Hypopressive exercises (often known just as hypopressives) are well known in Spanish-speaking countries because a Spanish doctor developed them (from a yogic technique). They are increasingly becoming known about in the UK. I trained with UK Hypopressives.
How does it work?
You learn a sequence of positions in which you create a breath apnea (ie you hold the breath). This changes the intra-abdominal pressure between the respiratory diapraghm and the pelvic diaphragm. Where this pressure has been compromised by childbirth, reduction of core strength, poor posture or back problems for example, the hypopressives can re-establish the intergrity of the organs and muscles in relation to one another.
Once you've learnt the full sequence, it takes approximately 7 minutes to do. This is a realistic daily exercise to fit into a busy life.
Why did you become a hypopressives trainer?
Teaching Pregnancy and Mother & Baby Yoga, I know a LOT of postnatal women. Sometimes the birth, or doing too much too soon after the birth, can lead to prolapse. Also the impact of childbirth can result in incontinence issues or a general feeling of weakness around the pelvic floor, which means women are always looking for the nearest toilet, avoid long walks or exercising. Up to 40% of postnatal women are estimated to have urinary incontinence so it is common, but not normal: that is, you don't need to put up with it!
Also, through the women's circles I run, I know a lot of menopausal and postmenopausal women. Someone may never have had a problem and then with the change of hormones, a prolapse can occur. Because of these two client groups, I was looking for something that I could offer to support them.
How do I learn these exercises?
There are lots of videos on YouTube, but having been on the training I would say it's near impossible to learn without someone there to check your posture in each of the positions and to give you feedback on the breathing technique.
I can teach you the hypopressives 121 or in a small group of up to 4 women. We would need approximately 4 sessions of one hour to learn the sequence. However, sometimes if women have already done something like yoga or pilates, they pick up the sequence more quickly.
At the initial session, I would make an assessment of your posture, abdominal strength etc. We would film either myself or you at each session so that you can follow the instructions easily at home.
Do hypopressives cure prolapse?
It may be possible to alter the position of the prolapse if it is less severe. However, if it is a severe prolapse, the position may not change, but the function is very likely to improve. It may also depend on which organ(s) has prolapsed. My clients have noticed a marked difference in how the prolapse feels and increased confidence in doing everyday activities.
The hypopressives are not a one-quick fix, but are exercises that should be done frequently. On average I do mine 5 times a week and notice a worsening in my posture if I don't keep up with them.
For questions that you have, for an informal chat about if they will help your individual situation, or to enquire about an appointment please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 07766 707119.
"Thank you for very clear instructions and guidance! I managed to do the routine this morning first thing and it flowed well." (Miia, Oct 2018)
"Since finding out that I had a mild prolapse and researching ways I could improve it, I came across hypopressives. Having never done anything like this before, I wasn't sure what to expect but I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tessa broke the sequence down in manageable chunks and I learnt it very quickly. Not only does it not take up much time at all each day, I also find it a relaxing way to start my morning, just focusing on my breathing and the routine.
As well as feeling positive about being proactively doing something to reduce my prolapse symptoms, it has also helped me focus on improving my posture." (Terri G)