Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rolfing and Pregnancy.

Hello all...

In my previous newsletter I talked about the pelvis and how creating balance in the pelvis is one of the fundamental cornerstones of Rolfing.

Our pelvis is a very sturdy yet sensitive creature. Change comes slow to the pelvis, and for good reason. It is meant to be stable and structurally sound.

That said, a woman who has been pregnant and given birth, contends with some radical transformations within and around her pelvis.

Amazingly, these fundamental shifts in her anatomy find some semblance of balance once again after giving birth. However, considering how much her viscera and pelvis goes through, more often than not, everything doesn't go back where it should!

Sometimes, many weeks and even months go by after birth without any major aches or pains to speak of. Yet, some time later, I do have clients who come in and are flummoxed... They are dealing with a great deal of pain in their body that they have never experienced before.

How does this happen?

One major player you already know is the Uterus. The other you may not be as familiar with is...The Peritoneum.

The Peritoneum is like a very large and resilient sheet of saran wrap that holds and contains most all of your organs. It starts near your pelvic floor and wraps up and around the base of your diaphragm. Please see diagram to the left. The Peritoneum is indicated by the color pink.

And the Uterus...

Remember that I mentioned that the Peritoneum, aka saran wrap, holds most of your organs. Well, the uterus lies just below it. So, as the uterus grows and grows and grows, it pushes up aaallll the other organs and the peritoneum above it, sometimes up to a foot or more! The Uterus is now the big boss in town. The Pelvis is directly affected by organs that are displaced and squeezed into new and interesting positions.

Now, when birth happens, the uterus abruptly descends. After weeks and months go by, the uterus begins to find it's original shape.

Back to the Peritoneum...

The Peritoneum, or, the saran wrap which holds all of your organs, tries to come back to it's original contour and shape as well, yet this doesn't always happen. Take a sheet of saran wrap, gently bundle it up into a loose ball, and then try and bring it back to it's original shape. Not going to happen... You will have created all sorts of wrinkles, catches, and interesting shapes.

Now, please read my blog below on Visceral Manipulation. In a nutshell, when our organs are displaced, or are unable to move around in a free flowing fashion, this creates not only imbalance in your pelvis, but a sleuth of discomfort and pain elsewhere in your body.

In a C-section, the body creates even more adhesions. Any type of surgery can, unfortunately, create scar tissue and long lasting adhesions. Couple that with the what happens with the peritoneum, and you may have even more compensations in your pelvis and throughout your body.
Fortunately, these compensations in the viscera, peritoneum, and the rest of the body can be changed quite readily.

The body, in it's infinite wisdom, tries and tries to conform to it's original shape and form before pregnancy. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Rolfing, especially Rolfing using Visceral Manipulation, can be profoundly effective in helping create balance in your body. Keep in mind that Rolfing should not be utilized as a modality when you are actually pregnant. After you are pregnant, Rolfing can be profoundly beneficial.
As a man, I do not know of the direct physical or emotional transformations that take place during and after pregnancy. I have, however, worked with many Moms, and have witnessed the absolute joy of motherhood as well as it's heartaches. I have worked with many Mothers who are once again reclaiming their body. I am grateful to have this opportunity. Hopefully the above blog post can help Mom's de-mystify some of the aches and pains that might follow pregnancy.

If you have any further questions about this blog post, or about Rolfing in general, please don't hesitate to let me know!