Mexico. She lives and
runs Whole Woman Inc and the Whole Woman Center in Albuquerque, NM USA and
has four children and five grandchildren.
This document is © Copyright by Christine Kent. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced
and republished as long as it is not altered in any way, the author is given full attribution, and the
www.wholewoman.com URL is included. Whole Woman® and Whole Woman Yoga® are registered
trademarks of Whole Woman Inc.
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 6
Crucial Information from Whole Woman
When you need unbiased answers to women’s health questions that aren’t provided by
drug companies or surgeons, Whole Woman is your goto resource. We provide tested,
science-based answers and programs that work and that have transformed the lives of
thousands of women around the world. Knowledge is your best defense against inac-
curate and incomplete information from the medical system. Find all these products
and more at the Whole Woman Store.
Saving the Whole Woman, Natural Alternatives to Surgery for
Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Urinary Incontinence (2nd edition) by
Christine Kent, RN
This groundbreaking book debunks the traditional medical
views of the causes of prolapse, reveals one of the greatest sci-
entific blunders the medical system has ignored for more than
500 years and conclusively demonstrates that prolapse is a
postural problem and readily manageable for a lifetime without
notoriously risky surgery. With an exercise music CD.
First Aid for Prolapse DVD
Christine Kent’s flagship video describes the true nature of pro-
lapse, demonstrates the ine!ectiveness of traditional surgical
approaches, and the Whole Woman postural method for suc-
cessfully managing prolapse for a lifetime.
Included is a comprehensive exercise program, both beginning
and advanced, and a dictionary of the exercise movements so
viewers can learn the program step-by-step.
First Aid for Prolapse for Elders DVD
Over time women become less physically capable. For the
older or less capable women, Christine Kent has developed a
gentle but e!ective postural and exercise program.
Maintaining mobility is essential to remaining able to care for
ones self. The same postural work that helps prolapse also
helps maintain upper body mobility, essential for reaching and
lifting.
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 7
The Whole Woman Yoga
®
Series The Whole Woman Yoga
®
Series
Women love yoga! But what most women don’t know is that yoga was developed by men
for male bodies. As good as yoga is, no lineage has e!ectively addressed the unique
physiological needs of women. We get many calls from long time yoga practitioners and
teachers who can’t understand how they could have developed prolapse. As a result, many
yoga postures are not healthy for women, particularly women with prolapse.
Christine Kent developed Whole Woman Yoga
®
to provide women with a yoga by and for
women. Each DVD in what will be a series of seven emphasizes one of the seven chakras
from the root to the crown. Each DVD includes two chapters, an expression of the Whole
Woman philosophy and explanation of the chakra and the Whole Woman Yoga
®
program.
Women love yoga! But what most women don’t know is that yoga was developed by men
for male bodies. As good as yoga is, no lineage has e!ectively addressed the unique
physiological needs of women. We get many calls from long time yoga practitioners and
teachers who can’t understand how they could have developed prolapse. As a result, many
yoga postures are not healthy for women, particularly women with prolapse.
Christine Kent developed Whole Woman Yoga
®
to provide women with a yoga by and for
women. Each DVD in what will be a series of seven emphasizes one of the seven chakras
from the root to the crown. Each DVD includes two chapters, an expression of the Whole
Woman philosophy and explanation of the chakra and the Whole Woman Yoga
®
program.
Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The First Wheel DVD
The First Wheel focuses on first chakra development, safety,
security, elimination and adrenal health.
Post-hysterectomy women have found this DVD particularly
helpful.
Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Second Wheel DVD
The second chakra work in this DVD focuses on sexuality, hor-
mone balancing, relational and sexual health. Filmed by the
Pacific ocean, this workout has been particularly helpful for
postpartum women.
Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Third Wheel DVD
The third chakra is the center of power, fire and energy. The
Third Wheel DVD focuses on abdominal work, but not in the
traditional ways that put the pelvic organ support system at risk.
A short but intensive program of firebreathing, nauli and female-
protective abdominal work is particularly helpful for women with
prolapse.
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 8
Whole Woman
®
Value Bundles
Attractive savings on product bundles
Whole Woman
®
Value Bundles
Attractive savings on product bundles
The Whole Woman
®
Bundle
Includes
• Saving the Whole Woman book
• First Aid for Prolapse DVD

The Whole Woman
®
Exercise Baton, turned for us in
Maine from Eastern Rock Maple. Christine uses the ba-
ton in most of her exercise programs to help with balance
and upper body mobility.
The Whole Woman
®
All-Inclusive Bundle
• Saving the Whole Woman book
• First Aid for Prolapse DVD

The Whole Woman
®
Exercise Baton

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The First Wheel DVD

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Second Wheel DVD

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Third Wheel DVD
The Whole Woman Yoga
®
Book Bundle
• Saving the Whole Woman book

The Whole Woman
®
Exercise Baton

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The First Wheel DVD

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Second Wheel DVD

Whole Woman Yoga
®
- The Third Wheel DVD
The Whole Woman
®
Elders Bundle
This bundle for elders or the woman with diminished physical
capabilities includes:
• Saving the Whole Woman book
• First Aid for Prolapse for Elders DVD
Christine does not use the Whole Woman
®
Exercise Baton in
the Elders workout.
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 9
Whole Woman
®
Services Whole Woman
®
Services
Phone Consultation with Christine Kent
Pelvic organ prolapse is emotionally devastating for many rea-
sons. Few women even know the condition exists until they
become symptomatic. The shock, surprise, embarrassment
and the social taboo of discussing prolapse, even with one’s
husband or with other women, makes prolapse profoundly iso-
lating.
Sometimes you just need to talk to an expert who can empa-
thize, understand and convey the information you need to re-
gain your confidence and hope. A phone consultation with
Whole Woman founder and author Christine Kent may be just
what you need.
Christine can also help with hip joint issues and lichen sclerosis.
Whole Woman Introductory Class for Prolapse or Osteoar-
thritis of the Hip
If you need one-on-one help with learning the Whole Woman
posture, and an exercise program tailored to your preferences
and abilities, then an Introductory Class is your best bet. Held
at the Whole Woman Center in Albuquerque, NM USA, the class
begins at 10 AM on Tuesday for two and a half hours, with a
follow-up hour on Wednesday to insure you have internalized
your program and to answer any questions you have.
Introductory classes can be for prolapse or hip joint osteoarthri-
tis. Please call to schedule an appointment for your class.
Saving Your Hips Intensive
Hip joint problems are exploding as the baby boom population
is reaching their sixties. Like prolapse surgery, hip replacement
surgeries are fraught with risk. And, like prolapse surgery, are
generally unnecessary. Christine Kent’s five day Saving Your
Hips Intensive program can help you develop a path toward re-
ducing or eliminating chronic hip pain. After a two-hour per-
sonal assessment and introduction on Monday, each subse-
quent day participants work with Christine for an hour and a half
in groups of no more than four. Each afternoon, every partici-
pant has a myofascial massage to insure the soft tissues will
support the new alignment and configuration of the hips.
Whole Woman Inc. www.wholewoman.com
Why Kegels Don’t Work 10