Women, it’s time to relax. I recommend taking ten minutes at the end of the day to listen to your body, to unwind and to just let go. Your daily relaxation can take many forms but it definitely involves getting off your feet and not worrying about money or kids or the dishes in the sink.
When we put ourselves out in the world, we are primed for action. Our muscles respond to environmental stimuli, constantly contracting and stretching. When we are in stressful situations, and stress can come from an infinite number of sources (a mean boss, missing the bus, checking your bank account, loud noises, getting jostled in the shuk) our muscles contract and stay contracted, forming tight knots in the middle of the muscle. Depending on your body, this can translate into back pain, a stiff neck, a tension headache or sore shoulders by the end of the day.
Some women get into the habit of clenching their pelvic floor muscles (Levator Ani) for most of their waking hours. Having a strong pelvic floor is one thing but nobody wants a muscle spasm in their pelvic floor. Like every other muscle in the body, your pelvic floor muscles are designed to contract and relax. Relaxing your pelvic floor is just as important as strengthening it. If your levator ani stays scrunched up all the time, you’ll be very uncomfortable. You might be constipated, suffer from pelvic or back pain, and even have trouble emptying your bladder, which can lead to urinary tract infections. Sex is also infinitely more enjoyable when your pelvic floor both contracts and relaxes. [Read more…]