Meet Your Bladder

There are a number of basic body functions that we do in life without much reflection: we breathe, we sleep, we pee. Let’s talk about that last one. How much do you really know about how your bladder works?

Your bladder is actually pretty awesome. This grapefruit-sized organ can expand significantly as you hydrate throughout the day, functioning as a little storage vessel so that we can delay urination. Just as we have a sphincter muscle in the rear, the base of your bladder has a sphincter muscle as well. It’s relaxing this muscle that allows us to pee.

Now, this is something to think about when you’re hovering above a toilet seat. Fully voiding your bladder is important for the health of your urinary tract, as emptying your bladder flushes out bacteria that might hang around and cause a UTI. In my practice, I recommend that clients sit and consciously relax their muscles while voiding through diaphragmatic breathing, which encourages our pelvic floor muscles to relax. (Ask me if you need help with diaphragm breathing!)

If frequent UTIs are a problem for you, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Not drinking enough water will cause your urine to be more concentrated, and this irritates the lining of the bladder. You might also try a supplement called D-Mannose, which is a natural sugar that absorbs very slowly into the body (and therefore doesn’t have any adverse side effects, even for diabetics). D-Mannose attaches to E-Coli bacteria, the most common cause of UTIs, and allows them to stick to each other instead of to the lining of your bladder. Our bodies are pretty amazing, huh?

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