Ramblings from my pelvis.

If you’re interested in reading more on ideas presented in the article below, I suggest reading Move Your DNA, Expanded Edition. If you’d like movement instruction via video, start with Save Your Knees, Build a Butt.

I like to help people think about their body in a slightly different way.

I also like to help people understand their body a bit more.

I also realllly like pelves. Which is the plural of pelvis, and looks like it would rhyme with “elves” but it’s pronounced pel-veeees. You can also say pelvises, but you can’t (correctly) say pelvi because Latin words that end in “-is” are pluralized (a word? probably not.) by adding “-es” or, in English by adding “-ises.”

Another fun use of this plural rule is when you are speaking of more than one penis. Which probably happens a lot. I don’t like penes, because it just looks like a lot of things to write with, which is why I like to use penises. In a sentence, I mean.

This grammar lesson brought to you by someone who had to spell-check the word grammar.

Working on another project, I stumbled upon this memory. In high school trig class, the teacher drew a cosine wave that looked like this:

Then she said, “Class, what is this?”

And I said (loudly), “A uterus.”

Really, I did. And I have no idea why as I had never even seen a uterus at this point. I was what, 15 years old?

Speaking of the uterus, many people have issues with their uterine position i.e. it’s too low (prolapse) or tilted from where it should be. Pelvic floor strength and overall pelvic position are extremely important in these scenarios, but not more than this tidbit: Your uterus is attached to your sacrum. Which means that the position of your sacrum relative to the ground (your habits of positioning your pelvis sitting, standing, and walking), and the position of the sacrum relative to the pelvis (determined by the force production of  the gluteal and pelvic floor muscles), can absolutely affect what your uterus is doing. If you’re trying to fix a prolapse or work on organ repositioning, do not ignore the fact that your uterus is like a puppet on a string (the uterosacral ligament) in the hands (the sacrum) of the puppeteers — the pelvic floor and the glutes. The habit of wearing a tucked pelvis all day creates a droopy puppet uterus, susceptible to chronic malpositioning.

Moral of the story: Don’t ignore the sacrum in your quest for pelvic health. If you’re hoping to lift a crumpling puppet from underneath (via a lot of pelvic floor work), talk to the puppeteer about it. “Lifting” is usually done from above — the stage doesn’t lift the puppet as much as support it.

Where to start? Stop sitting with your sacrum slightly below you (imagine that puppeteer slightly below the puppet) and adjust it until your pelvis (and the organs inside) are in the more favorable position of neutral:

Read up on Too much pelvic floor tension and not enough glute strength, and then do the exercise in this post a lot today (Get Your Butt Here).

Have a great weekend, puppeteers!

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19 thoughts on “Ramblings from my pelvis.

  1. Sitting up on the ischial tuberosities, provided you know what this feels like, helps to get off the sacrum…even in a car; you must adjust once in the car or when you sit on any other surface to get onto the tuberosities and readjust to stay there as time passes and inattention creeps in.

  2. Yet another reason I love your blog. The grammar lessons. (And getting to use penises…in a sentence, that is.)

    Thank you for this. It certainly explains a lot. Ever since I had a nasty fall a couple years ago, landing on the edge of a step on my butt/tailbone (apparently nothing broken, although there was a sickening crunch and I now feel my tailbone waggle *shudder* whenever I stand up or sit down), I have experienced increasing issues with my sacral/pelvic/uterine area, including leakage. =( Reminders like this make me even more determined to get ALIGNED!

    Have a great weekend, too, Katy!

  3. ok, I laughed out loud, loudly, twice while reading this. Thanks. I needed that. And I too, like penises. Cuz penes DOES look like a lot of things to write with, but this, I realized doesn’t read aloud as funny as it does in print.

    Anyhoo, FANTASTIC analogy of puppet, puppeteer hands, puppeteer, and I think most especially the stage. The puppeteer lifts the puppet, or rather controls the strings (…wait, who’s the puppeteer again? oh ya, the muscles), the stage merely supports it. Perfect analogy. I don’t know much about bridges but I get puppets. Which are different than muppets: http://iwastesomuchtime.com/on/?i=16889

  4. This post reminded me of a painful problem I had in puberty. This may seem strange, but bear with me.

    At the age of 11 I fell on my coccyx. Not too much later I developed terrible pain and numbness in the area of my coccyx anytime I would sit for longer than 10 minutes. It was excruciating. My parents did all they knew to do. I had x-rays, rectal exams to check my coccyx, and even a bone scan which involves being injected with radioactive dye. Nice. I guess they thought I might have bone cancer? Anyway, they never found a single thing wrong. Of course, no one talked to me about the WAY I was sitting (or standing or walking). At the age of 12 I had my first period and the coccyx pain vanished. It would return briefly with PMS, but was completely gone after a couple of years.

    I’m assuming that the changes in my pubescent uterus were affecting the ligaments?

  5. So if you have a retro-verted uterus and not a tilted uterus is there anything you can do with your puppet muscles to flip it around?

    1. Sure. Although with retro-verted, pressure is also a big deal, so working on shoulder girdle and breathing would be helpful (in conjunction with sacral repositioning…)

  6. Any Arvigo pracitioners reading this? I’d be interested in your comments about what you’re doing on a mechanical level to reposition the uterus and how it relates to this post.

    For any readers not familiar with Arvigo therapy, it’s an amazing, super-gentle, super-safe type of bodywork that is focused on repositioning organs that have shifted out of their proper position, especially the uterus. Traditional Mayan healers and midwives have been doing it for centuries. It can heal prolapse and it’s effective for menstrual and fertility issues, among other things.

    1. Love Arvigo! We have one of their teachers in our curriculum, blending both whole body alignment with the manual organ/ligament work with fantastic results! I’ll tell her you posted if she wants to chime in!

  7. A very useful tidbit of information! When I first started having some prolapse symptoms, and looked into anatomy pictures of the pelvic floor muscles, I was shocked to find out that they had a U shape… a lying down U shape, where the hole in the U seemed to easily align with all the organs that they were supposed to be holding. Of course I started kegeling furiously, but not without wondering how come women bodies would have such a faulty design… I have gone a long way from that (thanks Katy!), and this image of the puppet is very clarifying. But I can’t help avoiding the thought that this balance is all “too” subtle. Aren’t the “hands” too dangerously close to the “puppet”, with very little space for maneuver? What if the strings are too long? It reminds me of something my great-uncle says (he was an orthopedic surgeon), that the human body is not yet fully prepared for the upright position, in evolutionary terms. Would you agree with this at any degree? Or is it your understanding that it is solely our sitting-and-minimal-movement lifestyles who are responsible for all these prolapse problems? Do you have some vision of how the organ balance design has changed throughout our evolutionary developments towards the upright position? Any glimpse of which direction our anatomy design could be taking?

    1. The more you study, the more you see that we are a sum-total of subtle balances. Grand levers aren’t really feasible as they require a ton of energy to maintain. The SU ligament is just one of the body’s mechanisms to maintain organ position relative to other organs — this ligament system (and there are others that attach to the femurs as well) is not designed to take suspensory loads – so they work in conjunction with all (subtle) systems. Taking out one, like the sacrum, actually compromises them all, unfortunately, because the PF also depends on sacral position. I don’t agree that the human isn’t prepared to be upright — and I think that conclusions like these (there are many) aren’t very scientifically accurate and hedge on cultural beliefs — that the body should stand up to what “we” are doing, as this is obviously what humans are meant to do. The calculations of human leverage and tissue necessities support very well, the loads that humans need to carry in order to sustain — IF these loads were generated/carried properly. Thanks for your comment!

  8. I love the way you talk about the body and bring common sense back into the equation. Of course if your uterus is attached to the sacrum, you would have to make adjustments to the sacrum if the was something going on with the postition of your lady bits. Genius!
    Also, love the grammer lesson. Please excuse any spelling errors in my post, I am not using a browser with automatic spell check, I am the worst speller!

  9. I, too, would be interested in what you have to say about those puppet muscles and retroverted uterus!

    Kegel Queen – I’m not an arvigo practitioner, but supposedly they can help this condition, not thru the self-care massage, but thru the extra PF (and surrounding areas) work that they do in a one-on-one session.

  10. Marionette vs their superset “puppet” (who often are lifted from below)made it make sense to me.

    Re: evolution…there are some aspects of human anatomy that do bring questions as to how well bipedalism works for EVERY aspect of human existence. There is often compromise in evolution, where one gain means a loss elsewhere, for an overall increase in survival. That isn’t just a human evolution issue. I don’t believe humans are “meant” to do anything in particular, just as nothing else is “meant” for any purpose in a predetermined way…we co-evolve with our environment, our competition, and our nutrition in ways that work once the grand picture of the moment is seen, but may cease to work if any aspect changes (assuming that humans were influenced by such things..we are about the only species that is exempt from anything other than extreme change since we are pretty fully insulated from natural pressures now. Humans don’t usually die from Darwinian-type pressures much. (And I’m not talking about the stupid accidents that go by the term “Darwin Awards”)

  11. Ba ha ha ha, “pelves”! I love it. You have a fabulous writing style and you actually made me laugh out loud which is quite an accomplishment.

  12. I know this is such an old blog and you won’t read this but wanted to say you are funny. 🙂 I like funny but a week ago, I didn’t quite get your humor as I was too wrapped in trying to understand the ideas probably too properly…I have loosened up (a little from my fibro pain but more mentally so far and noticed I am trying to pushing my pelves out too far so searching through all your stuff to find out how far do I push or do I just leg go) and now can see the funny and love the grammar stuff..I don’t have babies so can only imagine when it comes to kiddy stuff. Lucky I work with kids as a school psych, so I do love any new ideas about messing them up and messing around with them 😉 PS. I like the word stuff. :-))

  13. Sorry for so many questions (and sorry FB friends (I took this off FB as tired of boring everyone on your site) but I have no idea how to prevent you being bored by reading my questions about boring pain)…

    Can anyone pretty please tell me any sneaky tips on trying to release and lift up a very, very, very tightly wedged in little tail (possibly from having crushed my coccyx years ago as well as lumbar- with overly very protective muscles holding it in) and how far do I let my pelvis go back out and up (as I am flexible but have no strength- just lots of tight muscles).

    Do I push my pelvis out and tail up even though it hurts to untighten the muscles as it feels like it is what it needs or do I just let it out a little so the muscles relax on their own … Or do I use my common sense and go boringly in-between the two?

    My tail is so tucked in so far that the only way to get it up (so far) is to really let my belly out (and pubic bone forward, I think) then pull my belly button in towards my spine (to keeps my ribs down)…does this sound like I am doing it right or am I making a muck up of it all? Plus keep straight legs. It all hurts so much that I wanted to make sure it was right. With the fibro pain for 12 years, it is hard to tell “useful getting better push through discomfort pain” from yucky normal never goes away pain. I have no idea anymore, I am so out of touch with how my poor body feels.

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