By Nikki Scott Co-Owner UK Hypopressives
Often Women’s health issues can start long before we ever get any signs or symptoms and its only on reflection that we start to realise what effect various life events can have on our body.
So, for me I can look back to my early teens and remember having a level of what I now know to be urge incontinence. After surviving 2 nasty car accidents in my late teens and mid-twenties this was the start really of more problems involving weakness and dysfunction and just some of the many puzzle pieces that formed together to leave me with stress and urge incontinence which made my life hell.
All of these events in my life were gradually forming a pattern of dysfunction and although I wasn’t wetting myself regularly it had become a small problem.
The dysfunction for me was more to do with living with daily pain, this would be lower back usually, however also neck, shoulder and the bottoms of my feet! Most of my incontinence problems in the early days started with an increased need to go to the toilet and then maybe not being able to hold on for long enough. I’m highlighting this because at this stage as I didn’t really think I had a problem.
In early 2000 I became pregnant with twins and like most women I presumed my later incontinence problems were from the birth of my twins, and for sure having twins didn’t help. The pregnancy itself had a massive impact on the position of my pelvic organs, especially with 2 growing babies squashing down on everything!! As I got bigger my posture changed even more, it wasn’t great due to years as a hairdresser! And so, pain and discomfort increased and in the last few weeks I felt like I was permanently on the toilet!!
I had a pretty straightforward birth; I tore but other than that no real dramas. In the early weeks after, I was shocked at how weak and unstable I felt especially considering I felt I had been physically fit leading up to getting pregnant. I had a huge jelly belly still, a large diastasis and no control over my bladder, apparently. I tried to talk to my health visitor about this and it seemed that the emphasis was mostly on the health of my boys not me. I finally went to see the doctor months after they were born and was referred to a physio. After a few more months of religiously doing my pelvic floor squeezes I was wetting myself less, however I was by no means “fixed”. Another depressing visit to the doctor and I really was made to feel like I was making an unnecessary fuss, so I suppose I excepted things and got on with the mayhem that goes with twins.
Fast forward 12 years and my problems were still with me, now my stress incontinence meant if I did any high impact exercise, or if I sneezed or coughed, I would have no control, and leak. The exercises I had been given by the physio didn’t seem to make much difference, and I felt at a loss as to what to do.
I had also retrained to be a Personal Trainer and so now in contact with more and more women in the same dilemma as me. Fortunately, I found Hypopressives, a breathing and postural method used extensively in Spain at the time mostly for post-natal recovery. After 3 months of consistently doing Hypopressives my incontinence symptoms were much more manageable and my posture greatly improved so some very positive signs considering Hypopressives only takes up 10-15 minutes of my time each day.
A few of my clients had also started to see positive changes and this really excited me.
I am now another 7 years on and still making time for my 15 minutes a day. Some of the amazing benefits I have found are; no LEAKING even as I now head into the menopause! No urge incontinence. No pain at all! Massively improved posture! Proper function which means I can go to the gym regularly and lift weights which I love, I have in fact found that I am lifting heavier now than I was in my twenties! I love what Hypopressives has given me back in my life but more important for me is that I’m using Hypopressives to prevent my incontinence ever returning and to keep me functioning properly and pain free into my old age!
Nikki is a Master trainer and Co-Owner of UK Hypopressives. She has been a Health and fitness coach for over 10 years, and is also a level 5 remedial and sports massage therapist and certified MNU nutritionist. Her background is in post-natal fitness, body transformations and personal training, and more recently she has been helping a wide spectrum of clients using Hypopressives. She is one of only 2 Hypopressives Master trainers in the UK.