Diastasis Recti...a term you had probably never heard of or thought much about before you became pregnant. I know many of my prenatal and postnatal clients hadn't. A common answer to the question "Have you had a Diastasis Recti check?" on my postnatal new client form is "what's that?" (at which point I assume no, they haven't had a check). To be honest, one could argue that question is a little redundant on my form, as no matter what you answer I am going to check you myself anyway!
Google "Diastais Recti" and amongst some very good and well written information, is also a lot of rather more questionable information, scaremongering and some downright dodgy advice. This is where International Diastasis Recti Awareness Month comes in. A month where specialists working in the area of Diastasis Recti recovery work to help the general public gain insight and reliable information on this condition. First inspired by The Center for Women's Fitness (through whom I am certified as a Pre & Postnatal Pilates SpecialistTM and a teacher of The Center Method for Diastasis Recti RecoveryTM), International Diastasis Recti month now sees practitioners and movement specialists from around the world sharing information, holding workshops and helping to spread reliable information about this condition.
Diastasis Recti occurs when the connective tissue that runs between the 2 sides of the Rectus Abdominis muscle (one of the tummy muscles) becomes stretched and loses tension. We most commonly hear of it as a condition that can affect women in pregnancy and after childbirth, but it is not exclusively a pregnancy/childbirth condition and there are many other factors than can cause a fascial dysfunction which may, over time, result in a diastasis.
When working with a client who has Diastasis Recti, a holistic approach needs to be taken. How we breath, how we are aligned, how we move, our nutrition, hydration, stress, sleep...these can all affect the integrity of our fascia and have a role to play. It is not just about "closing the gap". It is about identifying the factors that led to the gap being there in the first place, and changing the way you connect with and move your body. Not just for a series of sessions on the mat, but in your every day life....every - single - day.
As part of International Diastasis Recti Awareness Month, I am publishing a series of posts on my newly launched Diastasis and Pelvic Floor Support Facebook group. These posts aim to give you a little more insight into the condition, how to know if you have it, what you can do to help it, and how to make your every day movement more "tummy aware". Do head over and join the group if you would like to learn more. You are also very welcome to get in touch for a chat if you have any questions you would like to discuss in person.