For a Healthier All-of-You!
Deep breathing and relaxation practice is a wonderful way to calm down an over-stimulated nervous system, moderate chronic and acute pain, and gain control of bladder and pelvic floor spasms. Many ancient healing traditions share this element as part of a spiritual or healing practice. It is not difficult to learn, and can take as little as ten minutes, twice a day. It can improve sleep, produce a new sense of well-being, alleviate depression, and help you learn to deal with chronic pain.
First empty your bladder.
Find a comfortable place where you won't be interrupted. Blow your nose first to clear nasal passages.
Lie flat on your back, or with a small pillow under your knees. Allow your arms to rest naturally at your sides, palms up. You can alternatively rest your hands lightly on your lower abdomen, over your pelvic area and bladder.
Breath in slowly through your nose, allowing abdomen to expand naturally, to a count of four. As breath fills your abdomen, allow your pelvic floor to drop, expanding the space within your pelvis slightly. The pelvic floor forms sort of a second diaphragm, a parallel to the diaphragm between your lungs and upper abdomen. It may help to picture your entire abdominal cavity as a watermelon-shaped balloon that expands and contracts with each breath.
As you exhale to a count of four, you will begin to feel both diaphragms return to their normal convex positions. When you first start your pelvic floor motion may be jerky and unnatural feeling, particularly if you suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, birth trauma, or severe pelvic pain. Soon it will be expanding and contracting smoothly and easily, just as it should.
If you feel yourself becoming light headed, you are trying too hard. Just relax and allow yourself to breath normally for a few minutes, then resume deep breathing. As you gain skill in deep breathing and relaxation, try rating your overall pain and discomfort before and after your session. See if it does help you to feel better, or at least more grounded and in control.
For more on this topic, here's a good reference book:
The Healer Within - Using Traditional Chinese Techniques to Release Your Body's Own Medicine (Movement, Massage, Meditation, Breathing) 1999. Author: Roger Jahnke
Tension in the pelvic floor muscles can compress the bladder, intensifying the feeling of pressure, urgency, and pain. Assess yourself throughout the day to see if you are "holding" tension in the pelvic floor muscles, keeping the pelvic floor elevated, and teach yourself to "let go" by breathing gently out through your mouth while you relax your pelvic floor muscles. The question we have to ask is, "why do we tense these muscles in the first place?" Here are some possible reasons:
The good news is that we can receive treatment for these issues, from a physical therapist trained and skilled in techniques of pelvic floor rehabilitation. Some physical therapists also use techniques to release muscle trigger points that refer pain to the bladder. It may take you awhile to track down a specialized physical therapist in your area. Most are female, but they will work with males, who suffer many of the same problems.
For a good book that addresses these issues, albeit from a mostly male perspective, read:
A Headache in the Pelvis: A new understanding and treatment for prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndromes. 2003. Authors: David Wise, Ph.D. and Rodney Anderson, M.D.
You can also contact the National Center for Pelvic Pain http://www.pelvicpainhelp.com/,