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Constipation Tips From a Pelvic Floor Therapist

Heather Jeffcoat on Constipation Tips From a Pelvic Floor Therapist

(Because They Know A Lot About How You Poop)

Hannah Schneider writing for Well + Good reached out to me for some insights into constipation tips from a pelvic floor therapist's point of view. Here is a brief synopsis of the article, along with a link to the full article below.

Heather Jeffcoat, DPT

Constipation tips that can help when you, and your colon, are in a pinch

Your pelvic floor is integral to staying regular. In case you’re unfamiliar, the pelvic floor is a hammock-like group of muscles that sit in your pelvis and support the bladder, bowel, and reproductive organs. These muscles are responsible for a number of bodily functions, not only controlling when you pee and poop, but also for pleasure during sex. Furthermore, your pelvic floor can be both the cause and solution to constipation.


Hanna explains:

The pelvic floor muscles can be non-relaxing, meaning that when they are meant to relax during constipation, they stay in a short position,” says Dr. Jeffcoat. The effect is equivalent to a ‘kink in a hose,’ where the rectum becomes closed off so nothing can pass. Aside from consuming the right amount of fiber for you and staying hydrated, there are many ways to get unjammed so-to-speak.

Some of the many solutions can include:

Yoga Poses

Yoga is a fantastic way to get your pelvic floor in optimal condition, which in turn can lead to better bowel movements along with many other benefits.

From the article:

Great exercises to assist with this are diaphragm breathing in child’s pose or happy baby yoga positions,” says Dr. Jeffcoat. This is because they promote a lengthening of the digestive organs and relaxation of the pelvic floor.

Deep Breathing 

This one ties in with yoga, though it can also be practiced without yoga. 

Digestion occurs when our autonomic nervous system is in a parasympathetic state. This is commonly referred to as our rest and digest state,” says Dr. Jeffcoat. If we are under high stress, this will keep our autonomic nervous system in a sympathetic, or ‘fight or flight state, she adds. If we are in this state for long periods, digestion will be affected and can be a contributing factor to constipation. A way to disengage your nervous system and enter digestion mode is to breathe deeply. Trying to expand your stomach as you breathe in for four counts and out for four counts is a great place to start. 

These are just a couple of the tips explored in the article. Click here for more constipation tips from a pelvic floor therapist, or click here to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.

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