Have you been taking care of your pelvic health?
Taking the right steps can help prevent pelvic health issues, which, in turn, can prevent other issues, including to your digestive health.
In this episode of the Love Your Gut Podcast, I talk to Lacey Welch, Owner of Under the Hood Physical Therapy, PLLC, about the importance of sleep, being open about our pelvic health, when it’s time to go to a pelvic floor PT, “just-in-case” peeing, leakage, and the best way to start taking care of your pelvic health.
Lacey Welch is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in treatment of pelvic, visceral and orthopedic conditions in women, and is the owner of Under the Hood Physical Therapy, PLLC. She graduated from Harding University in 2006 with a degree in Exercise Science, and completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at University of Central Arkansas in 2010. She now happily resides in Texas with her husband and two kids.
Topics Covered in This Episode:
- [05:04] What is the pelvic floor and why is it important?
- [07:40] Is leakage normal?
- [10:24] Why the pelvic floor is important for digestive health.
- [17:12] When to see a pelvic floor PT.
- [20:36] Why talking about pelvic health is taboo.
- [22:59] How long it takes to see significant changes.
- [25:10] Contributors to pelvic floor issues.
- [28:33] Why lifestyle shifts matter.
- [33:06] Just-in-case peeing.
- [36:44] Where should you start?
- [42:37] Lacey’s favorite way to love her gut.
It is important to be aware of any changes in pelvic health so that you can take the necessary steps to improve your overall health.
If this episode has been helpful, hit me up on Instagram, and tell me about your experience!
- “Everybody will experience some form of leakage.”
- “You shouldn’t have to restrict your diet so much in order to have your digestion be what it should.”
- “You’re not 100% unless you’re getting good sleep.”
- “Take 2-5 minutes a day to just breathe.”
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Dr. Heather Finley, Lacey Welch
Lacey Welch 00:00
I would go as far to say that everybody will experience some form of leakage in our life, whether it’s just, you are laughing so hard with your girlfriends that you just absolutely either lose control or leak a little bit. There’s there’s lots of instances in our lives that kind of leave that opportunity for, you know, the extreme cases when we wouldn’t normally experience it. But if it’s happening regularly, and without your control or without you feeling like you have the control to like, never let it happen again. That is where it becomes a real problem.
Dr. Heather Finley 00:35
Okay, welcome to the love your gut podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Heather Finley, I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to love my gut when all it does is hold me back. I thought the same thing before I found my own relief from my own gut health issues. I dedicated my life to getting to the bottom of my own gut issues, so I can help women just like you transform theirs. Now I’m here to guide you through your own gut health journey. We do this through identifying your root causes and making sustainable and transformational changes. As a result, you can unleash your true potential. My goal is to empower you with the information and tools you need to love your guts. So it loves you back right here on this podcast.
Dr. Heather Finley 01:20
You guys welcome back to the next episode of the love your gut podcast. I am so excited today to be joined by my dear friend Lacey. She is a Doctor of Physical Therapy specializing in the treatment of pelvic visceral and orthopedic conditions and women and is the owner of under the hood physical therapy. She graduated from Harding University in 2006 with a degree in Exercise Science, and completed her doctor of physical therapy degree at University of Central Arkansas in 2010. She now happily resides in Texas with her husband and two kids. And you guys are going to love this episode, we talk all about pelvic floor health, why it matters how to know if you have pelvic floor issues that are contributing to your digestive issues. And some really simple actionable steps are things you can do at home to improve your pelvic health. So without further ado, here we go. Welcome back to the next episode of the love yoga Podcast. Today I am joined by Lacey and she is going to talk all about pelvic floor and pelvic health. And I’m so excited for you guys to listen to her because she’s taught me a lot. And I actually saw her for my own pelvic floor issues. So, Lacey, welcome to the podcast.
Lacey Welch 02:37
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.
Dr. Heather Finley 02:41
Well, why don’t you just start us off. Tell us a little bit about yourself how you got into working as a pelvic floor PT and why that is important to you.
Lacey Welch 02:52
Awesome. Well, my name is Lacey Welch. I am a pelvic health pt. And I guess I graduated about 12 years ago. And I got interested in pelvic health. Before I actually went to PT school, I was a physical therapy tech. So that just means like I folded clothes and did all the cleaning and everything. And at a PT clinic. And there I met another public health physical therapist, and she told me just amazing success story after amazing success story of people coming to her with pelvic health issues. And I just had no clue that there were there was help for things like urinary incontinence and painful intercourse and constipation and things like that. And so I just felt really empowered to pursue it knowing that so many women suffer from these things or have to deal with them in men and women. And so I just I was so inspired by her throughout my PT school, I kind of veered toward that direction and went to different courses and things like that, or electives. And I was able to able to be involved in a pelvic health PT clinic, one of my final rotations and so I really got a great education and mentorship there. And then I’ve just gone on to continue to pursue it and continue to take pelvic health courses and all that sort of stuff. So I recently moved back to Paris, Texas, from Fort Worth, Paris is my hometown. So I’ve just opened my practice here and I’m just happy to be serving the community here. But also, I provide virtual appointments as well. So I can see people from anywhere really, but
Dr. Heather Finley 04:48
that’s awesome. Well, we’ll have to talk about that to how you do pelvic floor PT virtually because I feel like especially in this day and age, everyone’s looking for virtual stuff, so we’ll definitely have to touch on that but For anyone listening that has no idea even what the pelvic floor is, tell us a little bit about that. What is the pelvic floor? Why does it matter? Why is it important?
Lacey Welch 05:10
So the pelvic floor should work reflexively to control what comes out and what you keep in. So, the pelvic floor sits within our pelvis. And it has different layers. So there is a superficial layer. And there are deeper layers, but their function is supportive, seeing Terek and sexual. And what I mean by supportive is that the pelvic organs sit inside of our pelvis, and they rest on the pelvic floor. And so they rely on the pelvic floor to support them and keep them in the places that they should stay. And then speak technically, well, the supportive side also includes the stability of the pelvis in and of itself, because they connect to the pelvis and they do parts provide support. That includes our low back and sacrum as well. And in the tailbone. So the listening Tarik part of the pelvic floor means that these muscles surround all of our openings, so they surround the urethra, the vaginal opening and the anus. And that when the pelvic floor contracts, it’s can squeeze around those openings. So if we don’t want to pass gas, usually our pelvic floor can tighten and keep us from passing gas. If we don’t want to leak urine on ourselves, usually our pelvic floor can tighten and support that. And then that also works vaginally too, and that comes into play when we talk about sexual health, or the sexual function. So the pelvic floor also responds to penetration. And it’s an also foreplay in just the whole gamut when you look at sexual function, because they, it also surrounds the clitoris. And so with sexual function, that pelvic floor muscles get feedback to the brain, and also respond during orgasm, and they and they move and I know that’s not what we’re here about. But that’s just part of their function. So, yeah, so that’s kind of the very general explanation of what the pelvic floor does.
Dr. Heather Finley 07:31
Okay, and so, obviously, it does so many things. And I think so many people can relate to, unfortunately, the instance of I sneezed and I peed on myself, or I was jumping on a trampoline, and I peed on myself. And so for anyone listening, is that normal? I think a lot of times in our society, people are like, oh, yeah, you’ve had babies, that’s normal, you’re just gonna leak? What is your thought about that?
Lacey Welch 08:02
I think you know, what, I think if it is very, very common, I would, I would go as far to say that everybody will experience some form of leakage in our life, whether it’s just, you’re laughing so hard with your girlfriends, that you just absolutely either lose control or leak a little bit, or, you know, there’s, there’s lots of instances in our lives that kind of leave that opportunity for, you know, the extreme cases, when we wouldn’t normally experience it, we would experience it, but if it’s happening regularly, and you know, without your control, or without you feeling like you have the control to like, never let it happen again, that is where it becomes a real problem, and it can progress. And I think as women, you know, I hear all the time. Not from everyone, but I do hear it frequently that, you know, that’s that leaking urine is just a part of, of womanhood, and especially being a mother. And I think that it’s sort of ingrained in us that we just have to be these martyrs. And, and we don’t have to be, and I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t see the reward of helping someone, usually very quickly resolve their leaking and, and that’s not you know, that’s not everything, but that is a huge part of what I do. And sometimes people will come in here for other separate it, they think separate issues, but they’re also linking and I’m like, I will help you with that too. And because, again, it’s just not something that people feel like can be addressed sometimes. And you know, one of the things I think we were gonna talk about later is you know, why don’t we talk about this and I think that oftentimes there’s not enough time to talk about it to our our doctors and the because usually you’re not going in there directly for that, but it’s it’s still something you need to talk about. But there’s just no time and then it ends up never getting addressed. So,
Dr. Heather Finley 10:10
yeah, totally. Yeah, I think it’s one of those things that’s common, not normal. Right symptom, right? So then how is the pelvic floor? Or why is the pelvic floor important for digestive health? Most of the people that listen to this podcast, struggle with anything from constipation, to bloating, to even diarrhea, acid reflux, recurrent SIBO, the gamut of digestive issues. So how is the pelvic floor connected with that? Why is it important and tell us about like how you would work with someone that has any of those issues that I listed?
Lacey Welch 10:51
Sure. So I’ll go kind of with like the most obvious, and that is the support that the pelvic floor provides to the colon. So the rectum sits right on top of the pelvic floor, and say, get someone who’s dealing with constipation. The heaviness you know, that occurs as the stool continues to sit there, and, you know, continue to compact and dry out, it places an excessive amount of weight on the pelvic floor. And so then your pelvic floor begins to not support the colon as well. But it also doesn’t it start stop, it stops supporting other pelvic organs. And a lot of times bladder control begins to suffer because your pelvic floor doesn’t have as much mobility because it’s already, you know, maxed out by the weight that the rectum is in the colon is placing on the pelvic floor. So that’s one one reason the pelvic floor is important. And it’s something that I look at and can address, and I’ll talk about that in a minute. The other obvious thing that I mentioned earlier was the sphincter control. So basically, your pelvic floor is was like decides whether or not you’re you’re going to poop or not. Because of the sphincter control and your sphincter when I talk about that you have an internal and external sphincter, and we can control the external sphincter, but we can also control some pelvic floor muscles that are higher up than that. And so if the public, if you don’t have good, voluntary control of the pelvic floor, then that can sometimes prevent you from having a bowel movement, because either you can’t relax it. Or if you have leakage, you can’t quite controlling, you can’t type Messenger’s backup and control it. And so those are a couple of pretty obvious, you know, musculoskeletal functions of it and how it relates to the pelvic organs in the colon specifically, within there’s another side, you know, I was talking to someone a few weeks ago, because as pelvic health PTS we talk about the pelvic floor so much, but I really treat, you know, everything from head to toe. And I see a lot of things you talk about we, we sort of address some of the same things. And I’ll talk about, you know, stress management, all that stuff later is an important part of it. But I also work on the viscera. So I look at the abdominal mobility, the intestinal mobility of the small intestine and large intestine, in the abdomen, and I palpate that externally, I look at the the ability of the fascia to move appropriately because a lot of times with chronic digestive issues, or even acute, there is a lack of mobility within the colon. And so when the fascia gets too tight or restricted, then that also restricts blood flow and movement and the ability for stool to move efficiently throughout the intestines. And so, I will work on that a lot of times in or almost all the time. And then I will also look at it I don’t know if you want me to go into detail about how, you know, other things are related to digestive health, other than the pelvic floor, but absolutely, okay. So then I will also look at your diaphragm movement and mobility, because our diaphragm mimics movement of the pelvic floor. And so, a lot of times, you know, after pregnancy, moms can’t, you know, if you’ve been pregnant, you know, sometimes it’s difficult to breathe. And so because the baby just like crowds everything out. So the diaphragm can sometimes also get restricted and so I work on the diaphragm to improve the mobility that air that will affect the movement of the pelvic floor, but will also massage the colon and stimulate peristalsis and allow the stool to move through a little more easily. And then that translates into better stress management, if we can breathe properly. And I know you talk a lot about that on your social media outlet, so I won’t go into much detail because I think they know how important that is, I’m sure. And so yeah, there’s just, you know, when someone comes to see me for a digestive issue, they don’t just get their pelvic floor looked at. It’s it encompasses so much more. But those are some of the reasons why the pelvic floor is important. So does that. Did I answer all your questions in that?
Dr. Heather Finley 15:47
No, I think yeah, I think so. And I think it’s so interesting, because, like, every I think specialty, dieticians, pelvic floor, PTs, even psychologists, etc. Like, we’re all working on the same things and just a different way. And I think it shows to like how integrated everything is like, you can’t address pelvic floor health without addressing the stress management piece. You can address, you know, digestive health, like and so I think, a common thing that I hear from listeners of this podcast and clients and people that follow me on social media is like, well, I’ve done this elimination diet, and it didn’t work, or I’ve done the antibiotics recibo. And it didn’t work. And I think the hope in listening to this piece of the puzzle is that maybe it’s not that these things that they’ve tried in the past didn’t work, it’s maybe that there wasn’t the right combination of things like there were missing pieces to the puzzle, if someone has pelvic floor issues, and they’re treating their SIBO, or their constipation, or whatever it is, but yet they can’t breathe correctly, or there’s a lot of pressure, they’re only going to get so far. So yeah, why? I guess we’re kind of skipping ahead a little bit. But when should someone see a pelvic floor PT? Or like, what? What would be some red flags for you of like, yes, you need to see a pelvic floor pt. And get this sorted out?
Lacey Welch 17:20
Yeah, well, first of all, you’re asking a very biased person, but I do believe that like that everyone should see a pelvic health PT just once in their life, just to just like you see, you know, you have your check ins with your other doctors, so, but red flags really, really might feel like yellow flags, you know, they may feel like, Oh, this is gonna get better flags. So I would say, at any sign of change, or discomfort, or of, of something occurring within your pelvic floor with so it can have to do with your sexual function, your bladder function, reproductive function, digestive function, if anything is changing, before it gets, before it progresses, I would highly recommend to, to at least just reach out to a pelvic health PT, let I mean, I speak to all my clients personally before I scheduled them, so just to make sure that I’m the person that they need to see. So just reaching out and say, you know, I don’t know if you can address this, but this is something I’m having. Come in and see me. But I mean, more specifically, I would say that, you know, perinatally, so before, you know, during, after pregnancy, there’s so many changes that happen, and some of them feel normal, like they should happen, but also there’s a lot that we can do to help but if we’re talking digestive Lee, if you are staining your underwear, with with stool, if you are having to wipe over and over and over again, after a bowel movement, if you are passing gas and unable to control it, if you are going, honestly I when I say clients, I try to get everybody going having a bowel movement at least once a day. So if your bowel movements are less than that, I can help you with that. I know you can too. But that is something that I commonly see you go for. If you are eating a certain food and you’re like I know I’m gonna have to have a bathroom later. If you’re having those thoughts that your your tummy is not going to handle a certain kind of food because your soul might be a little more runny or, you know more difficulty controlling it. That’s that’s also a flag for me. There’s probably many, many more
Dr. Heather Finley 19:55
but and those are like just the digestive ones. There’s one Hundreds of you non digestive related concerns as well. So kind of going off of that, like, you mentioned a lot of different reasons why someone should see a pelvic floor pt. And I know you said like, everyone should see a pelvic floor PT at least once in their life, which I highly recommend as well. I didn’t think I had like that bad of pelvic floor issues when I saw you and then realized I actually did so I think I think everyone needs to see a pelvic floor, PT. But why do you think that this is not talked about? Or like why do you think that talking about pelvic floor or pelvic health is a little bit taboo or missing? Because I know like, in other countries, it’s very common that like you have a baby, you go see a pelvic floor PT like, what’s, why are we missing the mark here? Hey there, I know you’re absolutely loving this episode. But I have to jump in really quick and remind you that I have a quick, free quiz that will help you finally figure out why you’re bloated. In order to live a life free of discomfort. You need to figure out what the root causes that’s making you experience these uncomfortable symptoms. The easiest and fastest way to do this is by visiting Dr. Heather finley.co, backslash quiz, take the quiz as soon as you can. So you can transform your gut issues and lead a happier, more vibrant life. Now, let’s get back to the episode.
Lacey Welch 21:30
It’s such a good question. And I do get that a lot. And I mean, I think I’m amongst friends or, you know, what, why is it not talked about with our our group of people? I think that a big reason is that it’s embarrassing, because a lot of these issues are private. But but the the reality is likely every single person that you are surrounding yourself with has either experienced it before, and has gotten help for it or is currently experiencing it. But I think there’s maybe some shame that can be associated with it. Maybe even just the fact that they’re afraid that there is no help for it. So it’s not even brought up. I think in the world of you know, going to see your doctor and having this issue, but not bringing it up. I mentioned earlier, I think that that more is like a time issue. I think that doctors offices are just so incredibly busy places now that, you know, you go in for this singular issue. And there’s just no time to talk about anything else. And so I think that I think those are maybe the biggest reasons, but there’s probably a whole lot, a whole lot more.
Dr. Heather Finley 22:52
Yeah, and I know you mentioned too, that usually you can help someone really quickly. And I know that that was the case for me. What would you say on average? And of course, everyone is different, but like, what do you what would you say on average is the length of time it takes to see significant changes in pelvic floor dysfunction? You know, obviously, depending on what it is, yeah,
Lacey Welch 23:15
I Well, I would say that you should see some amount of change after the first visit. And that not necessarily in the session, but as you’re implementing the things that I have told you to implement or recommended that you implement. So you know, for, for a significant change for like for someone who I’m trying to think back just to a recent, a recent client, I think that it was maybe two sessions, and she was was better. And I work a little bit differently than maybe your regular pelvic health beauty, but I don’t see patients very often at the most I’ll see someone maybe twice a month. So two visits might look like two to four weeks apart. But in the meantime, I’ve given you so much to to work on. And I say so much, but it’s really not. You’re not I don’t give you things to do, like an hour a day of things, it’s things that I give you to just very easily to incorporate into your life. So to answer your question, I would say there’s there should be change after the first visit. But other than that, I think, to meet all the goals to get there, I would say anywhere between, like two to eight visits, and that’s over a fairly long amount of time. I usually don’t get to that eight visit Mark though, that’s on the very long end of things. And a lot of times that’s because there’s been difficulty with compliance or or getting things you know, folded into the routine at home.
Dr. Heather Finley 24:57
So yeah, so kind of on that note on like the opposite end of the spectrum? What would you say are some of the lifestyle or just even environmental things that are contributing to poor pelvic floor dysfunction? Obviously, we know pregnancy it can. But that’s, I mean, you know, that that’s a whole separate thing. But like, on a daily basis, what are things that maybe people are doing that are contributing to them having issues with their pelvic floor?
Lacey Welch 25:29
One is dehydration. Yeah. So drinking water is, is a is a major thing. And I see that with almost every person that comes in here for any issue. So that would be a big contributing factor to your pelvic floor health in general, but especially your digestive health, stress management, the the, the crazy scheduling of both work, and then after school activities with the kids or, you know, going to, you know, pursuing your career and being involved in a lot of things, you know, don’t have to have kids to have a busy schedule. So having a busier schedule, but lacking the stress management techniques that you need in order to still thrive in your health with that sort of thing. Or with that, you know, busy of a life. I think poor sleep hygiene is a huge one. I, I am preaching to the choir, that means myself, because, you know, sometimes you have to find out what happens in that last episode of that series. And you end up staying up way too late. And then you have to get up early the next morning. So getting plenty of sleep is another factor that I see a lot and address because we can go into the parasympathetic nervous system get real nerdy with all of that. But it is so important to have your parasympathetic nervous system activated on at least one time a day that you can count on it. And that’s during our sleep in order to have great digestive health and stress management and all of the things. So water, stress management, sleep hygiene. I mean, your diet, I think that’s an obvious one here. But really just having a very diet, but also I know you talk so much about you shouldn’t have to restrict your diet, you know, so much in order to have your digestion, digestion be what it should, and I totally believe that. And so, you know, having a diet, that’s very, but also you’re able to partake in the, you know, the pleasurable things, and whether that’s, you know, a hamburger or, you know, ice cream. So not saying, I, the reason I went into that is because your diet is important, but it doesn’t need to be restrictive. It needs to be varied. So, yeah, like, these are the main things.
Dr. Heather Finley 28:14
There’s things that are nutrition in a different way, right, like, right, going to get ice cream with your kids is nourishing, and is a totally different way than like, eating a kale salad is, like totally different. But so I know people are probably wondering, like, how on earth is my sleep going to improve me jumping rope and peeing on myself. So like, give us just a high level overview of like, how kind of going back to the beginning where you’re talking about, like, how everything is connected, like, why is that the case? Like why do these lifestyle shifts matter so much? Because it’s something that we talk about with our clients all the time, too. And I think a lot of times people are like, hi, yeah, whatever. Yeah, because it’s not like the sexiest recommendation to give. It’s not like a detox or a cleanse or a fad or something. That seems like super extreme. But why do these foundational pieces matter so much? Yeah.
Lacey Welch 29:16
This gets me so just fired up. Because it is it’s so important, but it’s so misunderstood, or not not understood at all. So when we sleep, one thing that I didn’t always know is that that is the time that our brain also recycles fluid there or is is drained, because our brain swells throughout the day. And so, you know, we can’t go. I don’t know is it like three days without sleep and still live? That’s a big part of it because our brain has to reduce the swelling and so that is it’s time at night. to drain off the excess fluid, and that’s important because if our brain is swelling, then we’re not going to have the ability to kind of like, you know, think through things to have proper muscle function to high that have that higher level motor function that that our brain provides us. So that’s a big reason, sleep is important for really just both muscle function and stress management, and, you know, ability to just function in your day to day. The other thing is the rest of our body. Also, our lymphatic drainage happens at night. And so that has to happen to draw off the fluid from our muscles so that they aren’t being lightened and heavy, and they can move like, like they should. But then, you know, we’re looking at the parasympathetic side of things in the parasympathetic nervous system, I’m sure you’ve said this before in your podcast, in on social media, but it’s the rest and digest and the rest and digest nervous system, the sympathetic nervous system is our fight or flight. And we, I am a firm believer that most of us live in that like 90% of the time that we’re awake maybe all the time. So the parasympathetic nervous system turns on at night, it allows us allows our body to just recoup from the day it peristalsis movement of the of your store happens that night, we digest, obviously, that’s when that sort of thing happens. And so then with movement of, of our gut, and the digestion that occurs when we’re sleeping, then that is going to improve our serotonin production, which is going to then help us with our mental health, which is, you know, I’m going in a huge circle here. And I think I’m saying the same things over and over. But in turn, our ability to have proper brain function and muscle function is going to help our ability to control our pelvic floor, then also connect with our body to if we don’t get proper sleep, we kind of I mean, for me anyway, I just sort of in our survival mode, and then I tend to eat to stay awake. We, you know, without really thinking about it, or I get a lot of coffee to stay awake. And then my digestive health and my pelvic floor health suffer because my bladder is irritated, and constipated. And, yeah, you’re just not 100% Unless you’re getting good sleep. And so I don’t know if that makes sense. But
Dr. Heather Finley 32:51
no, it totally makes sense. And so I didn’t tell you we’re going to talk about this, but I think probably riff on it. But yes, last kind of like question that I have before we’re going to talk about, like some actionable things people can do at home is one thing that you told me when I met with you really stuck out to me, and I feel like I’ve told so many of my patients, this was the concept of jacking up just in case being so can you tell us why it’s not a good idea to just go pee? Because you’re about to leave? Like what’s? Yeah. Tell us more about that.
Lacey Welch 33:27
I love that. So yeah, joking. It’s, it’s the just in case paying. And that’s whatever we call that in the public health world that’s stuck. So there’s a lot involved with that, actually. So I’ll kind of start with the mental side of that, in that you are thinking that you don’t have enough control over your bladder just subconsciously to make it to your next destination. So you end up just going just in case, there’s no harm in that. But then you start that can snowball into Okay, I gotta go before I leave the house, I got to go before I leave the gym, I gotta go before I leave the store. And it becomes this thing, it becomes a trigger. And so if that can that can progress into being in the car on the way home and getting really nervous that you didn’t go to the bathroom before you left. Or did I say the gym or wherever you left? You’re in the car you’re leaving, and you’re worrying that you didn’t go in? Are you going to make it to the next destination? Well, that triggers your fight or flight response. And urination is so complicated because it involves a parasympathetic, nervous, parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system. So just I’m not going to go into all that but it it it starts to freak your bladder out. And so there’s a muscle that surrounds your bladder that also begins to freak out and squeeze and that can signal and what that’s doing is it’s like, okay, like, are you telling me I gotta go right now? Like, do I just remain calm and wait? until we get home. And so what ends up happening is a lot of times that will progress into urge incontinence. So you have the urge, and you can’t control it. So that’s like the spectrum. But then the other kind of physiological side of it is that when you are joking all the time, when you’re going just in case all the time, when you don’t even have an urge to go, that’s the important part of joking as you’re going without an urge. When you’re doing that, so often, then your bladder begins to think that it can only hold a certain amount of fluid where it can hold maybe twice as much as what it’s holding when you go to the bathroom, just in case. So then over time that can develop into your bladder starting to actually trigger an urge, at an earlier time when it’s not to its full capacity. And that can create frequent urination. So where you’re going to the bathroom all the time, maybe you’re not leaking at all, but you’re just your life is still controlled by your bladder. And so those are kind of the things that can begin to happen. When you kick butt. It’s no you know, there’s no harm if you’re doing it very occasionally, or, but just getting in the habit of it is not. There’s, it’s not a healthy habit.
Dr. Heather Finley 36:27
I just thought when you told me that that was so interesting. And I feel like I tell people that all the time. And so it’s just I don’t know, it’s a good thing to know. But yeah,
Lacey Welch 36:36
yeah, something you don’t really think about? No, I
Dr. Heather Finley 36:39
think it’s just normal, like, Oh, we’re about to leave, go to the bathroom. So well, that kind of close us out. What are your favorite like simple at home things that people can do to improve their pelvic health? Whether they’re struggling? Probably more like specifically with constipation or digestive issues? Like where should someone start? What should they start incorporating?
Lacey Welch 37:03
Yeah, probably people are gonna expect me to say, key goals or key ones, however you want to say it, it’s either or, but I’m not going to say I, my number one thing would be to take, you know, two to five minutes a day to just breathe. Breathing, helps with pelvic floor mobility. So it like what I was talking about earlier, your diaphragm movement correlates to pelvic floor mobility. So if we’re dealing with either, you know, leaking still or constipation, movement of the pelvic floor is going to help because when you’re, you’re quiet and you’re breathing, you can begin to start to feel what is actually happening with your pelvic floor, if you if you choose to be in tune with that. And so that connection is going to help you because hopefully, that will translate into when you need to have a bowel movement, you can sit and you can maybe breathe air and let your pelvic floor either open and let the stool come out. Or when you are in a place of I got to get to the bathroom right now, I don’t want to leak maybe you can incorporate breathing there and in remember what it feels like for your pelvic floor to move in contract. So So breathing can help with that. But it also I talked about earlier massages the colon. So it, it sort of gently reminds it to to move into digest and so that can be really helpful with constipation. I mentioned this briefly, but it helps you connect with your body too. And sometimes, you know, we’re just busy from the moment we open our eyes till we go to sleep at night, but there’s just no connection time with with your body. And you know how important that is to nurture relationships with your spouse or partner or friend, your children, you have to connect and so it’s just as important to connect with your own body. And then it also helps with stress management. So diaphragmatic breathing helps with lowering your blood pressure that helps with processing thoughts it’s can be a form of meditation just to sit there and breathe. And so breathing would be my number one recommendation. And there are different ways of breathing. But I’m not going to go in into that just breathing in general was good. Then my my next recommendation would be to drink water, just drink. Drink your water, just plain water. No, no added sugars or anything like that. Now, I know that sometimes it’s helpful to add a little bit of salt in there for mineral absorption if your water is filtered. But anyway, you can you can tell them all the things you need to do there but getting a good amount of water are normally I recommend at the low end half to half of your body weight in ounces a day. And sometimes that’s too much for my clients. So we just take a step back. So if you’re someone struggling to drink water, I would say just give yourself reasonable goals. If you have a hard time finishing a single glass a day, just make that your goal for a week. And then you begin to, I truly believe that once you start drinking more water, your body begins to crave more water. And so eventually, your body will just remind you that you need to drink water, but that is going to help hydrate, not in not just help with digestion, but it helps to hydrate your tissues to help support your pelvic organs, to not develop pelvic organ prolapse, because of the lack of hydration, it helps to hydrate the fascia that will help your pelvic floor, but also the colon within your abdomen. So the other thing, you know, I’m I don’t know how many things you want me to give. But I don’t I don’t have too many more. But sleep would be the other one.
Lacey Welch 41:06
It’s just it’s such a major, a major foundational thing that you need for good overall overall health. And also, if you’re looking at it just purely from like your pelvic floor and pelvic organ perspective, it also allows us to be horizontal for the day. And because constantly, gravity is pulling everything down all day long. So it can help prevent prolapse. And it can help pelvic congestion, and all of that to lay down and sleep. So yeah, and we’ve already talked about diet. And then the other thing would just be like outside getting outside. And really just being outside and the sun is great. Moving your body maybe in a way you don’t normally move it. I’m not going as far to say, you know, you need to exercise because sometimes that’s just not what people want to hear. And I think we can all start with just either sitting outside for five minutes, or just moving our body in a different way than we normally do so.
Dr. Heather Finley 42:10
And you’re more likely to stick with it if you enjoy it. Right. So going outside and doing something fun. Yes, yes.
Lacey Welch 42:17
I was like,
Dr. Heather Finley 42:18
Well, this was super helpful. I think. Hopefully, as time goes on, we can reduce the stigma of pelvic health and more people will seek help from pelvic health providers. So my last question for you. And then also tell us like where people can find you and how they can connect with you is, what is your favorite way to love your gut. Since this is called the love your gut podcast?
Lacey Welch 42:43
Yes, I honestly, I hate to be redundant. But I feel like for me, the best way that I can love my gut in this season of my life, is to drink water to drink the amount of water that I know I need to drink daily, because it makes it makes a huge difference for me, even if my diet is is poor. If I get enough water, I know that my body is functioning a little bit better. Gut, my gut is functioning a whole lot better when I nurture it with water.
Dr. Heather Finley 43:16
Totally, I think Yeah. And that’s a simple thing. People can always work on doing that. So basically tell us where people can find you and connect with you and all the good things.
Lacey Welch 43:26
Yeah, I am on Instagram and Facebook at under the hood PT. I get on there occasionally. I’m not I go through phases, but I can be found there. I have a website. It’s under the hood. pt.com. And then you can you know find my email address and phone number from those places and contact me honestly, I am happy to answer just any question you might have. You don’t have to schedule an appointment with me to reach out to me so
Dr. Heather Finley 43:59
well thank you so much for being a resource and for sharing this episode. And thank you all for tuning in. And we’ll see you next week on the next episode. Well, that wraps up the next episode of the love your gut podcast. Thank you so much for joining.
Please note that this episode is not a substitute for medical advice. And you should always consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes.
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