What's Going on in the Pelvic Bowl?

The pelvis really is in a bowl shape. It is lined with layers and layers of fascia. The organs in the pelvis are embedded into the layers of fascia.

What are some of the common things I feel when I hold a pelvis? (This is all information we'll be diving into in my two-day workshop on the diaphragm and the pelvic bowl, coming up July 20-21 in Los Angeles and August 24-25 in Chicago.)

First of all it is super common for someone to fall on their tailbone. When this happens the shape of the bowl changes to more oval, and the front (pubic bones), and the back (sacrum) get closer together creating the more oval shape. When this occurs the contents are now under tension and do not function quite as fully.

With a fall on their tailbone what happens frequently is that a woman's uterus tips, most commonly backwards, creating what is called a retroverted uterus. Doctors tell them they have a tilted uterus. (PS: this makes it hard to get a baby out).

For a man what can happen is tension in the floor of the pelvis. This can and often does create tension that can lead to an eventual hernia, or lead to tension down the legs, tension around the sub-pelvic organs. Which in turn diminishes function.

One common thing that can happen to the pelvis is an injury to the pubic bones. Either from a fall on a bicycle bar, balance beam, horseback riding.... This puts tension into the pelvis from the front side, giving more tension to the bladder. This is overlooked the most. I realized this many years ago with a woman who was pregnant. I could tell that one side of the pelvis was not going to open during birth. I started asking questions and finally realized she fell on balance beam when she was younger and that it was frozen on her. It would have been hours and hours in the labor room while she tried to get the baby out. Incredibly stressful for her and the stuck baby.

The bowl is the support system for the upper body. And when the bowl cannot support the upper body, all sorts of muscle and fascial contractions have to happen to stabilize us. Weight is supposed to flow and translate through the pelvis in an aerodynamic way. If there are misalignments in any way this changes the dynamics. Pain follows at some time later, but usually pinpointed to these issues.

Leigh Ankrum