In today's world, fitness and body awareness are at the forefront of our lives. However, one muscle group remains enigmatic – the pelvic floor. From enhancing our intimate experiences to supporting our core, understanding and optimizing this muscle group is crucial for both men and women.
Dive into this episode as Dr. Mariah Lohr shed light on the often overlooked importance of the pelvic floor muscles. Learn how mastering them can lead to not just better health, but a transformed life. Discover the secrets of this muscle group and its surprising connection to a man's sexual health, and learn how you can take control.
Whether you're curious about the famous Kegel exercise or looking for natural ways to tackle ED, this episode is here to lead the way. Let's embark on this empowering journey together!
- Episode Video
- About Dr. Mariah Lohr
- What is Kegel and Why Do Men Need It?
- Common Misconceptions About the Pelvic Floor Muscle
- Strengthening the Pelvic Floor
- Viagra and Pelvic Floor
- Finding the Right Pelvic Floor Therapist
- Connect with Dr. Mariah Lohr
About Dr. Mariah Lohr
Mariah Lohr is a doctor of physical therapy and specialized in pelvic floor health. She is the co-founder of Nomadic Physical Therapy with her husband, Jacob. She is experienced in the treatment of males and females experiencing urinary and fecal incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain conditions, sexual dysfunction, pelvic organ prolapse, and prenatal and postpartum conditions.
Mariah is passionate in helping others attain their highest level of health and wellness by optimizing movement so that they can live their most enjoyable life.
What is Kegel and Why Do Men Need It?
At its core, a Kegel is the contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Think of it as flexing the muscles in your pelvic area, much like you'd flex your bicep. These contractions can improve the strength and function of the muscles, ultimately benefiting various bodily functions.
The Connection to Erectile Dysfunction (ED)
For men, the strength of the pelvic floor muscles plays an important role in achieving and maintaining an erection. It can also even affect the quality of climax. If these muscles can't contract efficiently, the sexual experience might not be as gratifying.
Common Misconceptions About the Pelvic Floor Muscle
Many assume that a weak pelvic floor is the most common problem. However, it's often the opposite. Increased tension in the pelvic muscles can arise due to several factors like prolonged sitting or a stressful lifestyle.
Ensuring the efficient contraction and relaxation of these muscles can significantly improve their function, aiding in better sexual experiences.
Navigating the Male Anatomy
Think of the pelvic floor muscles as a hammock stretching from the front of the body (pubic bone) to the back (tailbone), spreading outward towards the hip bones. Also, did you know that there are around 23 crucial muscles in this area? They are layered strategically to serve various functions, from sexual activities to supporting internal organs.
Strengthening the Pelvic Floor
Seeing a specialized pelvic floor therapist can be a game-changer. They have knowledge about these muscles' location, contraction, and relaxation. In addition, gaining control over these muscles can lead to better sexual performance and a more intense climax.
Also, the number of sessions required with a therapist largely depends on how long one has been facing issues. While some notice changes within six to eight weeks, others may need longer.
The Evaluation Process
A therapist typically begins with a conversation, delving into the patient's symptoms, their sexual capabilities, and any pain they might be experiencing. They will also assess bodily movement, core strength, and perform an assessment if the patient is comfortable.
Your Mental Health and Your Pelvic Floor
Your psychological state can influence the tension in the pelvic floor. If you're someone who habitually tenses up – say in your shoulders or jaw – it's also likely you're holding tension in your pelvic region. This tension can often lead to problems like ED, especially if paired with chronic pain.
Balancing Tension and Weakness
While some men with ED have excess tension in their pelvic muscles due to pain or other factors, others might have weak muscles. Visiting a pelvic floor therapist can offer a solution. They can teach you how to contract and relax these muscles.
Diaphragmatic Breathing and Visualization
A key lesson in pelvic floor therapy is diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles work hand-in-hand. By mastering diaphragmatic breathing, you can significantly improve the function and flexibility of your pelvic floor.
In addition, using imagery can help master the contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor. Think of inhaling as trying to lengthen your penis or open the anus. Exhaling, in contrast, is like preparing for a cold plunge – contracting the muscles.
Practice Makes Perfect
To master this synergy, start by lying on your back. Feel your ribcage expand as you inhale and imagine your pelvic floor lengthening. As you exhale, picture the opposite. Practicing this regularly can help in mastering the technique.
Implementing Exercises at Home
A mix of breathing exercises like the "happy baby stretch" and the adductor stretch can also help alleviate tension and strengthen the pelvic muscles. In addition, including a partner in these exercises can be beneficial for both parties.
Viagra and Pelvic Floor
Interestingly, the structure of the pelvic floor muscles doesn't differ significantly between those who take ED medications and those who don't. However, practicing pelvis exercises consistently tends to offer lasting benefits without the need for medications.
Finding the Right Pelvic Floor Therapist
Not all physical therapists are trained in pelvic floor therapy. After obtaining a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree, further specialized training and certification, such as the Herman & Wallace Certification, are necessary.
So, if you're looking to improve your pelvic floor health, ensure you seek out a certified specialist. You may do that by going to the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute website. Then go to the tab that says, "Find a Practitioner" and type in your zip code. Once you put in your zip code, the list of therapists will show up. Also, take note that you should look for therapists with the initials PRPC (Pelvic Rehabilitation Practitioner Certification).
Connect with Dr. Mariah Lohr
Do you have more questions or need guidance on your pelvic health journey? Dr. Mariah Lohr is just a click away! Here's how you can connect:
You can also connect with her through their website where she offers 1-on-1 in person treatment session (if you are in the Knoxville area). If not, she offers Telehealth options as well, just send her an email if you're interested in learning more.
You can find her foundations to pelvic health course on their Patreon Account.
And there you have it, the fascinating world beneath our belts, often unspoken but incredibly vital! From the foundational role it plays in our overall health to its influence on our intimate moments, the pelvic floor is undeniably central to so many aspects of our lives. As we've learned today, proper care and understanding can transform not just our physical well-being but also our confidence and relationships.
So, whether you're thinking of trying Kegels for the first time, or seeking a natural solution to enhance your sexual health, remember: it all starts from the ground up. Right there with your pelvic floor.
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