How much are you in control of your day? The decisions you made earlier today? Do you remember getting dressed this morning? Watching TV, catching up on the news, checking email? Was it pretty much the same routine as yesterday? Think about how you got dressed this morning. What went on first? Was it shirt, socks, or underwear first? Try reversing the order one day and see how awkward it feels. See how much longer it takes to get dressed. Do you brush your teeth before or after getting dressed? Where does showering fit into the routine? How long have you done it this way? These routines, as simple as they sound and as much as we think we are in control of them, are easy because they are executed by our subconscious brain with barely a thought! It is estimated that up to 90% of what we do on a daily basis is actually controlled by our habits and routines, executed by our reflexive subconscious reptilian brain. One way of looking at it is it frees up our higher conscious brain for more important matters like deciding if we need to stop for gas after the low fuel light illuminates, or can we do it on the way back from where we are going. The brain consumes a whopping 25% of our energy! Thinking is hard! Thinking is taxing! Ever have one of those days where it seems to be a never ending series of decisions at work, you get home and are asked “what do you want for dinner” and you surrender, you can’t make another decision! Thankfully your subconscious routines took care of all the day to day, low energy, reflexive “decisions” we believe are under our conscious control.
Our reflexes are vitally important for how we navigate this world as we react to the fluctuating circumstances on a daily basis, but they also serve another purpose. If your normal routines fluctuate outside the expected range of the subconscious brain then it will start to trigger an alarm, depending on how big of a deviation it feels the threat is from the usual routines. If the threat seems large enough then our subconscious brain will trigger a fight or flight response, engaging our core muscles (vocal folds, diaphragm, and pelvic floor muscles to name a few) in order to get ready for fight or flight while cortisol gets dumped into our bloodstream in order to further prime the pump for “action.” It then sends an alert up to our conscious brain so the decision can be made to “fight,” “flight,” or “stand down.” All of this happens in a fraction of a second as a way to protect us from what the subconscious brain sees as danger.
Imagine if things in your life were chaotic enough to have that alert sounded every day, what do you think would happen? Nervousness and anxiety may develop, but also the muscles of your pelvic floor may slowly get tighter and tighter in response to the perpetual threat. What’s wrong with that, you may ask. Muscles that stay engaged can get tired, things in the pelvic floor can shift due to the perpetual tension, plus the muscles could get shorter if held tight long enough. This can lead to the pinching of a nerve or two, or three creating pelvic pain and possibly even a non-bacterial prostatitis. There could be painful urination, constipation, ED and even painful intercourse, vaginally or rectally, because the muscles have forgotten how to relax. This is where pelvic physical therapy comes in. This is our specialty, knowing what to look for, what questions to ask, and looking at your life globally to see any triggers you may have as we work our magic on getting your pelvic floor muscles to relax, get loose, and work the way they are suppose to. Sometimes you may not have the pain in the pelvic region, sometimes it shows up as back or hip pain.
If this is happening to you, then reach out to me! Lets have a chat and see if pelvic physical therapy is right for you.