Voice to Pelvic Floor Therapy

The respiratory diaphragm has long been linked to pelvic floor health and functioning, but the voice has not. That is now rapidly changing as research emerges to link all three diaphragms, not just physiologically, but from a neuropsychological lens!

As a singer and a pelvic floor therapist, Dr. Garner recognized a connection between the voice and the pelvic floor before there was research to demonstrate it. She began implementing this understanding into her practice early on and is now excited to be considered a leader in educating PTs across the globe about the importance of this connection. 

Singing is a sport, but you don’t need to be able to sing to access the power of the voice for pelvic floor therapy. Phonation and vocalization are ideal, alternate, but essential pathways to treating pelvic floor dysfunction and promoting pelvic floor health!

The Three Diaphragms

The three diaphragms include the vocal folds, the respiratory diaphragm (the one you normally think of as a diaphragm), and the pelvic floor. All three of these diaphragms have the important job of regulating the pressure in your chest, abdomen, and pelvis. They all are designed to work in harmony but often get “out of rhythm”. 

Some reasons for this loss of harmony include the following:

  • Overuse injury (laryngitis)
  • Breath-holding and Anxiety
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Childbirth
  • Postural changes
  • Strenuous athletic or performance arts training 
  • Asthma, COPD, or other respiratory disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Frequent/extended computer and/or cell phone use
voice to pelvic floor therapy

Polyvagal Theory

Have you heard the “buzz” around the Vagus nerve? Well, there is a good reason for all the “buzz”! The Vagus nerve is involved in regulating the tone of the vocal cords, respiratory diaphragm, AND Pelvic Floor. By helping you learn how to tap into and regulate the Vagus nerve, we are able to affect all three regions.

What Does This Mean for Me?

Our philosophy includes polyvagal theory and a 3-diaphragms approach which allows us to treat all pelvic floor dysfunction more completely and comprehensively. Some conditions that benefit the most from this approach include:

  • Chronic hoarseness, laryngitis, and muscle tension dysphonia
  • Long/post-covid Syndrome 
  • Anxiety/Sleep disturbance
  • Constipation
  • Urinary Incontinence (Stress Incontinence, Urgency/Frequency)
  • Urinary or Bowel Urgency 
  • Painful Bowel movements
  • TMJ (jaw) Dysfunction &/or Headaches
  • Neck, Back, & Sacroiliac Joint Pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Vaginismus
  • Vulvodynia
  • Painful penetration
  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Chronic prostatitis
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Painful ejaculation

Whether you are a professional singer or can’t “carry a tune in a bucket,” we are happy to teach you how to harness the power of the 3 diaphragms and your Vagus nerve to improve your overall health and decrease strain on any one or all three of these very important diaphragms!

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