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Reverse Kegels (Pelvic Floor Drops)
The ability to consciously relax the pelvic floor muscles can play a critical role in improving pelvic floor dysfunction. Learning to let go of tension in these muscles will help them become more functional and decrease pain. Relaxing the pelvic floor, or Reverse Kegels, is also known as down–training the muscles and/ or pelvic floor drops.
The feeling of dropping the pelvic floor is similar to the moment of relief during urination or a bowel movement. Deep breathing and visualization can help the down-training process. During deep or diaphragmatic breathing, the diaphragm lowers to make room for the breath, and the pelvic floor relaxes or drops. During exhalation, the diaphragm rises to push air out, and the pelvic floor raises. Reverse Kegels can be practiced in different positions throughout the day, with and without coordination of breathing.
Instructions on how to do Reverse Kegels (pelvic floor drops):
- Gently contract your pelvic floor by pretending to stop the flow of urine or gas to help identify where the pelvic floor muscles are.
- Now relax, let that tension go, as if you are urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Try to spot the difference in feeling between tension and relaxation.
Tips and information on Reverse Kegels (pelvic floor drops):
- Another effective method for relaxation includes visualizing increasing the distance between your pubic bone and tailbone. Think about increasing the space between your sitz bones.
- It is helpful to take a mirror to look at your pelvic floor contraction and relaxation so you can better visualize the process.
- When you perform a pelvic floor contraction (Kegel), the clitoris should move slightly downward, the anus should wink, and the perineal body (area between the vagina and anus) should move in and up.
- When you perform a pelvic floor contraction (Kegel), the penis and testicles should lift slightly and the penis is drawn into the body.
- During a Reverse Kegel, you should see the anus release and your perineal body move downwards towards the mirror.
Once you have mastered the art of down–training your pelvic floor muscles, you can check in with your pelvic floor throughout the day, and let go of any tension that you discover. Never forget the importance of deep breathing.