Getting up at night too often to pee? Needing to cut class or interrupt work to go to the loo? Noticed that others don’t seem to have as many “pennies” to spend as you do? Spasms in bladder, urinary tract and other nether regions can be embarrassing. But it may help you to understand that the connection between feeling anxious about bladder control and the actual spasm may be related to how you breathe…
Believe it or not, breathing behaviour can affect your bladder and pelvic floor and affect how often you need to void your bladder. This study shows that breathing problems, bladder issues and pelvic pain – including low back pain – are interconnected. This means that other little spoken of gynae conditions like vaginusmus and vulvodynia, as well as other pelvic floor issues like low pelvic tone, can also be improved by breathing correctly – which not only assists smooth muscle to tone correctly, but stops spasm from occurring.
Because oxygen and CO2 need to be balanced for spasm to be naturally managed, breathing has a huge role to play in urinary health. People with bladder problems may also have undiagnosed sleep apnoea. Sleep Apnoea is a sign of disordered or dysfunctional breathing patterns; so from a “Buteyko” perspective at least, we have some good ideas about how the link occurs.
When we over breathe, we lose more CO2 than we can manufacture. This causes a reduction of the Bohr Effect. This means that less oxygen reaches the tissues and the body cycles rapidly between becoming too alkaline and too acid. This causes smooth muscle tissue spasm.
Smooth muscle tissues are not like the muscles of your skeletal system. They do not flex and relax at will, but respond to chemical changes and acidity levels. When the body becomes too acidic, these tissues contract in response. If your body remains too acidic, spasm is commonplace and can cause severe pain.
Smooth muscle tissue is what any of our organs with stretch are made up of. These organs are able to expand and contract, like our blood vessels, bladder, urinary tract, lungs, gut and so on. Smooth muscle tissue also makes up parts of organs such as the vessels of the heart, liver ducts, etc.
Smooth muscle tissue is hard to manage with pills. But breathing can be a highly effective tool for managing these types of problems – or making them far worse than they need be.
This is because breathing can regulate acidity which helps to stop smooth muscles from over activating. It reduces spasm in organs like the lungs and the gut. This means that breathing correctly can have massive influence over Asthma, Blood Pressure, Heart Palpitations, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chronic Bladder and Urinary issues.
True health begins with breathing.