We are currently running the Yoga for Endo Challenge (register here to get in on it) and one of the questions I have been asked, is “how does yoga specifically address endometriosis?”
Yes, we get that yoga can help loosen adhesions as we are physically moving the body in a certain way. Or perhaps you get that yoga can help with better delivery of nutrients and oxygen – another cool and important thing… but how does it specifically address endometriosis?
In this video, I want to share how it is all just a giant loop and how the body is all inter-connected. You are going to love the dots I have managed to join 🙂
So to re-iterate this and to write it out for you…
Endometriosis is triggered by having too much oestrogen in the body. The more of this imbalance we have, the more we will develop endometriosis growths such as cysts and lesions. Oestrogen and progesterone should be in balance within the body and typically with endometriosis, we see an excess of oestrogen and insufficient progesterone. We want to bring back the natural balance between these hormones. They act like a see-saw and we need more progesterone to balance the excess oestrogen.
Unfortunately, there is a bigger player involved and that is our stress hormones. Cortisol sits on top of all the other hormones and will command more of the resources and yes, attention to itself. If you are stressed out our anxious about anything – easy to do, when you have endometriosis – then inevitably, your cortisol levels will rise. Interestingly, cortisol also rises with certain types of exercise or when we don’t honour our cycle with exercising.
Because the need to make more cortisol is key when we are stressed, other hormones are often neglected and we, therefore, have insufficient amounts of them – like progesterone.
As I mentioned, progesterone needs to be in balance with oestrogens and when we are stressed, we will simply not make enough progesterone to counter the effects of too much oestrogen. So, inevitably progesterone remains low and oestrogen flares up – causing more growths, cysts and pain as we know with endometriosis.
How does yoga address endometriosis?
Yoga has the ability to bring down the need for cortisol as it regulates your stress. It does this in two ways – it allows you to be more present and it encourages deep breathing, which instantly drives down the cortisol response within the body. When we drive down the need for cortisol, we instantly help regulate our hormones.
Another way Yoga helps regulate hormones is by providing good blood flow to the main hub station where our hormones are produced (in the pituitary gland, located in the head). Good blood flow means better delivery and better clearing of waste too 🙂
So, I hope you can see how Yoga does help you manage your endometriosis and reduce the actual condition – not just the associated symptoms.
Feel free to leave a comment below on what your experience has been in using yoga to help manage endometriosis or if you have any questions about what I have shared here.
One of the nastiest symptoms of endometriosis is the pain. We are familiar with it. It is that constant dull ache in the lower abdominal area. The exhaustion of that pain. The unflinching never-stopping pain. It pulsates, it aggravates and it can feel never-ending. I know when I was first diagnosed with endometriosis, it never ended. It was a daily struggle, that just never stopped. How good would anyone feel when you feel like you are being repeatedly punched in the stomach? Can I get a #totallygetit?
Let us get all sciency for a minute…the underlying reason for pain with endometriosis is an umbrella term called inflammation. It is the key driver for that pain and interestingly enough is also a driver for hormone imbalances and a whole bunch of domino effects within the body.
Now, inflammation is a natural thing to happen in the body. It is what drives things to heal. Trouble is… for many of us, we live in a permanent state of inflammation. This basically means living in a permanent state of pain. Endometriosis pain, pain with going to the toilet, pain with sex and well… any kind of pain. You get the idea!
I have been practising yoga for endometriosis for about 4 years. It is honestly life changing for us woman with endometriosis! It works so incredibly well at reducing inflammation in the body.
Here is a great video where I explain the inflammation, pain connection and reveal a study showing us the benefits of Yoga for Endometriosis:
This video is part of the Yoga for Endometriosis Challenge, where I share all sorts of cool insights about the health benefits of Yoga plus you get FREE access to our yoga for endometriosis Program for 30 days. If you want to find out more and register to get all the insights, visit www.endoempowered.com/yogachallenge
Do you feel like you are in a constant state of pain? Does your whole body feel inflamed?
Are you keen to join the yoga for endometriosis challenge? Got questions? Feel free to post them below…
I used to experience terrible pain with having endometriosis and particularly if I did any kind of activities like bouncing or running.
What many women do is go for big bursts of exercise and really push themselves through it. They might go for a jog, when they haven’t been running for years or they might suddenly decide to take up hiking. When we go from doing very little to suddenly doing a huge amount, it is much more likely that we will experience pain with endometriosis.
In today’s video, I want to share and explain some of the reasons why you might get pain with exercise and endometriosis.
Here are some tips to help you move forward:
Exercise for short time frames but more frequently. This could be just a 10minute walk each and every day but it is consistent and regular.
Make a point of moving in an opposite direction to what you normally do. So, if you spend a huge amount of your day sitting, try flexing your body from side-to-side every 20 minutes. This will allow those adhesions to loosen and become less tight.
Stretch when you get up in the morning. This ensures you get blood circulation which supplies loads of oxygen and nutrients to where you need it most – your uterus.
Your time to share…
What forms of exercise do you practice with having endometriosis? Does it help you or cause you pain? What is your experience with endometriosis and exercise?
I will be honest here, exercise was never something I thought about when I began my natural healing journey with endometriosis. I just wanted to get through the day without pain and the thought of doing any kind of exercise, was just too energy draining. I would have bouts of exercise here and there and inevitably it would leave me feeling more sore and tired afterwards, which of course doesn’t encourage one to want to do more of it.
I have learnt a few things recently about exercise, which I thought I would share, to perhaps consider it from a different perspective.
1. It all adds up.
I think, being a perfectionist and all of that, we tend to think that we need to do a certain amount of exercise for it to be of value. I used to think that if I wasn’t doing at least 30 minutes of walking, it just wasn’t worth doing. What I have realized is that even just doing 10 minutes a day makes a difference. It is about doing something consistently, rather than doing too much in one go. I know, this is our natural inclination—I did that for years. I would do no exercise for months at a time and then suddenly feel that I needed to do something, so I would go on a 10 km hike. I would always be so super surprised when I would land up in pain the next day!
Just make a point of doing something every single day. It really does help your endometriosis and your whole body.
2. It clears your head and heart.
Sometimes we can be so wrapped up in what is going on in our head, to the point where we almost just want to shut it up! I found going for extended walks has really helped put some perspective on things and it really helps me bring things back to what really matters. This is so beneficial in reducing our stress levels. Stress is such a huge contributor to endo pain. Exercise just gets us out of head and heart and back in check with ourselves and being more present.
Be sure to really absorb where you are, what nature is around you and really breathe in the experience. Try not to think about all the stuff that is worrying you but rather allow yourself that time-out.
3. It will reduce pain from adhesions.
I think the reason the adhesions and endo hurts so much when we do those sudden bursts of exercise is that we are suddenly moving adhesions at a rapid pace. It is like pulling on an elastic bands over and over again for a long period of time. It is bound to hurt! If we do a little bit each day, those adhesions (elastic bands) can move gently and slowly and loosen a little.
It is in that loosening process that the body will find it much easier to tackle them to flush them out and repair the body. A big heavy mass is much harder to deal with than something that is a little softer and has been stretched a little over time. You will also find that your personal experience with adhesions and those cysts will be less painful as they won’t be quite as “hard” in the literal sense within the body.
4. It forces you to change your posture and breathing.
Many of us spend a huge amount of time sitting at a desk, car or generally in a seated position. When you review this position, you will notice that the abdomen is very much restricted. All the blood to the area has to squeeze itself in there. It is not open and easy to get at. This makes it harder for things to just flow—good stuff in and bad stuff out.
When we walk or move, we can allow blood flow and good breathing to bring oxygenated blood to the area and allow the bad stuff to flow out of the area. Walking is so easy at creating this—just by standing up we are allowing a more natural flow of things!
This does pose the question on cycling—I would be careful of using cycling as a form of exercise for endometriosis as it still restricts movement in that area. Try more “open” exercise routines like yoga, walking or tennis. Anything that encourages your body to be straight or even in position which open the chest or abdominal area are great. Dancing is super for this too!
5. You are aiding in the detox process.
Our bodies use different ways of expelling toxins. The most logical for most of us to recognize is through our digestion. There are other things that get stimulated when we exercise. We sweat, which allows the body to excrete through our skin. We also breathe more deeply, which allows more of the waste to leave our body through the lungs. Exercise also stimulates the lymphatic system, which is only activated through movement. The lymphatic pathways can often be blocked when we don’t exercise consistently. This means, toxic waste is still sitting in the body!
If you suffer from sore muscles and joints, this indicates an excess of lactic acid sitting in those areas. A good massage will clear them but regular exercise will ensure that build up doesn’t occur quite as rapidly.
So, you can see that the benefits of exercise are fantastic! I highly recommend getting into it, even if you start off with just 10 minutes a day.
Choose something easy to begin with and build yourself up to more. There is no measure here, just do something!
Feel free to share your current exercise routine. What has worked for you and what benefits have you experienced? Are you adverse to doing any kind of exercise as you think it will hurt too much? Feel free to share and ask questions.
I received a lovely email from Mehwish who wanted to know how to start getting into exercise. I know I used to struggle heaps with how to get into exercise with endometriosis as it was generally a painful experience. I also simply lacked the energy to get moving and it was a constant motivational push to get me to do anything!
So, as part of my new Ask Mel Friday, I thought I would share some tips I have for Mehwish. It is more about my personal experience with endometriosis and exercise. I think we need to accept that exercise is a gradual process and that it takes time, not just to get results but also get the motivation to do it.
More in the video:
Feel free to share your personal experience with exercise and endometriosis and any thoughts on what you found easier or more challenging about it all.
Exercise is always a struggle for women with endometriosis. Though we know it will often make us feel better, it also requires energy, which is often something we are lacking. The trouble is, exercise is really import to flush out the excess hormones, keep a healthy digestive system and also to reduce the effects of stress on your mind.
Well, I have found the perfect exercise for you! It is so much fun!
It is called a rebounder or a mini trampoline! It is so effective, it is used by NASA! According to them, you would burn about the same amount of calories bouncing on a trampoline as you do running! I don’t know about you but running has always been way too hard to do!
Why is it super for endometriosis girls?
It stimulates the lymphatic system—this is huge! It flushes out toxins, heavy metals, excess hormones, pathogenic bacteria and basically all that stuff we don’t want in our bodies!
Reduces the occurrence of headaches—also reducing their frequency and intensity
Reduces back and joint pain
It is super easy and won’t hurt! Running or cycling can be too strenuous for girls with endo who suffer from dramatic adhesion growth.
Encourages fast detoxification from the body
The G-force created by bouncing, enhances and strengthens the immune cells in our bodies
Helps stimulate digestion
Strengthens and tones muscles, especially in that inner core stomach area, which builds the inner chakra
This is really the best answer for us endo girls!
Watch this video for a detailed explanation of the lymphatic system and how bouncing gets it going!
So if you have been wanting to exercise and don’t know where to start, then this is the perfect answer for you.
You can transport this to anywhere and use it anywhere, even in front of the TV!
Have you tried it? What exercise do you enjoy? Any experience with the rebounder?