I was lucky enough to go to Mexico and spend a week at the beach recently. It was a lovely place and the beach was a rock hunter’s paradise with piles of tumbled smooth rocks in all colors and sizes (the above picture was just one days pickings.) But the beach was so much more than just the tremendous rocks. It was sand, ocean tides, plant matter, a few shell pieces (they were pretty much decimated by the rocks), creatures, vendors, vacationers, employees, chairs, umbrellas, empty cups, a stray piece of lime…
Recently while thinking through what I am going to teach a bunch of yoga teachers (what could I possibly have to offer?) about pelvic dysfunction and correspondingly pelvic health I realized your pelvis, like the beach, is more than just a sum of its parts. In thinking through everything that exists between your belly button and your mid-thigh, I was almost overwhelmed at the number of parts and pieces that is our pelvis.
- Bones and joints – spine, sacrum, hips and more
- Muscles – too many to mention, yet comprise your core and are essential for movement and balance
- Organs – from digestive to reproductive – responsible for everyday functions in addition to sexual pleasure and the miracle of birth
- Energetic/Psychological – the baggage we carry about sex alone is over any airline’s checked bag weight limit and then add to that sexual abuse in its many forms and no airplane could carry that load
Today it seems as if the trend is to compartmentalize. In medicine there is at least one doctor for each specific disease or body part. When we workout we do cardio on these days, strength training on these days, and rest on the other days. Usually most resolutions to get healthy focus on either exercising more or eating differently, but rarely address the whole person including mind and spirit. Often we wear different masks (compartmentalize ourselves) depending on our activity at the time – work, socializing, parenting, family reunion. Each of these separate elements are good and positive things on there own. Exercising – good. Eating better – good. Letting your hair down with your friends – good. Not saying everything you think at work – good. But none of these things exist in a vacuum. Everything is connected.
Same goes for your pelvis – whether it is healthy or not. A seemingly simple diagnosis of Hemorrhoids, which is usually treated as a singular issue (with cream, or heaven help me, surgery) could have many contributing factors. Hemorrhoids could be impacted by diet, digestive problems, sitting too long and with poor posture, standing too long and with poor posture, stress, not breathing well, as well as a myriad of other factors. And thus things that might otherwise be healthy could be aggravating your condition – certain types of movement and activity, certain type of eating program, etc…
So slather on some Preparation H, breathe a sigh of relief and be prepared for this problem to return – because rarely is something in our body so simple that there is one easy fix.
Sorry to be such a downer – check out this picture and hear the waves, take a few breaths, and smile.