WHAT is your pelvic floor, WHERE is it located exactly, HOW do you strengthen it and WHAT HAPPENS if you don't? In this episode, Lunden sits down with award-winning wellness entrepreneur, Amazon Best-Selling Author and pelvic floor expert Jana Danielson to talk all things pelvic floor.
Jana is the creator of the Cooch Ball, the world’s first patented pelvic floor fitness tool for women. She has coached and consulted with thousands of women from all over the world to help improve their quality of life, their confidence and their impact in this world. We are so honored to have her on the show today and you're going to LOVE the value she provides.
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Lunden Souza: [00:00:00] Ok, today’s guest on self-love and sweat, the podcast is Jana Danielson. She’s an award winning wellness entrepreneur who, through her own experience with physical pain, turned her mess into her message. She’s an Amazon best selling author, owner of lead pilates and lead integrated health therapies. Her brick and mortar businesses and the made a district, her online wellness community. She is the creator of the Cooch Ball, the world’s first patented pelvic floor fitness tool for women. Jana has coached and consulted with thousands of women from all over the world to help improve their quality of life, their confidence and their impact in this world. Welcome to the podcast today, Jana. I am so excited that you’re here today.
Jana Danielson: [00:00:41] Thanks, Lunden. I’m excited to be here, too.
Lunden Souza: [00:00:44] Hmm. So let’s jump right in because I’m so excited to have you here. I think that this topic on the pelvic floor is just so, so, so necessary to talk about. And I honestly feel that more and more as I’m talking to you because you have been such a great resource, so much knowledge in our previous conversations talking about the pelvic floor. And I feel like I’m learning so much from you. And I know that there are a lot of women that listen to the podcast. A lot of men, too, because I know that there’s kind of a dual use for for your product, which we’ll talk about too. But yeah, I’m just so excited to have your brain here with us on the podcast to learn more about the pelvic floor. So let’s start just really from the basics, because this was like the first question we talked about when you and I talked. What is the pelvic floor and how do we know where that is?
Jana Danielson: [00:01:34] Ok, so let me give you this visualization. If you can think of a cylinder, right a cylinder has a bottom of floor and a roof, and then there’s the three hundred and sixty degree cylindrical walls. Let’s call it that. Ok, so and maybe you have a vase that looks like that or a picture or something like that. So just think about that because what a lot of people don’t understand is that. Our core is so much more than our abdominal, so that’s kind of the first like fitness movement myth that I want to debunk because there is such a belief that your core is your six pack and your obliques, and maybe you might hear people talk about the transverse abs. Maybe. But what I love to educate on is just helping women and men understand that if we shift the paradigm a little bit, and if we truly understand that the core is this cylinder with a roof and a floor, then you have the magic can happen, really, because here’s what’s a kind of a bit of a secret. People don’t realize that our diaphragm, which is the main muscle of respiration, so your diaphragm is a muscle that sits in the crest of your rib cage. So think about like an open umbrella or a mushroom cap just tucked up into the ribs. That’s what the diaphragm looks like. And because it’s our main muscle of respiration, just like anything else, if you want to have strong arms, you’re going to work your shoulders and your biceps and your triceps, right? This diaphragm as a muscle needs to be worked.
Jana Danielson: [00:03:09] Well, guess how you work this muscle. It’s through breathing, diaphragmatic breathing and so many people. We live in such a high anxiety environment, and I feel like when we don’t have a toolkit that includes ways to learn how to nurture that parasympathetic nervous system, which is the rest and digest, we really can’t get to that muscle. Let’s sprinkle a little bit of gravity on the planet we live on. And now all of a sudden, we’ve got this forward rounded posture. This big muscle that is meant to fill our seventy five trillion cells with oxygen can’t do its job. And here’s why that’s important is because the diaphragm, as the roof of our core has a direct relationship with the pelvic floor, which is the floor of our core. So simply put, if you are not breathing properly, it’s not if you will have pelvic floor dysfunction. It’s when will that pelvic floor dysfunction show up? Because those two groups of muscles speak like the same language. Think about when you’re in the gym, right? Like you have your agonist and your antagonist, right, you’ve got your bicep and then your triceps. When your bicep is shortening, your tricep is lengthening, right? There’s the body is a brilliant, simple machine.
Jana Danielson: [00:04:29] Well, the pelvic floor in the diaphragm are exactly like that. So when one is not optimized, the other also is not going to be optimized. So that’s what I love to start just with the visualization of what is it? How does it? It is part of the core and it holds our organs up. It’s a very sensual muscle. So it’s got function, it’s got sensuality. And a lot of our confidence is directly related to that group of muscles because when we when they work, it is awesome when they don’t. It can be very. Just it really can take the confidence level of a woman and a man away because in a man’s body, the pelvic floor is directly related to erectile dysfunction in a female body. It’s so much more than just, Oh, I’ve had a baby, I should do some Kegel so I can run without wearing a pad. And so that’s how I like to just frame this initial part of the pelvic floor to help people understand that it is pretty simple. It’s part of a more complex structure, but its breath is the first thing we do when we’re born, right? So we if you understand that, then strengthening your pelvic floor or making it more functional is truly a fitness issue versus a medical issue. Mm hmm.
Lunden Souza: [00:05:44] Yes, I love everything you said. Thanks so much. And that visualization is amazing, something that you said, how do we know if it’s working or not working our pelvic floor?
Jana Danielson: [00:05:55] Ok. So for a lot of let me help you understand there, the pelvic floor can be hypertonic, which means like tight, like a rock wall. Ok. If you’re someone that has a hypertonic pelvic floor and again, that would be men with erectile dysfunction, blood blood flow cannot make it through to the penis in a woman’s body that’s going to be you cough or you sneeze and you pee a little bit, right? That’s what’s going to happen when the muscles are too tight. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s hypo tonic hypo, so it’s too it’s too loose. We can’t like find that Kegel or we can’t. You put your hand on your doorknob when you just came back from getting groceries and you didn’t have to go to the bathroom a nanosecond ago. And all of a sudden you’re like, Oh my gosh, you drop the groceries and you run. That’s hypertonic. Also, constipation is one of the symptoms of hypertonic when it’s too tight. So understanding when there are these seemingly basic symptoms, they can, you know, they very easily plug back to the pelvic floor so we can gauge function based on those life experiences. You can also base function on on sex because when the pelvic floor is healthy and working, really good sex is very pleasurable. Orgasms are very pleasurable. So there’s there’s there’s some really easy ways. I want to just quickly touch, though, on the idea that. And Lunden, you talk a lot about functional training. Right? It’s like, what are you? What are you teaching your body during that workout that’s going to serve you while you’re living your life? It’s the same. I parallel that mindset is that if I can’t confidently draw a line from what I’m doing to how it’s going to impact my life, why? Why am I doing it right? And so when you’re functionally working your pelvic floor, when you are picking up your toddler or in our case, here shoveling snow, we want those functional movements to be available to us when we need them. A lot of hip pain and low back pain can also become a part of a dysfunctional pelvic floor.
Lunden Souza: [00:08:08] Got it, got it, yes, no, and I love the idea of functionally training the pelvic floor, which we’ve talked about before on our previous conversation because I yeah, I just love talking with you and learning more about this. But one of the things you mentioned and probably a lot of us know our key goals, and I think that that is probably up until I started learning more about this through you. If I don’t know, I probably would have to Google if you maybe key goals also some pilates exercises that activate the pelvic floor. But I think when we think of, you know, non functioning pelvic floor, we’ve had a baby or something like that. Key goals are the thing. And I think what I’ve learned from you and you can talk more about it too, is like, is that the most functional thing to do for our pelvic floor?
Jana Danielson: [00:08:57] So I love this question because, you know, the Kegel was created by a male physician as a way to help women contract their pelvic floor, right? So I’ve had three babies. They’re 16, 18 and twenty one now. So but I can remember after having them just doing a Kegel and just being like, Oh yeah, OK, my body is intact, I can still feel that. But from a functional perspective, I believe that a Kegel falls short, and here’s why. So, you know, so many of us have been taught that a Kegel is, you know, the sensation of stopping the flow of urine and then starting it, stopping the flow of urine and starting it. All right. So let’s apply that concept to weightlifting or. Working, yeah. Or weight, weight training, training. Ok. So if I took that concept of. Stop the flow of air and start the flow of air and stop start if I took that to a bicep. Ok, let’s just use the exact same thought process. So if someone came to you and they were like, Lunden, I’ve got this wedding coming up and I got this really cute little black dress and it’s strapless and I want to have great arms.
Jana Danielson: [00:10:11] Can you help me? Right? I know you wouldn’t say to them, I want you to make a bicep and I want you to squeeze and release and squeeze and release and squeeze and release and squeeze and release all day long, or 10 or 12 times or for four minutes. You would never train them that way, right? Because we’re going to be training a muscle that just gets short. And then what happens when we have to go to hug somebody or drive our car right? That muscle is not going to be functional. It’s the exact same thing with the pelvic floor. If we’re teaching on off, on off what happens in the middle, like like what happens in between because muscles don’t just work and not work. They work their way up to to a load, and then they work their way down at the end of a load or at the end of a rope, right? So what I like to explain is almost like the next level of the key goal. So if you’re visualizing or if you feel right now as you’re listening to us, like stop the flow of urine, what what does that feel like?
Lunden Souza: [00:11:12] I think everybody is doing that right now. Like, I think everybody listening, including myself, is doing this right now. We’re like, OK, where is it? I find it. Is it there? Yes.
Jana Danielson: [00:11:20] Perfect. And guys, those of you that are in the audience today. And again, I’ve got no personal experience with this. But from my training, what I understand it is is a pelvic floor contraction for you is like lifting the boys. If you were walking into a lake or the ocean and the water was cool and it got like mid thigh, it’s apparently it’s lifting of the scrotum. That’s the pelvic floor. Ok. So as you’re squeezing and as you’re releasing, so establish that baseline of the Kegel. Now, let’s change what we’re thinking in our mind more to. If you were like going to wash your hands right, you would turn the faucet on and the water would slowly start and then it would. There would be more flow of water and then you would turn the tap and it would go to nothing, right? So think of it more like that. So when you inhale through your nose, that really is. When the pelvic floor is at its relaxed state, the lungs are filling with air. The diaphragm has got to get out of the way. So the inhale phase is just kind of the preparation phase of working the pelvic floor. But when we exhale, if you think about like an elevator and you’re drawing that pelvic floor up from the ground floor to like floor three or four or five, and then instead of just cutting the elevators and plummeting to the Earth, like the drop of doom at Disney World, you want to slowly bring that elevator back down to the ground floor.
Jana Danielson: [00:12:42] So that’s the inhale. Ok. So as you’re preparing again, it’s the exhale that creates the lift, and it’s the inhale that creates the lower of the pelvic floor, which for a lot of people, you guys as counterintuitive and I want to just touch on, you know, I’ve worked with a lot of athletes, CrossFit athletes, and they tend to deal with a lot of incontinence. And I had one Masters athlete that went to the CrossFit Games and she was very successful. But she said to me, like, when I’m doing my double unders, there is like a puddle on the floor and it’s not sweat, but I don’t know what else to do. And so when you are and I know you and I were going to, we’re going to touch on this. So I think let’s let’s meander into this.
Lunden Souza: [00:13:33] Absolutely. Yes, this is such a great topic when it comes to strength training and the power of the pelvic floor and movements that I know a lot of people that are listening do. And this will really, really, yeah, help us improve our strength training, especially when it comes to longevity and wanting to show up for that.
Jana Danielson: [00:13:52] Absolutely. All right. So let’s think about this. Can you put yourself in your workout, whether you’re at your home gym or doing a boot camp outside or at the gym, and maybe you’re upping your weights? Have you had moments where you brace to prepare to lift the load and then you lift and then you lower? My question to you is, do you ever even like, do you ever breathe through that or are you lifting while you hold? You’re holding your breath to brace, to lift and then put the weight down? I would argue that many of us ask that question a lot to my athletes and they’re like, I don’t know. I don’t know if I breathe. You know, and so then we’ll go through it, and it’s evident that they’ll like, take a big breath in before they lift. Like, let’s say, even any kind of Olympic weight lifting or even just your basic deadlift, right? If you are on the lifting, the going from the 90 degree phase up to standing tall. If you’re holding your breath, that action of just holding your breath through that range of motion is creating what we call intra abdominal pressure. And so what’s actually happening without you even realizing it is there are these pressure cavities within our abdomen. And it’s like someone taking like their if they were going to punch you, it’s like someone’s arm inside your body, punching down into your pelvic floor and putting all of this unnecessary stress and tension into this strong yet potentially fragile group of muscles. And now you repeat that and you repeat that and you repeat that, and all of a sudden two months in, you’re thinking, Wait, what’s going on like, I’m feeling stronger, but what’s this like? Why am I dribbling a little bit when I do this? And you don’t want to undo all the great things you’re doing with your weight training? So when you are in that, we’ll just use the deadlift as an example because we’ve we’ve mentioned it when you’re going from, if you have the weight on the ground and you’re going to your upright position, really engaging your glutes, right, getting those hamstrings into the action that really should be an exhale as you go from the 90 degree kind of roll position, I guess up to standing because in that range of motion, now you are taking the intra abdominal pressure and you’re exhaling and lifting your pelvic floor as you’re standing tall.
Jana Danielson: [00:16:27] Now here’s the beauty you’re protecting your lower back from any kind of like herniation of your disc or rupture of your disc, any low back strain, like any of those things that you know, those magical tweaks that we hear, I just I just lifted and I tweaked. I don’t know what I did, but a tweaked right when the pelvic floor, because it’s like a bridge between the right and left side of our body and between our pubic bone and our anus. It’s like this bowl, right? And when the bowl is just like for not doing anything, it really compromises the musculature around it. And you will not optimize the results of your weight training if you don’t start to just become mindful and get that pelvic floor on your radar.
Lunden Souza: [00:17:09] Yes. So I guess what you’re saying and I love listening to you and you do such a great job of creating these pictures in our minds. But instead of having that braced core and almost that downward pushing feeling, I was doing it as you were saying it, and it’s not the same pushing down feeling as you would like to go poop. Like, it’s not that it’s more in front like I can feel it as I do it. So I hope you guys listening are like doing the cues that Jana is saying because it’s so helpful to be able to kind of understand that area of your body. Like you said, a lot of athletes, I don’t know what am I doing, you know, so I love that. So instead of pushing down, we should be lifting up as we’re doing. For example, we use the deadlift. But would that be the same for like a squat or like any any exercise? Or is it just when we’re bringing it from the ground back up?
Jana Danielson: [00:17:54] No, you know, it really is any exercise. And here’s how you gauge. Like, when do you inhale and when do you exhale? Ok, so if you match your exhale to your pelvic floor contraction, the work phase of the pelvic floor, that’s all you need to know. So think about it when. I mean, yes, you could argue that there’s work on both phases. One hundred percent. But let’s even say like just a basic bicep curl. If you had a bar in front of you, I would inhale to prepare my movement. I would exhale to lift. I could take a sip of air at the top and then exhale to lower. Just make sure on the descent I was holding, or I could exhale up and inhale down. So for me, because right lifting the weight against gravity is going to be the phase that is going to require the most strength, I would argue. So that’s where I would match. That’s where I would match my exhale. Ok, on a squat. I would inhale to squat and then exhale as I was standing back up, drawing that pelvic floor up as I came back to standing, so there’s not like a one size fits all because for a lot of people, they’ll take that prep, inhale breath on both ends of the range and then exhale through the lift or the and the lower. But it’s really important that and what you had said to clarify that intra abdominal pressure, it is kind of more at the front than that kind of pooping sensation. But here’s the thing everyone. Our, you know, our pelvic organs like our bladder is located at. Think of it at the front and so over time, we can actually be encouraging that prolapse of that bladder so a prolapse of the of the pelvic floor organs are a descent or a dropping of the uterus, the bladder right into that pelvic like sling.
Jana Danielson: [00:19:49] It’s like a sling, right or a hammock. And so. Prolapse is are graded from a grade one through to a grade four. Ok, so grade one and two in most bodies through some pelvic floor physiotherapy and through some work, like with your coach ball, you can correct, all right, level three prolapse or grade three prolapse. If you feel like pressure kind of low in your abdomen, that could be a really good indicator that those organs are dropping. And the prolapse isn’t like a level four or a grade for you guys, like the organ is actually come through. Like it’s like it’s not up in your body anymore, like it is out of your body. And so at that point, you know, probably some pelvic floor surgery they use like a mesh, a piece of mesh, they pin it up right and then send you on your way. But here’s here’s the important thing to understand is that. These are muscles, whether you have surgery or not. And just like the other muscles in our body, if we don’t acknowledge and spend a little bit of time working with them, then that becomes they become compromised. And so we want to catch things at that level one or grade one or grade two so we can create the strength to draw those organs back up because usually grade three and grade four do require some medical intervention.
Lunden Souza: [00:21:27] Yes. And so it’s just, yeah, it makes me think of it makes me think of that because my grandma, my dad’s mom, she had prolapse. Definitely phase for eight kids, though. So I mean, I know that all of it plays plays a role, but I think about that because that’s like close to home. That’s my grandma and I know and she’s very open and vocal about it, so she’ll tell me all about it, right? So I know, and I just feel like, yeah, it’s like not prevention, but like you said, just training it and bringing awareness and making it just as important as your other workout routine or other health routines, because it’s like down the road. That’s when we get to see. It’s like it’s it might be fine and you feel fine, you know, in your twenties, whatever. But it’s like as you go on and you keep working out and keep training and have children and then ignore the pelvic floor and not, you know, not training it and not working it. I at least have that visual in my brain from her description and her just being my grandma that I really, yeah, I think about that. And that’s yeah, it’s so important. Just like with anything when it comes to exercise, it’s like we might not see the results of not doing that right in this moment, but later on, it can really be it can really be an issue. So how do we train our pelvic floor and how often should we be doing it? And yeah,
Jana Danielson: [00:22:52] Ok. So I like to. The cooch ball regime or regimen is three minutes because I think it’s hard to argue that you don’t have three minutes in the day to spend on your on your pelvic floor health. So really, you guys the easiest way to work your pelvic floor. You don’t even know. One even has to know you’re doing it. You can be at a red light in your vehicle. You can be in line at the grocery store. And really, what you’re doing and I I explained how critical diaphragmatic breathing is to that part of the body. So when I do mine and I do like 10 to 12 reps of breath know once a day and then I’ll get on my couch ball later on in the evening and do my three minute routine. But really, the simplest way to work your pelvic floor is to find your diaphragm breathing strategy, really. So again, it’s inhale through your nose, and if you’re driving, don’t do this. But if you’re just listening, if you put one hand on the flat bone just above your chest called the sternum and one belt or one hand on your belly button. Here’s how you know that you’re actually using your diaphragm muscle. So can you just give me like three big breath cycles, so I want you to inhale through your nose? And then I want you to exhale out of your mouth like you are a friendly dragon or fogging up the mirror in your bathroom.
Jana Danielson: [00:24:17] Sounds like an H.R. sound. Do that again. Inhale through your nose. And then exhale now on this last one, paid attention to which hand moves more inhale. And exhale. Ok, so here’s what I can tell you, if your top hand moved more, you’re what I call one of my little fishy breathers because you’re breathing with your gills, OK, and we don’t really have gills. Well, we did when we were embryos, but the neck muscles, the sternum, asteroids and the skeletons, they’re actually secondary breathing muscles, you guys. But because we don’t use our diaphragm, our body is so smart that it’s like, Oh, the primary muscle for breathing is unavailable today. Let’s put the breathing into the secondary muscles. But guess what? These secondary muscles already have a job. Their job is to hold our beautiful head on our body. So now we’re saying, all right, little muscles that look like little pieces of beef jerky. They’re not big, right? You need to hold this bowling ball on the end of this wire and you need to work every single time someone breathes, which I believe is about eighty six thousand times a day.
Jana Danielson: [00:25:28] Ok, so if you have chronic neck tension, chronic headaches, brain fog, TMJ like jaw things, you go to your Kairo acupuncturist, massage therapist and you’re good for like three days and you’re like, Oh, my tension is back in my neck. Here’s what I can tell you is that you are creating that tension because you are making the muscles in those areas do work. It’s not. They’re not really built to do so if you can get that bottom hand moving more. That’s how you can be 100 percent confident that you’re using your diaphragm in an impactful way. It’s activating the deepest level of abdominals called your transverse abdominals, and you’re going to get that sensation of the pelvic floor drawing up every time you exhale. So it literally is as simple as that 10 to 12 breaths. Maybe first thing in the morning, so you can check it off your list and go on with your day. On the other side of things, you guys, there’s the release part. Ok, so think of when you’re using like a foam roller or maybe like a lacrosse ball to get rid of some of those knots in your back. The pelvic floor also needs to be released, and that’s exactly why I created the ball.
Lunden Souza: [00:26:41] Yes, and let’s talk about the cooch ball, because I love that you said 10 to 12 reps do it first thing in the morning, get it done. I think that everyone listening like it will challenge them to do that. It’s like 12 repetitions of exercising the pelvic floor. Feel free to and we’ll put all of our social media links and stuff in the show notes, but hit us up and tell us like how it goes. Because I mean, if we can find a lot of us are that are listening are finding way more than three minutes to work out per day. So it’s like that extra three minutes is totally doable. But let’s talk about the ball. And for those of you watching this video on YouTube, you can see the ball for those of you listening on the podcast. You can’t, but it is a ball the size of a I’m going to say, like full juicy grapefruit. So it’s not giant and it has reminds me of a dodgeball. It reminds me of being in school and playing kickball, basketball or dodgeball or whatever. And it has this kind of traction on the outside that looks kind of like checkerboard ish. And it’s definitely, yeah, it’s like thicker. It’s not like one of those blue balls that maybe you’ve seen at a pilates class. It’s really the like. The skin of it is very thin. Let’s say this one has definitely some strength to it. So tell us about the the ball and I’ve been using mine, which I love, and all your helpful videos that come with this are just awesome. I had no questions about if I was doing it right or like what I should be doing, how full the ball should be and stuff like that. So I’ve been using mine for almost a week now and yeah, it’s been awesome and interesting to explore kind of this space there. So tell us more about it and why it’s so helpful.
Jana Danielson: [00:28:20] Ok, so I realized that there was a problem that needed to be solved when I would teach my pilates classes or do some movement education, and I would train about the pelvic floor and they would be like radio silence and my classes. No one would ask any questions. And then my inbox would be full of emails that night. And I’m like, Why as women, why aren’t we talking about this, right? Like, we talk about getting a good butt or all these other muscles, but yet these these are muscles. And so. Again, why why aren’t we talking about it? So I did some work with a euro gynecologist from Reno, Nevada, and his name is Dr. Bruce Crawford, and he did some flagship research, which was very intriguing to me. He found that. The pelvic floor doesn’t work on its own. There are three other muscle groups that work as coal recruiters he called them or like teammates. So those three muscles were the transverse abs and those abdominals start in our lower back. They wrap around our body. They come up toward our sternum like they kind of they they line the rib cage and then they come down toward the pubic bone. So the transverse abs are like a big weight training belt that holds us in. So when the pelvic floor is functional, the transverse abs work our abductors or our inner thighs and then the glute meet. So the media is part of the glue that kind of wraps around from the tailbone to the side of the hip. All right. And so as I started learning about all of this. And the other thing that he said was in his research, he wanted to find out what exercises were the best at working the pelvic floor, and it’s called recruiter’s the squat and the lunge, where no one and two and then the top 10 were rounded out with eight pilates mat exercises.
Jana Danielson: [00:30:08] So as a pilates instructor right now, he’s got even more of my attention. Then he goes on to say in his research study of over two thousand women and looking at 200 exercises from yoga, pilates and personal training, he realized that about 90 percent of the women that were in his study. Their pelvic floor issues were actually movement issues, not medical issues. So what if we could take a lineup of 10 women waiting for a surgery and we could tap nine of them on the shoulder and say, Hey, if you just learned about this part of your body, and if you were consistent with three minutes a day, would that be enough for you to get out of this line to get surgery and deal with this on your own? And so I started like straddling foam rollers and using those little pilates balls sitting on them like because you know that muscles to be functional need blood flow without blood flow, a muscle is going to like a plant without water. It’s going to die. And that’s what happens in a lot of our pelvic floor situations is we are not getting the proper oxygen rich, nutrient rich blood to that area. We Kaggle sometimes, but we don’t ever think about the optimization of the wellness of that area of our body. So a roller didn’t quite work.
Jana Danielson: [00:31:28] My pilates balls weren’t quite working, and so I just went out and started trying to find somebody that would help me to create this ball. And that’s what I did. So it’s a five inch diameter, which works beautifully for both a male and a female pelvis. It’s got the patent is really cool because it’s this special nylon thread that we have around the bladder of the ball, which, as you said, Lunden kind of gives it some structure, right? So when you sit on the ball, what’s happening is kind of like the perfect storm. I teach the diaphragmatic breathing while you’re sitting on the ball and you can sit on, you can sit on your couch, you can sit on the floor, you can sit on your bed, you can sit on your kitchen chair. It doesn’t matter where you sit. But when you put the ball between those bony butt bones and kind of behind your pubic bone and in front of your anus, it kind of sits in there like a like a mother hen on her nest of eggs, right? And then when you start doing your diaphragmatic breathing, the perfect storm analogy is that the weight of your body on the ball is creating the release of those muscular tissues, the facial tissues, the nerves. Get this yummy blood flow supply as if you were doing your IT bands on a roller, then layer on the diaphragmatic breathing and you’re getting the strength and the release in one hundred and eighty beautifully wrapped up seconds. And that’s really what it is, why it is and how it came to be.
Lunden Souza: [00:32:54] Right, all amazing things start that way, it’s like, oh, I was looking for something and I couldn’t find it, so I made it, and I just think you’re an absolute brilliant genius. Jana and I just, yeah, I love that story. That’s really how it is. And most of the time people do, people do. When they can’t find something that helps them, they complain and they blame. And so instead, you just kind of went out and created that. And so I love that you said, adding on or stacking on the diaphragmatic breathing and on top of sitting on it because I have not been doing that, I’ve just been sitting on it. So the ball is super cool. It literally has the instructions written on the outside. It says play ball between pubic bone and anus, sit on the ball for two to three minutes a day. So like, I was just following kind of the recipe or prescription here. But I also want to make to talk about about the two to three minutes because one of the things that I noticed in the beginning when using it is like, Oh, this is like new. This is different.
Lunden Souza: [00:33:45] And like, this kind of feels like it’s intense. It kind of hurts a little bit. I think anyone who’s ever foam rolled, which I think is a great example and also a funny visual of you, just like trying to find different things that like, work for this. I just love that. I love that. I love when people kind of, yeah, just really go for it and lean in there. But when your foam rolling, I think a lot of us who have foam rolled, it’s kind of like, you have this like love hate relationship with it. You know, it’s doing your body really well. But like, sometimes it hurts and your foam rolling down certain muscles and it gets sensitive. And so for a lot of us, like we’ve never done exercises where we’re yeah, placing things in that spot, perhaps and working those muscles in that area. So it can be a little, you know, it’s like a workout. It’s like a little bit uncomfortable until you get good at it. And so can you talk a little bit about that and just kind of what to expect when using it at first, for sure.
Jana Danielson: [00:34:33] So thanks for mentioning that. So here there is a direct relationship between the health of those tissues of the pelvic floor and what I call the Ouch factor. Ok. So if those tissues are very unhealthy and you get on your couch ball, it’s going to be like, what in the hell is going on here? Like, it’s going to it’s going to hurt. You’re going to be like, what? What am I doing wrong? You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just the biofeedback right. When the tissues are again, like beef jerky and not like a T-Bone steak, you’re going to feel a bit of uncomfortableness as you start to bring health and wellness via blood flow to that area. The ouch factor is going to start to decrease. So again, I’ve had women like sometimes they start with like 15 seconds, and that’s it. And they’re like, I’m out, right? And then they slowly increase their time. So for some women, it takes like a month to work up to three minutes. And that’s why I love using the diaphragmatic breathing as your guide. Because if you are holding your breath or guarding or clenching while you’re on the ball, you’re actually undoing all the goodness that you’re trying to bring into your body. So what I say is if you can do your diaphragmatic breathing on the ball in a very calm, relaxed way. The other thing you’re breathing is doing is it sending a message to your brain that despite the pain, because for some in some like I use Ouch factor as a fun little term, but it can be painful and we are adverse to pain, right? Like we’re meant to not.
Jana Danielson: [00:36:10] We put our hand by a hot stove and our nervous system is like, Oh, get away from that. We don’t want you to be in pain. So when you’re breathing diaphragmatic, when there’s some discomfort, it’s reminding your brain like, No, I am choosing this. And there is a purpose for what we’re doing. I’m OK. You don’t have to send in the troops to save me, right? We don’t have to be guarded. But if that is the case for you, what I always say is try it on your bed. Ok, the mattress will take a bit of the brunt of the ball and then you’ll be able to stay for longer or get on your couch and then work your way down to your mat. Or, like I said, a chair. So that that’s important to understand. And thanks Lunden for mentioning that because it is a new sensation for many, many women and they think that they’re doing something wrong or the ball is harming them. You mentioned before the two thirds full. I love the two thirds full. That’s where I want you to start. Doesn’t mean a full ball is unsafe. It just means that your body and the tissues are going to respond. And the three minutes is magic because we know that that’s what it takes to start to get to that facial tissue and to like melt over top of it. So there is a method to the madness of this.
Lunden Souza: [00:37:21] Yeah, and I think, like I said, sometimes people, you know, like you said, are adverse to pain or whatever, but just think of it, you guys like a workout when we’re working out and holding a plank like, yeah, my abdominals and my core and, you know, a lot of other muscles, too. I did a workout yesterday where, yeah, I was working shoulders and I held a plank at the end and my shoulders were like burning in that plank. And so change always comes from a place of discomfort in so many areas of our lives, right? And so, yeah, I just think it’s a really great, yeah, a great tool and something I’ve really been enjoying using. And I’ve worked my way up to the three minutes. But at first, like you said, it was like, I think I got up to like a little. It was under 30 seconds between like 20 and 30 seconds, and I was like, Oh, wow, OK, hello. And yeah, I just think of it like a workout. Think of it like your muscles being tense or maybe a little bit sore or uncomfortable in a workout. And then, of course, knowing the benefits of that later. One of the things that you mentioned and I want to touch on before we close because I think that’s why I love having these conversations, because to be honest, like I don’t care, like I’ll say poop and pelvic floor and, you know, like, but there’s a lot of women like you said out there, well, you’ll have conversations all day about this, this, this, this or this.
Lunden Souza: [00:38:37] But when it comes, you know, like different muscles are going to spin class or whatever. But when it comes to like this area, it can be. Yeah, just kind of uncomfortable for a lot of people to talk about to, you know, I don’t know, maybe some people might buy this and not want to tell their friends or their partner or something like it, just a conversation or a topic that sometimes feels funny. And so when you’re working with women and you’re seeing that relief, are you seeing them becoming more and more comfortable with talking about this space or working in this space? Or how do you, yeah, talk to women in a way that makes them feel comfortable about this? Because I know this for some people when they hear some of the conversations we have are just talk or words that just easily flow out of our mouths. Or, like you said, I was like on a foam roller. And then I grabbed this ball and I was sitting here and it’s like, you know, I think that not everybody is like that, but I really want you through this podcast and through the work and stuff that I do to bring light to some stuff that people just like, don’t like talking about. So how do you get people to like, like talking about this? So why should we like talking about this?
Jana Danielson: [00:39:42] So I often like sometimes I ponder what, like what happened in our lifetimes or in that in the lifetimes of like our moms and our grandmas where this was like no one talked about it, right? Like it just wasn’t talked about. And what I do with all of my clients is kind of like the first time we chatted about it. The more matter of fact you make it, the more comfortable people will be. The other part of this is, I believe that we’ve been educated to believe that no one else has these problems. But but but me, right, we see on TV commercials that the solutions are the adult. I call them pull ups because that’s what my boys used to wear when I was potty trained them right like the adult diapers. And you see the new commercials with, like the businesswoman in her beautiful suit and like the construction guy and the rocker that’s on stage and we’re men. We’re led to believe that if these cool people are wearing them, then you should too. And that’s and that’s the solution. Or for men, right? With erectile dysfunction like. Gazillion dollar drug industries made out of telling men that your body doesn’t work. So this is what you need for your body to work, and actually, in most cases, all those men need is some pelvic floor physiotherapy to release the pelvic floor to allow blood flow back to their penis.
Jana Danielson: [00:41:09] And you’re back in business, right? So when I and that’s why I called it the coach ball, you guys, some people get really offended and I’ve I haven’t made I’ve made some non friends, let’s say that that are like, Oh my God, that’s so disrespectful that you would call it the cooch ball. And I wanted to make it a sassy, fun product because I wanted people to say, like what you call it, the what? And and then the Gooch Ball is the co-branded product for four guys and. I feel like my mission is to break the barriers of what people believe about their body, like we are amazing human beings, right? We want to impact the world in big ways our families, our communities, our workplaces. And yet if you’re led to believe that because you want to be a mom or I’ve worked with so many young women who like dancers, highland dancers, especially right, because think of like the river dance like they are motionless from their belly button up and their legs, right, are just working like equestrian people in the equestrian world. Like things we choose that bring us joy in our life can also bring in dysfunction in our body without us even knowing it. So it’s not like a DNA genetically disposed. You pulled the short straw.
Jana Danielson: [00:42:36] You’re good for the rest of your life. That’s not it at all. And even to go one step younger, like even kids in their pre-teens that are still wetting the bed a lot of times that is a pelvic floor issue. Right? So that’s, you know, that I feel like that’s that’s my calling is just to. Fine people like you who understand the importance of getting this message out and the more of those like cool people and influencers that are talking about it and experiencing it then have the ability like a pebble thrown into a calm lake. The impact just permeates out. And as soon as women and men, I believe, are slightly educated because there’s a gap in the education. Education is powerful, and when you can understand why something is going on that there’s I have to work my inner thighs and my glute mead and my deep abdominals to support my pelvic floor. All right. So now when I’m doing those side leg lifts and my leg feels like it’s going to fall off, I’m going to remember that this is part of my pelvic floor training, right? And so it’s giving them this new roadmap, this new paradigm to be inspired to get into their power and make their lives amazing. And then, like I said, impact from a place of confidence around their body.
Lunden Souza: [00:44:03] Yes, so good, I love your mission, I’m so on board with everything that you’re doing, and awareness is really that first step. So maybe you guys are listening and you just figured out what the heck your pelvic floor was. Maybe you were listening, you know, and you just realize like, Oh yeah, maybe that’s why I’m experiencing a little bit of what Gina mentioned and maybe just some awareness of possibility and opportunity to treat ourselves, you know, to really say, like, OK, I’m not opposed, you know, to to help when we need to have surgeries or just different things like that. But just to say like, Hey, like there’s a little bit of awareness here of what you can do to prevent things like that moving forward and to help yourself and to to invest in yourself when it comes to, yeah, the three minutes a day and that awareness in that space. And so thank you for helping us create that awareness today of like what what our pelvic floor is, why it’s important and all the you know, for me, a lot of the awareness when talking to you is like, Oh yeah, there’s a lot of muscles kind of involved there. And oh yeah, for we need to stimulate blood flow there. So that makes sense. A lot of the stuff talking about breathing that for me, was a huge awareness when it came to like the deadlift and the exercise movements and not only like how we’re breathing, but what’s happening within that pelvic floor space. So I feel like this episode is full of what Oprah calls I love when she calls them the aha moments. You know where you’re just like, Yeah, there’s just so, so much awareness in this episode. And that’s always the first step to making changes in our lives and our routines and our pelvic floor. So I could talk to you for hours like I could just like, OK, well, what about this and all of that? And I know that everyone listening probably feels the exact same, so let everyone know where they could connect with you and how they can learn more from you, for sure.
Jana Danielson: [00:45:51] So both on Facebook and Instagram, you can follow either just at futbol or the Metta District Metta with two T’s, you can follow me there. And then just if you want to connect, I mean, you can direct message me through there or just in full at Metta District, I’m happy to answer any any emails. And you know, one, if I could just take 30 seconds. Lunden One thing I forgot to mention, which I’ve been getting a lot of questions about lately, is women are asking about bowel incontinence and wondering how that the pelvic floor impacts that. And so all I want to I mean, I’m just going to drop this little nugget and tell you this bowel incontinence, which basically means like we’re pooping a little bit, right? Or you go to the bathroom, you wipe you go on with your day, you go to the bathroom the next time and you’re like, Why do I have this little stamp on my panties, right? Like, that’s that’s what I’m talking about, OK, we’re talking about stuff here. Bowel incontinence is very common, and I want you to know because so many people, if we think like, you know, urinary incontinence people aren’t talking about, they are definitely not talking about bowel incontinence.
Jana Danielson: [00:46:59] And I wanted those of you who are on this listening to this podcast today, you are not all alone. There are. I’ve worked with many clients who we’ve worked through this. The ball has improved the situation a lot. And here’s what I’ve actually learned about bowel incontinence is that you may want to check with a naturopath or a medical practitioner or a nutritionist, because what I’m learning is that a lot of bowel incontinence has a gut. Root cause like Siebel, which is small intestine, bacterial overgrowth or any kind of leaky gut or Crohn’s, right? So, you know, even gluten intolerance, food sensitivity. So understand that oftentimes this pelvic floor issue as bowel incontinence, it is very often a symptom of something else going on in your body. And so please look into that because I know it was one of those aha moments for me, and I was like, I had no idea that those two would have been related. So thank you for thank you for letting me just drop that extra little nugget into there.
Lunden Souza: [00:48:11] No, thank you. I know someone listening needed to hear that. So that’s why you said it. I love it. So social media will get all those links in the show notes to so you can follow everything that is futbol. So it’s at futbol on Instagram or app made a district, as you mentioned. And then you also have a course right that are like a little freebie that we can learn more about this from you. Tell us about that.
Jana Danielson: [00:48:34] So I created this course. I always get asked about my story and you alluded to like my physical pain and my bio. And so this course is called turning pain from limitation to inspiration. It’s a four part mini masterclass that I am gifting all of you today, if you would like to access it. The link will be in the show notes. And basically, it’s like I said, it’s my story. And after each 15 minute video, there’s one very simple takeaway that you can implement into your life like that day to to make a difference. So and then you’ll get the second video three days later and then three days later. So it’s a 12 day experience with me. I would love for you to check it out and see. Maybe you can learn something new. We touch on breathing again and we talk on the importance of hydration. We talk about spinal movements in there. So that’s what that course is all about.
Lunden Souza: [00:49:28] I love it and thank you, and I can’t wait to take it because I haven’t yet. But I I know that you will be a continuous source of wisdom for me when it comes to this and probably a lot of other things. So thank you so much for being on here, Jana. I know that your time is super valuable and the fact that you’re spending it here with us is so fantastic and we’re learning so much from you, all of you guys listening. If you have any questions, let us know you can connect with both myself and Jana on social media because I feel like there’s going to be a lot of women listening that are going to have, like you said, I have to talk about this because people are coming, you know, to get bowel incontinence. I think that there’s going to be a lot more awareness and comfortability for women to kind of ask some of these questions or feel like they’re like, Hey, what about this? You know? And eventually get to the point where you can just talk about it like we are today, which is right. The goal? Thank you so much for being here. It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you everyone for listening.
Jana Danielson: [00:50:23] Thanks, Lunden.