As with most holistic therapies, strategies are always individualized. Suggestions are based on lifestyle, level of health, age, and symptoms. Each person is different and although they may have the same or a similar diagnosis, every person will experience their life in their own way. Abdominal Organ prolapse is a perfect example of this. In some ways I hesitate to go too far in-depth. But I want to give you the information you need to make healthy choices. Keep in mind as we go farther that these are generalized suggestions. Listen to your body and your intuition and always include your health care provider in your treatment plan.
When working with Natural Solutions we will want to address the following areas:
- Relieve uncomfortable symptoms
- Support internal organs in their correct place
- Increase or maintain pelvic floor health or integrity
- Decrease or avoid abdominal pressure
Relieve Uncomfortable Symptoms/Support Pelvic Floor Health
The medical profession often suggests a pessary for support of prolapsed abdominal organs. A pessary is a soft, flexible device that is placed in the vagina to help support the bladder, vagina, uterus, and/or rectum. Pessaries are made in many different shapes and sizes. Talk to your Doctor if you feel this is a good solution for you. A properly fitted and inserted vaginal pessary can improve voiding, urgency, and incontinence for women with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, no matter the stage. Click here for more information on pessaries. I have a very good friend who uses a pessary and is very satisfied with it.
Kegel Balls and Exercises
I’ve personally had good luck with Medical Kegel Balls, available by Amazon. Insert the balls with lubrication starting about an hour per day and working up to where you’re comfortable. Medical Kegel balls support the bladder, vagina, uterus and rectum. They help with bladder control, urinary incontinence, recovery from childbirth, rectal prolapse. They work with kinesiology and muscle control, enhancing pelvic floor strength, and for tightening and toning.
Kegel exercise is often suggested to support pelvic floor health and decrease symptoms related to abdominal organ prolapse. Click here to go to an awesome video by Made for Women Workouts. It explains how and why to Kegel exercises. Go to Kegel Video.
Decrease or Avoid Abdominal Pressure
The pressure inside our abdomen rises when we place emphasis on the waist or abdominal muscles. To decrease or avoid increasing our abdominal pressure:
- Avoid heaving lifting. This might mean making more trips to the car to unload the groceries. When it is necessary to lift heavy objects, lift correctly using the legs and exhaling when lifting.
- Avoid Weight Gain. Obesity puts pressure on the abdominal organs.
- Avoid heavily pushing or bearing down in the abdominal region. Bearing down occurs in uncontrolled coughing, constipation, and exercises that strongly engage the core muscles.
Personalized Yoga Therapy
Recent scientific studies have confirmed empirical evidence about the use of yoga therapy to support or reverse mild to moderate abdominal organ prolapse. A 2018 study by the International Journal of Yoga Therapy found that the proper use of an ancient practice called mula bandha, when performed appropriately, in a personalized practice, significantly reduced the symptoms. The practice supported the body and offered a good therapy for women suffering from mild to moderate prolapse of the abdominal organs.
The key to success when using yoga therapy is a regular personalized practice, preferably with individual instruction. There are many yoga poses. Many tools of yoga. Some may be beneficial; others can cause more difficulty. This is not the same yoga you’re getting in class at your local studio or gym. Yoga therapy is a specialized practice. Teachers or therapists work individually with you. Focus is placed on how to perform poses, breathing exercises, relaxation and lifestyle modifications to bring the best benefit. Each situation and each body is different. Muscle engagement, movement, breath and focus will be completely different for each person.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few qualities we might focus on in a yoga practice designed to help bladder and other abdominal organ prolapse.
Beneficial Yoga Practices
- Poses that bring symmetrical alignment to the body.
- Breathing exercises or pranayama that bring gentle attention to the diaphragm, such as abdominal breathing.
- Breath or gentle poses that relieve abdominal pressure, creating more space in the lower abdomen.
- Gentle inversions with the hips slightly raised.
- Relaxation of the abdominal area.
- Movements and exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.
Tools or practices that may be detrimental
- Any pose or practice that brings tension or pressure to the abdominal area or pelvic floor. Those that focus on the core in an intense way.
- Extreme breathing practices such as fast, quick or intense breathing.
- Avoid breath of fire (kapalabhati) or any forced pranayama.
- Avoid jumping in your yoga practice.
- Any practice or pose that causes strain in the breath or holding the breath.
As a certified yoga therapist with the International Association for Yoga Therapists (IAYT), I am happy to help develop an appropriate and useful yoga therapy practice for this or any condition. Click here to talk to Annie about setting up a consultation.