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Often I get an idea for a blog when consulting with a patient – a reaction to something they have said and I think: ‘You know that’s a really important message – I must write a blog about that!’ And so I jot the thought on a post-it note and it joins the pile of 74 other post-it notes on my desk and sometime later I start the blog with those critical few words and then save it as a draft, to come back to later……And the blog today is one of those blogs –  a response to the complaint that many patients have that the concept of bracing with bending, lifting, pushing, coughing, sneezing etc is too hard – that they have finished the task and then remember that they should have braced (low tummy in, vagina/base of the scrotum up and anus in) before the increase in intra-abdominal pressure.
I think the problem for many of us these days is that our lives are running at a 100 miles an hour. There is no time to take a deep breath or smell the roses. I see this in many of my female patients particularly. They move very quickly – nothing is done slowly, no time is wasted. I drop a pen and they’ve picked it up in a flash. Little do they know it’s a test. I have just spoken at length about engaging their muscles prior to bending (and other increases in intra-abdominal pressure) and then I drop the pen and after they have picked it up I ask them – did you remember to brace? So the message, when learning and adapting to this new concept to help prevent urinary leakage and prolapse, is to stop, slow down and brace! (Don’t forget if you have pelvic pain or what could be termed an overactive pelvic floor then you have to be careful not to over-brace.)
Now, what prompted me to seek out this draft and finish writing this blog today? An article in Saturday’s Courier Mail by Amanda Horswill titled ‘Do,like, umm, you know, whatever’. It’s about some fabulous research by clinical psychologist Lucy Tan who has found teaching teens to ‘be in the moment’ by tuning out distractions and just sitting still, made them less depressed and less anxious. She is teaching them how to regulate their attention through meditation and mindfulness and just slowing down and taking one thing at a time. Now there’s something a few mums may also benefit from. But I suppose we are so used to the concept of multi-tasking that we may feel like we are wasting precious moments in our day.
But maybe in order to acquire that bracing skill you should all down tools – washing powder, gladwrap, skillet, social and birthday calendar and all the other balls you have juggling at the moment and just think before you move. Go on – try it and in the process you may even get to smell the roses….
Or in Isabella’s case smell the camelias
photo isabella smelling the camelias