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Pelvic Floor Therapy 101 with Courtney V


Courtney, I am so excited for this show. Um, ladies, we were talking a little bit prior off air about how I came to, um, understand and love and know Courtney's work. And it was funny, I was telling her I was at this brunch a few weeks ago with like five or six girlfriends and I never go to brunch. We never have time, but we made it, we made it a priority and we did it.

And I was getting ready to drive back home, which was about a two hour drive from LA and I said, I don't really have to go to the bathroom, but let me go one more time. My girlfriend said, no, what are you doing? Like you have to strengthen your pelvic floor. You shouldn't be going to the bathroom when you don't have to.

And I was like, yeah, but I'm gonna like suffer on this ride home. And they're like, girl, don't do it. Just see if you can hold it. And I was like, I, I don't know what you're talking about. And then they pulled up Courtney on Instagram and they're like, this woman is a pelvic floor magician. You have to take her programs, you have to follow her.

And you guys. It was love at first sight. I saw everything she was talking about and I said I have to have her on the show. So thank you so much for being here today to talk about everything. Pelvic Floor, diastasis recti, like all of the woman problems.

Courtney Virden: Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited.

Elizabeth: Why don't you give our listeners just like kind of a brief overview of what you specialize in, because there are some different facets here, but I, I want them to get an understanding not only of your journey as mom to mom, who we both had nine pound babies. Yes. Um, and the havoc that that can wreak on our bodies.

But how did you get to where you are today and feeling like this was your mission?

Courtney Virden: That's a great question. I actually have a business degree and I kind of fell into training. I thought it was just gonna be a very temporary thing till I figured out what I wanted to do. But once I got certified, I started learning a lot about like fascia and more physical therapy type exercises, and I'd had chronic shin insulins and neck issues, and I was able to like, Fix all of it.

So I was just amazed and everyone I worked with, I was able to help fix them of so many issues that had plagued them. Then fast forward to many years later, gaining over 70 pounds, actually stop weighing myself when I was pregnant. Yeah, you got, I could've gained 80. I, I dont know. You feel like a, well, it's like, I don't know.

I say over 60 and 70. It could have been 70 and 80 for all I know. Right. I have so much amniotic fluid too. When I'm pregnant, I, my belly was so huge, so I had diastasis recti, pelvic floor issues. So I was able to, I dove really deep into pelvic floor and like how to fix it. So I used all those same principles with the pelvic floor and got different certifications and learned and just really fixed myself first and learned how to, you know, close that diastasis recti.

It was like a three finger gap I had. And just really resolved my pelvic floor issues, fix the posture, um, the sexual problems, the incontinence when I was sneezing that I'd never had before. You know, all those things that co can come with pelvic floor issues. And fast forward to getting divorced several years later.

I went from working a little bit to wow, I've gotta provide for myself and my children. You know, I have to start working more. Well, let me really reach out and help more women and really focus on pelvic floor instead of just therapeutic, you know, and really connect more with women. I was in a really toxic marriage and was doing a lot of work on myself, so I really wanted to just connect with other women.

Yeah, so people just started finding me with pelvic floor issues who maybe didn't want internal therapy, who wanted exercises, had back pain, or just felt horrible. And then I felt filmed for a few TV shows. And with doing that, I, I love working with people one-on-one, but I've had so many clients before who said, you know, my sister in Ohio, or my cousin.

And so-and-so really needs you, right? And I thought, well, lemme, instead of just focusing on one-on-one, which I still do a little bit, let me make an online program. So if someone never meets me, never talks to me, they're able to do the work I do with my private clients on their own from home and be able to help themselves.

So, You know, some women still need internal therapy if they're extremely tight and need like to break up those fascial adhesions. Mm-hmm. But the program that I have also helps reorganize your fascia and realign it. So a lot of women who think they need internal end up not needing it. And you can fix so many problems at home, you know?

Yeah. You can't always fix it, but most women can, and it's three to four days a week, a short 15, 20 minutes. Is all it takes to fix your pelvic floor issues. And when you do that, not only you gonna start, stop the bladder leakage, the back pain. Help fix the diastasis recti. Your posture improves your confidence and yeah, my favorite thing about pelvic floor work is truly like, it really makes you connect with your womanhood.

You know, like what makes you a woman? It ma gives you just this inner confidence like nothing else. You get really connected to your body. So I love that about my program.

Elizabeth: I mean, that is what we all need, right? Like we want, I was, um, at my OB probably two years ago and she recommended like pelvic floor, like in-person therapy and I thought, Okay, well how's that gonna work?

I was like, yeah, I don't know. And, and I'm not like a really shy person, but I was like, I think I was gonna have to drive like 40 minutes away. Cuz this is the other part, there aren't a lot of pelvic floor physical therapists. I mean, none really are in network, like, as far as like, yeah. Um, getting it covered by insurance.

And then they're so few and far between. So to your point, like somebody listening to this maybe in the Midwest, like it might be harder to find those. I mean, here in California, I thought they'd be a dime a dozen. They're not. Yeah, they're very far away. And frankly, I didn't wanna lay on a table and have some woman be up in me.

You know what I mean? Yeah. Like I already went to the OBGYN once, like I really don't feel like this again. And so, Nobody had offered that option of doing it virtually or doing it for yourself. So I think that's what is like, so exciting, uh, about you and your programs. But I think that there's also this piece too, of like, we just wanna keep our heads down and pretend like nothing's changing.

Yes. And. With me. You can never do t m I. But maybe my listeners are gonna think this is tmi. But like, I think too as women, like you go to put in a tampon and it's a little bit different than it was pre-kids when you were 20. Yeah. Like it's not the same vagina, it's not the same to your point. Like you just don't feel the same.

And I think we're just taught Do your Kegels ladies, you know, and I love, she wrote an amazing article for pos, you guys, I'll link it in the show notes about Kegels, may not be. Helpful. Like for some women, yes, but they could be doing stuff. Oh my God. So here we're doing all these Kegels. So Courtney, can you please shed some light on like when Kegels could be good or these weights that you see online.

I bought this weight set and they're like, you know, hold it up in there, while you're showering for 10 minutes or whatever. And I'm like, okay, well this will fix it. Yeah, now, you know what I mean? And frankly, I'm not gonna do that.

Courtney Virden: No, I mean, and most people go, and honestly, when you talk to people, most people are not doing Kegels.

They're like, oh, they're not doing them anyway. So what Kegels do is like a concentric contraction. Concentric is tightening. So imagine if you were gonna do say a bicep curl and all you did was a concentric curl. Never the extension that lengthening eccentric. All it's gonna do is really shorten and tighten the muscles and the fascia that are connected.

Oh my God, right? Oh, no. Tight and short are not good with anything in our body. So typically with Kegels it's tightening. Now if someone's pelvic floor is completely overstretched, there's 14 muscles in there and it attaches front to back. Pubic bone to uh, tailbone sits bone to sips bone. It's three layers and it moves up and down like a trampoline.

It's so dynamic. Wow. It moves like fan shape. Think of a vaginal birth, right? Like you and I gave birth to huge babies. Yeah. Our pelvic floor just. Stretched and goes back, right? So imagine if you're training your pelvic floor eccentrically, like holding those weights in just contracting, contracting, not teaching your pelvic floor, how to eccentrically, lengthen and build eccentric strength.

All you're doing is making that extremely tight, which typically leads to incontinence, low back pain, painful intercourse, things like that. And unless you are like manually feeling around and there are no. You know, your tone and tension throughout the pelvic floor, when is two Kegels too much. So that's even why women who are like completely overstretched, I don't even love recommending Kegels to them because there's going to be a point when you have enough tension and then you're gonna cross that line and create too much tension and, and make your pelvic floor too rigid.

So it's really designed to be like strong. Toned, elastic, responsive and tight is not good with the pelvic floor, so some women are just overly tight, like a hypertonic pelvic floor. It's just, which was what I was talking about, really rigid. Yeah, completely overstretched and more common is really a combination of the two.

So portions of the pelvic floor have been shortened. Portions are over lengthened, like an anterior pelvic tail, like when the booty sticks out too much. Right, right. There's a big belly pooch. Typically parts of the pelvic floor to support that posture have become shortened and parts are, you know, over lengthened and it's just inappropriate tone and.

Tight is weak too. So that's why I like really dynamic movements and yeah, exercises that help realign fascia, help lengthen tissue and that rebound effect. And that's why I love, like the exercises I have in the programs I do.

Elizabeth: Oh my God. Mind blown. I know women are listening to this. They're like, wait, what?

Like for, yeah. I wanna know who came up with like Kegels then. Was it some male doctor who had the last name, kegel?

Courtney Virden: Yes! That's why it's a capital K. Like if you look it up. Oh. And you know, I just look at everything with health, how much it changes with time. And the more we know, right?

And this is what we know now with time, we might learn amazing new things that are gonna change. A little bit of how I do things too, cuz I'm always open to change. But I think before. Oh my gosh. So there's this problem, oh, it's weak. Oh, this tightens, this is good. You know? Right. And, and now, and fascia wasn't widely known and like tissues and things like that weren't like a thing back then, you know?

Right. And now it's really becoming a thing like, so your fascial system is like a Spider-Man suit in your body. So if you have like a little injury or repetitive range of motion, it'll. Or trauma affect the fascia in that area. Like say your feet, for instance.

Elizabeth: And I have plantar fasciitis. I'm rolling a ball right now

Courtney Virden: Well, I have foot exercises. It would be, I know you do. And your foot affects your pelvic floor. If you think of your feet. They're guiding you all day. When your feet are out of alignment and you have like collapsed arches, the ankles are rolling in or out, it affects the fascia all the way up through your head.

So think of a knit sweater when you pull like the knit in the sleeve. You're gonna notice most of it there, but it impacts the knit in the entire sweater, actually. And that's how our fascial system is. You could injure your foot, your neck, your hand, and 10, 15 years later have something that you're like, where did this pain come from?

Why do I have these issues? And it could be from there. So right now I have a 15 year old who's seen me. Her mom found me online. Yeah. She's a beautiful girl. I love her so much. She's been seeing a PT for over a year and a pain management doctor. She has a hypertonic pelvic floor and like she wants her to get a wand for inside.

She doesn't want to do that. And all she's been doing is internal work. Yeah, she hasn't really been helping. She hasn't miss school, all these things. So she came to see me the first time we saw each other for over an hour. I looked at her entire body, her. Feet and her upper body needed some work and addressing as well.

Cuz the posture was really compromised after she left that one day. She's felt better than she has in a year. Wow. So she's been doing my online programs like forties a week, and, I mean, her mom is like, I cannot believe that for a year she was suffering and she's feeling better. She's going to school. She went to her dance competition she hasn't been able to do in ages.

Wow. You know, and she's 15. And I just talk to her in a way that it's, it's, it's okay. It's common, like.

Elizabeth: That's so huge though, Courtney, cuz No, I don't think we're, we're looking at our daughters and thinking that they're candidates for any of this. It's like, oh, know why of them out?

Courtney Virden: Stress clench up just.

On a subconscious level, the pelvic floor and really tighten it. Even like a scary movie that causes like anxiety will cause a woman to like clench her pelvic floor. Yeah. And think of children nowadays it's different than when you and I grew up. I mean, I feel like you're so relaxed compared to, and it's so stressful to be a kid now.

And then sitting's horrible for your pelvic floor. Sometimes heavy lifting or certain exercises. So it's no wonder that some of these young adolescent girls are having pelvic floor issues. And then where do they turn? They think, oh my gosh, I have to go get. You know, internal work? Oh, no. Or I have to go even to see a pt, like, you know, it's that age.

You're so embarrassed. Even as an adult women, most women are like, I'm so embarrassed. I don't want anyone to know which they shouldn't be. Right. But like a young child is going to be, and then like as what you said about pelvic floor therapy being expensive, not covered by insurance. Yeah. It can be so costly.

Oh yeah. Even if it's covered, there are some absolutely great physical therapists out there. But like look at the one she was seeing for a year. Didn't even show her how to do a pelvic tail. I almost didn't even show her the first time I saw her sitting on the ball. Just some basic pelvic tilts that I absolutely love.

Yeah. And I'm like, oh, I'm sure you know these. And she's like, what? She'd never been shown. Just some really basic things to help her relax the pelvis.

Elizabeth: Well, I think it runs deeper. There's a whole bunch of stuff. I wanna dig in on what you just said. First off, should we all be sitting on a ball? Second off.

I feel like people aren't talking about some of these movements, especially for like younger kids because our adult brains read Those are sexual movements, right? Like thrusting forward and like tucking in. Yeah. And I'll do it when I'm brushing my teeth. I'll do like, those kind of crunch it like almost like a crunch, a standing crunch, but it's with my hips like leading and I think, oh God, if my husband walked in right now, you know, or whatever.

It looks kind of like, oh. So I, I think that there's just all of this shame and secrecy around, it's so layered with this, but it's especially with kids, like they're not gonna teach them those movements because it's implied. It could be implied as like a sexual movement.

Courtney Virden: I completely agree. I mean, I have a daughter who's 10 and.

A son who's 12. My kids have grown up, seen me work out. My daughter will do the pelvic floor workout with me. She has the same ball, but smaller. Yeah. And it's fun and I just make it very normal. So I think we do really over sexualized bodies. Mm-hmm. And that causes, and then too, how we grew up. Is it shameful to talk about your vagina or.

Your pelvic floor, that's private area, don't talk about it. And then even trauma, you know, unfortunately so many women have had sexual trauma and then that really inhibits the pelvic floor. It can make it lead to a lot of problems and depression, which affects the pelvic floor as well. And then they just get really disconnected from it.

Yeah, but that's what I. When I said it would become like really powerful when you do pelvic floor work, it helps you reconnect even with like trauma. And I've had that experience from many women I worked with who've had a lot of sexual trauma cuz they're able to feel good about that again, you know, and break free from that.

Like shame around it, realizing it's a body part, it hold, they hold the power to it and nobody else.

Elizabeth: Yeah, that's so, I mean, it's so true. Courtney and I just did an episode with Jess Courting. We were talking about where you could hold trauma in your body, and we talked about sexual assault and how it can be held, um, in your tissues.

So, I mean, that's a whole nother thing there. But I do feel like. Women that come to listen to this show, they want like a couple of like appetizers, if you will, like little leaders. Yeah. So if sitting is bad for our pelvic floor and we're sitting most of the day and, and I think, you know, and. Just so you know, I'm going to PT after this because I have like a tight hip is what they call it.

And I, I said to her, I was like, is this a pelvic floor


Courtney Virden: She's like, so hips are very much related to the pelvic floor. So if you did the pelvic floor program, you would possibly just pick that hip issue.

Elizabeth: And it's like inner thigh. It's all right. And like my right, and then I have plantar fasciitis, right?

There's like all of these things and I'm like, Hmm. What Courtney's saying right now is probably like, you know, a six though.

Courtney Virden: You know, there's so it isn't something you can do, but it's if you have the right tools. Yes. You know, if you're struggling, not finding the right tools that are not working, it is not fun.

But when you find the right tools, you feel so much better almost instantly, or within a few short weeks that even if it's not gone, you're like, wow, that's actually changing. I noticed the difference. Yeah. Yeah, it's horrible for our posture.

Elizabeth: Which should we be doing? Should it be on a ball or just standing a ball is great or standing.

Courtney Virden: Alternate between the two. So I think of like every day we're gonna do bad movement patterns, right? Sitting's bad. Driving's horrible for us. And then when you drive, your foot is externally rotated out. Actually a stick shift is better for your hips than. Like an automatic, but here in LA who wants a stick?

Right? Right. You don't know. And but you think about it, one foot's externally rotating and you're pushing that one foot so your body, like your foot can start kind of turning out. Thinks what that does, shorten some of that tissue, elongate some of the other tissue all the way up our body so you can do things to like every day or most days to correct.

Movement patterns throughout from daily life. Like just, you know, yeah. The driving, the sitting, the slouching things to really help restore your posture. And then it's about doing the exercises, continuing to do them to maintain a good posture, you know? Okay. And they're so important for maintenance because when we don't do them, you know, you just start falling back into old ways, or it's just daily.

Some of our daily movements are not great for our posture.

Elizabeth: Yeah, I believe it. And I think too, so just to recap, ladies, obviously check out Courtney's programs, but stop, stop with the Kegels. Uh, yeah, try to stand more, get yourself a ball at your desk. Um, I also wanna hit on, I'm probably gonna mispronounce it, diet, this D recti, um, D recti.

Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I totally have that and my youngest is just turned eight. And the moment that was like a low point for me is I was on a girls' trip in Encinitas and I was like, I'm gonna watch Starbucks. Cause that's just my thing. I'm walking to Starbucks. And this car like slows down. And I just had on like some black shorts and a tank top and this girl rose down your window and she goes, oh my God, you are so cute.

And I was like, oh thanks. And she goes, oh my God, look at you with your little baby bump. And I was like, bitch, no. Yeah, no, I mean, and I, at first I was just mad, right? Cause I was like, fuck you don't comment on my body.

Courtney Virden: I don't even know who says that about somebody's body nowadays. And I think she was really like coming from a good place

Elizabeth: It was like obvious and I started getting upset and then I said to myself, oh, I just need to lose weight. Like I'll just lose 20 pounds. Yes. Like it's not easy, but this is what I was telling myself and I was like, No bitch. Like it's actually not that. It's this, it's like the pooch that we all say, just pull your big mom jeans up to your belly button and try to hide it. Or wear some spanks. Yeah. And like, that's not what we should be doing, right?

Like, no, we really need to address this.

Courtney Virden: We do need to address it. I'm so glad you brought it up. I had it too. It's very, almost everybody has it after you have your babies. Yeah. Now some women are so lucky and it their bodies just repair on its own and within like four to six weeks postpartum, they don't have anymore.

But there are tons of women just like you and I. Who, our bodies didn't do that for whatever reason. And so we're left. What it is, is a separation of the linea alba, which is that midline, fascial connective tissue that separate separates the rectus abdominis. So that's why it's like the six pack muscles are separated.

And the reason that's an issue is because that is part of our core. So the pelvic floor is the base of our core. The diaphragm is the top of the core, and then the, the abdominals. Are in the front, then you have the lumbar spine and some other things in the core. But what's wrong with abdominals being overstretched is that's a pressure problem.

So we have an intra pressure problem in our core. We are not going to handle loads that our core needs to handle appropriately, so somewhere else is gonna be compromised. Hmm. And so when someone has that separation, most of the time they have pelvic floor issues because, You think about all the fascia being connected in the muscles, and when you have that pooch, the lower abs are typically just really turned off.

A lot of people have lower back pain. We have often that anterior pelvic tilt, right? Where your yes hips turn forward, the booty sticks out a little bit tight, lower back, which also is, a lot of people with pelvic floor issues have that. So you need to, it's really good to fix it. It's baffling to me that people don't, because your core is your foundation of your whole body, and the pelvic floor is the whole base of the foundation of your whole trunk. So like nobody would build a, a house on a bad foundation or an unstable foundation. Right, right. Like no one would ever spend the money to do that. So why are people exercising and, and building all this muscle and doing all these things, but not fixing the diastasis or the pelvic floor when that is the foundation of your body?

Along with like your feet. Yeah, so it's baffling to me that women don't, and it can cause a lot of issues. It can get worse. Now someone with women with the diastasis do end up needing surgery, but I always recommend doing like my programs or really good diastasis. Program, and that's where pelvic floor and if you have issues, you pretty much can't do a one-off exercises.

Programs are designed in a very specific sequence for healing to cover. Like my programs are like all sequenced to cover. All ranges of motion, they build upon one another. So if you just do one off stuff, you might have some results, you might have good results. You're gonna have faster results and much better results if you actually do a program that was designed to heal.

So once you help close that diastasis, the abs come in, they start turning on like they're supposed to. Um, and then if for whatever reason, after, like, you know, if someone has it, you measure yourself. Or you can go to the doctor and get measured. Mm-hmm. Keep track of like how many fingers at above and below the belly button and about how deep monitor it.

Do a program to really restore and help fix that. If after several months you're like, this is not getting better at all, and you've had been doing a really good program and you've been very consistent, you have to be consistent. That's when maybe you go to the doctor, you're like, Hey. This isn't working, and even if you did need surgery, how much better off is your body gonna be, that you have healthier tissues, your abdominals are actually stronger and more turned on, your pelvic floor is stronger and you're gonna recover much easier.

Elizabeth: Is it something that we have to keep doing? Like do we have to keep doing these specific exercises or is it like we heal it, we close it, and then we can go back to just like.

Courtney Virden: For the diastasis, yes, but the, like, my programs will fix diastasis and pelvic floor issues at the same time. So think of just working out in general and as we age, I mean, I'm gonna be 45 this year and if I don't exercise and, and do some kind of like lightweights or body weight that is challenging, my mu muscles are gonna atrophy slowly.

Right, right. That just happens as a part of aging. And not even in your forties, in your thirties, even in your twenties, if you don't exercise. Their muscles aren't very strong, right? Yeah. They're not foam. They're not responsive as much as they could be. And the pelvic floor, they're muscles, right? Right.

It's 14 muscles. So if we just ignore 'em and like, oh, the problems are gone. Let me go back to everything else. You might not have issues again. Do you think it's gonna stay strong and responsive? Probably not. It's not gonna stay because naturally as women age, they ha increase their risk of having pelvic floor issues because of that atrophy of the pelvic right floor.

Elizabeth: And so I love how passionate you are about this. This is what's so good. This is how you know you have a good guest, right? When they could just like, They could just talk about like, and they're so jazzed on like helping women. So I wanna, I wanna go back to something that you mentioned, cause I think it's really interesting and might be a good, uh, topic for conversation here.

Like, why aren't people doing this? So I wonder if there's some confusion, Courtney, between body positivity and really understanding, because I think when people think, you know, abdominals, like if, if you look at Courtney's Instagram, right? You've got like super flat stomach. Like you're seeing ab definition there.

And I think there is this, I don't wanna say like a mixed communication or mixed messages to women, but it's like, Hey, embrace your body. Love your body. It had babies. You know, when you see women cradling the pooch and like, I'm all for that. And the tiger stripes, you know, stretchy marks. Yeah. And all of that stuff.

But at what point are we then ignoring the actual needs of our body and how do we know if we are a fellow figure woman or, I don't even know if that's PC at this point. You have a different body size.

Elizabeth: With me, like when I was feeling like I could see it, you know what I mean?

I could see the break. Yeah. Right. But if you do carry weight in your midsection or you have a different body type, maybe you're like more of an apple. How do you know if it's that or if it's just overall like that's just your body type, that maybe you hold weight in your midsection?

Courtney Virden: Yeah, so you can self-check for diastasis recti.

It's really easy to do and know if you have it. So I, I love, you know, people all different shapes. I have some friends who are like so curvy and their bodies look so sexy and gorgeous. Right. And it's just not my body type, you know? But I think they look. Amazing. Look amazing. Right, right. And so, so yeah, they just, they don't have that flat stomach, but they look amazing.

So I, I love your point is like, when is it actually a health issue or a, a issue you should address? Cuz I consider diastasis like a health issue because your body's not functioning well and pelvic floor and when is it just. Hey, I just carry some extra curves there, right? And I'm OK with it. Right? So that's where I think it's really important to check yourself.

Elizabeth: So can you tell them how to check themselves?

Courtney Virden: Yeah, you'll lie on your back. You put your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent, so you're just kind of laying on your back with your knees bent. You're gonna put your hand behind your head and you lift your head up just slightly to kind of turn the abs on, but don't squeeze.

You'll use two fingers and you press like down gently. You'll start at the belly button. You'll feel you like vertically fingers. Yeah. Mm-hmm. You wanna make sure the abs that you can feel like some tone in abdominals. You don't want to feel, feel soft or just squeezing. You'll see what I mean If you check.

Cause you wanna be able to feel, can I put one finger in there? Can I put 2, 3, 4? What's going on here? And you kind of sometimes have to like palpate to really feel like in between the muscles. Mm-hmm. Right. Like right at the midline. And then you'll do two to three inches above the belly button, the same thing, and two to three inches below the belly button because you can have diastasis recti at above and or below the belly button.


Elizabeth: I know. And here, all this time I was pregnant and I was doing like side, um, weighted wraps. Like I was literally like pulling my abs apart. Well, some.

Courtney Virden: Yeah, nobody told us exercises make it worse too, so like sit up. So a lot of women who have the belly pooch and don't realize it, right, or just don't know what not to do, they're doing setups, crunches, front planks, leg lifts, things like that, that typically are going to make it worse.

So I think it's just. Easiest. If you are not like an exercise guru and really no farm, just stay away from them.

Elizabeth: No planks? My PT woman has me doing planks every single day.

Courtney Virden: Side planks and front planks fine. Are okay front. Put a lot of pressure. On that abdominal wall and you just don't have the strength to do it.

So I also, one easy way to, for women, look at your abs when you're doing the exercise. Are the abs coming in towards your spine or your abs pushing, outing out might not always out You. Planks, the abs are pushing out, right? Yeah. Do you wanna build your abs out or do you wanna build them into- that's a big fuck no, no, I do not.

Courtney Virden: have my abs to be right, and so I don't, that's why I don't love, I haven't done crunches and sit ups and stuff like that in over 20 years, but you see guys with it. Like I'll see guys at the, they have a pooch of a, it's a six pack, but it is a pooch. It is a. Diet, right? I'm like, they have it too.

Like so men can have this too,

Courtney Virden: the main cause, but it can be from obesity, heavy lifting can do it. Even excessive abdominal exercises can make it separate. Um, so there's things like that. There's other risk factors. And then in terms of what you said, I wanna go back to like, why do women not do anything?

Sometimes it's, they don't know that they have it. Even with pelvic floor, I thought it was normal to pee myself. Right. I thought lower back pain

Elizabeth: was normal, although like, here's a pad, just wear these pads now. Are you kidding me?

Courtney Virden: Constipated was normal. Oh, you know what? I never orgasm. That's okay. You know, or things like that.

So, you know, I think people think they're normal. Or also we live in the society where everyone wants this band aid, quick fix. That's why people go get those lasers. Mm-hmm. Um, and things like that for the pelvic floor. But I've actually had doctors contact me who do the lasers cause they don't work. What they do is like tighten the tissue.

But if you go back to what we're talking about, do you want tight tissue or do you want tissue that's actually strong? Right, and responsive and flexible. Well, tight tissue can lead to problems and you're, you're tightening it. But again, tight doesn't mean strong. You're not strengthening the tissue. The only way to strengthen muscles is to use them, right?

Otherwise, we'd all be in some suit or a laser, just lasering ourselves to have strong muscles. Right. That's the reason we're not doing it. It's just such a misunderstood, so people want quick fixes, right? Like, let me just go get a laser, let me pay two, $3,000. Exactly. Whatever they're costing for a laser, it can lead to many other issues.

Or let me get a bladder slinger surgery. Id just rather do that. But really when it comes to health, I mean just with what we eat, Everything, what we do to our bodies, our, our, our mental and emotional health. It's all an accumulation of like daily choices. And do we have to be perfect? Not at all. Yeah. But like the healthier choices you make more consistently, the healthier your body's gonna be.

So if we eat horrible food, you know, that's really inflammatory, we're probably gonna be super inflamed. Yeah. And if we just have that in our diet a little bit, we're gonna be much better off. Feeling a lot better, or even not at all.

Seeing with exercise and pelvic floor, you don't do any of it.

It's not gonna typically be working great. Even if you're not having symptoms. It definitely can optimize it. Like, I don't know anyone who's ever said, my sex life is too good. Like even if you're having great sex, right, can always be great. Can be better.

Elizabeth: Well, this might be the, this is a whole other branch of this tree we're talking about here.

Courtney is like, if sex is painful or it's not enjoyable because you're not orgasming, then that can be part of this. I feel like it's an epidemic of women not wanting to screw their partners. You know? It's like there's exhaustion, there's this whole mental load, there's,

Courtney Virden: there's stuff. I mean, you and I are busy moms and we work, we get it

Elizabeth: So do 90% of the people listening to this. Yeah. But I think that that's another piece. Like if you're not getting. Pleasure out of intercourse or those sexual encounters with your partner, you're gonna be a lot less likely to be up for it, like you're not. You're gonna take that hour or 15 minutes or whatever it is and scroll or do something else.

Just wanna get it over. Yeah. Right. It's a to-do list. It's gonna be pity sex. It's just gonna be like, yep, I'm gonna do it because I think I need to, but I'm not gonna get anything out of it. So, I love this. I love how passionate you are about this. I love that you came on today to really just, I feel like this is just kind of starting to open the door for women.

I think it's great to talk to your other girlfriends about this, this, you know, I would never have, you know, come across you or heard anything about this if those chicks at brunch hadn't called me out for going to the bathroom again right before I left. Like, so I think that the way that we do like. Have more people pay attention to this is by de-stigmatizing it and we have to talk about it.

And we have to have people like you come on TV shows, come on podcasts. And then not only that, like do her programs and then tell your girlfriends about it. Yeah. This is the other thing is like there's so affordable, there's so much stuff that you have out there. There really isn't an excuse. So if you're listening to this and you're like, yeah, maybe I'll look at that.

This is your sign. Like it's time to go ahead and just give yourself back that 20 minutes a day for three, four days a week. Like Courtney's saying. Yeah. And, and focus on this because I don't think you want like prolapse. I don't think you want the stuff that's gonna come Yeah. If you just ignore this.


Courtney Virden: fixing it's maintenance and preventative. I just, yeah. Baffles me when women are willing to just let their bodies fall apart. And I don't mean fall apart, like, How some people do, I mean, really start having issues like, right. I want to be able to run with my kids, sit on the floor and play with them, hang out when I have grandkids and run and feel really good.

Like, to me, fitness is being a good mover. When you're a good mover and your body works efficiently and, and you ha like, eat well, you feel so great. You know, and, and when you don't. I think a lot of people, when they start eating better or doing my programs, realize I didn't realize how bad I felt until I started feeling better.

Elizabeth: And that's the thing. I think when you feel better, you present better. Like you just, you carry a different energy. You do.

Courtney Virden: you're gonna be a different mom differently. Right? Right. Like you're a different mom, you're a better mom, a better partner, a better friend, better to yourself. You have more confidence.

Elizabeth: I love all of this. Um, thank you so much for spending time with us today. Well, thank you so much for having me. Um, I feel like we're gonna have to have a follow up at some point. Um, but everybody check out all of her links in the show notes and I think it's, you know, we spend two, $300 on drinks, uh, with girlfriends once a week or whatever.

Like just spend the money and take time for yourself. I think that this is such a wonderful treat that you can give yourself. You don't have to talk about it with your spouse or whatever. You just go do it and do something for you.


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