These days, I’m focusing on my breathing a LOT. I’m working hard to develop a new habit of breathing, in order to “pin the pelvic organs into normal anatomic positions.”
Isn’t that a fantastic phrase? My pelvic organs are pinned in their proper place. So powerful!!
That phrase is in the book I’m now reading (Saving The Whole Woman, by Christine Kent). The book explains the “whys and hows” of breathing properly to improve prolapse symptoms (or at least to prevent them from getting worse).
Much like the Whole Woman posture, Whole Woman breathing wasn’t what I’d been doing for my whole life.
For example, I used to do more mouth-breathing (the exception was during strenuous exercise), and I didn’t pay that much attention to my breath. I didn’t need to!
Now– how I breathe is extremely important to my progress!
Some months ago, when my prolapse symptoms were at their very worst, I became acutely aware of how dysfunctional my breath had become. No matter how hard I tried to avoid it, my body was in a constant state of breath-holding. The urge to “brace myself” in this way was overwhelming. I held great tension in my body, as I desperately fought my disturbing sensations.
It was maddening to be so tense all the time. I don’t think I’m doing a good job describing how it felt, either. Being so tense from my perineum up to my chest was uncomfortable in itself. Time and time again I wondered, “Why can’t my body relax?!” What would REALLY happen?
Eventually (and this was long before I found the Whole Woman Inc website), it occurred to me that I had to force myself to make my breathing functional again. It was pretty obvious that I couldn’t continue to allow the shallow breathing and the breath-holding high up in my chest.
And so I got to the point of starting to take full, deliberate breaths. I started to release the tension throughout my chest, abdomen and pelvis. In order to do this, I remember making the very conscious decision to TRUST. I had to trust that my vagina (or whatever I was feeling down there) would not literally fall right out of me if I took normal (if not deep) breaths.
I had to let go of the fear, along with all muscle tension. Trusting was hard to do!!
Fast forward to now and I still fight that tendency toward shallow breathing and tension on a daily basis. My prolapse symptoms are way better now, but since they are still there (in a mostly mild or nagging sort of way), my involuntary reaction continues to be the not-helpful-at-all pattern of “hold breath, hold tension.”
Maintaining peace (i.e relaxation) in my body is work! But it’s work that’s paying off.
I’m perfecting a new pattern of breathing.
I’m mindful of my breathing as much as possible.
I’m mindful of any tension that creeps in, and I quickly help it go away.
I am healed.