Nutrition and Healing

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am over 47 , what's wrong with my belly? Is there hope?

This client contacted me after she had been doing the program for about 4 weeks. She had no licensed Tupler Technique providers anywhere near her, but would into Baltimore for work.  She asked if we could meet up, so I could officially check her diastasis and help her on her journey. 
She has 2 children (ages 12 and 14) and is in her mid 40's.

Here is her self told story.

I don’t know where to begin and will try hard not to ramble.
I have been on an approximate 8-year quest to determine what is “wrong” with me, my belly to be specific. I’m 47, 5’4”, 124 lbs. (would love to be 120, ideally), with my husband almost 30 yrs. and my daughters are 14 and almost 13. I work out (circuit training, Pilates, Body Pump) & walk religiously, able to build great looking arms, legs….mid-section always looked distended, like a beach ball. I could not figure out why as I’ve always had a thin athletic build, no reason that I still shouldn’t, right? Modified my diet, did more crunches, etc. to no avail. My belly button looked (actually still does) like it has an eyelid that’s half closed. Also, if I bent or moved the wrong way, it felt like a little fist would pop out from under my right rib and I had to push it back in…freaked me out whenever it happened. I used to joke that one of my organs was popping out (the irony sets in later). Had an umbilical hernia repaired
in May 2010, hoping that that would improve the appearance of the belly button and the beach ball…no luck.

Neither my primary, GYN, personal trainer, nor general surgeon ever suggested a diastasis recti. My guess is because they don’t know about it. I saw a plastic surgeon twice, considering a tummy tuck. He didn’t mention diastasis either. My obsession with my abdomen had literally consumed my every waking moment, I felt I was at the end of my rope, thinking there was nothing else for me to research or google, etc. Ultimately, I couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money, go thru the recovery process (no patience to be down that long), or have the unsightly scar from hip to hip.

Fast forward to Oct. 2011. I started seeing a naturopath, taking some supplements, modified the diet some more, got the hormones balanced, feeling pretty good. At my 4th colonic with her, I was lamenting about my belly (again). She’s also a midwife and friend of my good friend who is a labor & delivery RN. She’s feeling around my belly and mentioned that my muscles felt separated & mushy. Good, I wasn’t the only one who thought so, so maybe I wasn’t crazy after all.

I got home after that appt. and was relaying the experience to my friend, the L&D nurse. Within minutes, she had googled diastasis recti. I heard trumpets from the heavens! For the next 2 days, I was searching everything I could find on this, read that umbilical hernia’s are a result of a diastasis, the abs actually are separated, and (holy cow), it probably was an organ popping out from under my rib when I bent/moved the wrong way! I discovered the Tupler Technique, ordered the program, and am about to start Week 4 tomorrow, 3/7.
I cannot tell you the sheer joy that I felt after reading up on this condition; a few of the before photos that I saw looked exactly like me! I actually cried tears of joy, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of me. Then, I cried sad & mad tears because I had spent 8 yrs. of my life thinking I was not able to get in shape, crazy, or just plain vain; I just couldn’t buy into the notion that this puffy belly was something I had to deal with because I was a woman, a mom,
over 45, blah, blah, blah.
This condition/remedy is/will be life-changing for me, it’s so awesome.

When we met up, we checked her diastasis, sure enough, she still had a muscle separation. We looked at how she was doing the exercises. I helped her with tweaking her technique and showed her different ways to get more muscle activation and muscle approximation with the exercises. We worked on isolating and activating the lower abdominals,
with splinting and with her technique on the headlifts.

She has continued to progress, losing 1 more inch in her lower waist. And all this progress is in just six weeks. I am confident she will keep progressing as she continues with the tupler technique 4 step program:

1) the basic exercises: elevator, contractions, headlifts
2) wearing the splint ALL the time
3) holding the transverse "in" on all the work that you do
4) getting in/out of bed correctly
She has graced us with some awesome before/after pics along her journey

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Healing a hernia without surgery

Is it possible to heal a hernia without surgery?  That is what I am challenging and expecting some of my recent clients to do!

This is one of my clients who is a personal trainer and trains men and women and gets awesome results with her clients, is very fit, and a mom of 3 children age 4 and under.  She had a hernia above the belly button 4cm wide and 3 cm tall.  One week after training with me, doing the exercises and avoiding any sit-up type movements and avoiding most exercises on all 4's, she made quite a bit of progress on  that hernia and quite a visual difference in her abdominals!  Her hernia, barely measurable, was 3 cm tall, 3.5 cm wide and much l

                                              before                               after 1 week
notice the difference inher belly button, it went from a "protruding hernia" look to an innie!

                                             Before                                   After
Notic the protrusion above the belly button which is barely there in the after picture!

Before: her diasiasis wasTop: 3, Middle: 2.75, Bottom: 1.75  Waist: 31.5,    33,      32.75
After 1 week:                T:     2, M:        2.5,   B             .75  Waist: 30.5,    31,      32.5

That's a 2 inche loss from around the middle at the belly button in one week, yes, one week, and 1 inch from  just under the ribs.  Not bad!
I can't wait to see the rest of her progress as well!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Treating Hernia's with the Tupler Technique

A few of my recent clients have hernia's, so I will post their progress. I had a client this summer (she had 3 children, last two were 18 mos old twins) who had a small umbilical hernia and after the first time she trained with me, reported her hernia went in and stayed in within two days of completing her exercises and wearing her splint. I regret not taking before and after pictures.

I have a current client who has done the program for six weeks. She had a hernia as well, and now the opening at her belly button is closed except 1/2 or 1/4 of a finger tip area. Her organs were completely easy to palpate above and especially below the umbilicus and now, only muscle is felt with light palpation.

Another current client, who did the exercises for 1 week and was able to decrease the diameter vertically and horizontally by 1/3, depth by roughly 1/2, and the appearance of the hernia completely changed. You could visually see it when she lied on her back, but now you cannot. she is a personal trainer and had to alter her way of training, cutting out any exercises in which she could not keep her transverse "in" at the 5th floor (belly button to her spine) and did 5 or more sets of Tupler contractions a day last week.

I currently have another client, who was scheduled for surgery last week, and was going to see me afterwards to strengthen her core. I suggested she try the Tupler Technique first, before going under the knife and having a whole new set of issues to deal with. Even if she is not able to heal her hernia, she would know how to use her core correctly and avoid undoing the surgery. I will keep you posted with her results!! She lives two hours away, so I am skyping her inbetween visits here, and will see her again in a few weeks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Don't look to surgery first for Hernia's!!

There is hope for Umbilical Hernias!!!

A post from Julie Tupler's belly blog:

Hernia's are and can be a side effect for the diastasis recti!!

If you have an umbilical hernia, more than likely you have a diastasis recti (separation of the outermost abdominal muscles). If you have surgery for the umbilical hernia, but don’t close the diastasis recti, there is a good chance your hernia repair will not last!

Closing a diastasis recti is all about healing the connective tissue. When you heal the connective tissue with the research-based Tupler Technique® Program, you bring support to the umbilicus. You will see your belly button go from an outie to an innie! You will also get a flatter belly because your muscles (not connective tissue) will be supporting your organs.

Healing connective tissue is not an overnight process. This program takes time, effort and a commitment to doing all 4 steps of the program for a minimum of at least 18 weeks.

If you decide to go the surgery route for whatever reason, it is still important to do this program to “prepare” for the surgery. This program will strengthen your abdominal muscles before surgery, teach you how to use them correctly and prepare you for the activities you will be doing during the recovery process. As a result, you will be able to maintain the integrity of the sutures so your surgery will last.

So the bottom line is….you have nothing to lose by doing the Tupler Technique® Program. Chances are if you are really diligent about doing this program you will close your diastasis and fix your umbilical hernia. If not, you will have a better outcome for your surgery.

upcoming...... results from current clients who have or did have hernia's - with pictures!