Between the thighs, approximately midway between the genitals and the anus, is the midpoint of the muscles that can be used to help solve a wide variety of health issues.
This is the centre of your pelvic floor, and is important in helping prostate and incontinence problems, as well as problems with some types of hernia and prolapse, and even haemorrhoids.
If you are unsure where it is, it’s the same muscle you use when trying to stop urination in mid-flow, as well as the one that women practise using both pre- and then postnatally to help the recovery of the pelvic floor.
The muscle is connected from the front of the pelvis (symphysis pubis) to the tip of the spine and sacrum, and sideways to the lower outside borders of the pelvis (see diagram) – the sitting bones. This is a little basic, but is good enough for our purposes.
The pelvic floor’s function.
It’s function is to hold the bowel, digestive, and reproductive organs in position (intestines, womb, uterus, bladder). Without it, gravity would allow those organs to drop between the thighs. It’s the bottom of the shopping bag, and needs to be strong. It’s important in controlling the bladder and bowels, as well as helping with sexual function and fertility. It is also important in the relationship between the spine and the pelvis, and when used correctly, can help with back & pelvic pain. There is also a relationship between correct pelvic floor use and breathing.
We’re all getting older, and incontinence can be a problem for both men and women. Having good pelvic floor muscle tone can stop that problem by helping with sphincter control, but you have to practise.
But you can also damage the pelvic floor….
• Pregnancy and childbirth for women
• Straining on the toilet
• Chronic coughing
• Heavy lifting
• High impact exercise
A couple of points:
⇒ Don’t pull up the undercarriage without breathing, preferably abdominally.
⇒ Avoid gripping the gluteal muscles (muscles in the buttocks).
How does this relate to Tai Chi & Qigong?
This group of muscles is constantly used when doing both tai chi & qigong, and closely connected to the pelvic tilt (see previous blog). When you tilt your pelvis, you simultaneously need to lift the pelvic floor.
James Drewe teaches Taijiquan and qigong in both London and in Kent. Details of weekly classes can be found on the website, and there are classes for 2-person Taijiquan one Saturday a month.
Phone: 07836-710281 or 020-8883 3308