About the Love Muscle and Love Muscle Exercise Techniques

(The Love Muscle is also called the PC Muscle. PC is short for "Pubococcygeous", the anatomical name for the Love Muscle. Kegel is the name of the Doctor who started prescribing PC muscle exercises to his female patients. These PC exercises were named after Dr. Kegel, thus the description of doing your Kegels or Kegel exercises.)

INFORMATION ABOUT KEGELS

Why should I do Kegel exercises?

We can offer you two good reasons to exercise your pelvic floor muscles: improved vaginal health and increased sexual pleasure. The exercises described here (named after Dr. Kegel) can help you prevent or improve weakness in the pelvic floor. Kegels are particularly important for women whose pelvic floor ligaments have been stretched (common with childbirth), but most women can benefit from them. Whatever your motivation, it's never too late to begin to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

What is a "pelvic floor?"

More important than what your pelvic floor is, do you know where it is? With arms at your sides, place your hand(s) under your buttocks and sit gently on your hands. You should be able to feel your "sit bones," or the very bottom tip(s) of your pelvic bone. Between the sit bones lie your vulva (surrounding the vaginal and urethral openings, *censored*oral shaft and head), your perineum (between the vaginal opening and anal opening), and your anus. This space is your "pelvic Root"

You may wonder why that part of you doesn't sag down. Muscles which surround the urethra, vagina, and anus passively keep your innards inside where they belong and provide passive closing of the urethra in women. Active contraction of the pelvic floor can be felt as part of the "internal" muscle contraction that happens with arousal and orgasm.

What does this have to do with me?

Pelvic floor strength varies because each individual's muscle strength and pelvic structure is different. Some women go through life without problems, while others suffer urinary incontinence, uterine prolapse less common), or anal prolapse (less common), due in part to weakened pelvic floor muscles. Women who are unaware of their pelvic floor may also experience less sexual pleasure than they otherwise might, because they are not aware of the feedback from their pelvic floor during arousal.

Can you prove it'll work?

Many of the scientists who have studied Kegel exercises and whether they improve urinary continence (the ability to hold urine during the day and night) have not shown positive results. But we've worked with many women with urinary incontinence who, through their efforts, have regained their continence and avoided surgery. Why this discrepancy? We think the reason lies in the instructions for Kegels. Most women are told to sit on the toilet, begin to urinate, and then stop the stream of urine by flexing their pelvic floor muscles. Women who come to " A Woman's Touch" often report that they don't understand the connection between the "urine thing" and their pelvic floor muscles.

To do these exercises properly, a person needs direct feedback: "Am I doing this right? How can I tell if I'm exercising the right muscle?" It's really hard to get this type of information from the "stopping the stream" instructions. In fact, Kegel exercises were originally done with physician coaching - the physician would place a finger into the woman's vagina and ask her to clamp her muscles down around the physician's finger. In a provider-client relationship, the two worked together to understand the anatomy, confirm the flexion of the pelvic floor, work through a schedule of exercises, and assess progress. This is a lengthy process that most health care providers simply don't have time for.

How do I find them on my own?

You can isolate your own pelvic floor muscles by inserting your finger(s) into your vagina and checking for the pulling/ squeezing sensation of the muscles around your finger(s). This is a wonderful exercise to include in your personal self-exploration. If you can isolate the flexion and coordination of these muscles, you can do Kegels anytime, anywhere.

So, what about this egg thing?

Some women don't feel comfortable, can't reach far enough, or have lost too much strength to clamp around their finger(s) effectively. For these women, and for others who plan to strengthen their pelvic floor substantially, a "resistive device" used with vaginal insertion can help to specifically identify and strengthen the pelvic floor. It’s basically using biofeedback to help you practice your exercises. At "A Woman 's Touch", we suggest using the Crystal Egg.

For under $20, you can learn about your anatomical pelvic floor, discover how to contract the muscles properly, and provide gentle resistance to strengthen your pelvic muscles, all in the privacy of your own space. While other products (often referred to as "vaginal barbell's) are available elsewhere, their cost is very high (around $80). Many women prefer being able to close the vaginal opening completely around the egg shape. Barbells can, however, be used for pelvic floor strengthening and as a sex toy, so if you have one and you like it, keep using it!

Why do them on my back?

You don't necessarily need to do these exercises lying down, but we often suggest that you start on your back since the egg itself has some weight. If your muscles are really weak, the egg might be too heavy to hold in if you are standing. When you can put a fair amount of resistance on the egg and still hold it inside, you may want to try these exercises standing up.

Is this going to take a lot of my time?

Nope. Regular practice of pelvic floor exercises takes no longer than it takes most people to brush their teeth.

What if I forget?

If you forget to do these exercises (go on a trip, maybe, or just plain decide you need a vacation from Kegels), nothing is lost. You don't develop cavities from not brushing your teeth one time, either. Just go back to the exercises when you can.

Good luck! You are on the way to a healthier, stronger pelvic floor!

What you'll need:

To perform pelvic floor exercises with the Crystal Egg, you'll need:

* Your own permission to care for yourself and your body. No one else can do this for you.

* Vaginal relaxation or tone that allows for two fingers' dilation when not aroused (the Crystal Egg is about the width of two fingers at its widest point). If this is uncomfortable for you, please ask us for help. Gentle dilation with the Lucite Venus has worked successfully for other women.

* Time: 5-15 minutes, twice a day.

* A private space (your bathroom?), where you can lie down on the floor, lock others out of the room if you'd like, and not be interrupted.

* A place (maybe by your toothbrush in the bathroom to act as a memory prompter: When you brush your teeth, it's time to do pelvic floor exercises! Wherever works for you is fine.

* The Crystal Egg

* Sexual lubricant. You probably won't be aroused or necessarily lubricated, so use a sexual lubricant on the egg and your vulva. Don't use oil or Vaseline - you could give yourself a yeast infection with these products used vaginally.

General instructions:

1. Insert the egg (use plenty of lubricant).

2. Pull the egg up inside of your vagina.

3. Add gentle resistance by pulling lightly on the egg's string while you continue to pull the egg inwards.

4. Relax your hand resistance.

5. Relax your pelvis completely.

Remember, you haven't completed a Kegel until you learn to relax the muscles.

Intentional relaxation is just as important as the strengthening/flexing part.

At first, do five Kegels in the morning and five at night. Work up to 10 in the morning and 10 at night. Your goal is to do 20 in the morning and 20 at night. When you're done, wash off the egg with water (or soap and water), pat dry, put it back in its little bag.

copyright 1998, 1999, Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS.

Adapted and reprinted with permission from the "Ask Dr. Myrtle" section of "A Woman’s Touch’s" website. See Links page for a-womans-touch.com

Kegel Exercises for Women*
Follow this schedule for your Kegel exercises. Do each series twice a day. **
Week 1

5 flicks, 10 (3 - sec. holds), 5 flicks
Week 2

10 flicks, 15 (5 sec. holds), 10 flicks
Week 3

15 flicks, 15 (10 sec. holds), 15 flicks
Week 4

20 flicks, 20 (10 sec. holds), 20 flicks
Week 5

30 flicks, 30 (10 sec. holds), 30 flicks
Week 6

40 flicks, 40 (10 sec. holds), 40 flicks
Week 7

50 flicks, (50 gradual holds), 50 flicks
Week 8 50 flicks, (50 gradual holds), 50 flicks


About Cynthia
Cynthia Lamborne is a leader in the field of sacred sexuality and Tantra. Her background and training includes: comprehensive study with several Tantric Masters; extensive travel in Egypt, India and Nepal; 30 years of training and experience with thousands of men and women as an intimacy coach and workshop facilitator; and teaching Transcendental Meditation for 10 years.
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