We need to talk about Urinary Incontinence

We need to talk about Urinary Incontinence

Ayurvedic Treatment for Urinary Stress Incontinence

According to Ayurveda, urinary incontinence is primarily a Vata disorder.  A few of my clients have seeked help through medical fields and have been left to battle it out on their own after no specific cause has been diagnosed. You’re not alone! Approximately half of women and a few blokes too have some sort of urinary incontinence throughout their life.
Sometimes a personalised lifestyle consult can uncover some stresses and abdominal weaknesses that we can help remedy with a lifestyle programme so please don’t hesitate to contact me for an appointment and we can chat together to find a plan that could work for you. However, if you’d like to try a generalised few tips for a while please read on..

Here is a daily routine you can trial for a month to see if we can help make a change. In this case the following remedies would be beneficial. You really have to be consistent for a month to notice a change particularly if you’ve had the condition for a while. 

  • Drink water boiled with fennel seeds first thing in the morning.
  • Regular consumption of 12-15 raisins a day would be beneficial.
  • Half tsp of cinnamon powder mixed with maple syrup can be tried daily with lunch or dinner.
  • Have a small glass of cranberry juice ,1 hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol (both of these can really stimulate the bladder!).
  • Yoga therapy once per week – very gentle guided core strengthening and lengthening – this will probably have the most beneficial effect for long term stress incontinence.

Yoga exercises and the relaxation at the end of class can reduce stress and build strength – here are two of my favourite exercises to give you a start with if you can’t get to one of my classes.

Exercise 1: Ashwini Mudra

First of all you need to take an asana or yoga pose. Sitting cross legged or you can even sit in a chair.

Once you got into the posture, relax for a minute, breathing freely and deeply. Then inhale fully (especially filling the lower part of the lungs), hold your breath, and contract the anal sphincter muscles with a 1-2 seconds interval. For men there should be 4 contractions, and for women – 5.Try to completely relax the anal muscles between the contractions. You may feel a bit un-co dong this to start with – a sign that things can be improved!

OK, you are holding your breath, and have made the required number of contractions; now, press your chin against the bottom of the neck, touch the palate with the tip of your tongue and start releasing your breath (exhaling), then slowly raise your head. The success in this practice comes when your feel like shivering wave goes through your body. This wave is actually the prana which has been stimulated by your practice. You can repeat it 3-5 times  per day or as much as you want – just don’t overstress yourself, as the balance is the key to success in everything.

Exercise 2: Vajrasana Pose


Start in a high kneeling position with your feet and legs together (or as close as they comfortably can be), and then sit back on your heels. Keep your heels and toes pointing straight back, in the same direction as each other (not rolling out or in). Sit tall, aligning the back of your skull with the back of your tailbone. Rest your hands on your thighs with your palms facing up or down. Relax your breathing and sit like this for as long as is comfortable. But remember this is an active pose strengthening spine and abdominals so keep it active and avoid slouching down. Build up slowly to 5 – 10 minutes.

Modifications:

If sitting back on your heels isn’t comfortable, you might find it helps to sit on a block or the short edge of a bolser between your feet and ankles/shins. Without moving your feet or shins, hug the block or bolster with your feet and ankles/shins. If you’re using a bolster, be sure to sit so that only your sit bones (not your thighs) are resting on the bolster.

If you have knee discomfort, you may also find it helpful to place a rolled up blanket or towel behind your knees.