Natural Solutions - - Food Mat­ters | -

the pelvis Your pelvis is held to­gether by a net­work of bones and mus­cles that work to­gether to sup­port your pelvic or­gans. With­out knowledge of where they are and what they do, you can’t re­ally fo­cus on the pelvic re­gion as a whole. Get in touch with it by tak­ing the time to look at im­ages and draw­ings. Ex­am­ine the beau­ti­ful ex­ter­nal parts of your pelvis to feel em­pow­ered, mak­ing it eas­ier to rec­og­nize when some­thing isn’t right. It can also help you speak with your doc­tor ef­fec­tively about symp­toms with­out be­ing em­bar­rassed.

pelvic pyramid Be­ing aware of your “pelvic pyramid” of mus­cles can help you un­der­stand the im­por­tance of ex­er­cise and fit­ness. Stomach and back mus­cles deep inside you, in ad­di­tion to pelvic floor mus­cles, can be ex­er­cised with great re­sults. (Kegels ad­dress pelvic floor mus­cle strength—but they are only for adults.) Con­sti­pa­tion, which is sadly chronic among girls and women, puts great stress on mus­cles, which can lead to blad­der and/or bowel in­con­ti­nence. A steady flow of wa­ter, fi­brous foods, and ex­er­cise can al­le­vi­ate symp­toms. You can turn to nat­u­ral reme­dies if ex­tra­long bouts of con­sti­pa­tion aren’t re­lieved in a few days. Your vagina is self­clean­ing, so there’s no need for spray or douch­ing. In fact, no mat­ter a prod­uct’s con­tents, they can throw off the nat­u­ral bal­ance of yeasts and bac­te­rial or­gan­isms, not to men­tion be­ing an­other source of uri­nary tract in­fec­tions.

For more pelvic health in­for­ma­tion, go to wom­en­shealth­foun­da­tion.org. To read about WHF’s book for ado­les­cents, go to be­lowyourbelt.org. Here are some easy be­hav­ioral changes that can en­sure a health­ier blad­der right away:

Sit all the way down on the toi­let— hov­er­ing over it strains mus­cles and blocks the flow of urine, po­ten­tially fos­ter­ing in­fec­tion and pain.

Al­ways wipe front to back so fe­cal mat­ter doesn’t en­ter the ure­thra.

Limit caf­feinated drinks and stay away from soda—which ir­ri­tates the blad­der and ure­thra.

And a big one: Don't go to the bath­room just in case. This means re­sist the urge to uri­nate “just be­cause” you’re about to get in a car, sit in a meet­ing, or get some ex­er­cise. Just as your blad­der needs to be com­pletely voided, it also needs to fill all the way. Train­ing your blad­der, and your brain, will help keep the blad­der mus­cle in shape, and end the mes­sages your brain tells your blad­der—that it needs to “go.”

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