Does Your Belly Bulge Out of the Bottom of Your Splint?

Watch this video to hear some reasons why this is happening.

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Are you thinking about having abdominal surgery for your umbilical hernia?

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.

 

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Are you having or have recently had abdominal surgery?

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:

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Are you wondering if you have an abdominal hernia or a diastasis?

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.

 

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Tupler Tips for Partner Pleasure that are “diastasis safe.”

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVCARQ4GLi8&feature=youtu.be 

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4 Steps to Loving your Belly:

  1. ACKNOWLEDGE your belly!  So take a photo from the front and the side so you can see your progress.  This WILL motivate you to continue with the program. Your belly will be so happy to see the photos in Week 3, 6 , and Week 18.
  2. SMILE when you are thinking about doing your seated exercises, when you are doing them and when you see the results.  Your belly will appreciate it when you are smiling and will feel loved.
  1. FEED the connective tissue belly between the two separated muscles on your belly with our “yummy” Corrective Connective Tissue cream. Not only will this cream provide the nourishment your connective tissue needs to heal, it will also prepare your skin for using the Together Tape in Week 4 of the  program.  Put on the cream right after bathing above and below your belly button.

You can also use this cream on your face.

  1. TOUCH your belly in a loving way.  Remember to put one hand above your belly button and one hand below so you can feel that both the top and bottom of your belly are moving in a backwards direction.

For more information on the Corrective Connective Tissue cream, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPNSErML7-c

P.S.

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

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Keeping Your Splint in Place

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
https://diastasisrehab.com/splint-size

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:

  1. Wear it over a fitted long compression undergarment. I love the one from the manufacturer called Not Your Daughter’s Jeans or something similar to this. Here is the link so you can see it:
    http://www.nydj.com/fit-solution-tank/d/3574_c_607_cl_7882
  2. Some of my clients wear the Belle Fit under pant/girdle over it. They say it helps keep the bottom part from riding up.
  3. Also, be aware of the way you get up and down and of your posture. Get up and down with a flat back.  Also, keep a neutral spine while seated. When you slouch the splint will ride up.

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.

 

 

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Belly Button Blues

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.

P.S.

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!

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Getting it Together in 2017!

It is a new year and time to commit  to a new belly.  Remember,  your diastasis will get larger with each year that passes. A larger diastasis will make your belly bigger, increase your back pain and any other issues like bloating, constipation,  or pelvic floor problems.  A diastasis is NOT just about having a better belly.  It is about feeling better and having a better life! A larger diastasis also takes longer to close.

So what does committing to this program involve?  Four things:

  1. Wearing a splint (like a cast) all the time to position both the connective tissue and the muscles. By putting the connective tissue you a narrow position it takes the stretch off it.  The muscles need to be close together to move in the right direction….front to back.. When they are separated they will move sideways stretching the connective tissue.
  2. Developing transverse muscle strength with the seated exercises.  It takes no more than 10 minutes three times a day and you can do them while driving or watching a movie!
  3. Developing transverse muscle awareness with activities of daily living.
  4. Getting up and down correctly from seated to standing and seated to back lying.

This commitment is about being “mindful” of how you use your abdominals while living your life!  You use your transverse muscle with every move you make and every breath you take.  If it moves forward it stretches the weak connective tissue.  So during the first six weeks of the program

It is important to be aware of which direction it is moving……forwards or backwards.  A forwards movement will stretch the connective tissue and now allow it to heal. That is why we request that you do just cardio exercises like walking on treadmill, elliptical or upright stationary bike. No running, jumping, exercise classes, weight lifting.  It is important to allow the connective tissue to heal as you develop transverse strength and awareness. Then in Week 6, the program teaches you how to modify and incorporate the
Tupler Technique® so it is diastasis safe.  Using your strong transverse with every repetition will make your workout much more challenging and a workout you will want continue even after closing your diastasis.  You can watch this video showing more details on the logistics of the program.

If you need support, I am starting a Six Week Online Support Program Jan 22nd.  We have extended our sale until next week so you still have time to save $50.

Here is the code: SIXWOP50

Sign up here: https://www.diastasisrehab.com/online-support

This is how I can support you:

  1. Three live webinars with me. I will answer all your questions and make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly. These webinars are recorded so may watch them as many times as you want over the six weeks.
  2. Belly Buddies. Belly Buddies will support, motivate and make this process of closing your diastasis fun. (You may end up with a new best friend!)
  3. Communication with other participants in the program. Besides communicating with your belly buddy, you can also communicate with the other participants in the program hearing other people’s stories as well as getting tips on how they are doing the program has been very beneficial to our clients.
  4. Weekly videos on the course site. Each week the exercises will be changing. Each week you can play the videos and do the exercises with me. Clients find that watching these videos with me beneficial.

For more information, watch this video:

In order to do the program, you need a Diastasis Rehab Splint®, Guidebook and Lose Your Mummy Tummy® DVD or Say Good-Bye to Your Gut, Guys® DVD. So let’s get this party started.   I promise you will have fun!

Julie

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Be Kind To Your Connective Tissue

Be kind to your connective tissue. Do not stretch it forward or sideways. Closing your diastasis is all about healing your connective tissue by positioning it, protecting it and strengthening it.

Positioning it. Wearing the Diastasis Rehab Splint® puts it in the right position to heal. The point of the splint, like a cast, is to keep it in the same position all the time. The splint keeps it in a narrow position.  It takes the stretch off the stretched out connective tissue. In this narrow position it gets more blood flow and is in the right position to do the exercises. Also, wearing the splint puts the separated muscles closer together. They need to be closer together when doing the exercises so they move in the right direction. When they are separated 4 fingers or more, the outermost muscles will move sideways. A sideways movement not only does not strengthen the muscles it also stretches the connective tissue. In week 4 of the program, double splinting is started. This helps bring both the connective tissue and muscles closer together.

Protecting it. It is important to protect the stretched out connective tissue from getting stretched either in a forward or sideways direction. To protect it from a forward stretch, it is important to engage the transverse muscle with activities of daily living and then in the exercise routine.  You use your transverse muscle with every move you make so it is important to hold it in before you move.  If you don’t, it moves forward and stretches the connective tissue. Also, no abdominal facing down activities or exercises as this position  also stretches the connective tissue in a forward direction. To protect it from a sideways stretch, you should not do any activities where you arch your back and flare your ribs or any forward crossover movements with your upper body.

Strengthening it. By strengthening the abdominal muscles you strengthen the connective tissue. The connective tissue, once in a narrow position, gets stronger by the tension on it with the backward isometric exercises.

In case you’ve missed this week’s Tupler Tip, check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSsdPv7AOyU&feature=youtu.be

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Check Your Belly Before You Wreck Your Belly®

Checking your belly for a diastasis is the first step in getting a better belly.
Most people check for a diastasis incorrectly and don’t realize how big their diastasis really is.

To check for a diastasis correctly, watch this video:

 

To check for a diastasis using a diastometer, watch here:

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Holiday Holding is the Way to Go!

Christmas is now just 16 days away.  It is a very stressful time of year with the preparations for the big day.  Trimming the tree and shopping for the gifts that go under the tree,  is a very strenuous activity both mentally and physically.  Trying to find the “right” gift and dealing with the crowds can be emotionally draining. When you do find the right gift, carrying the heavy packages can be hard on your body, especially your diastasis. So always remember to hold your transverse in when lifting and carrying those heavy packages.  Also, during these stressful times take a SSB (shopping sit-down break). Take a few belly breaths to first help you relax. Then perhaps take another few minutes to do your “muscle meditation”.  Do one set of 100 of your contracting exercise with your eyes closed. With each contraction visualize the blood flowing to your connective tissue, see your connective tissue becoming shallower and see the muscles coming together. I promise…you will feel so much better.

Doing something for yourself to help with your shopping stress. Don’t let the heavy lifting and manic shopping season distract you from the program!

In case you missed this week’s Tupler Tip, check it out here:

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Crunches Create a Diastasis or Make it Worse!

Every time I go to the gym I cringe when I see so many people doing crunches both with and without a personal trainer! Because what I know and they don’t know is that crunches create a diastasis or make it worse and that a diastasis can cause back pain, postural issues, pelvic floor problems and gastrointestinal issues. A diastasis as you must already know by now if you are reading this article, is a separation of the outermost abdominal muscles. 

So why do crunches create a diastasis?  Because you are not only working the muscles in the wrong direction but you are putting force on the connective tissue that joins the outer most abdominal muscles (recti muscles).  So, let me explain what I mean when I say that crunches work the muscles in the wrong direction.  To strengthen a muscle, you want to make it shorter. To stretch a muscle, you want to make it longer.  So, when you are doing a crunch you are making the abdominal muscles longer not shorter.  So test this out yourself and you will see that when you do a crunch the muscles are getting longer not shorter.  Lay in a back lying position with your knees bent. Put one hand under your head and one hand on your belly.   Now close your eyes and in your mind’s eye bring your belly button back to your spine (which is engaging your transverse muscle) and hold it there as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor.  You will feel your muscles moving forward towards your hand.  This forward movement is making the recti muscle longer and putting force on the connective tissue. This is because it is impossible to hold the transverse in completely when the shoulders come off the floor.  That is why you should replace the crunch with the head lift.  After 4 weeks of strengthening your transverse muscle in a seated position you will have transverse strength and awareness and will be able to hold your transverse in when you lift JUST your head.  No shoulders please!  You can test this out also with putting your hands on your belly.  I say hands because with the head lift you will be needing to hold a splint so you will have to lift your head without any hands.  Your hands will be on your belly so you will know if your transverse is in or out when you lift your head.  When you lift your head make sure your chin goes down and touches your chest.   If you lift your head leading with your chin you won’t be able to hold your transverse in.  The head lift is 5 steps and is explained in detail in the Lose Your Mummy and Say Good Bye to Your Gut Guys DVD. If you have neck problems, you can do the 5 steps without lifting your head.  So please just say NO to crunches.      

In case you missed our Tupler Tip of the week, you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/NVYMJOVs43g

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TRANSVERSE AWARENESS & CLOSING YOUR DIASTASIS

I tell my clients may the force be “without” you!  This is because my clients know all about  the transverse abdominal muscle.  This is the muscle you use with every move you make and breath you take. If  you have never heard of this muscle,  then this blog is the first step in giving you an awareness of it and the importance of it in closing your diastasis.  It is the inner most abdominal muscle.  Sometimes referred to as your core. It is the only abdominal muscle that wraps around the whole circumference of your body.   In the back, it is attached to each side of your spine from the bottom six ribs to the top of your pelvis. Then, it comes around to the front of your body and inserts into the connective tissue that joins the outer most abdominal muscle (rectus abdominis).  The action of the transverse muscle is a forwards and backwards movement.  Because it is attached to the outermost muscle, when the transverse moves forwards or backwards the recti muscle moves with it.

The Tupler Technique® is all about healing the stretched out connective tissue between the recti muscle.  One of the three ways it does this is by protecting the connective tissue from getting stretched.  Thus having an awareness of how you are using your transverse muscle with activities of daily living will protect your connective tissue.  For example, if you stand up and you do not engage your transverse muscle you will be using it anyway. But it will be moving forward forcefully and stretching your connective tissue.  A simple way of engaging your transverse muscle is to think of your belly button touching your spine. So before you stand up, think of engaging your transverse muscle first! Other examples of activities of daily living are sneezing, coughing, having a bowel movement and picking up your baby. So now that you know the importance of engaging your transverse muscle, make it your best friend and then the force will be without you!

If you missed out on our ‘Tupler Tip of the Week’ video, check it out!

 

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Children with a Diastasis

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