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Shearer Hills/Ridgeview
San Antonio, TX, 78216
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(210) 896-1317

A therapeutic bodywork studio in San Antonio, Texas, Gabi Marcus Bodyworks combines massage, movement, and a little bit of magic to help you feel your best. We are located just off Jones-Maltsberger and 281, between the Alamo Quarry and North Star Mall.

 

 

How the Diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor Move During Relaxed Breath

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How the Diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor Move During Relaxed Breath

Gabrielle Marcus

This is really such a priceless video. 

Pelvic Floor

At the 2015 PMA Conference in Denver, Colorado, Brent Anderson and Hadar Schwartz tested their theories about the pelvic floor. Watch how they used two ultrasound machines to show the relationship between the pelvic floor and the diaphragm.

Posted by Pilates Anytime on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It shows how, in a "diaphragmatic" breath, the diaphragm and pelvic floor work simultaneously, or nearly simultaneously, to make room for the breath. 

Seeing the video helped me better notice and let go of tension I was storing in the lower abdomen that might get in the way of this whole body breath. 

I've read about and even tried to describe this "piston effect" for some time. But I realized watching the video that I had thought of the pelvic floor as descending in response to the diaphragm---in other words, as a reflexive response to the action of the diaphragm. Looking at the video, it seems like it might be better to think of the diaphragm and pelvic floor BOTH moving with the breath to make space for the expanding lungs. In other words, maybe it's a diaphragmatic/pelvic floor breath. 

Watching it, what do you think? 

(Of course, when our breath is truly relaxed, we're not doing anything to make a diaphragmatic breath happen--it happens on its own, God bless it.)

Remember that the breath (not just oxygen of course, but the action of breathing) helps circulation, digestion, lymph flow and more. So we want it to be able to get to go everywhere it needs to go. 

The diaphragm and the pelvic floor can get decoupled in breath----working independently of each other, or one working more effectively than the other---for many reasons, and these patterns can change over the course of the day, depending on our movement, mood, and more. This decoupling is probably often very normal---for instance if you're having to wait to go to the bathroom, but still need to breathe, or during a healthy flight-or-fight response in which the body naturally starts to "chest breathe".  So we're not aiming for a sort of robotic consistency, but just the possibility that we can "clear" the way for the body to take its best breath.  I know for me that it's very easy to forget to sit and move in ways that make space in the lower torso for my breath. And if I really focus on it for a bit, I'm often surprised at how much more room I can make. So I may put this video on repeat and project it on to the wall of my living room.