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Diastasis Recti: How to solve it ?

Diastasis Recti 

FYI This topic is also addressed to women and men outside of pregnancy.

Today we will talk about one of the main issues post-partum: Diastasis recti.

So what is this ? How can you check it?  Who is concerned? What’s the main risks ?

How to solve it? The solutions, prevention and recovery.   

  1. Definition

This bizarre word sounds for a medical condition which defines: “abdominal separation”. In diastasis refers to separation and recti for rectus abdominis (name of the muscle). There is a distance between the right side and the left side of the rectus abdominis muscle. That creates a gap from 2cm to 10 cm or larger (we even saw 12cm) in between the both sides of the muscle.

This gap creating loose feeling, you might call it a “pooch.” It can happen regular from the top to the bottom of the rectus abdominis or localized: See picture below

  1. diastasis

    2- Examination

A diastasis can be easily checked up by physician or even by yourself with simple physical examination.

To check if you have one: self-examination process:

  • Lie down on your back, knees bended, feet flat into the floor, legs parallel.
  • Lift the head and chest up like you want to do the “classics crunches”
  • The belly pops out if you don’t correct much (that’s normal it goes for everybody)
  • Keep the head up and palp the center line of the belly from under the breast to the pubic bone.
  • If belly is hard under your fingers: the muscle is healthy and normal / if It’s loose and you feel like a “hole”, wide open, a yawning under your fingers: it’s probably diastasis recti.
  1. 3- Who’s concerned?

Diastasis recti can be observed on anybody, all gender: men, women and babies are concerned.It’s very common among pregnant women though and we estimate as not less than two-thirds of pregnant women have it.

Newborn babies also can have this belly spread, and it should go away on its own.

Men can get it, possibly from yo-yo dieting,  doing sit-ups, badly executed abdominals exercises, weightlifting, or from other causes.

Women are the more concerned about it and especially pregnant women.

Actually all women have abdominal separation while being pregnant as, for obvious reasons, belly needs to create space for the baby.

But problem happens when diastasis does not resorb naturally after delivery and remains a loose tissue. To be honest it happens quite often, we see it everyday in post-partum recovery. 

Women with repetitive pregnancies, twins, excessive weight loaded, wrong pushing type exercises, or very complicated deliveries, are more subjects to have a severe one.

4- What are the risks?

When the abs muscles move aside like this, the uterus, bowels, and other organs have only a thin band of connective tissue in front to hold them in place. Without the needed muscle support, a vaginal delivery could be more difficult.

The condition also can cause lower back pain, constipation, and urine leaking. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally.

It’s rare, but in extreme cases, the tissue may tear, and organs may poke out of the opening :that’s called a hernia.

How long? It all depends about the size of diastasis, like we said, lifestyle habits, and location of the separation, but usually it  takes from few weeks to months and even a year to recover from. In extreme cases (very large ones) surgery is necessary.

  1. 5- How to treat it? The solutions

Like we’ve seen diastasis recti is very common, and happens on almost every pregnant woman, especially for second or third pregnancy. But solutions do exist and we can fully recover from diastasis recti. I do it every day with my students into classes and with a team of professional experts. 

So how to do? 

First have a check with your physio or doctor and confirm the diagnosis : how large, where is it located (exercises and treatments will be done accordingly). It might occurs different types, shape and sizes of the diastasis. Please check above for referrals. 

Like I said you can check it by yourself, but the doctor or physio, will give you a more accurate diagnosis and will be able to localize the diastasis (see different diastasis above) and give you the size of it.

One of the most powerful tool for Diastasis recti recovery is

The breathing, shaped breathing – linked to PF (pelvic floor)As simple as that, but don’t be too naïve, breathing is not that simple.

It is a very complex function that has different patterns and when well used, is a super healing tool, but when bladly used can also be the cause of damages. 

Breathing for: 

  • Awareness of your deepest abdominals
  • Activation of the transverses (deep abs)
  • To close diastasis recti. 
  • Learn safe ways to move
  • To avoid to make it worse

Rehab Pilates method I use with my students, is a combination of Pilates pure method & physio rehab method.

Researches have shown that deep breathing methods called Hypopressive abdominals method (Dr Bernadette De Gasquet for example one of the best method worldwide) are showing the best results regarding diastasis recti recovery.

To treat your diastasis recti, make sure:

  • You did a physio / doctor check-up
  • Your instructor is trained for diastasis recti. A lot of exercises can make it worse. Ask your teacher if he / she has rehab / post-partum qualifications.
  • Be patient: from few centimeters to a larger one: diastasis recti take time to recover from. (Usually from couple of months to one year; 
  • Don’t abandon, remain constant in your efforts. Any exercices rehab takes time to give results. Rome hasn’t been built in one day
  • Try to fully understand the breathing pattern and listen to what you are instructor is teaching you. In case it’s not clear : ask again. 
  • Use shapped breathing as often as possible in your daily life
  • Engage PF (pelvic floor) at the same time; it works in link with transversis and helps close diastasis
  • Reduce excessive weight, loading weights and unhealthy habits (carrying heavy bags, pushing at toilets, constipation) 

Conclusion:

For better health and prevention: start you core strengthening before pregnancy. Your body will thank you after.

>>>Most damages are done before / during the 1st pregnancy<<<

Most of women / men will be able to close their diastasis with adapted gentle and well executed movements like in the Pilates method. 

Physio, Bernadette de Gasquet method and Rehab Pilates are nowadays the most efficient techniques to recover naturally from diastasis recti. Solutions do exist, but you will need to work and give time and efforts to achieve reconstruction. Exercices including rehab exercices need practice. Give your self enough time to recover. Be consistent in your practice 

Although if, after a year or more, you still have a hole / pooch into your abdominal muscles, you can decide to go for surgery. An operation to correct diastasis may be called “abdominoplasty” or “a tummy tuck.” The surgeon folds and sews together the weak central ridge. It might be possible to get laparoscopy.

 

Ask your doctor for more medical advices.

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Pilates is NOT yoga

Hi All ! images

I have recently talked with friends, network and even athletes and I discover this terrible confusion that has been spread  – let Me tell you this breaking news once for all :

Pilates is NOT yoga – And I could add « AT ALL » 

Let me explain and try to understand why this false thought has been shared by so many. 

Pilates and yoga are two entirely different ways of moving and perceiving the world and should not be confused. The underlying philosophies and goals are worlds apart in their approach. The message and technique is completely unique for each system. We could say just like oil and water, these two systems will be in conflict if you try to mix them.

  • The Approach 

Whereas Yoga is more a philosophical and spiritual approach for health, Pilates is a fitness and muscle training one With no spiritualism Pilates is a body movement method made to develop strength, avoid injuries and get to know your body’s functions better- The goal is only physical (even if practice some activity can develop mind well-being) there is no research of spirituality or mindful theory behind it. – Yoga at the opposite, is an ancient philosophy which combines mind and body in order to get the balance- and to find inner stability. 

To Sum up we could say : Pilates is a workout body orientated -whereas Yoga is lifestyle-meditation orientated- 

  • The content 

In Yoga you will have relaxation movements, silence with breathings,  stand-up and sit down poses- flexibility exercises- splits, pigeon poses, facing dog and many other posture to build your strength but usually it is a lot of static.This takes a great amount of focus and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. The movements are not what you would call workout moves; they are more like poses that are designed for different needs and purposes. That part might be the origin confusion so I would like to establish that once for all : (even if some teacher- like me- can include breathings and little stretches to relax and avoid cramps to the practitioners) You will NOT find any splits, flexibility and suppleness requirements for Pilates. 

In Pilates the accent is made on core muscles = ABDOMINALS. Pilates was definitely developed as a logical system of exercises specifically designed to enhance and balance the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the human body. In other words, Pilates is not about sitting still or holding poses — Pilates is about movement. So, if one of the things you dislike about Yoga is the idea of twisting yourself up like a pretzel and holding the pose, or go upside down in order to get the « saint graal » split :  don’t worry! You won’t be asked to hold any position for long in your Pilates class.

  • Why Choose ? 

To conclude it has never been question to launch any battle between those two, because as we just clarify today they are two different activities with different goals, different aims and different results. There is not one better than the other- It all depends on what you are looking for and what kind of purpose you are aiming. 

And even I would add : Why to Choose when you can have benefits from both? Pilates and Yoga are Totally complementary and really work perfectly with one another- So MY recommandation would be : ASSOCIATE !

Practice Both : Pilates for the strength, details and abs workout – Yoga for the peace of mind, flexibility and freedom. 

Now I hope : next time You’ll heard about PILATES you will never mix it up with YOGA. 

With Love,

Jeydancepilates

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Spirulina vertue and “Super Food”

SPIRULINA 220px-Spirulina_tablets

What an Original name for such uncommon ingredient.

SPIRULINA IS AN ALGAE _ SEA WEED – 

You might be saying  « Come on, can I really see any health benefits from eating some algae? » The answer is YES!

Here is a partial list of the health benefits associated with Spirulina:

Boost the Immune System*
Improve Digestion*
Reduce fatigue*
Build Endurance*
Nature’s Detoxifier – Cleanse the body*
Boost Energy Levels*
Control Appetite*
Maintain Healthy Cardiovascular function*
Support the Liver and Kidneys*
Reduce Inflammation*
Benefit People Who Suffer from Allergies*

Actually Spirulina is considered as One of the most nutritious aliment in the world. 

What’s in it ?

Its components are diverse and part of the miracle. Yes because Spirulina is extremely rich and concentrate – full of nutriments and when you eat something that has protein, vitamins, minerals, Omega 6 Fatty acids, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients, your body respond in a very favorable way.

Minerals : Iron, Potassium, Magnesium Sodium, Phosphorus, Calcium

A high volume of Beta- carotene which protects cells (5 time more than carrots, 40 time more than spinach)

High volumes of gamma-Linolein acid (which can reduce cholesterol and prevent heart disease)., 

You can find it easer as a Tablets ( pharmacy, Organic shops) or As a Powder so you can spread it in your food-

For who ? 

Spirulina is especially good for Athletes, Sportsmen, teenagers, Pregnant women, people in full growth, people suffering from Anemia, Fatigue. 

How consume it ? Several ideas and recipes to Spread it in your food- 

First- be careful Spirulina has a very powerful and strong color, it will spread to all other ingredients you mix it with.

For example your yoghurts, or smoothies or tofu if added Spirulina will turn Greens.

Except that Fact, it has also a strong taste, for my self, i find it Pleasurable, but some can find it too strong – for those ones, I really suggest to be light on the amount of the seaweed in your preparations.

Recipes : 

My favorites Ways to consume Spirulina are :

-In your smoothies : 

Today recipe : 1 mango + 1 banana + 1 apple + Coconut water + Oatmeal + Spirulina – A Green, Safe and Yummy Smoothie !

Here in picture

Green Mango and Spirulina Smoothie
Green Mango and Spirulina Smoothie

Sweet with your yoghurts : just add some Spirulina powder to it, as you could add some chocolate powder or any kind of powder, add Honey or Marple syrup, or any kind of sweet you like and that’s it !

Salted with Tofu : Take a soft Japanese Tofu called silken Tofu- very popular in Japan It is used  in  order to make appetizers or desserts.

I like to prepare it Japanese way So : Super cold with ginger, lemon, raw sliced chives, Soya sauce. You can add some preservatives eggs  that i do sometimes (called « oeufs de 100 ans » in French or also The hundred eggs) but most people find it weird and disgusting (haha i’m turning Asian). So Make your own preparation, you can change the ingredients according to your tastes, than spread some SPIRULINA  as a topping and some Oatmeal cereal. You’ll have a rich, low fat light dish, super concentrate with only good and whole minerals, vitamins and high protein.

Finally here is the Spirulina I have from french organic shop called « La Vie Claire » That You can find everywhere in France I guess-

Spirulina from French Organic Shop
Spirulina from French Organic Shop

OR

For those of you who read me from Shanghai China I Know that SPROUTS also have its selection of Spirulina seaweed, and they do home deliveries. 

To be Noted – Spirulina mostly is produced in Asian countries and especially in China, even those you may found in Organic shops in Europe or USA, so I guess any of you that are living in China like me, should be capable of finding it in TCM shops.

 Hope You Liked that Topic, do Not hesitate to ask your questions or Contact me For any matter you would be interested in- 
 
With Love and Passion,
Jeydancepilates