This pelvic floor exercise program is innovative and combines the latest in medical research about pelvic floor function, with the Feldenkrais Method. Pelvic Health and Awareness for Women and Men is a step by step program to improve your awareness and function of the pelvic floor. They are designed for everyone to be able to do.
The six gentle exercises go beyond any existing pelvic floor exercise program. This program is effective for bladder control, back or pelvic pain, and recovering from childbirth, abdominal or prostate surgery or trauma. They are also useful for sexual functioning, digestive troubles and hip problems. Equestrians, dancers and movement teachers and other health care providers will find immediate application in their own field. Pregnant women, who are less than six months pregnant, can do all of the exercises. Women who are more than six months pregnant will find the information useful, but should do only the movement lessons that are done in sitting in a chair.
The exercises in the Pelvic Health and Awareness program, supported by the research, emphasize using the whole system of the pelvic floor muscles with other muscles in the hips, legs, and torso, as part of a coordinated system. The lessons use larger functional movements, breathing, imagery, and directed attention to improve awareness and control of the pelvic floor.
The lessons have easy to follow instructions for what to do, how to do it, and where to direct your attention.
There are six educational talks and six easy to do Awareness Through Movement lessons and an 8 page booklet. Lessons 1-4 are done lying on a the floor or bed, and lesson 5-6 explore using the pelvic floor as you sit and move on a firm chair. They are easy to do and appropriate for all adults. You don't need any special equipment, just your CD player and thirty minutes a day to see steady improvement.
Deborah Bowes, PT, DPT, GCFT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Guild Certified Feldenkrais Teacher and Trainer with over 30 years of experience in the field of therapeutic movement. She maintains a private practice at the Feldenkrais Center for Movement Education in San Francisco , now celebrating their 23rd year of helping people recover their movement and improve the quality of their daily lives.
She teaches this program several times a year in her popular workshops. She is passionate about helping to reduce the unnecessary, and often silent, suffering of men and women with pelvic floor issues such as incontinence or pain. Read her informative pelvic floor article at www.learningforhealth.com to learn more about the pelvic floor, incontinence and pelvic tension.
Deborah's teaching style is clear, easy to understand, and gentle, both in how you move and how you feel and think about yourself. Her work is informed by her long study of therapeutic movement including Tai Chi Chuan, yoga, belly dancing. Her Awareness through Movement lessons have helped hundreds of people feel better and move better and can help you, too.
Here is an independant review of Pelvic Health and Awareness that was published in a professional journal:
Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy Volume 33 No.3 Winter 2009
Pelvic Health and Awareness: A Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Program for Women and Men. Learning for Health. By Deborah Bowes, San Francisco, CA. 3 Disc CD with booklet. Available at www.AchievingExcellence.com $59.95
Pelvic Health and Awareness: A Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Program for Women and Men is a multi-lesson program which takes you through a journey toward finding the functional uses of the pelvic floor via imagery, breathing, and functional movements. The three disc audio program comes with a booklet which not only details each lesson but provides the user with a picture of a pelvic model and detailed guidelines on how to do the lesson and use the program. This program can be used safely by people who want to improve their bladder control, reduce back or pelvic pain, or recover from childbirth/abdominal surgery/prostate surgery or trauma. According to the author, this booklet is also helpful for sexual functioning, digestive problems, and trauma.
Deborah Bowes is a physical therapist and a certified Feldenkrais teacher with over 30 years of experience. She has applied the latest research in pelvic health with Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement philosophy. There are no specific references in the CD or material sent; however, Ms. Bowes has an article posted on the Achieving Excellence website which sites information from references (exact reference is not provided). This article clearly shows the author’s knowledge of the research. Awareness Through Movement lessons help increase awareness of habitual neuromuscular patterns in order to help a person find new ways of moving efficiently. Most exercises are based on developmental movements and ordinary functional activities.
Each of the six lessons is approximately 30 minutes long. The lessons are prefaced by a guide on how to benefit and advance the program along with an anatomy lesson of the pelvic cavity. Functional uses of the pelvic floor are also reviewed. It is not recommended for the user to complete the entire program in one sitting. The user would benefit from mastering each lesson before moving forward. Therefore, it may take several weeks to complete the entire program.
Deborah is extremely detailed in her lessons leaving minimal leeway for performing the exercises incorrectly. However, I do believe a video program would have been more user friendly. Expectations of what the user should feel as well as inappropriate sensations which may lead to compensation are included. Overall Pelvic Health and Awareness is an outstanding program that can help people to restore function in the pelvic floor within the comfort of their own home. It is a safe and easy exercise program which is geared toward restoring the entire ‘container’ and will help identify the relationship of the pelvic floor to other muscles in the pelvic cavity. The program addresses the concerns of both men and women.
Akta Shah, MSPT, MTC