Yoga and Urology: An Unlikely Friendship
In our last blog, we discussed superfoods that help your heart, kidneys, bladder and more. While all urological conditions should be taken to a medical professional, lifestyle changes can help with your pelvic floor, bladder, kidneys, urinary incontinence and more. Besides diet changes, one of the major things to help your urinary problems is actually yoga poses and stretching. This blog will take an in depth look at how yoga and urology go hand in hand.
Urinary incontinence is the uncontrollable leakage of urine. This can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem for some. Urinary incontinence can affect anyone, regardless of age. It is caused from a weak pelvic floor. Fortunately, there are a few techniques such as yoga and kegels that can help strengthen your pelvic floor.
Stress Incontinence vs. Urge Incontinence:
Stress incontinence, also known as effort incontinence, is caused by weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Strong pelvic floor muscles normally serve to prevent urine from passing.
Urge incontinence, also known as an “overactive bladder,” involves the leakage of urine accompanied by a forceful urge to urinate.
Yoga and Urology: The Research Behind It All
According to a new study done by UC San Francisco, yoga poses can help strengthen your pelvic floor and gain control of involuntary urinary leakage. The lead researcher on this study, Alison Huang, studied 20 women all over the age of 40 years old. These women all suffered from urinary incontinence on a daily basis. Half of the women partook in a six-week yoga therapy program. The other half of women did not partake in this. The half of women who took the yoga therapy program had a 70 percent overall reduction in frequent urination, while the women who didn’t do the yoga therapy program only had a 13 percent improvement. The most notable change in the yoga therapy group was the improvement of situations that involve stress incontinence and urine leakage that stemmed from abdominal pressure, like coughing and sneezing or even bending over.
Best Poses to Help With Urinary Incontinence:
Chair Pose (Utkatasana):
Stand with your feet facing forward hip-width apart. Inhale as you face your palms forward moving them above your head. Exhale and bend your knees, while squatting down. Move your hips into the floor, almost like you are sitting in a chair. Bring your weight to the heels of your feet and do not lower your bottom to lower than your knees. Keep your knees pointing straightforward. Press your shoulders down and try to arch your spine. Breathe for roughly three to six minutes. To release this pose, inhale and slowly straighten your legs. Reach your arms up and stretch as you exhale and place your hands by your side.
Stand with your feet very wide apart so your legs make a triangle to the floor. Turn your right foot 90 degrees. Align the center of the right heel with the center of your arch of your left foot. Inhale deeply. As you exhale, bend your body down from the hips to the right. As you bend down keep your back straight, place your right hand down by your right foot (you may place it on your shin, foot or on the ground beside your foot for balance) and point your left arm up to the sky. Breathe deeply while you are in this pose. After you’ve done some deep breathing, inhale and come up. Bring your arms down to your sides and straighten your feet.
Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Pivot your toes so they are facing outward and are wider than your heels. Bend your knees deeply until your hips are lower than your knees. Bring your hands palm-to-palm and place your elbows at the inner parts of your knee. Push your elbows into your knees to open up your hips. Attempt to raise your heart up to the sky to stretch your back and spine. Hold for 30 seconds. To release, sit back on your buttocks or push up to stand.
All of these poses stretch your body, strengthen your pelvic floor and help your digestive system. You don’t need to hold the poses for long, but you may see results if your practice a little bit each day. Consult your medical professional if you are worried about these yoga poses or exercises. There are multiple books and studies on yoga poses for urinary incontinence if you find yourself wanting to do more research. If you suffer from urinary incontinence or any other urological condition, please contact Urology Experts.
Contact Urology Experts to Learn More About Urinary Incontinence
At Urology Experts, we are passionate about restoring your quality of life. While yes, lifestyle improvements will help urological situations, it is also best to consult a medical professional. We will talk with you step-by-step through your symptoms and situations. Contact us today to learn more. We proudly serve the Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Bonita Springs areas.
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