This article first appeared in the November 2019 issue of Lifelines, the Life West student magazine.
“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.”
It is postulated that the environment and the world we live in is reflected within our bodies – our innermost world. Chaos and stability are part of growth and adaptation in a continuously evolving dynamic ecosystem. However, it can be challenging to find a consistent and stable structure in life that is also reflected within the body.
When we think about stability, what comes to mind? Where is your foundation? Where are you most stable? Is it within one of the energetic centers of your chakras? Is it your womb? Your heart? Your mind? The instinct of your gut? Is it your family or loyal pet? Or maybe it is your love of others or love of self? According to Merriam-Webster, “stability” is the strength to stand or endure as well as the property of a body that is able to restore to its original condition after being disturbed from a condition of equilibrium. (1)
Being Chiropractors and students of Chiroprac-tic, we often look to the spine for the cause of whatever condition that’s manifested. In searching for stability from a holistic perspective, I look to the base of the body and am immediately drawn to the last five fused segments of the vertebral column. The strength of this bone is due to its fused interconnected segments, which creates the shape of a shield, or wings. Let’s explore the base of everyone’s spine, os sacrum otherwise known in Latin as the “sacred/holy bone.”
Sanskrit (one of the oldest languages in the world, 2000 BC) uses the word “Muladhara” (Mula = root, adhara = support/base) to describe the area of the first three sacral vertebrae at the base of the spine and pelvic floor. The Muladhara or root chakra is extremely important because it is the first energetic center of the body. It creates the solid foundation for the rest of the energetic centers of the body. These energetic systems also correlate to the master glands within the human body. When imbalances occur in this area, the person may experience anxiety, overwhelming fear, nightmares, physical imbalances of the colon, bladder, lower back, pain in legs/ feet, and even prostate problems. (2). The Muladhara is housed by the sacrum and the pelvic floor muscles.
How can we resolve the instability in the foundation of our spine and improve our overall physiology while reinforcing the energetic base of our body? Quite simply – breath, lifestyle, and exercise.
A thorough pelvic floor rehabilitation program consists of a Chiropractor and/or physical therapist performing manual therapy, neuromuscular reeducation, and behavioral modifications to support and re-educate the organs, nerves, fascia and muscles of the abdomino-pelvic and lumbo-sacro-hip regions. (3) For the individual without complicated health conditions who has the desire for self-care without the support of a health care practitioner, effective results with pelvic floor strengthening can result within 4-6 weeks by performing these exercises along with diaphragmatic breathing:
- Empty bladder
- Tighten pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10 seconds
- Relax muscles completely for 10 seconds
- Perform for 10 repetitions, 3 to 5 times a day (morning, afternoon and evening)
The great thing about these breath and pelvic strengthening movements is that an individual can do these exercises anytime and anyplace, although it is best to perform when lying down or while seated. (4)
The beautiful thing about being human is our ability to develop and adapt interconnected systems of the body. Stability comes from within, and once that foundation is established, increases the potential of that expression in our outer world.
- “Stability.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-Webster.com/dictionary/stability.
- Fondin, Michelle, et. Al. “The Root Chakra: Muladhara.” The Chopra Center, 10. Apr. 2019, https://chopra.com/articles/the-root-chakra-Muladhara.
- Stein A, Sauder SK, Reale J. The role of physical therapy in sexual health in men and women: Evaluation and treatment. Sex Med Rev 2019;7:46–56.
- “Pelvic Floor Muscle Training Exercises: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003975.htm.