Julie Tupler, RN was featured in an interview in Absolute Physio’s recent diastasis blog. Be sure to check it out!
Julie Tupler, RN was featured in an interview in Absolute Physio’s recent diastasis blog. Be sure to check it out!
The body is a “nutrient driven” machine, continuously breaking down and rebuilding connective tissue on a daily basis. This happens in both a state of injury and non-injury. However, during a state of injury, healing connective tissue requires many more nutrients. Good nutrition is vital as repair places a great demand on the body’s stores of existing nutrients.
There is now scientific evidence to support that “nutritional” therapy is a key factor in connective tissue repair. By creating the correct “nutritional environment” we can stimulate new growth and accelerate the repair process. So it is important for people working on closing their diastasis to pay attention to the nutritional component of healing connective tissue.
Along with nutrition, other things to consider are stress, lack of sleep and exposure to environmental toxins. These all affect our hormone levels, resulting in two things:
To prevent these two problems which impede connective tissue healing it is important that you have a clean (low toxin) environment and clean drinking water and increase your sleep and decrease your stress. Besides good nutrition, add to your connective tissue repair protocol natural cleaning products, a counter top water filter, and have your daily seated exercises be your “muscle meditation” to decrease your stress.
With a diastasis recti, the connective tissue we are wanting to heal is the “stretched out” linea alba. The linea alba is the vertical line that divides the rectus abdominis or “six-pack” muscle into left and right halves. In addition to dividing the rectus abdominis in half, the function of the linea alba is to also unite the other muscles of the abdominal wall. On its deep surface it is an attachment point for the external obliques, internal obliques, and the transverse abdominis.
Like the rest of the body’s connective tissue, the linea alba is made up of collagen and elastin fibers. What you are looking to do with your diet is to assist with collagen production. This will help your connective tissue regain its elasticity. As your connective tissue becomes stronger it will become shallower.
My clients ask me all the time if it is too late for them to heal their connective tissue. My answer is always the same. No, it is never too late. However, factors that affect the speed with which the connective tissue heals can make the healing process longer, but never impossible. Two factors are age and circulation. Generally connective tissue heals faster and better in the young who possess a better nutritional state and blood supply as well as a faster metabolic rate which can process needed materials more quickly. That is why it is SO important to drink lots of water as this can increase your metabolism no matter what your age. At the very minimum a glass in the morning when you wake up, one in the afternoon and one before you go to bed. Drinking even more water would be even better because water is required for:
Yes, water does all that!!! So get into a “hydration habit.” If you don’t like just plain water, add lemon or lime to it. Or, add diluted juices or make it into herbal tea.
Blood circulation is essential to transport oxygen, nutrients, antibodies and many defensive cells to the site. Blood also plays an important role in the removal of tissue fluid, bacteria, foreign bodies and debris. The better the blood supply the more efficient the healing process. Also, a good reason for doing the Tupler Technique® isometric exercises. It brings blood flow to the connective tissue!
Nutrition for healthy connective tissue needs to focus on collagen/connective tissue building foods. The first thing you need to know is that Vitamin C is key in the healthy connective tissue department. Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C often have bioflavonoids, which are produced by the cells responsible for photosynthesis in plants. (They account for most of the yellow, red and blue coloration in plants.) Bioflavonoids can repair connective tissue damage by assisting in the production of collagen. Additionally, bioflavonoids strengthen the capillary walls, which decrease inflammation, bruising and bleeding. We need all the capillary action which we can drum up in the largely bloodless linea alba.
Another great benefit of Vitamin C besides aiding in collagen production, is that it slows the deterioration of cartilage. Vitamin C also promotes the healing of the connective tissue and all other soft tissues because it promotes the production of elastin and neurotransmitters, which are necessary elements in the process. You can find foods with Vitamin C in a host of fresh fruit and vegetables, such as kiwis, papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, oranges, kale, red peppers, tomatoes and broccoli.
Next on the list is Zinc. Zinc is also a heavy-hitter in the realm of connective tissue repair. Zinc is essential to connective tissue production as well as that of cartilage and bone. It also neutralizes free radicals which are destructive to healthy cells. (Free radicals can come from a variety of sources from pollution to junk food, but drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup and also aspartame are big culprits.) Get zinc from oysters, prawns, scallops, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains.
Next is Vitamin E, another antioxidant. Vitamin E is critical to maintain healthy cell membranes and in assisting injured tissues to heal. This mineral neutralizes free radicals which otherwise attack the lipids in the cell membranes. These lipids help repair tissue. Get Vitamin E from sunflower seeds, almonds, eggs, asparagus, avocados and kale.
Adequate protein is important as most of the cell structure is made from proteins. Protein also plays a big role in repairing damaged tissue. Include good protein with every meal. My favorite sources of protein are grass-fed or organic meat, wild fish, nuts and eggs.
Lots of oxygen in your body also is important for the healing process. Iron is the ‘transportation vehicle’ that delivers oxygen to the body cells. Eat high quality iron-rich foods like beef, broccoli and apricots to make sure you’re getting enough.
A San Diego Center for Health paper called “Nutrition for Soft Tissue Recovery” cites the following vitamins necessary for soft tissue repair: vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, C, D, E and K. It also lists the following minerals as necessary to the process: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Manganese and Copper (in small doses).
Bone broths are also a great source of collagen, glucosamine, glycosaminoglycans, and glycine, which are all nutrients that are vital to the health and repair of connective tissue. For more information about bone broth, please read this wonderful article: https://www.healthambition.com/benefits-bone-broth-digestion-arthritis-cellulite/
Remember, any food that puts stress on your body is a drain on its healing powers. Stay away from processed, refined and GMO foods and foods containing trans-fat. Also, be aware of inflammatory foods such as sugar (especially high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame) alcohol and caffeine. These foods are nutritional poisons and may be preventing you from recovering. So treat your body like you treat your car. When you put the best gasoline in your car it runs the best. When you put the “best” food in your body it will both run and heal better! Food that grew, walked or swam in the wild is the best.
For a summary of the nutrients necessary in healing connective tissue, the function of these nutrients, specific foods with these nutrients and the ingredients in our Corrective Connective Tissue Cream with these nutrients, please click here.
Not only does this cream nourish your belly but prepares the belly skin for the TogetherTape™ in Week Four of the program.
To purchase our Corrective Connective Tissue Cream, click here: https://diastasisrehab.com/shop/therapeutic-products/136-corrective-connective-tissue-cream-.html
To watch video on our Corrective Connective Tissue Cream, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPNSErML7-c
To purchase our TogetherTape™, click here: https://diastasisrehab.com/shop/therapeutic-products/137-together-tape.html
To watch video on our TogetherTape™, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvA2k0W3JzI
Great news! Once you purchase Together Tummy by Julie Tupler, RN you can join our Together Tummy Book Study Club. You will get to communicate on an ongoing basis with everyone doing the Tupler Technique®. Members will also get a free one hour live webinar every other month to get your questions answered by Julie. The webinars are recorded so you can watch them again. The links will be posted on the site. The first webinar will be in June so stay tuned for more information. You can stay on as long as you like as well as come and go as many times as you like.
For more information, click here: https://www.diastasisrehab.com/book-club.php
If you haven’t purchase the book, what are you waiting for?! https://diastasisrehab.com/shop/books/159-together-tummy-book.html?adtoken=49b639a024c478aaecbb83a66db2f690&ad=admin3041&id_employee=1
Wanted to share with you a link to a pod cast I did recently. Feel free to share it if you like.
For the month of April get $10 off our new Together Tummy book plus membership to our private book study club.
Use code: TTBOOK10
For all of you that can come to New York, come see me in person, teaching the Tupler Technique® and everything you want to know about a diastasis recti! Join me at my Everybelly® Seminar and launch of my new book Together Tummy. You will receive a complimentary signed copy of my new book, a Tupler Technique® guidebook as well as see me action teaching the Tupler Technique® for treatment of diastasis recti. The seminar is Monday, April 24th in the Union Square area from 2:00 to 5:00pm.
I promise I will make you laugh and teach you how to hold in your transverse at the same time! Get your belly checked and learn how to put your Diastasis Rehab Splint® on correctly. Register before April 21st and bring a friend with you at no extra cost. Bring your mom, a sister, a friend, anyone who wants to learn more about Diastasis Recti! You also will get $5 off each product you buy! Register here: https://diastasisrehab.com/shop/services/31-everybelly-seminar.html
Who should come? Anyone who has had a baby, abdominal surgery or an abdominal hernia – or who suffers from GI issues (bloating or constipation), back pain, pelvic floor or who just can’t get a flat belly no matter what they do. (Of course you can’t – diastasis, not fat, is the CORE issue here.)
Closing diastasis is KEY to getting rid of that bulging belly you’ve struggled with, sometimes for years – AND if left untreated, diastasis can cause back pain, GI problems, pelvic pain, poor trunk stability, and pelvic floor dysfunction. It will get worse with each pregnancy and with age. This seminar is where you reclaim the core of your body and your health!
Receive $25 off the Everybelly® Seminar
Click here to register for the seminar
Use code: EBSAVE25
Receive $50 off the Six Week Online Support Program
Click here to sign up for the online support
Use code: SWOPSAVE50
Watch this video to hear some reasons why this is happening.
An umbilical hernia is a side effect of diastasis recti. The Tupler Technique® is a program for treatment of diastasis recti and if you are having abdominal surgery you need to prepare for it. If you are not having pain with your umbilical hernia it is always best to wait to do the surgery by doing the program.
The Tupler Technique® is a program for treatment of diastasis recti and if you are having abdominal surgery you need to prepare for it and if you’ve just recently had abdominal surgery you need to have if you are having or have recently had abdominal surgery you need to.
For more information, watch this video:
An abdominal hernia is a side effect of a diastasis. So, if you have an abdominal hernia you also have a diastasis! The most common one is at your belly button and called an umbilical hernia. However, you can have them anywhere above and below your belly button on the lines alba. When the muscles separate and this connective tissue called the linea alba that joins the separated muscles stretches sideways it becomes thinner and your belly button loses its support. Once you heal the connective tissue with the Tupler technique® your bellybutton will get the support it needs to go from an outie to an innie.
Sex and the Separation. You must have Diastasis Safe Sex.
– Yes, even when you are having sex, you must be protect your connective tissue from getting stretched. So in order for it to be “diastasis safe” you need to be able to hold your transverse in at 5th floor and you must be a position that does not put force on your connective tissue. The seated position is the best position to be in while having sex to protect your connective tissue because it is the “easiest” position to hold in your transverse. The hands and knees position puts pressure on the connective tissue. In the back lying position, it is too difficult to hold in your transverse muscle.
Can I cuddle with my partner?
– Yes, cuddling is recommended….always. A side lying position is diastasis safe. Your back side is supporting your partners belly and hopefully their hand is on your belly giving support. Whether you are sleeping in a back lying or side lying position, make sure your knees are bent. Straight legs arches your lower back. Arching your back flares your ribs and stretches. That is why sleeping on your belly is not such a good ideal. If you must sleep on your belly make sure you have pillows under the bottom part of your legs to keep your legs bent.
To learn more, watch this video on the Logistics on he Tupler Technique® program:
You can also use this cream on your face.
For more information on the Corrective Connective Tissue cream, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPNSErML7-c
The purpose of the TogetherTape™ is to aid in healing a diastasis recti. The tape works in conjunction with the Diastasis Rehab Splint® to speed up the process for closing a diastasis recti. If for some reason you cannot wear the Diastasis Rehab Splint®, you can wear the tape by itself. Working in a similar fashion to a Butterfly Band-Aid, the tape works to bring together the muscles and connective tissue. For more information on the Together Tape™, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvA2k0W3JzI
To learn about the logistics of the program, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVCARQ4GLi8&feature=youtu.be
Having trouble keeping your splint in place? You can make (or have your seamstress make) a tank top for your splint to attach to.
Wearing a splint all the time can be challenging for many reasons! Because it is between two sets of bones (your ribs and your pelvis) it may have a tendency to move around with certain movements such as going from standing to seated. Needless to say, this may be uncomfortable and annoying! I totally understand.
So before I go into the different solutions, I want to just mention “why” you are wearing the splint and the importance of being committed to wearing it and making friends with it. You have to wrap your brain around thinking that it is like wearing a cast. You wear a cast all the time so the two ends of the broken bones will fuse together. Think of your muscles and connective tissue the same way. They both need to be continuously held together. The connective tissue has been stretched out and we want to take the stretch off it. We want to imagine it going from looking like a piece of saran wrap to looking like a piece of rope. We don’t want it to stretch in a sideways or forwards direction. Like the real estate business, it all boils down to LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! The location of the muscles and the location of the connective tissue. The muscles need to be close together to move in the correct direction. Front to back. When the muscles are separated 4 fingers and over, they move sideways stretching the connective tissue in this direction. Wearing a splint will NOT weaken your muscles. It is just putting them in the proper position so they will move correctly (front to back) when doing the seated exercises.
Now on to the solutions. First of all the splint has to be the right size. If it is too big it will move around a lot more. Like a store bought dress, not every splint will fit you perfectly. Just like a dress that is too long and needs to be hemmed, the arms on the splint may need to be made shorter or longer when first buying and then again after a few weeks of doing the program. Many of my clients go down a size while doing the program. It is most important that the pad be the right size. So when you measure, measure the size of your back at the level under your breast from one side seam to the other side seam.
Then measure the circumference of your body over your belly button. The third measurement is to see if you need a short torso splint. You measure the distance between the bottom of the sternum and the belly bottom. If you are 5 inches or less than you are a short torso. If you have a long torso or a big belly you may want to wear two splints for the extra coverage. There is a video under Tupler Videos with how to put it on. You always start with putting the first one on your lower belly first. Then the second one halfway up. When choosing your size, if you are close to the smaller size, it is always best to get the smaller size. For example, if your back size is a 16.5 or 17 and your circumference is 35, you should go with the size small. If you get the splint and the pad is the right size but the arms are too small, you can stretch them out and make them longer. If you get the splint and the pad fits your but the arms are too long, you will have to make them shorter. Just email us and we will tell you the size of the elastic for the smaller size. After a couple of weeks of wearing the splint and doing the program, you WILL have to make the arms shorter. Clients have folded over the elastic and sewn it but that may then have a piece that sticks out and will rub against you. I advise taking off the velcro piece at the end, cutting the elastic and then sewing it back on. If you can’t sew like me, then take it to your tailor or seamstress. It is an easy fix! The arms of the splint should attach on the sides. When they are attaching to the back, it is too long. Here is the link to the page for sizing
Next is making sure you are putting it on correctly. You cannot believe the many different ways I have seen people putting on the splint. Please, please, please…..stand in front of a mirror so you can see what you are doing. Start with the top arm on your right-hand side. That always goes on top. Make sure you move the muscle and connective tissue towards the middle and hold it in that position with your hand. Then, straighten the elastic arm, turn to the side and attach it on top. Again, it should attach on the side and not the back. After you have attached the first arm, pull the splint down and make sure it is even. Then attach the arm on your left. This one goes on a diagonal and also attached on top. The bottom arm goes straight across. Here is the link to the video for putting on the original 3 arm splint https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StboTxOX5aA The extra small and small short torso splints are also used by children. Here is the link showing how to put it on:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mfwp2-1n1QY
Ok, now on with ways to keep it in place better:
And last of all, I am in the process of making a tank top where the pad of the splint will attach to the sides of the tank top and the bottom elastic arm will attach to the front of the tank top. I have tested it and it works well in keeping the splint in place. However, you must understand manufacturing a garment like this is a long back and forth process of making sure everything is correct! Since you are wearing the splint now, I thought I would share this with you so you could make your own. Just get a couple of long compression scoop neck tank tops (like in photo) so you can wear one wash one. Then you will need to go online and find sew- on hook and loop Velcro. The loop Velcro goes on the tank top the hook on the splint.
Sewing Velcro on the tank top and on the splint to correspond with each other can make keeping the splint in place easy. Using the diagram below as a guide, sew a 4×4 piece of loop velcro 10 inches down from the top of the tank top. Now sew two 4×8 pieces of loop 7 inches from the top under your arm and 8 inches from the front 4×4 piece.
On the splint, sew hook Velcro on each side of the pad, as well as a square piece of hook Velcro on the middle of the bottom arm of the splint. When the loop Velcro of the tank top attaches to the hook Velcro of the splint, the splint will “lock” the pad into place as well as the bottom arm of the splint so it does not move. The dimensions for the Velcro should be as follows:
The hook Velcro for the 3 arm splint is 8 inches long by 2 inches wide. The same as the loop Velcro on the sides of the tank top. Then there is a 4×4 inches piece that is sewn on the middle of the bottom arm on the two arm side of the splint. On the short torso splint, the hook Velcro on the sides is 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. The 4×4 square piece is sewn on the middle of the right arm. Hopefully, the drawing below will give you an idea of how it works!
Please wear the tank top when doing the measurements of where to place the front and side loop velcro and you need to take into consideration the stretch on the tank top.
Are you unhappy with the way your belly button looks? Do you now have outie belly button when it was always in? If you have a outie, you may have an umbilical hernia which is a side effect of having a diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is a separation of your outermost abdominal muscles. The job of these muscles (called rectus abdominis), is to support your back and your organs. Separated muscles cannot do their job of supporting your back and organs. To achieve a strong core, your muscles must be close together. When the muscles separate, the connective tissue (linea alba) joining these muscles stretches sideways. This sideways stretching of the connective tissue causes it to become thinner and weaker and now no longer supports your belly button. That is why it is now an outie!
A diastasis can be closed on anyone at any time. It does not matter when you had your baby or even if you have had a baby at all. Closing a diastasis is all about healing the connective tissue. Everyone’s connective tissue will heal at a different rate. It depends on the “condition” of your connective tissue. The weaker your connective tissue the longer it will take.
When you heal the connective tissue the connective tissue becomes thicker and will again support your belly button. It is recommended to do this program before considering having surgery if you have an umbilical hernia with no pain. After doing the program you then may not need the surgery. If you decide on surgery, this program will prepare you for it. Developing transverse strength and awareness will help you learn how to use your abdominals after surgery to maintain the integrity of the sutures.
A tip to prevent you from getting an infection in your belly button. Remember to dry your belly button after you shower with a towel or blow dryer before putting the splint back on. Moisture in your closed up belly button is an infection just waiting to happen!