Difference between revisions of "The Pelvic Floor"

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The term "the pelvic floor" refers to a number of muscles which support the organs of the lower abdomen, holding them in their correct places inside the pelvic girdle. A strong and healthy pelvic floor plays a vital role in Tantric sex, supporting both [[Female Orgasm|female orgasm]] and male [[Orgasm control|orgasm control.]]
 
The term "the pelvic floor" refers to a number of muscles which support the organs of the lower abdomen, holding them in their correct places inside the pelvic girdle. A strong and healthy pelvic floor plays a vital role in Tantric sex, supporting both [[Female Orgasm|female orgasm]] and male [[Orgasm control|orgasm control.]]
  
The pelvic floor and its endless complexity of structure fulfills the criteria for defining such a hypothetical countenance. It is only the meek, self-effacing placement of this area that throws it into oblivion. Else, from all points of view it would deserve the same kind of attention and study as the face itself. 
 
  
Anatomically the structure of the pelvic floor has been long time a mystery. The advancement of modern technology allowed its exploration in alive, young and active humans, revealing an amazing complexity.
 
 
The reproductive organs are placed partly inside and partly outside the pelvic cavity - the lower part of abdominal cavity, without a clear demarcation being drawn between the two. The skeletal framework formed by the sacrum and the pelvic bones is known as the pelvic ring and it pairs the thoracic ring (the ribs, vertebral column and sternum or breast bone) and the skull into the group of bone structures protecting the most vital organs of our being: the brain, heart plus lungs and the internal genitalia respectively. 
 
 
Connecting with the sacrum at the level of the sacro-iliac joints, the three perfectly fused pelvic bones - ilium, ischium and pubis - form the two wings of the pelvic ring.
 
 
 
In humans the pelvic floor has unique characters due to its placement as the basement of the entire upper body. Animals, a dog or a horse, will have the pelvis as a sidewall with obvious easier elimination or giving birth. Due to standing posture, the human pelvic floor requires the strength for sustaining the inner organs against the pull of gravitation together with the flexibility and elasticity necessary to the elimination functions.
 
Failures in attending both these functions simultaneously are bound to reflect abundantly in the operational activities and health of the entire body: the quality of sexual life, elimination control, menstruation and child birth as well as abdominal breathing or health of internal organs.  There are two main kind of pelvic floor weaknesses: tight weak and long/flabby weak.
 
 
Hypertension of pelvic muscles – tight weakness – is often present in people who are generally tensed, suffered injuries or surgery in the pelvic area, post-trauma or abuse. Tightness can develop as a result of an excessive or inadequate athletic or even yogic/Pilates training. Signs of hypertension could be considered:
 
 
Pelvic pain:  pain while sitting, using tampons, during intercourse
 
Urge incontinence: overwhelming urge to have to urinate and short time span between the first urge and the feeling of urgency with a bladder not full.
 
Interstitial cystitis (feels like a bladder infection): urge incontinence with urination for only five or six seconds long, then leave the bathroom and five or ten minutes later the urge returns. This is the inability to be able to relax when peeing.
 
Shy bladder syndrome in public restrooms
 
Irritable bowel syndrome: some studies suggest a very good reduction of symptomatology after pelvic floor interventions.
 
History of sexual abuse
 
Anxiety: meditation proved to help
 
 
A hypotonic pelvic floor has thin and flabby muscles. In the 1940s dr Kegel, a gynecologist for California observed that thin pelvic muscles are more likely connected with an increased incidence of urinary incontinence and organ prolapse. He also hypothesized that, as with the biceps, the work out of these muscles will make them stronger and will prevent or treat the symptoms. This is how the famous Kegel exercises have been born.
 
 
The most common signs of a weak-long pelvic floor are:
 
Stress incontinence: different from urge incontinence. There is often loss of urine during sneezing, coughing, laughing, high impact like running, trampoline, etc.
 
Prolapse: the organ is sliding down through its own pelvic canal and sometimes hanging outside the body. The uterus can fall down into the opening of the vagina in different levels. So can the urinary bladder and the rectum, conditions called cystoceles and rectoceles.
 
Risk factors for weak pelvic floor:
 
Obesity exerts a constant pressure on the containing muscles in general.
 
Many pregnancies: There are two good studies proving that consequent pelvic floor tone is the same for C-sections and vaginal delivery. The reason for weakness is the stress exerted during the second and third trimester as the baby is growing.
 
 
The simple division into two main categories is complicated in practice by the concomitant presence of hypertonicity in some areas and hypotonicity in the rest or the opposite. It is usually developed in people with a starting hypotonic problem, maybe stress incontinence or prolapse, trying to compensate by gripping everything up. The inability to acknowledge properly all muscles will produce a difference in strength and mechanical imbalances.  Erratic training, Kegels, athletic, Yogic or Pilates can also develop such combinations.
 
 
When attempting the treatment and training of pelvic floor most people think first about the Kegel exercises. Starting with them in a tight or tight-weak structure could aggravate seriously the condition. The first step of every training exercise is an increased awareness of the physical structures of this area followed by addressing the tight factor through relaxation and stretching.
 
 
Pelvic floor anatomy
 
The word perineum (from Greek perinaion to empty out) is normally used by yoga teachers to speak about the region between the scrotum and the anus in males, and between the entrance to the vagina and the anus in females.  Accurate, extended anatomical definition refers to perineum as the entire diamond-shaped floor of the pelvic cavity. It is marked out by four points: in front the pubic symphysis, the tip of the coccyx (the tailbone) towards the back, and the two sitting bones (ischial tuberosities) on the sides. The diamond is made up of two triangles: the urogenital triangle anteriorly, and the anal triangle posteriorly. They lie in two different planes ascending from the common middle-line between the sitting bones.
 
 
The urethra and vagina pass through the urogenital triangle – called also urogenital diaphragm –while the anal canal passes through the anal triangle.
 
 
Very debated and studied lately, the structure of the pelvic floor is generally considered to have three levels in depth. Most superficial, the perineum with the urogenital and anal triangle is placed just under the skin. The middle transvers perinei muscles and the connective tissue, the fascia, are difficult to evaluate as independent or intrinsic to the other layers. The most internal part is the pelvic diaphragm – a sling of muscles extending front to back, as a deep hammock, the real support for internal organs.
 
 
The levator ani and, the more posterior, coccygeus muscles that are attached to the inner surface of the pelvis form the pelvic diaphragm. The levator ani is composed of 2 major muscles from medial to lateral: the pubococcygeus and iliococcygeus muscles. In women the pubococcygeus is divided into:
 
 
Urethral portion – pubourethralis that surrounds the urethra and allows one to stop the urine stream.
 
Vaginal portion – pubovaginalis that attaches to the vaginal walls. Together with the puboanalis, attached both to vagina and anus, these two muscles clamp down the first part of the vagina.
 
Rectal part – puborectalis – passes around the rectum, forming a sling and mainly participating to the performance of Ashwini mudra
 
 
The superficial muscles are placed below the pelvic diaphragm:
 
The urethral sphincter compressing the end part of the urinary canal
 
Bulbospongiosus – located in the middle line, encircling the root of the penis or covering the vestibular bulb. In males it contributes to the last stages of erection and the feelings of orgasm and in females closes the entrance to the vagina, participates into the clitoral erection and orgasm.
 
Ischiocavernosus muscles in both the male and female is placed laterally to the erectile tissues of the corpora cavernosa. They stabilize the erect penis or tense the vagina during orgasm.
 
 
The perineal body is a very important part of the pelvic floor, having a structure partly muscular and partly fibrous. It is shaped like a pyramid with its base sitting between the vagina and the rectum (root of the penis and anus in males) and the tip pointing toward the head. Some parts of the pelvic floor muscles merge and end into this structure that plays the role of a central tendon, a central intersection or power distribution point. The elevation of the perineal body is the physical goal of mula bandha.
 
 
When it comes to the vagina it is important to understand that most of the muscles within the vaginal wall are smooth muscles, not under our conscious control.  Contracting the vaginal muscles refers to the activation of the more superficial layer of muscles at the introitus – bulbospongiosus and ischiocavernosus – as well as the more profound levator ani that surround and support the vaginal wall a little less than midway to the uterus.
 
 
The general position of the pelvis is going to influence the condition of the pelvic floor as well as the posture of the entire body. The center of gravity of human body is placed in the area of the lower abdomen and functions as a center of movement and balance given special attention in most spiritual traditions of this world under the name of Hara, Manipura, Kanda, lower Dan Tien, etc.
 
 
The position of the pelvis sets up the resulting curves of the spine and our basic postural type. The anterior pelvic tilt resulting from pulling the top of the pelvis forward increases the depth of the lumbar lordosis. The abdominal muscles are forced in tension in order to contain the internal organs, the hips are tightened in adduction and the pelvic floor is compressed in front, toward the urogenital diaphragm.
 
 
The posterior tilt known colloquially as a “pelvic tuck”- brings the top of the sacrum to the rear and flattens the lumbar curvature. This posture introduces strong compensatory tension upstairs in the spine, makes the groins harden, tightens the hips and weakens the pelvic floor in a long, flabby position.
 
 
The neutral position of the pelvis is most beneficial for the complicated muscular complex of abdomen and pelvic floor. This neutral position allows the center of gravity to project behind the center of rotation of the hip joint while the hip points – ASIS, antero-superior iliac spines - are in vertical alignment with the pubic crest.
 
 
This is also the best position for developing a true core strength. Described in details the strong position of the core is made of three subtle applications: firming of transverse abdominal muscles – bringing the “hip points in”, tightening the ”drawstring” – engaging minimally but clearly the straight abdominals in a movement up and inward – “zipping up” – and performing a lateral abduction, without rotation in the hip joints – “thighs out”- as if one would stretch the floor mat between the parallel feet. From a physical performance and awareness, this position develops in time into a genuine inner power supported by adequate mental attitude. This position is adopted and maintained spontaneously by the very strong practitioners, warriors or the very healthy.
 
  
 
References
 
References
  
 
Tantra Instructor Training Manual, Agama Yoga
 
Tantra Instructor Training Manual, Agama Yoga

Latest revision as of 10:57, 30 December 2017

The term "the pelvic floor" refers to a number of muscles which support the organs of the lower abdomen, holding them in their correct places inside the pelvic girdle. A strong and healthy pelvic floor plays a vital role in Tantric sex, supporting both female orgasm and male orgasm control.


References

Tantra Instructor Training Manual, Agama Yoga