Do you sometimes pee a bit when you sneeze?
I’ve been there and it can be nerve wracking, and annoying.
When I would feel a sneeze coming on I used to do what you are always taught to do, I did a kegel and engaged my pelvic floor.
It only worked sometimes. Not quite what I hoped for.
And then I realized three things.
1. Our pelvic floors have the most ability to absorb the pressure of our sneezes if they are relaxed not tense. This is much like any muscle, if it is already shortened and then you ask it to shorten some more it can’t. A sneeze is basically a very strong exhale and our pelvic floors tend to lift and shorten with our exhales and lengthen with our inhales. It makes sense then that if I want my pelvic floor to contract against the sneeze most effectively I need to stop contracting it ahead of time.
2. Our bodies are sneezing for a reason so it makes sense to let the sneeze do its job and come out of our noses to clear the sinuses. Otherwise we will just sneeze again and again.
Letting the sneeze exit our body means our pelvic floors need to do less work as a bunch of the pressure created goes out not down. Sneezes are powerful!
So I offer you this experiment.
Try it a few times in the comfort of your own home, because it is a bit scary to let go of control and if the consequences of it not working mean you have to wear wet clothes all day it’s going to be pretty hard to do it.
Next time you sneeze, and you are at home, aim to get a nice big inhale right before. That’s usually how it works anyways.
For this to be most effective, you need to keep your ribs and pelvis in line with each other. Most people lean back like crazy right before they sneeze, so it will take a bit of attention and you may not get it the first time.
When the bottom hole of the ribcage and the top hole of your pelvis point to each other they can feel each other (and therefore function) better. Another way to think of it is that when they are lined up the front of your torso and the back of your torso will be around the same length.
Don’t get scared and tense up your pelvic floor!
Now let that sneeze out. Don't shove it back in but let all that force come out your nose if you have something to catch the snot or out your mouth if you don't.
This takes some practice but it is amazing the first time you feel your pelvic floor respond itself without your help to a sneeze.
How did it go?
I know it’s worked wonders for me.
I hope it works for you too.
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