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“LOW PRESSURE FITNESS LITERALLY SAVED MY LIFE“

And for that reason we have a Low Pressure Fitness trainer in Norway!

 

“I felt completely broken and devastated that my life had been ruined by childbirth. My doctors were no help.”

 

Sadie is now paving the way for a more developed post natal approach of health care in Norway.

 

We leave Sadie’s testimonial to you.

sadie-low-pressure-fitness

A year after my daughter was born I was in a very bad place. I had suffered grade 3 pelvic organ prolapses post partum (bladder, uterus and rectum), also had anal prolapse, and diastasis recti. I was in so much pain and discomfort on a daily basis that all I could do was get through the day and try and take care of my daughter. I had never envisioned that something like that could happen after birth. I had never thought my life as I knew it could be over. I was so lost and desperate, and extremely depressed.

 

Every doctor I had been to had told me it was no big deal. They had ignored all my pain and issues voiding my bladder and bowels. They brushed off my symptoms, like the fact that I tore every time I had a bowel movement. Or the fact that I could not stand for more than 5 minutes without severe back pain. None of them examined me standing, even though I begged, and said the damage wasn’t that bad. When standing my organs were literally falling out. But nobody cared. I wasn’t interested in surgery (why would I want the people who were ignoring me to cut me open?) and so they didn’t have anything to offer.

 

I had been going to physical therapy and all I was given was kegels. I became so hypertonic that my pain got much worse. I couldn’t even sit without discomfort. I was told there was nothing else I could do. I was so tired, so exhausted (my baby didn’t sleep) and in so much pain I didn’t think to question anyone. I assumed since everyone said it was so common (even though nobody talks about it!) that they knew what they were talking about. One day I had a follow up with my doctor, and when I told her how desperate I was she actually said “well, you chose to have children so you must have known something like this could happen”. And that was the slap across the face that I needed to wake up.

 

I went home and did what I have always done but had forgotten to do this time (due to hormones, lack of sleep, and an assumption that those caring for me actually cared), which was to take my health into my own hands. It didn’t take me long to find hypopressives and read more about Low Pressure Fitness – luckily I was born and raised in Spain so it was easy for me to find information. I couldn’t believe something so widespread hadn’t even been heard of here. I immediately contacted trainers to train via skype (there were no trainers anywhere in Scandinavia, I live in Oslo). The first to reply was Trista Zinn in Canada, and I got started.

 

After just a few days (after a year of thinking my life was over!!!!) my symptoms were so much better I could go for a walk with the stroller pain-free for the first time. I couldn’t believe it! Why is not everyone teaching this to new mothers everywhere? Why hadn’t anyone cared enough to learn about other techniques than useless kegels? How could this not be the norm for post-partum care? I trained religiously, and as I got better my conviction grew stronger, Low Pressure Fitness needed to be available to everyone who needed it!

 

I incorporated other techniques (osteopathy, myofascial release) and kept training, and am now asymptomatic from injuries so bad that the medical community meant surgery was the only way to go. But now I can carry my daughter as much as she’ll let me, and she’s 12kg. When she was 3kg I could hardly hold her, I was in so much pain. I even jumped on a trampoline recently. The future is bright!

 

Even though I had started a business before having my baby, I felt it was wrong for me to find a way to heal and just go on with my life, while other women who were in my same situation might never get the help they needed. I felt like the only way I could deal with everything that had happened to me was to try and make something good of it. So I decided to go back to my hometown of Barcelona and become a certified trainer for Low Pressure Fitness, and help others learn how to get their cores and pelvic floors functional again, reduce their diastasis and back issues, and feel stronger and more stable in their bodies than they thought possible.

 

As I have built up my practice here in Oslo, my story has spread, and I also train clients via skype, both in Norway and around the world. It’s so amazing to be able to build something so positive out of such an awful personal experience. I am so happy to be able to give hope to others and help them get their bodies back to feeling well. If nothing else, I would like to prevent others living in fear that their lives are over for as long as I did. Because there is always something you can do. I collaborate with other therapists and find that in many cases, a holistic approach really accelerates healing. I am working hard to spread information about the effectiveness of Low Pressure Fitness and am happy to see more and more professionals, not just patients, opening their minds to a new approach. If nothing else, I feel we should all want to have as many tools in our toolbox as possible, so we can help people as much as possible. That is what I wished had been true for those helping me. And I am working hard for it to be the norm in the future. I still meet some skepticism from time to time, and if people aren’t convinced by mine or others’ results, I like to remind them, that if they open their minds, they won’t fall out.

 


Sadie Lawler
LPF-CT

Sadie Lawler is a personal trainer and LPF-CT living in Oslo, Norway. She grew up in Barcelona and spent some years in New York and London as well, her professional life has included everything from directing TV shows to starting one of Oslo’s first organic local groceries. After having her daughter and experiencing first hand how limited the post-partum care is in Norway, she is now on a mission to spread the word of Low Pressure Fitness, in the hopes that no other women will have to experience what she did. She is an advocate for women’s health and believes that caring for new mothers is crucial in a society that is constantly pushing for effectivity in all areas of life.

LOW PRESSURE FITNESS AT RIMINIWELLNESS 2018

RiminiWellness is the largest fitness and wellness trade show in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. With participation in 2017 at 268.120, this year’s event promises even greater numbers. Low Pressure Fitness was present this year with 4 workshops and 8 mini masterclasses to present, inform, instruct and demonstrate the pressureless training system to the Italian fitness community. While participants in the masterclasses were predominantly Italian, there were also many participants from Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ireland and many other European countries.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

 

The workshops presented included: “What nobody has ever told you about Core Training, myths and new perspectives”, “The core’s missing link: diaphragm and pelvic floor”, “Myofascial relaxation and Postural Re-Education with LPF” and finally, “Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives”. Each workshop was attended by fitness professionals as well as physical therapists and other medical professionals, that all expressed interest in this innovative and exciting training method for both men and women.

 

Low Pressure Fitness: much more than hypopressives

 

The participants in the mini master classes over the four days included exercise professionals, health professionals as well as exercisers. All were enthusiastic about the new technique and especially the sensations experienced during the workouts that were all geared at teaching the basic fundamental postures and breathing and, where possible, having them try the expiratory apnea, our “signature exercise”.

 

LPF-RiminiWellness-2018

Low Pressure Fitness staff at Riminiwellness

 

The staff of Low Pressure Fitness instructors was on-hand to assist the participants during the mini masterclasses and give information and distribute material on LPF in Italy.  They were also invaluable in sharing their own personal experiences and results of their work with many of their own clients to show the participants that the LPF method is both instructor and user-friendly with benefits that can be attained when the exercises are performed with precision. RiminiWellness has proven to be an excellent event to showcase this innovative, multidisciplinary training method. To learn more about Low Pressure Fitness and courses in Italy for health and exercise professionals write us to: [email protected]

 

Author:
Mimi Adami
Low Pressure Fitness Italy Director & LPF-Coach

Facebook:
Low Pressure Fitness Italy

SHOULD I DO HYPOPRESSIVES DURING THE IMMEDIATE POSTPARTUM PERIOD?

Hypopressive exercise has been suggested as an alternative rehabilitation tool for abdominal and pelvic floor postnatal recovery. Nowadays, hypopressives are widely prescribed by health and fitness professionals during the postpartum period in many European countries. However, there is a lack of scientific literature about the optimal time to start a hypopressive program after delivery. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to address some of the common questions we receive at Low Pressure Fitness regarding this topic. Among the most frequent questions about postpartum and hypopressive training we highlight the following:

 

  • How soon after giving birth can I start my hypopressive training?
  • Can I do hypopressives if I am breastfeeding?
  • Can I do hypopressives if I had a c-section?hypopressives-postpartum

At present, there are no randomized controlled trials on the long-term effects of hypopressives during the postpartum period. Additionally, there are different opinions regarding the best time to start these exercises. Opinions vary from beginning immediately after delivery to waiting until the late postpartum period. Here we summarize opinions from different experts on this important topic.

 

What do professional associations say?

The puerperium corresponds to the period right after delivery. That is, the first week after giving birth. It extends from the first day to the tenth day after the baby is born. The late puerperium period includes day 11 through day 42. While the remote puerperium makes reference to day 43 onwards. The following period, generally called late postpartum, starts in week six or 40 days following birth (the famous quarantine). Of note, the postpartum period can last up to six to twelve months after giving birth.

 

The guidelines from the Spanish Association for Physical Therapy for the late postpartum period recommend starting hypopressive training six weeks after delivery. They state “abdominal exercising should always be hypopressive”. Regarding the puerperium (first 48 hours-first week), this association suggests that women should avoid traditional abdominal exercises and perform hypopressives.

hypopressives-postpartum

On the other hand, the Professional Guide for Mothers’ and Fathers’ Education in Pregnancy and Childbirth, coordinated by the Service for Assistance Coordination and Care, recommends hypopressive exercise only during the late postpartum period (from the sixth week onwards). The Ministry shares a similar view for Health and Social Services of the regional government of Cantabria (Spain). They state in their guidelines that women should perform hypopressive exercise during the postpartum period, specifically 30 to 45 days after delivery (the quarantine).

 

During the postpartum period, it is advisable to seek guidance and instruction from an exercise professional

 

Our Delivery emphasizes that once the quarantine is over, it is important to practice kegel exercises and hypopressives with the supervision of a physical therapist who can explain how to perform the exercises properly. Our Delivery also recommends Kegel and hypopressive exercise to women who had a cesarean section.

 

Tamara Rial, PhD, Director of Low Pressure Fitness, suggests that when there is no medical contraindication to exercise, hypopressive training can start after the quarantine (six weeks postpartum). However, in the case of surgical procedures such as a caesarean section, it is advisable to wait three months. It is also important to visit a health care provider after delivery and to check the pelvic floor prior to commencing a postnatal fitness program.

hypopressives-postpartum

During the postpartum period, it is advisable to seek guidance and instruction from an exercise professional who can adapt the program and address individual needs. To find a certified Low Pressure Fitness specialist visit our online directory.

 

Author:
Dr. Tamara Rial

TOO MUCH BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY, TOO LITTLE EXERCISE 

Unfortunately, lumbopelvic pain is too common during pregnancy. Around 45% of women experience lumbopelvic pain during pregnancy and 25% of women continue to suffer postpartum,. So…almost 50% of pregnant women experience low back pain!

Pain usually appears in the lumbar region or the front of the pelvis, due in part to changes in the stability of the pelvis as well as muscular and ligamentous tissues. Proper posture can influence the postural tension of the back muscles, known as “antigravitational muscles”.  When there is a deficiency or weakness in the back musculature, along with other risk factors such as obesity and physical inactivity, long-term postural and structural dysfunctions may appear.  Pregnancy related low back pain, also known as back pain or sciatica, is located in the lower back, sides of the sacrum, the buttocks and even down the back of the thigh extending below the knees. Pregnancy related low back pain can affect one or both sides of the back and limbs. Usually it´s aggravated by standing, walking, movements while you sleeping, tilting the trunk, or lifting objects,. So awareness and early prevention are the best solutions to fight pregnancy related low back pain.

 

Why low back pain occurs during pregnancy?

Back pain etiology is linked to the physiological, anatomical, and mechanical changes which take place during pregnancy. Normal physiological changes during pregnancy affect the spine. They may contribute to the onset of back pain during pregnancy and possibly postpartum. The most characteristic changes are the following: posture adopted by women during pregnancy; total body water content; the endocrine system and vascular alterations during pregnancy.

  • Postural Changes. There are noticeable postural changes throughout the nine months of pregnancy. These are characterized by increased lumbar lordosis. Hyperlordosis or excessive increase in the curvature of the spine is related to the contracture of the lumbar muscles which are forced to work harder, triggering pain in this area that can sometimes radiate down the legs. Most of the weight gained during pregnancy is concentrated at the bottom of the pelvis along with increased abdominal volume. Thus, a tendency to tilt your body forward would occur, which tends to compensate pregnant unconsciously with a rearward position of the upper body above the pelvis, restoring its center of gravity, but increasing the lumbar lordosis which can contribute to the development of low back pain.

  • Total body water content. The body water content increases similarly in both primiparous and multiparous, by an average of 8.5 liters. This fluid retention, particularly at the connective tissue of the spine and pelvis, increases the laxity of these joints, which could contribute to the genesis of pain.
  • Endocrinological  changes. The effects of fluid retention just mentioned is enhanced by hormonal changes during pregnancy, particularly the effect of the hormone relaxin which  increases laxity of the sacroiliac joints, symphysis pubis and cervix. This laxity, which is necessary to accommodate the growing fetus and facilitate childbirth, could also cause bloating and increased range of motion of the sacroiliac joints and symphysis, which can be a cause of lumbar pain. Also, serum levels of reproductive hormones and procollagen have been associated with the onset of pelvic pain in late pregnancy.
  • Vascular changes. Up to 67% of women report low back pain during the second half of pregnancy. It is often a consequence of the combined fluid overload with obstruction of the inferior vena cava by the enlarged uterus, which could, in turn,  result in congestion of the venous system ultimately leading to the onset of back pain, according to specialized literature hypothesis.

 

Scientific research links previous lumbar pain, stressful job or lumbopelvic pain related to previous work to a higher prevalence of low back pain during pregnancy. Even though, other important risk factors to take in account are:

 

  • Weight gain over medical recommendations, which forces the lumbar muscles to make an extra effort, increasing the risk of contractures.
  • The relaxation of the abdominal muscles: abdominal diastasis and the enlargement of the abdomen increases the physiological lumbar curve of the pregnant woman. But also the deep abdominal muscles (obliques and transversus abdominis) lose their competence and tone. To avoid this, it is essential to learn to exercise the deep abdominal muscles and implement safe core abdominal training before and during pregnancy.
  • Glute weakness. Glutes are related with pelvic floor health and spinal functionality. In the case of pregnant woman, an appropiate gluteal muscle strenght, will help stabilize lumbopelvic region, working synergistically with the lumbar spine and the pelvic floor.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: unless the pregnant woman is told by a health care provider to avoid exercise, regular physical activity is recommended for better postural control, correct biomechanical joint and a toned muscles, to suit their own changes pregnancy and childbirth reach the day in the best possible conditions.

 

Exercise better than paracetamol.

For all the above risk factors, the best preventive medicine will always be exercise. Its too extended between some health professionals recommend analgesics like paracetalmol or complete rest to recover back pain. But its well known that prolonged bed rest promotes weight gain which further deteriorates physical condition. Also, taking painkillers may not be the best solution in the short and long term.

Engaging in a regular program of exercise like Low Pressure Fitness before, during and after pregnancy to an excellent  choice to reduce the risk of low back pain.  It is recommended to tone the core muscles and for postural re-education, two principal targets for fitness pregnancy workouts. Furthermore, Low Pressure Fitness as a global program will train glutes and pelvic floor, essential musculature that provides stability to the pelvis. Specialized trainers or physiotherapists will provide the best advise and training programs before, during and after pregnancy.

ABDOMINAL DIASTASIS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

We often hear mothers say that they have diastasis of the abdominal rectus or abdominal diastasis, which is the separation of the alba line of the famous six-pack. But, this doesn´t only occur in mothers during and after pregnancy, also to people who perform strenuous physical tasks as well as those who are overweight or obese.

  • What is diastasis of the rectus?

In the abdominal muscle group, we find a muscle known as the rectus abdominus. It is the muscle of the famous six-pack that is very appealing aesthetically and is well-defined in fitness enthusiasts and body-builders.

This muscle of the central part of the abdomen we can say is symmetrical from the middle point of the body and this middle point is connective tissue of the rectus, which is also known as the alba line. The line that splits the six-pack in the abdominal rectus.

This alba line is fibrous in texture and therefore cannot be stretched as with other structures. However, during pregnancy the abdominal girdle grows and the muscle stretches and separates to allow growth of the baby. In so doing, the fibrous membrane that joins the abdominal muscles is separated and thus there is a separation between the abdominal muscles, which turns this area into one at great risk of rupture.

  • What should you avoid if you have abdominal diastasis?

if you have abdominal diastasis or if you want to prevent it, you should avoid:

  Excessive weight gain, then this will help you to distend the connecting tissue of the abdominal muscle group.

–  Avoid wrong postures that will increase pressure in the stomach. A good body alignment will help the abdominal firm and without unnecessary pressure.

–  Avoid hyperpressive exercises or hyperpressure activities which are all those that increase pressure in the abdomen. Among this exercises we find: abdominals, sit-ups, planks, exercises requiring great strength like lifting heavy objects, running or jumping.

abdominal crunch

  • What can I do if I have abdominal diastasis?

If you have the slightest suspicion that you have diastasis of the abdominal rectus, consult with your health care provider.

A pelvic floor physiotherapist or a Low pressure fitness trainer can help you in this direction, both for the diagnosis as for the prescription of the best rehabilitation or preventive therapy. As much as if it is an anatomical diastasis as a functional one, it is recommended to perform physical therapy to improve the structures and to prevent future hernias. When the abdominal diastasis is very large, for example more than 4 cm, some individuals may need surgery. In my opinion, aside from the surgical option, planning to carry out a program based on exercise is the best preventive medicine.

Low Pressure Fitness, is an excellent tool for rehabilitate the abdominal structures. The strong myofascial traction that is generated during the exercises, the pelvic decongestion, the increase of abdominal tone and the decrease of intraabdominal pressure are some of the effects it will give to the abdominal wall. There are more and more cases of women in post-natal condition as well as athletic women who have submitted their abdominal girdle to excessive hyperpressive efforts that obtained stunning results with LPF exercises.

BETTER POSTURE & PELVIC FLOOR THROUGH BETTER BREATHING

The core or cylinder formed by the diaphragm (at the top), the pelvic floor (bottom) abdominal muscles (front) and lumbar (back) all work synergistically to create stability to the spine. But an imbalance or excessive tone in any of these points will have observable repercussions on the other parts of the body. We have one clear example in the breathing pattern and it´s influence in posture and pelvic floor disorders.

 

At this point we should remember that the diaphragm is the most important inspiratory muscle, which sometimes can condition respiratory, postural and circulatory  function at the same time. The diaphragm works in a coordinated manner with other muscles for trunk stability and has important direct and indirect relationships through fascial chains. We cannot truly understand the breathing mechanism without understanding the involvement of the abdominal muscles as well as postural analysis. There is growing evidence for differential involvement of the abdominal wall in expiratory function. So, there is a potential role of combined pelvic floor and abdominal muscle training for the treatment of respiratory diseases. Of note, retraining and improving breathing patterns are essential for preventing injuries and for enhancing quality of life.

 

For breathing training: Low Pressure Fitness

The inspiratory muscles can be weakened due to aging, respiratory diseases, obesity, stress, smoke, and weight lifting. The diaphragm can be “overused” so it gets hypertonic, and descends from its natural position. When this happens, any effort would result more hyperpressive in the abdominal cavity.

 

For breathing training there are two different approaches: strengthening which can lead to excessive rigidity or integrating breathing patterns which can help internal and miofascial release. The second approach is the one emphasized by Low Pressure Fitness.

 

Low Pressure Fitness is an integrated and global training program which focuses on posture and breathing. It is performed via the bases of pranayama Uddiyana banda in yoga (ribs opening and expiratory apnea), in conjunction with diaphragmatic breathing.

 

During the abdominal vacuum “rib cage lift”, the inspiratory muscles contract and consequently the diaphragm rises, sucking up the pelvic viscera and fascial connections and decreasing intraabdominal pressure. This provokes a highly demanding postural training and a great help in order to raise and tone the pelvic floor muscle group and reposition the viscera.

 

In addition, retraining the action of the respiratory system leads to a decrease in mental anxiety and sometimes which, in turn, leads to gains in self-esteem. The person feels better with themselves and with greater body awareness.

 

Incorporate a global exercise program such as low pressure fitness to improve your posture as well as your  abdominal and pelvic floor muscles by retraining your breathing pattern.

ON WHETHER TO CLOSE THE LINEA ALBA: a new perspective on diastasis recti recovery

What are the advantages of low pressure exercises versus the crunch or curl-up? How do each of them affect the linea alba, that line of fibrous tissue that connects the right and the left abdominal muscles? Do any of these questions have a clear-cut answer?  

In this article Dr. Rial, founder of Low Pressure Fitness, offers an explanation on these issues and clarifies the evidence available so far on the effects that curl-ups have on the linea alba. She also raises new hypotheses for low pressure training as the new alternative for rehabilitation for abdominal diastasis.

Until fairly recently, traditional abdominals were staunchly defended by practitioners and researchers as the best method to restore diastasis recti.  The logic was that since the distance between the right and left abdominal muscles decreased while executing crunches, repeating this motion would help to reduce this distance. On the other hand, exercises that increased the distance between abs were discouraged, given that in the long run, they would cause the linea alba to stretch further.

Today, however, other experts have raised their voices with different perspectives, drawing from the results of their clinical practices or studies. This alternative outlook explores the notion of increased –and unwanted- pressure in the abdomen when performing traditional crunches. These new approaches are seen as both more functional and friendlier to the pelvic floor.

Indeed, today we can find different perspectives regarding the best exercise to reduce abdominal stretching. This is the case of Low Pressure Fitness, one of the major workout programs based on the hypopressive technique.

 

The abdominal division: linea Alba

The white line or linea alba is the vertical line that you can see down the middle of the stomach muscles. It separates the rectus abdominis into sections and gives it the famous six-pack appearance.

During pregnancy the gap between both sides of the abs increases gradually and naturally as the pregnancy progresses. The trouble is that after delivery, many women cannot find the way to recover that distance between their abs and get their figure back.

Diastasis of the abdominal rectus occurs when the gap between the abs exceeds 2.5 or 3 cm. It is not just about looks – it can also be a functional problem. Stability of the spine and pelvis can be compromised. Diastasis is generally linked to lower back and pelvic floor dysfunctions.

 

Clinical advances

In an article on the reaction of the linea alba during a curl-up, Lee & Hodges (2016) revealed extremely interesting data, which shed a little more light on the question of whether to narrow or stretch the linea alba. In other words, whether to open or to close the diastasis.

The study found that when the abdominal transverse muscle was pre-activated before curl-ups, the gap between the rectus muscles increased. However, distortion of the linea alba decreased. On the other hand, when the simple curl-up was carried out, with no pre-activation tension, the abdominal rectus muscle closed and in consequence, the linea alba became distorted.

This notion of distorsion of the linea alba is a completely novel concept. The greater the distorsion in the linea alba, the greater the fascial tension. Indeed, up to date, research focused mostly on the behavior of the muscles, but did not go into the behaviour of connective tissue.

It is relevant to notice the predominant role that fascial tension has in reducing and regenerating connective tissue. Fascial tension is the mechanical stretching force that affects a muscle and it´s connective tissue.

That is why although traditional crunches narrow the distance between the rectus muscles they also reduce the fascial tension of the linea alba compared to exercise with the transverse abdominal pre-activated.

It is on this same hypothesis that I suggest Low Pressure Fitness could be an optimal workout to recover from diastasis. Low Pressure exercises are the indisputable star workout today to recover from pregnancy and delivery in Spain.

My own clinical practice and the results achieved by my students using Low Pressure training reveal its effectiveness in reducing diastasis recti. However, we have no solid scientific studies to confirm such observations and practical experiences.

Abdominal vacuum and activation of postural muscle patterns are the signature features of Low Pressure exercises. It produces transversal and longitudinal contraction in the deep muscles of the core (Figure 4). This means the deep core muscles are activated, the waist shrinks and the stomach flattens out (Figure 5).

 

abdominal

All these factors seem to produce a very similar effect to that observed by Lee & Hodges during the pre-activation of the transverse + activation of the rectus abdominis during a curl-up. It is hypothesized that though this does put strain on the linea alba, it also reduces the distance between the abdominal rectus muscles by moving the rib cage and altering the body posture through Low Pressure exercise.

The following image shows the behavior of the diastasis recti of a clinical case in her postpartum period at rest and executing a Low Pressure exercise.

 

At Rest


During Low Pressure exercise

The goals of after-delivery rehabilitation include recovering the waistline and functionality in the pelvic floor. Following delivery, women often suffer some type of dysfunction in the pelvic area, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic pain or pelvic organ prolapse. Clinical and rehabilitation practice is generally concerned with finding an exercise which will produce the necessary muscle tension while avoiding unwanted pressure on the pelvic floor.

The added value of Low Pressure Fitness as an alternative to traditional curl-up training is precisely that excessive pressure is avoided. In other words, it does not increase pressure on the pelvic floor. A recent study carried out in the Quirón Hospital of A Coruña (Northern Spain) found an improvement of diastasis recti in a post-partum group after ten weeks of low pressure training.

At the moment we are unable to exactly pinpoint which are the reasons why low pressure fitness can be an optimal tool for diastasis recti rehabilitation. However, we are assisting to a change of perspective on how different abdominal exercises can affect the linea alba. Low Pressure training is an active and novel approach of this change.

 

Author: Tamara Rial, PhD

SOUTH AFRICA DIRECTOR, SHIRLEY BOERSSEN & HER PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH HYPOPRESSIVES

Low Pressure Fitness is very proud to announce the new incorporation of Shirley Boerssen as the Director of South Africa for the PressureLess workout. With this great announcement, we wanted to share her own testimonial after developing a diastasis due to her second pregnancy and how she felt a massive change training hypopressives.

“I have always been intrigued by human behaviour, movement, natural healing methods and wellness. I definitely wasn’t the sporty person at school, but I did ballet, I have always loved dancing and movement and even did aerobics and callanetics as a teenager in the 90’s. After school I completed my Psychology Honors Degree, but it felt like something was missing. I completed a Personal training and Group Fitness Instructors qualification. I wanted to work more intimately with smaller groups and decided on completing a Pilates Instructors mat work qualification, enjoying the rehabilitative angle of the method. I gained a lot of experience at a physiopilates studio, working with the deskbound corporate with postural problems to clients with sports injuries. I have worked intensively with pre and post natal clients, running my own groups as well as working for PreggieBellies South Africa and training throughout both of my pregnancies. I am also a qualified holistic and sports masseuse and completed a Biomedicine course as part of a Naturopathic/Nutritional Therapy study. I have been studying and working within human behaviour, fitness and health and wellbeing for 21 years.

With my second pregnancy I developed diastasis. Applying ALL my knowledge could not rehabilitate my problem. I remembered talking to devastated clients in the past, trying to put them at ease, telling them to take it easy and at the same time I’d be worried and concerned as I could see bellies bulging with the conventional core and breathing techniques….and for the first time I understood what they felt. Still looking pregnant, even if only to myself, almost a year and half post-natal, was not fun, it was devastating. I developed digestive issues and lower back pain as my Transversus Abdominis became weaker, something was out of balance and it affected me in more than just a physical way.

I was trained in Low Pressure Fitness technique for the first time by Janet Kimmel from Vancouver, over December of 2015 and I was amazed by the quick, automatic response my body had to the technique. The results were amazing and visible within the first 2 weeks of the programme. Suddenly I had a magical moment, a realisation connecting my educational background and experience gained from each individual client up to then. I had to learn more about the technique, I had to experiment more on myself and I had to introduce this to all the woman suffering from diastasis, prolapse, urinary incontinence or those just not knowing how to safely train or retrain the core muscles, work on the postural alignments and most importantly, to prevent pelvic floor problems. In South Africa’s multicultural society, talking comfortably about the pelvic floor is not always the case and the reality is that so many woman (and men) don’t even know what the pelvic floor is and/or suffer in silence. My mission in South Africa is first of all to create awareness of pelvic floor and core health for woman, men and children/teenagers within a supportive, educational and empathetic way, within a fitness environment. Low Pressure Fitness system is an amazing platform to achieve this. Training and educating instructors and professionals in this technique changes the whole training program, rehabilitative outcome and prevention of a variety of problems. South Africa has an amazing culture of sports, fitness, a fresh awakening to health and wellbeing,more people are outdoors either running a trail or cycling, the benefits of LPF system on oxygen usage and in competitive sports is astounding and caters for a huge market in South Africa.

My approach to health and wellbeing, fitness and longevity is holistic in nature. I look at the whole person as a being connected within a mind, body and soul and LPF fits in perfectly with this approach. It affects the sympathetic nervous system, stimulate excitation and increase metabolism. One of my favourite benefits of LPF is that it empowers the clients, giving them back the power and control within their bodies.

I feel extremely privileged, humbled and bursting with excitement to represent LPF in South Africa, first country on the African continent. I know this technique will be a game changer for many women and men; to those working in the health industry and their patients and clients”

Shirley Boerssen

LPF South Africa Director