09 Nov In Their Own Words: A Client’s Perspective On Overcoming Prolapse
As a personal fitness trainer for pre & postnatal women as well as older adults, I throught I was aware of, although by no means an expert in, pelvic floor health. In fact, looking back with my current perspective, I can now freely admit that I was rather ignorant of its overall importance to our quality of life!
My awakening began during a pelvic floor health and conditioning certification course that I took many years ago. I was completely caught off guard by what was taught… that 40-50% of women would experience some form of pelvic floor dysfunction… that varying stages of incontinence affect a staggering number of women… that doctors can sometimes be unsympathetic or simply unaware of the amazing non-surgical relief from pelvic floor issues available such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, save for a prescription of Kegels!
Blown away by the information, I needed to satisfy any lingering skepticism with a quick schoolyard/playground poll of local moms. Their honest revelations only reinforced what I had learned – too many of them experienced incontinence and it interfered with their ability to participate in a variety of the everyday activities that were important to them! Sadly, they all seemed to think it was a natural part of aging and that it was out of their control! Many were unaware that there was treatment available to help them! My eyes were opened wide, and I vowed to spread the word of pelvic floor health.
Part of spreading the word meant recommending assessments to see a pelvic health physiotherapist to best determine one’s pelvic floor health. Even though I wasn’t experiencing traditional symptoms that I would have attributed to pelvic floor dysfunction, I decided I should make an appointment for myself at least for maintenance and prevention. I also wanted to be able to tell my clients what to expect when they went for their own visit.
This is where my story takes a very personal turn and I began to get a real understanding of the emotional toll pelvic floor dysfunction can exact.
My Experience with Prolapse
At age 42 a pelvic health physio diagnosed me with a grade 2 cystocele (prolapse of the bladder) and that due to scar tissue I had from a 3 stitch episiotomy my pelvic floor wouldn’t have responded as I desired without the internal release work of a pelvic health physio. It turns out that while one woman could experience discomfort from a prolapse, others might not notice it at all. I was devastated – it seemed that what I had not felt physically had then manifested itself ten-fold emotionally.
It’s safe to say, I freaked out!! I could not believe it! All the exercises I had done had not been as effective as I thought and everything online to do with prolapse seemed daunting and fear mongering. I desperately wanted to prevent this from getting worse and I wanted to feel in control. I won’t lie to you, I cried A LOT!
I became so hyper-aware of my pelvic floor and mentally consumed by what I was feeling! I became so focused on my prolapse that I was distracted during my daily activities and I had to keep reminding myself to stay focused on what was going on around me or I was going to be to get hit by a car! In fact, I remember having over-poured my tea as a result of my new obsession and anxiety! My kids (age 11 and 6 at that time) were driving me nuts….. I could not even think straight anymore! My husband was on a business trip so I didn’t have him to talk to, and I had reserved thoughts about telling him – I did not want this to change the intimacy of our marriage.
I felt desperate and determined for some non-surgical means of rehabilitating my body for what had become the most emotionally draining injury to date. I thought I had a strong core. I had done everything that I had been taught as a professional trainer to ensure it. Yet it turned out that my conventional exercises were doing my body a disservice, and I needed to find something else – something decidedly unconventional. A friend in the business mentioned having seen the Hypopressive technique online.
The Hypopressive Technique
After a bit of research, (at the time very little was available in English) I dove deep into all of the Spanish youtube videos on the subject that I could find – trying to emulate what I saw, and not understanding a word. Undaunted, I learned to connect with the breathing they taught, the apnea, and after attempting a pose or two, I was hooked. I would highly recommend seeking out a a qualified instructor in your area!
I soon started to feel a noticeable change in my pelvic floor – I experienced a ‘lifted’ feeling. My abdominals, normally hard and tight after conventional workouts, were now beginning to feel toned and flat – no need to pull in my belly button or flex for a taught tummy, I was developing true resting tone. After a couple of weeks of my Hypopressive experiment, I returned for a follow up with my pelvic floor physio. My grade 2 had already been reduced to a grade 1. Progress!
Fuelled by my small success, I found myself booking a flight to Spain to become the first Canadian trainer qualified to teach the technique to clients. Returning with this refined knowledge of the technique in hand, and with intensive practise, my prolapse actually disappeared – I had recovered – and I became determined to share this epiphany with my clients, other trainers and health professionals here in Canada. Even if only a certain percentage of the population was to respond the way I had, how could I not bring it here? Not to mention, I now had a method to re-program and tone the core in a way that suited my body!
With this taste of success, so began a whirlwind of study, practise and world travel. Each trip brought me closer to achieving the first Canadian Master Level & Course Instructor in the Hypopressives® Training System. This technique changed my life, enabled me to return to exercising, improve my quality of life and now help others do the same.
It has been 7 years since the Hypopressive Technique became a major turning point in my life and it has proven to be the most effective rehabilitation tool for me, as well as many I have worked with. The Hypopressive technique allows me to continue to do the activities I love, run, cycle, x-country ski, TRX to include strength training, walking the dog, and being with family and friends. We brush our teeth daily to maintain our dental health, do cardio exercise to maintain our cardiovascular health, and we now have the Hypopressive exercise technique to help maintain our core health.
It is important to do the research, see a pelvic floor physiotherapist, and find the method that works best for you. You may need to experiment with treatments to find the right fit, but based on my personal experience, it is truly worth the effort!
Want to learn more about Trista and Hypopressives? Check out her website here: Coreset Fitness.
Wonder if you are experiencing symptoms from prolapse? Want to get control of your pelvic health?Email us at [email protected] or call 416-551-0900, we’d love to help in any way we can!
Trista Zinn is the founder of Coreset Fitness, and a personal trainer who specializes in pelvic health and core re-programming. She has become Canada’s highest qualified and most experienced Trainer in HYPOPRESSIVE® Fitness – Canada’s only course instructor and Master Trainer. She is also its biggest advocate.
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