Episode 34: Thoughts on Incontinence
Description: Frank Talk about an Important Issue
Over 25 million Americans suffer from some form of incontinence. Most sufferers don’t like to talk about it. For those that do, they are offered few solutions aside from adult diapers, pharmaceuticals or surgery. But incontinence is a symptom of greater movement and lifestyle issues, and there are steps—LITERALLY! —that you can take to begin improving the health of your pelvis and the functions housed within. Listener Discretion Advised: there is no profanity in this episode, but it does contain (sometimes silly) discussions about sex, poop, and penises, so choose your listening company and environment accordingly.
KATY: It’s the Katy Says podcast, where movement geek, Dani Hemmat – that’s you – joins biomechanist, Katy Bowman – that’s me – author of Move Your DNA – for discussions on body mechanics, movement nutrition, natural movement, and how movement can be the solution to modern ailments we all experience.
DANI: All of us! Woo hoo!
KATY: All of us! We all experience together!
DANI: I know –
KATY: I’m experiencing it right now.
DANI: I know you – like me – you are a fall person. Like, you love the fall.
KATY: I love it.
DANI: Me, too. It’s like the come alive season for me.
KATY: What’s your biggest thing about – like, if you could pick word, one object about fall, what would is it?
DANI: Why one?
KATY: Okay, three.
DANI: Okay. Well, I like the light.
KATY: The light. All right,
DANI: I think the light is exceptionally pretty. Fall lighting is gorgeous. I’m just going to stick with that. There’s so many, but we can’t even get into squash or the smell of leaves, or –
KATY: Squash. Squash is mine.
DANI: Is that your favorite?
KATY: I’m all about squash.
DANI: Do you have a particular squash that you are hooked on right now?
KATY: I know, it’s a categorical thing, but these, like, sad acorn squash that I grew because my kids were so excited, they harvested them all. Like, they’re so tiny.
DANI: They really are acorn squash.
KATY: They are. Yeah, they’re tiny. It’s like; they’re supposed to be larger than acorn, kids, eventually? But yeah. Pumpkins, acorn squash. I love spaghetti squash. It’s just – it’s all about squash. Every – at least twice a day we’re eating some squash in something. So it’s all about the squash.
DANI: Squash is awesome.
KATY: And the light.
DANI: Yeah. I got hooked on – how do you say it, is it kobucha squash, last year?
KATY: I don’t even know, what does it look like?
DANI: It’s kinda homely and kinda lumpy and you just roast it and put sriracha on it, and oh. Oh! I could eat a whole squash, just like that.
DANI: But then you end up with orange poop, so that’s always fun, too.
KATY: You’re like savory, you like the savory.
KATY: Or the spicy.
DANI: Yeah, as I get older. Must be an old person thing. Guess what happens – all the things that happen in the fabulous month of November.
KATY: Fabulous things that are in November. Fabulous things – I don’t know, fill me in. I cannot think of one fabulous thing, besides squash.
DANI: We got Thanksgiving.
KATY: Yeah, that’s true. I don’t really see that as a fabulous – I’m not really a Thanksgiving celebrator, you know, because of the roots of the holiday.
DANI: Right, but food is fun.
KATY: The togetherness.
DANI: Yeah, togetherness.
KATY: Well, yeah. You know what? I actually eat year-round now, though. Like, I eat year round.
DANI: Wow, that’s radical, man. I don’t know. I don’t know.
KATY: Pumpkin pie? I’m like, I just make pumpkin pie whenever I want.
DANI: I think pumpkin pie should be had all year. Really. That’s why they can it, folks. That’s why they put it in a can. Not for you to buy it for November and December, but all year.
KATY: It’s like, we should all have pumpkin pie whenever’s possible. Okay, what else?
DANI: What else happens in the month of November? It is National Incontinence and Bladder Health Awareness month. Dun-dun-dunnn!
KATY: Hmmmm! So we’re going to talk about that today?
DANI: That’s what we’re going to talk about today. The National Association for Continence- which, I didn’t even know there was one, so there’s that.
KATY: That’s a better name, I think that’s at least a better name than the National Association for Incontinence, if you want to talk about semantics.
DANI: That’s a lot of – yeah, pretty small membership there. But they report that 25 million Americans – just wrap your head around that – 25 million Americans experience incontinence. That’s huge. But there’s a little misconception – or a big misconception – that a lot of people have with incontinence. It’s not just unavoidable consequence of aging or childbirth, right?
KATY: No, and what’s interesting is that I wasn’t actually listening to those last things that you said because I realized, I don’t think I’ve ever looked up the word “continence.” Have you?
DANI: Have I ever looked it up? Um…no!
KATY: I had never – I just looked it up right now. I was like, you know –
DANI: Wow, you’re fast!
KATY: I know what the word incontinence means – well, that’s because I wasn’t listening. I was busy just doing something else, and I was like, oh wait! She paused! It’s my turn to talk! No – but I – so continence refers to self-control.
KATY: So incont – I just think that’s um, interesting. The ability to retain a bodily fluid. I’d be interested in a broader – like, not a modern definition – but anyway. We should totally have a researcher for this podcast.
DANI: Yeah, well, that probably should be me. I should do that.
KATY: It looks like – well, I meant someone besides – we’re too busy!
DANI: That’s true.
KATY: We are busy and famous? And we are flying around in our jets.
DANI: Mine’s invisible. My jet.
KATY: That’s because you’re Wonder Woman!
DANI: Da da da da! (Wonder Woman theme plays.)
KATY: Let’s see – what – actually – so there is a Catholic Encyclopedia and it may be defined as the absence – interesting – anyway.
DANI: Wow, this has totally gone off the rails. You need better control of your bodily functions, Katy.
KATY: We are totally not continent when it comes to – we have like a poor verbal continence, right?
DANI: Yes. We are verbally incontinent.
KATY: We are verbally incontinent. Yeah, this is true.
DANI: It’s good to have a label like that. That’s good. I think that suits us both.
KATY: I don’t even know what you’re talking about. The squash. It’s all the verbal squash that I’m eating.
DANI: Okay, everybody eat pumpkin. All right. There’s different kinds – like, some people sneeze and they pee a little in their pants.
DANI: Some people laugh, or they jump down off a curb and they pee in their pants. They can’t go on a trampoline because they might pee.
KATY: Interestingly enough, all of those are the same kind of incontinence, though.
DANI: Okay. Well, what would you call that?
KATY: Those are all stress incontinence.
KATY: So there’s stress incontinence, where the involuntary loss of urine is associated with anything that increases physical stress or pressure to – well, anywhere in the body, but the path of least resistance or the weakest link is going to be your pelvic floor. So snee-pee – is that what they call it? Like, snee – sneeze-pee. Rhymes so much better. Sneeze pee, trampoline pee, laugh pee, jump down the curb pee, Crossfit pee –
DANI: Oh, yeah.
KATY: You know, so it’s anything where you’ve raised the pressure in your body, so like if you pick up something really heavy, that’s also stress incontinence. It’s where the reactions of your body, whether they are to increase intra-abdominal pressure to brace against your spine, or this heavy load or if there’s a violent shake to your body, which jumping or trampolining or jump roping or sneezing or laughing – or again, you’re increasing the pressure to your abdomen, which then goes and pushes on the pelvic cavity, which then creates a pressure on the bladder. All of those are stress incontinence. So that’s one type. Then there’s also urge incontinence. And urge incontinence is the kind of constant, for no apparent reason, sudden urge – urgent need to void or pee, because it can be fecal at the same – it doesn’t always have to be – it’s not always urine.
KATY: So you could have – like, they don’t – sneeze pee, that could also be sneeze crap your pants. It’s happened.
DANI: It can happen.
KATY: It can happen!
DANI: It can happen.
KATY: You know, it’s – so incontinence doesn’t refer exclusively to urine. It’s just any time you can not keep your fluids, whatever they may be – in. So urge incontinence, if you’re getting up in the middle of the night a couple times to make it through the night, with regularity, not because you drank a 40 ouncer before you went to bed. Of water! I mean, actually, you don’t really call it 40 ouncers. That’s what nerds call it. I think it’s just a 40.
DANI: Yeah. Just. Yeah.
KATY: I drank a 40 ouncer. That would be a mathematician, not –
DANI: Spill a little H2O on the floor for my homies.
KATY: Yeah. So that spasm in the bladder – or in the wall of the bladder, problems with the nerves or the muscle. So that’s a little bit different, because –
DANI: So urge – the urge incontinence is spasms, did you say?
KATY: Well, the pressure – the change in the shape of the bladder, which is pushing on the pee, which makes it have to come out, is the spasm. But it’s different because you’re just laying there. Or lying there, as my husband, who is more grammatically correct would say. Even my 2 year old is like, “it’s lie, not lay.” I was like, oh. Thanks. So with stress incontinence, you’ve done something to change the pressure. With urge incontinence, the bladder itself has changed shape, which creates the pressure, so it’s not related to any particular activity in that moment. There is also overflow incontinence, which is when you don’t empty completely – men or women –
KATY: So it’s – you’re not emptying all the way, like, you should empty all the way, every time you go to the bathroom. That’s kind of how it works, but with overflow incontinence, there’s some sort of – I guess the easiest way to say it is there’s blocked tubes for some structural reason. So say you have an inflamed prostate – so you have to think of it as a fixed container size. So when you have things like inflammation, maybe your urethra is inflamed, or your prostate is inflamed, or you have the ligaments when you have prolapse, where your organs are dropping. They’re pressing on tubes, kind of like, remember when we did our clothing – we did our clothing episode. It was like, you know, your tight pants are pushing on tubes. Same thing goes for misplaced organs or swollen organs. They start pressing on tubes, and so your exit pathway of your – your exit tubes – become less in size, which blocks the flow of everything. And so you – I think the biggest risk of that one is infection, right? Because you’re always holding a little bit in, and instead of this regular fill/void/fill/void, there’s always, like this residual and then the longer stuff sits in your body, the more likely it can grow bacteria that you don’t want it to grow and then that leads to infection. And then there’s a couple more, but one other one that I think will be pertinent to this discussion is transient incontinence.
KATY: So transient means it comes and goes, so it’s not a condition as much as it is a name for a situation or symptom. So stress incontinence, if you have it regularly, then you would get the diagnosis of stress incontinence. Transient incontinence is a short-lived issue, so like, constipation, or you have a temporary urinary tract infection, or you’re taking medication like a diuretic, or maybe you’re taking sleeping pills and you don’t – you’re unable to get up when you have to go pee, and so you’re having an inability to control – for some other reason, it’s a side effect. Like a transient incontinence is a side effect of another medical issue. So one reason that I called it out, like, I could have just left this off, is that there’s this category for incontinence where it’s the result of something else but I think that as we’re talking today, you can always think of all incontinence as the result – I don’t know, what’s the plural of incontinence? Incontinences.
DANI: I don’t know. I’m going to put that on our research assistant. (Calls off-mic) Would you get on that? Thank you.
KATY: Could you also make a note to hire one?
DANI: Yeah, he’s totally on it.
KATY: Awesome. Okay, good. Is it your dog? Because your dogs are really smart. Really smart dogs.
DANI: Cheap! Works cheap.
KATY: Yeah. So, anyway.
DANI: Every kind of incontinence is really a result of something else is what you just said.
KATY: Yes. So transient – I don’t - yeah, I think that we can call it transient necessarily for the fact that it’s a side effect of something else as much as it’s not constant. It comes and it goes. Anyway, those would be what we’re talking about today.
DANI: Okay. And you have often – I mean, I know you’re such a pelvic floor person.
KATY: I am.
DANI: (sings) And my pelvic floor shadow!
KATY: Strollin’ around.
DANI: In fact, let’s just backtrack a little bit before we move forward – how did you initially become so smitten with the pelvic floor?
KATY: Well, it was when I was in graduate school. It was probably the first – um, I think when I first just started – I mean, I know – when I first started graduate school it was because I was interested in cultural patterns of movement and the ailments that developed from developed nations, or developing nations. Like, I was really interested in the physical mechanism of ailments because there – there are ailments that are local to particular lifestyles, or that you’ll find in those areas, so I was interested in that. And then one day, I was – I don’t know, in Target or some drug store, and I walked down – trying to find the contact solution, because it is so hard to ever find where they put the Q-tips and the contact solution. I feel like those are things that every human needs so they hide it in the bowels of drugstores so that you have to walk past everything else.
DANI: Well, it’s like the fairy kingdom. It’s kind of just – it moves and it’s hidden, and you never really know where it should be.
KATY: No. But look, on your way out you could buy 2 CDs, and this book that you didn’t need, and this lip-gloss and this purse. So thanks, Target, here’s $90. Once again. Because I needed Q-Tips. Anyway, I was just wandering around, looking for the things that human beings need for health – not the amenities or the extras, but the basics – and I walked through what I thought was the diaper aisle for kids, but it was the incontinence products. And I don’t know why I was looking – I didn’t have any kids, you know, I was like 24 or something like that. And I was walking down, and I saw the babies, and then I saw, they had, like, newborn diapers, and then they had diapers for you know, the kids as they get older – and I didn’t have any kids, so I was like, I don’t get it. And then all of a sudden I saw toddler diapers and then I saw diapers for 4-5 year olds, and then there was the young, active, fit woman dependents – like, it filled both aisles, and there was a product for every single age. For every single stage of the li – it was just, it struck me as, wow! I didn’t realize – I didn’t realize that kids need diapers until 4 or 5, you know. And I’m not talking about, like the specialty – I mean, I realize there’s special issues.
KATY: It was just like, the wall of padding. And it was just all plastic, and I – it just really struck me as – wow! Incontinence must be an issue from birth until death, right? Because it ended with the silver box of what you need at end stages of your life. And It just struck me as really profound, so I went home and immediately started looking at research, and that directed the rest of my graduate school career. That’s all I focused on for the most part, was I still did a lot of cultural issues, but – you kind of have to specialize, and so I specialized in mechanics – the mechanics of the pelvic floor. And so that’s where it all came from. It all came from being lost in the drugstore, and really good marketing.
DANI: Wow. I’m so glad that you were in that aisle, that you couldn’t find your saline solution for your contacts, because the works that –
KATY: Thanks, Target!
DANI: Thanks, Target! For helping all of us! So really – that actually – you kind of go into my next question I had for you, so it’s Incontinence Awareness month, right? Right. But – it’s all about the pelvic floor, I mean – and that’s what we should be talking about. And so this show can be about incontinence because that’s what we decided that we were going to talk about today, but could you – I know this is a really big question, but –
KATY: What’s it all mean, Katy?
DANI: No. How – I mean – tell me how the pelvis integrates into everything the body does. And I know, like, in your books – and I’m just going to call this out for people that have not read it. Like, Alignment Matters chapter 4 – there’s 41 pages of pelvic floor blog posts. All helpful, all very eye opening and very useful. One of my favorites is 1-2-3-4, We Like Our Pelvic Floor – yay!
KATY: That’s so old! I think about it now and I’m like, I wrote that so long ago!
DANI: I know! I know! But – that was one of the first things I read of yours, and it was just like, you know, rubbing my eyes going wee-kee-wee-kee – WHAT?
DANI: And chapter 10 in Move Your DNA – you’re – Not Your Great-Great-Great-Great- Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandparents’ Pelvis chapter –
DANI: - is a really good one for those of you that have not, you know, gone into this aspect of how important the pelvic floor is. That chapter is great, because it’s not just keeping – like, your pelvic floor isn’t an isolated part of your body. It’s a big part of everything that you do. And everything that you do keeps it healthy and vice versa. So can you kind of talk about how it integrates – is that a dumb question? How does it integrate everything – like, it matters so much to us.
KATY: I know.
DANI: The pelvis matters so much.
KATY: Well, it matters to you and I – and there’s a whole bunch of people out there, I think, clinicians and body workers and people interested in movement. Like, the pelvis – the pelvic floor, right – which is just a small part of the pelvis, right – so
KATY: I wrote a lot on the pelvic floor because it’s a good entry portal because so many people, clinicians were into –
KATY: Oh, my gosh, I didn’t even realize I just did that. It’s an entry – it’s a gateway.
DANI: Okay, I’m under control now.
KATY: It is – it was a good way to kind of get people to get people to – to think in a particular way about the body, and I think with Move Your D - so all those posts, all those blog posts – and you can read all the blog posts on the pelvis section of Katy Says – it’s in the chapter of Alignment Matters where there’s so many articles. But again, for the most part, those were about the pelvic floor, but then trying to connect it to other pieces, because the pelvic floor does not work in a vacuum. I resisted as long as I could.
DANI: It’s okay. It’s good.
KATY: So, thank you.
DANI: I’m still trying to control myself. Sitting on my hands over here.
KATY: You have to stop listening to what I say. When I do a big pause, you’re going to start talking again. With Move Your DNA, I tried to approach it from a different way, which is saying there is no – I mean, yes, there is a pelvic, there are pelvic floor muscles. But those muscles are attached to bones, and those bones are attached to other muscles, and the loads to the pelvic floor aren’t only the weight of the organs sitting on top of them. The weight fluctuates with the pressures that you create with your body, with the movement. And so I think that there’s been kind of a linear understanding of the pelvic floor for a long time, which is just the way that all anatomy is kind of understood at this time, but it makes solving problems about the pelvic floor a little bit more challenging. So this is National Incontinence Awareness Month, so I think it’s helpful that this discussion is even on the radar, because for a long time it was an embarrassing topic – for men and women – to discuss. It’s less so for women now because there’s like a billion websites. Men aren’t so fortunate to have the resources that women have, I think, across social media, right? There’s many women’s’ sites – and maybe there’s men’s sites, but the pink, which automatically – it’s like, oh, that site’s not for me, move on. So you really have to look hard to find the information. But at the same time, incontinence is just a symptom, and so you’re saying, should we call it pelvic floor health month? Yes. And then if we want to think even bigger than that, it really should be Pelvic Health –
KATY: - because your pelvic floor is only as healthy as the pelvis, but then again, the pelvis is only as healthy as the body, and the body is only as healthy as the environment in which it is in. So as far as solving pelvic floor mysteries goes, they are whole body/whole lifestyle issues. So with that premise, what does the pelvis do? It’s like, the pelvis – didn’t I list it in Move Your DNA? I’m like, the pelvis is like –
DANI: You did, and that’s why I say, when you say it’s important to me & you, but no – it’s important to everyone. It’s important to humans.
KATY: Sure. Yeah.
DANI: And that’s profound.
KATY: Yeah. Because the pelvis is going to be – I mean, it’s a – an exit portal. Almost – well, I guess not anymore, because we have Cesareans – but at one point, the pelvis was the exit for every human alive on the planet, which means you have directly interfaced with a pelvis and a pelvic floor, and the tension in the pelvic floor, and the health of the pelvic floor. And then, of course, there are other things like the micro biome in the vagina, and all these other things. Like, every person listening to this had the potential, at least, of shooting out a pelvis, and so therefore it matters – it matters to our species, and it’s – it is a mechanical environment that you have interacted with. And so the state of that mechanical environment, you know, is affecting your current shape of your body, right now, in every sense. So it’s large – well, I don’t want to call your pelvis large, because I don’t know. My pelvis is large. The pelvis is a big deal to the species as far as biology goes and reproduction, menstruation, having good sex, having healthy organs, pain-free organs –
DANI: Sperm production?
KATY: Well, reproduction.
KATY: I put reproduction, you know, that’s men and women. That’s all of it, you know, so it’s not just – when you’re not reproducing, or not in reproduction mode, you might not think about those types of things, but you know, your pelvic health is kind of like a red flag for the health of your – the state of your entire body, and then if you look at – what did you say the statistics were? Like, how many people were having incontinence? 25 million, is that what you said?
DANI: 25 million Americans, yeah.
KATY: 25 million Americans.
DANI: That’s just Americans.
KATY: Those are red flags.
KATY: For all of these other functions that pass through that – and we’ve seen a trend in incontinence affecting younger and younger populations of people. So anyway, again, these are just like red flags. It’s a symptom of a larger problem.
DANI: Okay. And it’s not just – well, I don’t want to get into – we’re going a whole other pelvis thing later.
KATY: Actually, can I just stop right here? Because here’s the message that I got. Dear Katy and Dani, what happened to the midbreak exercises? So I’m going to do one right now for the pelvis, do you mind?
DANI: I do not mind.
KATY: So we totally have, like, forgotten to do that for like the last little bit. She was like, it was so great because that was –
DANI: I got that, too, and I wanted to write back to her and tell her that we have a verbal incontinence problem. That is how we’ve skipped over those. But I liked them, too. Let’s do it.
KATY: So you can do the – you can do basically what is an oral kegel, which is just pinch your lips together really hard.
DANI: Those don’t work?
KATY: Is it working? Is it working? All right, so. Put your feet – look down at your feet and set your feet up so they’re pointing straight ahead, a little wider than pelvis width. And then you’re going to have minimal shoes on or be barefoot, meaning I just don’t want a heel under your foot right now. And you’re going to back your weight up into your heels so that the weight comes off of the toes, right? So there’s this kind of forward tendency that we have, I’m going closer to the microphone, and then I’m coming away and going towards my heels. Once you’re back at the rear part of your foot, kind of stacked over your heel bones, you’re going to shift your weight to the right leg. So even though you’re shifting your weight to the right leg, what’s happening is the left side of the pelvis is lowering towards the floor, and then you’re going to shift your weight over to the left leg. So this is really just gliding your pelvis from one leg to the other, but this is a pelvic mobility type exercise. So we’re standing up, and we’re shifting our weight from the right leg to the left leg, making sure that the weight stays back on the heels. And then open your feet a little bit wider – so maybe go double pelvis width? And then try it again, and you’ll notice that as you change the width of your legs, you can come closer or farther away – you will change the loads that you are placing on the muscles of the hip, which are also the muscles that connect the pelvis to the femur. So this is just a hip glide, side to side, but then you can try it in a forward bend. You can bend forward and put your hands on your thighs, but it works well if you rest them on the seat of a chair – so can you hear me if I bend over like this?
KATY: Because I have to do it – so you’re bent forward, and you’re going to do the same thing. You’re going to shift your weight to the right, and you’re going to shift your weight to the left. And the motion, while it looks the same – it’s still a shift to the right and to the left, because you’ve tipped your pelvis forward. You’ve flexed your hip. Now when you shift to the right and left, you’re going to feel it usually in your inner thighs – your adductor muscles, maybe. In your hamstring muscles. So it’s not really a stretch per se, because you’re actively moving from one side – there’s parts of you that are stretching – but you’re trying to move from one to the other, and you’re going to find that usually you have an ease of movement in one direction compared to the other. Do you have that? Do you have one side that glides better?
DANI: Oh, yeah. I do. I have one side that does everything a little bit better, for the most part.
KATY: Right or left?
KATY: This just feels so good; I might not come back up. Oh my god, that’s great. So anyway, that was my exercise. All right, carry on.
DANI: That was good, thank you. Let’s just go from there right into what kinds of things affect our pelvic health – the health of our pelvis.
KATY: Well, everything. Everything.
DANI: Could you list that out?
KATY: Starting now. Your footwear, your posture, the tightness of your pants, belts, how much you sit, how much you walk, or don’t, how you walk, or don’t –
DANI: How you sit.
KATY: How you sit, your diet – gosh, what are some other –
DANI: Well, like, whether you hold your stomach in or not.
KATY: Yes! The pressure, like, the intra-abdominal pressure that you keep all of the time, the mobility of your diaphragm, the position of your ribcage, all of those kind of go under the posture orientation of your parts – or alignment, because in that case it’d be like the forces that are created by your postures. The easiest way is: the loads that you create, the frequency that you load the pelvic floor. The best visual that I have ever done, I think, on the pelvic floor was – I did a creative, live segment for Jill Miller. She had a pregnancy creative live? I don’t know what they call it - a series? Did you see that, have you ever done a creative live?
KATY: So a creative live is a company – especially an education company, and they create an online experience that’s live, and you have someone come out – in this case, it was Jill Miller, who was of Yoga Tune-Up fame, and she put together, like, everything that you should consider during pregnancy to keep your body super viable. And she had different experts come out and explain different topics. And I came out and I was talking about – I had a plastic bag, like a plastic grocery bag. And I believe it was oranges. I set the plastic bag on a chair and I started filling it with oranges, talking about, you know, you are getting heavier; your abdominal contents are getting heavier. The baby is getting heavier. You know, you are growing a placenta in addition to a baby, you are adding more fluid. So the weight to your pelvic floor is increasing – but you’re just – the bag was just sitting on the chair, reflecting what humans do the bulk of the time, right? So you’re pregnant, but you still have to go to work, or you still sit and watch TV the bulk of the time. You’re still a sedentary person belonging to a sedentary culture. So meanwhile, every day you’re adding just a little bit more tangerine, the number of tangerines into this bag. And then I would pick up the bag, and so the strength of your muscles – the resting tension, the ability to conduct a particular level of force – comes with what you do most frequently. This bag of oranges sits on the chair most frequently. So in the rare – well, I don’t know what you want to call it – in the rare situation, when it gets up, now all of a sudden you pick the bag up and it accelerates the oranges down. But the pelvic floor was sitting most hours of the day, which is way different – you would have a way different adaptation, which is another way of saying strength – to your pelvic floor than if you grabbed the bag that’s sitting all day long and I was like, let’s go for a run, and I was like, “jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng” and the oranges are bouncing on the bottom, and then it sits back down for another 12-17 hours, and then it gets back up and “jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng, jeng.” You know, that is our pelvic floor’s experience of our movement. And you might not be adding oranges, which are baby weight. But in that same way, you have particular weight of your organs, and then let’s say you have a habit of bearing down, in which case that weight increases. It’s like putting a stack of weights on a scale and then pushing down on top of it, so it’s more than just the weight of the stuff – so movement causes accelerations, pressures cause accelerations. So your pelvic floor is, frankly, extremely deconditioned. And let’s say that you get exercise on a regular basis, the pelvic floor is a group of muscles that perform differently depending on the angles at which you use them. So say you – say I exercise every day: I walk every day, or I run every day. But the thing that you’re doing doesn’t use your hips in all of their ranges of motion. You’re not using – breadth is the best word, I think for it – it just means that there is – if you think of your hips as having 360 degrees amount of strength, and you’re like, I can squat – like, say you can squat with 150 pounds on your back and you’re coming up and you’re coming down and you can do, like, 40 of those, and that’s rad, but I say – here’s what I want you to do. I want you to turn your right foot all the way out to the right, and turn your left foot in 20 degrees and now I want you to see what you can squat, and all of a sudden it’s like, well, I can’t squat that much, and it’s like, yes, because you haven’t done that particular motion with your feet in one particular way, with your knees in one particular way, with an uneven terrain. So it’s a lack of robust strength to the pelvic floor, which is brought about by a sedentary lifestyle, and/or repetitive exercises as our primary movement nutrient input. So that – that’s what affects it, and then all those other things. Mood, stress, a psychological factors, diet, clothing. You know, like, that would be the big umbrella over it all.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Can we go back to that whole, movements that we don’t do a lot?
DANI: Like squatting? Okay, so you talk about squat like a weight lifting squat, right?
DANI: But a squat, like as a resting position – would you say that? Resting posture?
DANI: I never in my life had thought about that before I started following your work. Squatting. As a resting posture.
KATY: Did you come in through pelvic floor?
KATY: Most people – did I tell you the story of when I did a book signing in Minneapolis –
DANI: Actually, I just came in through pain in general, but I was having pelvic floor issues.
KATY: Well, I did a book signing in Minneapolis, right when Move Your DNA came out, like, not last June but the June before, and Mama Sweat was there? Who wrote that Pelvic Floor Party Not Invited?
DANI: Oh, yeah, yeah yeah.
KATY: And there was – I don’t know, there were probably 130-140 people there at this signing, and I had them raise their hands, and I was like, who has found out about Katy Says or any of my books or anything because of this – Kegels Not Invited thing? And probably 80% of the room raised their hand.
KATY: And I was like, this is Kara Thom, right here, who wrote that article, and it’s because of her that you are now, like on this trajectory of like, information or whatever. It was really amazing, where pelvic floor is probably still the #1 entry portal, if you will.
DANI: Which kind of just goes back to you saying how integral it is to the whole body health.
KATY: It is. It is.
DANI: I mean, if that many people are coming to you with those issues, then it matters a lot for men and women. So I hope any guys who started listening to this, I hope you’re still listening, because it matters.
KATY: Do you have a pelvic floor? It’s not pink, this episode is not pink.
DANI: Yep. Nope.
KATY: It’s for every human.
KATY: So anyway, so squats.
DANI: Well, squats. I mean, that’s just – and then I kind of just want to touch on kegels, but I know we don’t want to go into it too much. So squatting as a resting posture – it took a long time for me to do it. You can’t just – if you’ve never squatted, and you’ve been in a chair your whole life, you can’t just squat. It doesn’t work that way. You kind of have to prep for it. And in your blog and in your book you have great squat prep protocol for getting people into a squat.
KATY: But floor sitting – floor – like, a squat is a large category of motions, and it’s not – the squat as a position is not really more beneficial than the process of getting down and back up again. Those portions of a squat are also nutritious. So if someone plucked you up, moved your body parts into a particular configuration, and set you down on the ground, that’s not very nutritious. It’s the movement down and back up again – so for those of you who are like, I can’t even squat! I’m like, well, you can certainly go sit on the floor and support yourself. Sit on a couple pillows and get into something similar and then get back up again, and you, my friend, are doing a squat in this way and can reap some of these benefits. Except to say – I also like, because you know, the squat, you know, it’s like, “no more kegels,” a lot of people just say, well, let’s swap – swap the squats for the kegels and then you have a whole bunch of people who don’t really have any pelvic floor strength and who are bearing down through their squats, and it’s like, well, the key is to find exactly your squat range of motion and work within it so that you’re not creating that downward pressure. So if you have stress incontinence, which is leakage brought about by changes in pressure, where the change in pressure is greater than what your pelvic floor can resist against – you want to create movements that work within your pelvic floor’s current ability to withstand that stress, and then you go from there. So it’s like, you’re going to run a marathon, you don’t get up and start running, because you will exceed your body’s physical capabilities, and a squat for many people is exceeding their physiological capability. So it’s all about bolstering, bolstering, modifying, and working within your boundaries.
DANI: Yeah. Yeah. There’s no singular solution. So we don’t even have to touch on kegels, even though that’s probably the most common thing that people are given for –
KATY: Sure. Sure.
DANI: - the stress incontinence and prolapse and stuff.
KATY: Everything that’s given to people is always easy, simple bullet point, magazine headlines, you know? It’s like –
KATY: But everything’s a whole body/whole lifestyle issue. But that’s a real hard – like, that’s a hard message to take, because you’re like, but the symptom is the only thing bothering me right now –
KATY: Because if you’re only aware of the symptom and not of the red flag and of the symptoms to come later on, it might change how interested you are in a broader approach. So I just put the broader approach out there because I think that people – I know that I would like the broader approach, so I just make sure that broader approach is represented, and people can go with the – like, a shorter term type thing, or they can go with a larger kind of overhaul of movement and lifestyle, really.
DANI: Yeah. That’s perfect – I am a bullet point person. Just pretend I’m a bullet point person, because I used to be. What are some things I could do, like, I’m listening to this, thinking holy cow! A whole new world. What can I do right now to start to improve my pelvic health?
KATY: Well, it’s almost like in the order that I created products, right? You know, like, that Down There for Women, which was 5 – it was 5 exercises that mobilize the hips, essentially. So, like, that’s the smallest amount of motion. There’s nothing in the Down There 5 exercises that create stress, so that if you have stress incontinence, you don’t have to be worried about doing an exercise that creates a quantity of stress that exceeds your current pelvic floor health.
DANI: That’s nice, nice and safe.
KATY: Well, I remember someone wrote me, she said she bought another exercise DVD, I think it was like, uh, it was a famous Hollywood trainer from – from a show about losing a lot of weight, I’m just not going to say any names, and it was like a lot of jumping, and so she was like, trying to build – she was like, I read it, I know I need to build my butt so I’m doing jump rope so that my butt gets, like, more firm – and of course, jumping around – which could, you know, give you a stronger legs and butt, maybe – also came with a stress package. And so she’s like, now I have a prolapse, and I was like, awesome. So let’s go back – so anything that’s creating stress, like you’re going to have to stop doing the things that are exceeding the strength of your pelvic floor. You have to go back – or you can – you don’t have to do anything. You can go back and start by going, okay, this area – it’s because it’s two-fold. One, yes, you’re not moving enough. But moving more isn’t always the solution, because your hips, pelvis, knees, and remember – your pelvis is passing through your feet, so if your feet have particular angles, it’s going to set the inclination or the tilt of your pelvis which is affecting so many other things about what helps the pelvic floor stay at a particular way of functioning force production, if you will. Oh my gosh, I forgot what I was going to say. How did I start that sentence?
DANI: We were talking about things you can do and you brought up the Down There For Women.
KATY: Yeah, no, it was after that, it was this last thing. So –
DANI: Well, then, I’m lost, too.
KATY: The good thing is, when you have verbal incontinence, you just keep talking and talking and talking. No, okay. I was just saying – oh, my gosh. Talking, we were talking about bullet points, I started –
DANI: Well, and removing the things, if you’re going to be doing something that causes more stress –
KATY: Oh, here’s the thing. Gosh. My goodness.
DANI: Did we find it yet?
KATY: You’ve adapted.
DANI: I gotta fire that research assistant.
KATY: Maybe the research assistant could just take over the show. You know what we need are new hosts. Could we just hire some new hosts?
DANI: Send your job applications to us.
KATY: But we’ve forgotten the address. It’s not only that you’re not moving, it’s that because you’ve adapted to not moving, when you go to start moving, the ability for your all of your pelvis to be participating is less. So these corrective exercises are what I call, like movement micronutrients. They’re a great way at kind of tugging on fibers that haven’t participated in a long time, to get them functioning. So that exercise – that weight shifting back and forth – forward bend, shifting back and forth – all of that is changing the state of your pelvis and your pelvic floor. It doesn’t look like a movement, a natural movement of getting up and down and walking around, but because you have not moved very much, you have to kind of supplement a little bit to kind of fill in some of the gaps a little bit. So we have a lot of the corrective exercises as the first bullet point. Low stress, corrective exercises. And then more advanced corrective exercises, and then starting to re-engage in the natural movements that would keep the pelvis – and your whole body – more nourished – so that you wouldn’t have this symptom. You have a mechanical, nutritional deficiency. Incontinence and pelvic floor disorders are symptoms of movement deficiencies. So you can add a orthotic – something outside of you that helps take care of the symptom, but you have to just learn how to move better, so things like the amount that you walk should be increased. The terrain over which you walk should be varied, but also: are you walking in minimal shoes or not, because if you read Whole Body Barefoot, there’s just going to be this geometry that when you have a heel on your foot, your walking is not going to be as nutritious for your pelvic floor until your heel can come all the way to the ground. So it’s like, your heel is like knocking off some nutrients that your pelvis really needs. I mean, you get that – we talk about that in the gait, that posterior push off. Your butt strength as created through this loaded hip extension is part of strength making, whether it’s the bone, whether it’s the resting tension of the pelvic floor – all of those things come with those habits. Sitting on the floor because it loads your hips in a dynamic way: getting down, getting back up again, which – I put squat and floor sitting and non-chair resting positions all in the same category.
KATY: Because it’s not just this exercise, the squat. It’s just that your hips and knees are barely used in their full range of motion, and it is your knee and hip use that is going to affect the nutrition level of your pelvic floor. Those are movements – that’s all – that’s where mechanical nutrients come from is this loaded hip and knee and ankle and sacrum use. Getting back down, coming back up again.
DANI: Right. And even just standing. Standing in line in minimal shoes with your weight back in your heels.
KATY: It’s certainly better than now.
KATY: Well, posture.
DANI: I mean, the little things that you can do.
KATY: Sure. And, well, posture really creates pressure. Sucking in your stomach, right? Learning how to – Diastasis Recti is going to help so many people with their pelvic floor. I can’t say how excited I am –
DANI: The book. The book.
KATY: Yes, yes. Not the condition. Diastasis Recti the book will be such a precursor to going, oh, intra-abdominal pressure, rib position, I get it. I understand why this is creating – and you know, we talked about – this is incontinence, I realize I didn’t finish that last sentence, but we’re talking about incontinence. But incontinence is a symptom, often times it’s a precursor symptom to prolapse, because what’s creating this extra pressure is your organs coming down, and so it’s just – it’s all – it’s all related. And I sent you a picture –
DANI: Oh, my gosh – yeah, you text me and send me a picture, I’m thinking it’s going to be, you know, your kids hanging on a tree or something cute like that. It’s like, I can’t even describe it – do I have to describe it?
KATY: Well, do you want to just say what it is? Or should we talk about it and not give anyone a clue, and they’ll be like, it was so good, wish you could see it? All right.
DANI: Bummer for you. Okay, it’s really this sleek packaging of an incontinence product – for women – and I forget what it was called; my phone’s in another room.
KATY: Silhouette. Depends. Silhouette by Depends.
DANI: It was Silhouette by Depends. Fantastic packaging, it looked like some really sexy underwear, and on the side it says, “Yoga Pants Approved” and it was active wear incontinence stuff. And I know that they actually made a yoga pant with a pad built into it, by the way. I saw that, that it was going around for people that, you know, have stress incontinence when they’re working out. But I – where did you find that?
KATY: A friend texted it to me.
KATY: She had gotten – her client had been directly marketed to and sent a pair.
DANI: Mmm. They don’t even have current numbers on how much money we spend in the United States on incontinence. The latest numbers that my lousy research assistant could find was from 1995. This is 1995 dollars - $16.3 billion spent on incontinence. That’s products and, you know, doctor’s visits. Stuff like that. And I’m sure as the number’s greater now.
KATY: Well, I posted it on Facebook – those pictures – and like, I don’t have a problem with products that make people’s lives better. Like, if this product is making your life better, that’s not the purpose of posting the pictures. The reason that I post the pictures and what I note is: there’s a message out there that reinforces this idea that what you’re experiencing with your body physically has nothing to do with what you’ve done with your body physically, so go ahead and keep doing the things you’ve always loved to do, just add these products that make the symptoms easier to bear message.
DANI: It’s a message of inevitability with accessories.
DANI: It’s inevitable what’s happening to you, and so you need this product, because it’s going to happen to you anyway, so you might as well have this product.
KATY: And then the – you know, there’s, like, we need these products and these products are great. I don’t have a problem with that. The problem that I have, again, is with this idea that what you have has nothing to do with how you have lived, and that you don’t need to change. And then they’re trying to research all of these – what did it say on the package? The package actually said – hold on. Let me see – I’ve been all technical gadgety in this – I’m like, I’m just going to go watch a show right now.
DANI: Yeah, I’m going to give you the job of research assistant.
KATY: I’ve actually been watching Top Chef this entire time. Is it wrong to watch Food Network while you’re doing your podcast? Bladder and bowel incontinence may be caused by a condition that may be medically treated. Please see your doctor for professional advice. So that’s a disclaimer on this product – oops – whacking my microphone in my enthusiasm – so you’re talking about the money that is spent. And I’m not sure if that’s consumer dollars or actual researcher dollars, the National Institute of Health, funding research. But the research keeps looking for a solution that has nothing to do with changing the mechanical nutrients that you create through the day. It’s looking for a solution in 20 minutes of intervention 3 times a week, where you don’t change anything about your life – it’s like, kind of like, placates you. It’s like, hey, what you doing? It’s working for you besides this other thing, so why don’t you just add this? It doesn’t – for me, minimalism, the stripping away of supported shoes is like, really the way that you get your foot health back. Not by doing 7 foot corrective exercises while you’re still walking around in your stilettos again. There is – you’re going to have to change the habits. You cannot exercise off your cigarettes. You cannot eat salads to negate the 17 desserts that you had in the last 3 days. Physiology doesn’t work like that. You cannot exercise off adaptations to an unsuitable for your physiology or biology lifestyle. So I just think that it’s almost become a waste of money, because can you ever find a solution to a problem if you’re not asking the right question, right? Like, the right answer depends on how good the question was. So anyway, money and funding – it’s just a bigger bone to pick, I guess with academia, meaning make sure you’re asking the right questions. We know that people don’t want to change, but that’s not direct science. Either that or the paper should say in the beginning, we understand that people will only give 15 – here’s the research that shows people will only give 15 minutes to the solution of a major problem, and so therefore, this paper is designed to compare 17 15-minute protocols. And then someone could choose to write a paper to say, well, let’s compare a 90 minute protocol to a 15 minute protocol, and then we have research that says, well, 90 minutes is actually going to be better than 15 minutes, but no one would publish that because they’d say, well, everyone knows that doing more exercise than, you know, not doing 15 minutes, and so we won’t do that. And anyway, I have incontinence – I’m going to do my oral kegels right now.
DANI: Okay. You do that, because I want to touch on poop.
DANI: Actually, that did not – I want to talk about pooping really quick before we go on to our final question. Everybody has seen probably the viral Squatty Potty commercial that’s been going around the past two weeks with this unicorn who is pooping out this fantastically delicious-looking rainbow soft serve. And it’s a long commercial, so it’s clearly not – I don’t have a TV, but I’m assuming there’s no way this is on TV. It’s just an Internet commercial.
KATY: I don’t think you could get that on television.
DANI: Probably not.
KATY: What was your favorite moment? Do you have, like, one favorite moment?
DANI: Uh, well, at the end, when they’re passing it out. They’re passing out the ice cream to the little peasant children, and they’re getting it on their cheeks and he’s handing out toilet paper to wipe it off.
KATY: Toilet paper. Yeah, that was my favorite moment, too.
DANI: But I love that and we are not paid by Squatty Potty – we both just love to squat while we pee and poop.
KATY: So true.
(Video narration) Squatty Potty. The stool for better stools. Pooping will never be the same…and neither will ice cream.
DANI: And if you haven’t seen that, you have to look up the Squatty Potty pooping unicorn commercial, and we’ll put a link to it, but I’m sure everybody’s seen it.
KATY: I got this text from someone who’s not really – she’s not really – she’s a friend from a long time ago, and she said, like, her husband just saw the Squatty Potty and she goes, [her husband’s name] saw this Squatty Potty promo on the Nutritious Movement page and immediately went on and ordered one.
DANI: Mm. That’s brilliant.
KATY: Yes! Like, if you were going to be moved from a – I mean that was like, Saturday Night Live.
DANI: Moved. Oh, it was good.
KATY: It was like a Saturday Night Live spoof, and it got people to order them. I think everyone should watch it. I think that our podcast should just be replaced by that commercial.
DANI: Okay, that would make things a lot easier for everybody.
KATY: Especially our assistant.
DANI: Yeah. But that is something – I mean for you listening, that’s just such a simple change that you can make in so much about your overall health, but it really does help with your pelvic health is just squatting. You can get them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond now – they’re not even, like, when I ordered mine, and I’m sure you ordered yours, it was this weird thing that only you know, only weird nutjobs that liked –
DANI: Poop –
KATY: You must really like poop if you’re going to order a Squatty Potty.
DANI: Yeah, I mean – actually I’m ordering my travel one today because I’m heading out to Hoobidy Doobidy next month, and there’s no way I’m living without that – that Squatty Potty. I’ll let you know how that goes. Do you have a travel one?
KATY: I don’t.
DANI: Okay. You should, because you travel so much.
KATY: Well, I just put my feet on the toilet seat. I’ll just squat on the toilet.
DANI: Oh, you’re really good.
KATY: Well, I’m committed, and in the RES house, when we have all of the RES teachers, like when we went to Castricum – you know, there were a bunch of RES teachers that stayed in the same house and I could not figure out why there was always this cardboard box, and one of the teachers was like, oh, that’s my Squatty Potty. I am unable to poop without it now. Just something to get his feet up like 7”.
DANI: Yeah, and it’s not such a weird thing, and people are opposed to it, once they use it they’re hooked. Like, my kids didn’t want to do it when I first got it and now they’re like, make sure you order one before we go to Hoobidy Doobidy.
KATY: Well to keep it with stress incontinence, one of the major sources of stress to your pelvic floor is straining to go to the bathroom, ironically. I mean, you’ll empty your bladder more easily because it doesn’t have the same tube-age system. It doesn’t require that same flexion or that same degree of flexion of the hips. But you’re sitting there, so you’ve peed all you’re going to pee, and now you’re sitting there, and now you’re trying to get your poop out, and now you start straining. So that’s a huge prolapse maker, and stress to the pelvic floor. It’s bearing down more than what’s necessary to try to accomplish a biological task that’s being hindered by the cast of your toilet. So you are adding in extra force to accomplish something that should be happening on its own. If you just watch that Squatty Potty commercial, you should be just swirling rainbow poops easily by getting your hips up. So they did time measure, of time to fully void fecally, to get all your poop out and it was significantly reduced just by changing the geometry. And it’s not just the Squatty Potty; you could see the references in the back of Move Your DNA of real, you know, scientists doing real poop analysis, you know, that’s been published for other people to see. Because it’s an easy solution, it is inexpensive – you don’t have to buy a Squatty Potty. You just have to go take 2 cardboard boxes and put them in your bathroom.
DANI: Yeah, totally.
KATY: Take a whole stack of books off of your shelf and put them to good use. Like, it does not require extra time, extra money – it doesn’t require exercise – yet –
DANI: Pull a Costanza and take a bunch of books in the bathroom.
KATY: So that should really go into our bullet point list of how to take the load off your pelvic floor: get your legs up when you’re going to the bathroom.
DANI: Mm-hmm. Just try it. Just try it for a week.
KATY: Try it. You’ll like it!
DANI: You really will. We were just going to get close to wrapping it up here, because we just – the verbal incontinence is out of control today.
KATY: By definition.
DANI: We talked about how I came to your work through pelvic floor stuff, and your big old kegels thing that was a big deal several years ago. You offered corrective exercises, postural adjustments – just habit modifications that can improve the pelvic floor and the health of the pelvis, and I know that this month of November when this is coming out in honor of –
KATY: National Incontinence Awareness Month!
DANI: (like an echo) month-month-month-month! There are lots of RES graduates who also came to you – you said 80% of the people in that room raised their hand because of pelvic floor stuff, and a lot of the people are doing free workshops for pelvic floor health this month. If you want to find out, you can go on the website, Katy’s website, which is still RestorativeExercise.com and you can scroll over the map, which is kind of cool. So you can find instructors and maybe find one that’s close to you and see if they have a free workshop for an intro to pelvic health, and there’s also physical therapists, many of whom are listed on the NAFC.org site, and that’s the National Association for Continence – and they’re doing workshops, too, that are free. And they specialize in pelvic floor issues, and they go beyond more than just the “let’s just do kegels and fix it.” They kind of go into the postural corrections and stuff like that. And that might be worth checking out.
KATY: I think the biggest takeaway is the high occurrence of this issue does not make it like a biologically normal state. Just because many people have it – and that’s the biggest, I think, takeaway of this awareness month is that there are things that can be done. There are things you can do to halt this red flag, and you’re not just trying to take care – you can think about it is I’m just trying to take care of this symptom right now, but if it’s a symptom or if it’s a flag of other things to come, what you’re actually doing is you’re being proactive about your pelvic health for the rest of your life, you know?
KATY: And hip health. It’s your pelvis, your knees, your low back; it’s all really health or wellness of that area – the mechanical nutrients are all facilitated by moving the whole lumps of yourself together, right? It’s not just sitting there and isolating one muscle and working that muscle over and over again, because it’s affected by everything.
DANI: Right. And I like looking at it as a symptom of an overall lifestyle, just like if you had a mole that you were worried might be cancerous, you wouldn’t not talk about it, you would get it checked out. And a lot of people don’t talk about this – because it’s embarrassing. Because, you know, it’s about going to the bathroom and not being able to hold it – but really, you can do things, and it’s important to just, you know, talk with people and find some support and do something about it. Do we have time for a question? We’ve talked so much today.
KATY: Yeah, let’s do a quick one.
DANI: Okay, this is a quick one. This is from Nick, and he writes, “Hi, I’ve heard about the whale fin story more than once now, and I can’t help but wonder,” and he said, “seriously here, not trolling – is a bent penis considered normal? Personally, I don’t think it is, but it’s also not that uncommon nowadays from what I have heard. Also what might possibly be the cause of it?”
KATY: I love this question.
DANI: Yeah, it’s a good one.
KATY: So this is a short answer.
DANI: Yes, please.
KATY: Okay, so the – I mean, it’s a really long answer. Just kidding.
DANI: Just give it to me straight!
KATY: Oh, my goodness! You’re so – the master! The master!
KATY: So it is common, whether or not it is normal – I don’t think it’s a fully understood situation. It’s not really an investigated-at-all situation, and you wouldn’t have anything left over from people older to know – like, there’s no penis bones or anything that you can find to see what the shape of the penis was historically, throughout human timeline. But the way that the penis works, as it becomes erect – so a penis has basically space – you could think of it as tubes on either side. It’s really an alignment of collagen, but it’s got connective tissue on either side that can hold blood. So when something becomes engorged, with women it’s interesting that your clitoris works in the same way. When you’re putting blood to that area, blood flows through these tubes, and it is the fluid going down through these tubes that give a penis its stiffness, and it’s also a change in the collagen orientation that give it its stiffness. And then that stiffness can recede when the blood is out of that area. So just imagine, like, uh, two tubes of plastic that are connected but separate, and when you fill them with water, the water goes through and ~bluuurrrp!~ it has stiffness, and when you pull the water out it kind of goes flaccid again. There are – there are serious clinical bends to a penis that are not, like, the gentle curve to the right or to the left or slightly up or down, but are more like a right angle in nature.
DANI: Oh, wow!
KATY: And that comes about from, you know, you can actually break a penis? It’s kind of where – when you do have an erection, there is a – man, it’s all coming back to me now. There is a – oh, my gosh, I cannot think of what it’s called, but there is a lining. It’s a membrane that, like, say you’re having sex, and you jam it really hard accidentally –
KATY: - and you quickly bend to one side. That injury to that membrane, as it’s healing, like when anything heals, it develops a bit of scar tissue. So now you’ve got those two plastic tubes that fill, which give it length and stiffness, but one side doesn’t – gosh, what’s the – plastic isn’t a good analogy, because it needs something that stretches. But let’s say that the plastic on one side gets a little clumped. So let’s say that the right side of these two plastic tubes – and really, what I have in my head right now are um, Slip-N-Slide. A Slip-N-Slide filled with air; you know how you blow it up and it fills, 2 tubes? Oh, I didn’t even get that – that’s what’s coming – I’m thinking of all these plastic pools –
DANI: It’s like the best euphemism for a penis ever, thank you.
KATY: Do you want to play Slip-N-Slide? Okay, so. Listen! Pay attention! Do your oral kegels! So when you have a clump of fibro- it’s not fibrocartilage. Like, collagen fibers, as the water goes through, the one side doesn’t extend fully. It doesn’t lengthen fully, and that’s what creates the curve. The curve is created when one side fills up longer and the other side is kind of clumped up a little bit, so you end up getting something in that. If the right side was clumped up, it would veer off to the right, so the right side would be a little bit shorter, so it would just kind of angle over to one side.
DANI: You’re talking about the hard bend that we’re talking about, like the 90-degree –
KATY: This is how the hard bend – but it becomes more substantial, so that is the known mechanism of the bend, and no one has really kind of investigated the general one, but what is believed to be the creator is simply repetitive positioning, just like anything else. So um –
DANI: Are you talking about a penis in pants sort of a thing?
KATY: It can be how you dress, dress right or dress left. It can also be how you partake of your single penis activities, right? There tends to be a direction preference or a hand preference, and that becomes your repetitive movement. So over time, you’re essentially mechanotransducing – it’s like massage. It’d be like, what if you only gave a massage to your body with your right hand on the left side? You would have less – so I’m going to use the word, “sticky spot,” and I’m referring back to Move Your DNA. So in Move Your DNA I talk about cellular plumpage, right? So you are mobilizing one set of your connective tissue of your pelvis more so than the other side. You are coaxing it in a particular direction, and what you get is a slight curve. So the slight curve is normal, it doesn’t appear to be problematic unless it’s a significant curve, in which it has a particular diagnosis and there are surgeries where they go to break up the fibro-cartilage, so both sides can fill evenly so that it straightens back out, because you might have an issue with intercourse or whatever. But anyway, I hope that people find that interesting or helpful, but that’s believed to be – and then it’s reinforced, right? You know, your curvature is less visible when you’re not erect, but then you tend to have preferences of how you dress. Dress right or dress left – I don’t know if everyone knows it, but it’s the term for which side of your pants you tuck it on. So again, we’re talking about natural movement, right? The world’s oldest natural movement, where – what is the frequency of copulation, now, compared to masturbation, clothing – all of these things could be affecting the resting state of the connective tissue in your penis. So, anyway, final answer.
DANI: That was fascinating. Wow. Nick, what a Romper Room, “I see you” moment that was. That was awesome.
KATY: I see you, Nick! Never mind.
DANI: Thank you. Thanks for that question – that was good.
KATY: Plus, he was totally a troll. I hope he was a troll, and then was like, you know what? I’m going to give up my trolling ways because someone gave me a well-thought out and sincere answer. Love, Nick.
DANI: It was good. We need a penis bone museum here in the United States, if there’s not one.
KATY: Do you love your penis t-shirt? Do you ever wear it?
DANI: I do. Thank you, I do. My kids are always just like, oh god, stop, when I wear it, but it’s awesome!
KATY: If you can’t torment your children, what else are you supposed to be doing?
DANI: I know, what is my purpose? Well, that was great – thank you for your time. That was so fun. I love the pelvis, and thanks everyone for listening. For more information, books, online classes, etc., you can find Katy at KatySays.com, and you can learn more about me, Dani Hemmat, movement warrior and born again squatter at MoveYourBodyBetter.com.
We hope you find the general information on biomechanics, movement, and alignment informative and helpful – but it is not intended to replace medical advice and shouldn’t be used as such.
-Blog Post “1,2,3,4, We like Our Pelvic Floor”
-Episode #5 Katy Says: The Delicious Butt Function Show
-Episode #10 Katy Says: The Core
www.nafc.org -National Association for Continence with lists of resources and free workshops for November 2015