This wouldn’t be a podcast about postpartum healing and recovery if we weren’t including conversations about pelvic physical health.
We’ll continue advocating that EVERY WOMAN who gives birth needs pelvic PT!
Today’s episode will share exactly WHY that is, and more importantly, how anyone can access it through the revolutionary Tighten Your Tinkler online program. (See below for links!).
Christina Walsh is a Physical Therapist & New Orleans mama of 2. Known together as the “Tinkler Ladies”, Christina and her business partner Jenn Lormand have a combined 36 years of experience supporting women through pelvic floor problems, prolapse, diastasis recti, and more. The Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy featured their holistic protocol that helps women mitigate symptoms (think no more pee leaks, back pain, or painful sex) WITHOUT kegels or internal vaginal devices. Today, the Tinkler ladies are on a mission to help women feel empowered and hopeful in their healing journeys.
Access the Tighten Your Tinkler Resources:
- Tighten Your Tinkler®️ Signature Program: https://www.tightenyourtinkler.com/signatureprogram
(use code MARANDA for $50 off!)
- IG: @tighten.your.tinkler
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@tightenyourtinkler
- FREE 90/90 Decompression Position (to relax back, hips, pelvic floor, and nervous system): https://www.tightenyourtinkler.com/backandhiprelief
- FREE 5-minute Root Cause Quiz: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6C9SJ36
In this episode, we are sharing:
- How to know that you can benefit from physical therapy and why you need to see a therapist who specializes in postpartum pelvic PT.
- Why the guidance typically given by conventional medicine practitioners to do 100 kegels a day is NOT what women need to regain their pelvic health.
- The connection between pelvic health and emotional well-being and why every mother should make her pelvic health a priority, regardless of whether or not she’s had a “traumatic” birth experience.
Read the transcript of this episode:
Depression, anxiety, and autoimmune symptoms after birth is not how it’s supposed to be. There is a much better way, and I’m here to show you how to do just that. Hey, my friend, I’m Maranda Bower, a mother to four kids and a biology student turned scientist obsessed with changing the world through postpartum care. Join us as we talk to mothers and the providers who serve them and getting evidence based information that actually supports the mind, body, and soul in the years after birth.
Hello everyone, welcome to the Postpartum University podcast. I have Christina Walsh here. She is a physical therapist and New Orleans mama of two and she is known as the Tinkler ladies, with her partner, Jen and I have just sat here and we’ve been talking and talking and talking. I connect with her so much and I know that you guys are going to absolutely love her.
She and her partner have a combined experience of 36 years supporting women through pelvic floor problems, prolapse, diastasis, recti and so much more. Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy featured their protocol that really helps women mitigate these symptoms that we call normal, that are not normal, like peeing, back pain, painful sex, all of the things, and she’s doing it without kegels, which is so incredibly important and I can’t wait to talk about so. Yay, Christina, thank you for being here.
Thank you, Maranda, thanks for the work that you do in the world. It is so close to Jen and I’s heart because we both have our own stories of navigating the struggles that you specifically help women with, and it is so special. So thank you for what you do. Thank you
Well, I want to hear your story. How in the world did you get into the pelvic floor, the pelvic physical therapy, all the things. How did you get here?
It’s like so many of our stories. Right when I set out to become a physical therapist I did not envision this happening the way that it did at all, and the truth is it has been a guided gift to find myself here. There’s no other way to explain it. It happens so organically, step by step, like I thought oh, physical therapy, that’ll be great, I can help people feel better and get stronger. And I mean, I worked for a couple of years. I kind of wasn’t feeling the alignment with my work that I had hoped and kind of opened myself up to receive what might be next for me, and I had an injury. You know our gifts don’t always come in the packages that we think that they will.
The path that we least expect and least hope for, yeah, but are the greatest gift in the end.
I mean, it’s really incredible to look back on our stories, right? Okay, so this was just the beginning. I had a neck injury. Okay, you’re like, wait, that’s not a pelvic floor thing, no, but it was all part of the process. I had a whiplash injury that led me to bodywork, specialized craniosacral therapy, and it was my first gift of feeling called and passionate about what I do, and I still have a bodywork practice that I am so deeply attached to. But after that I ended up partnering in one physical space with the brilliant Jen Lorman, who is an exercise physiologist extraordinaire. She came onto my table seeking treatment after the births of her children and I’d always felt drawn to the women’s health space. But I thought, okay, well, maybe that wasn’t the path for me because I got moved to craniosacral therapy, so I guess I thought I was getting up there, but maybe that wasn’t what was meant for me. But then, sure enough, Jen ends up on my table seeking help and care for injuries after her births and we just connected instantly like soul sister style, like holy moly, who are you, what do you do? I need more of this. She already had a personal training practice and was like I’m already working with moms, that’s what you’re interested in, why don’t you come work out of my gym? And it was, the timing was a lot, I mean, it was just a perfect. The sparks flew and I did. I moved my practice to her gym and we started seeing more and more moms and then she was recovering from birth injuries, from traumatic births. I got pregnant and had my first and had this like very textbook non-traumatic delivery with my first 26 hours of labor in a long period of pushing but midwife, doula, no medical intervention required but I still, because of certain things needed, helped to recover from issues that I was not happy to have found myself dealing with afterwards, and again injury, you could call it, but also guided me to my current callings. So Jen and I became personally very aligned in our journey to figure out how can we best help ourselves and all the women we take care of to never have to accept the P problems, the pelvic pressure, the back and hip tightness, the interrupted sleep, the issues with sex. We don’t. We don’t want to accept that and we don’t want any women we work with to accept with, but the solutions that we were being pitched by medical care providers we went to or that we had found we’re not what we wanted. It was inserting devices internally and it just doesn’t make. As a physical therapist and exercise physiologist, we’re like this doesn’t need just squeezing and relaxing. That’s not how you train any other muscle. There’s got to be a better way to do this. I mean, we had Kegel till the cows came home and we were still having physical discomforts and pressure and heaviness and issues. We’re like this doesn’t add up. So we were like we are going to find a better way and we went to a continuing education course and we’re introduced to a new exercise tool that we have perfected a protocol with to be as efficient as possible and as effective as possible that you can do from your own home Online, doesn’t require anything internally, you can do it with your kids present. I mean it was life altering for us. And then we took on the insane project of doing a research study to test it, because we’re like, oh my gosh, we’ve discovered something big here. We need to create change. No intentions of starting a business. Ok, we were just nerding out Like we are going to change the world and we did a research study I mean, wow, crazy. In hindsight I don’t know if we would have done it again if we knew what that was going to be like. But so incredibly powerful. We knew testimonials weren’t going to change the world Like data. We need data. So we got the data. And then the women in our study were the ones who were like please put this online. And we listened and that’s where Tighten Your Tinkler was born and one of them helped us name it, silly name, serious results, I love this story so, so much.
And first off, I have to tell you Cranial sacral is amazing. I just had another session last week. I love cranial sacral. It’s amazing and so insanely healing and I want to talk with you about that. So maybe in the end here one of the questions is going to come up about emotions, so I want to hold onto that one. Hold on to that one. So, with that said and I want to stress too that you don’t necessarily have to have a traumatic birth or a birth injury in the least bit I’m a mama four. I have four amazing home births and they were all very quick. I never tore and well I should say the first one was 17 hours. The rest of them were very quick and no tearing whatsoever. No necessarily injuries, but significant weakness that required pelvic floor physical therapy.
Yes, yes, and that is my story and that’s why Jen and I feel like between our five childbirth experiences, we’ve got the gambit of personal story here between trauma and un-intervened upon birth, and we still needed the type of care that we’re now offering to feel well and whole in our bodies again. So it is not remotely just a traumatic birth that can lead you to need intervention and help, but it doesn’t have to be invasive. It doesn’t have to be. The women who love what we have now brought are the women who want to deal with it, and take matters into their own hands. There are ones who don’t want to go through the medical system and don’t want to be pitched pills and surgeries. Like us, they didn’t want what they were being offered and this is just an incredible alternative. So if pelvic floor therapy is the way that a woman wants to go, you’re like god, I really need to be in person. I doesn’t bother me that they’re going to be doing internal work. That is totally fine. We are just proud and honored to offer an alternative. So this is not an or for that.
This is amazing and I want to stress the importance to those who are listening that a physical therapist is a little different than a pelvic floor physical therapist. There is specialized training, and so, after the birth of a baby, this is what you’re seeking. You want that person with this specialized training who can really support you and the unique changes that occur in the pregnancy and postpartum period, and you and Jen have created something that is entirely unique. I want to talk a little bit first about before we go into what you’ve created here about how do we know that we need this? Let’s start there. How do we know that we need pelvic floor physical therapy or some sort of support?
Yes, yes, or to work with us if you want to do it at home and noninvasively. This is great. I love this because in my local community it’s gotten out what I do, what I specialize in, so inevitably at the school event or the birthday party or the Mother’s Day bash, I get approached. You know my son. Most recently my son’s preschool teacher waited till the very end of the year. This is very intimate stuff. And she came up to me and my four-year-old. I love I empower my kids to understand what I do in an age-appropriate way, so he knows what mommy does. I help other mommas feel better after they have babies. And so she had heard him talk about that and came up to me and said, hey, so I had, and this is the story of so many women. I had my first and like maybe I had like a little bit of a leak. Every time I sneeze really hard, but I figured that wasn’t really a big deal, it was going to go away and my back was tighter than it used to be, but like it really didn’t affect my life, so it wasn’t really a problem. And then I had a second child and the pregnancy was harder and now I have this heaviness, almost like I feel like I’m at the end stage of pregnancy, but I am not anymore. And now it’s. Every time I laugh I’m leaking. And also now my hip is always tight and now I’m not having the same sensation or, worse yet, having pain with sex and that’s affecting my marriage. And now I can’t interact with my kids the way I want, I can’t play with them, I can’t go on long outings, I’m always the one to ask for the potty on the road trip and I’m waking up at night to pee and it’s impacting my quality of life. Now it’s not okay anymore. So none of that stuff is normal or things you have to live with. It is all connected. So the great amazing thing here is that I mean, just like any holistic intervention, right, when you give your body the right nudge to go in the direction that it already wanted to go to heal, it doesn’t take much. It’s amazing how gentle we can be with ourselves to just give that gentle spur to heal. And there are so many little action steps I want to make sure to talk about that every woman can start and stop doing today. That will help move things in the right direction here. But all those things are connected. So if you’re all part of core and pelvic floor dysfunction, weakness, call it what you will, the medical terms matter less. I mean, if you want to talk to us about that, we have all that background and all that knowledge and we can geek out all day with the pictures and our YouTube channel has all the teachings, all the rabbit holes, but we don’t have to talk in medical terms at all. So the moms come up to me at these parties and say how do I know when it’s time to do something about this? I mean, it’s seriously like turn inward. That’s up to you to decide. Know you don’t have to live with it and know that it’s up to you to draw that line. I want you to be empowered to say whether your line is okay. My back is just so tight now I can’t stand anymore. Or you know what, maybe it’s just a few leaks, but I don’t want this to be my new normal. Maybe that is your line. The line is different for every woman. That’s what I’ve learned more than anything through this journey. The symptoms may be like, objectively the same, in a lot of ways. Obviously, no two cases are the same. But that line that makes a woman say I don’t want to live like this anymore is different for each of us, and that’s okay too.
Guess what? The postpartum nutrition certification program is now open for enrollment. If you’re a holistic provider or professional wanting to use therapeutic, functional nutrition specific to postpartum so that you can support mamas with mental health, emotional balance, better healing and health outcomes, then hurry up and go to wwwpostpartumucom. That’s the letter. Ucom slash nutrition. Seriously, seeds fill up insanely fast and you don’t want to miss this cohort. We’ll see you there. Okay, so let’s dive into some really helpful things. What can people do right now, as you were suggesting, to help them if they’re experiencing any of these PE leaks or painful sex or common UTIs right, or feeling the pressure and the back pain and all the things? What can they do now?
Yes, okay. There are so many things. You can first of all, get your alignment checked. Go to a trusted body worker or chiropractor to make sure your hips are in alignment. If you haven’t yet, for goodness sake, please get yourself a toileting stool, grab a squatty potty. Put them in every bathroom. That truly I mean it’s like the cumulative effect of constantly having to strain to pass your bowels is not doing your pelvic floor any favors. It’s only making things worse, and it actually using a toileting stool actually puts your bladder in a more ergonomic position for complete emptying as well. I always joke that like I need to call squatty potty and be like it’s a whole untapped market. You’re only even sell this yet. So get a squatty potty for poop and for pee. Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Look, a lot of women we work with are peeing 20 times a day. If you’re peeing more than 10 times a day, that’s not normal, no matter how much water you drink, trust me. So you’re dehydrating yourself because you still have to function. Dehydrated urine is actually a bladder irritant, so you’re not doing yourself any favors. Get to the root of the problem, but don’t start by dehydrating yourself. That is never the right way to go. We love to recommend electrolytes in your water to make sure your body is actually really using the water that you’re putting into it. And, of course, staying hydrated. Combined with fiber is going to help facilitate a nice, not too hard, not too soft stool consistency, so your poops aren’t tough to get out or too runny. All of these things really matter for pelvic floor health. Another really dramatic impact to our pelvic floor and bladder health is our fight or flight system and how well we feel in the day to day. And that connects so much with all that you talk about in the upward spiral of healing. When we take these little steps to take care of our nutrition and our mental and emotional health and our physical health, when we start healing at our center, it is incredibly impactful, not just for stopping the leaks and improving your sex life and stopping the pressure. It gives your body the affirming message that you are well again your body. So many women come to say I feel like my body betrayed me. I was, I thought I was built to do this. What I don’t know anyone else who’s dealing with this, and the truth is 52 million women in this country alone are dealing with this, but it’s not the first thing you’re going to talk about when you run into another mom at carpool right. So millions of women are dealing with these life altering issues, don’t know where to turn, don’t know who to ask for help. So back to what I was saying. The nervous system piece is huge. Our bladder is connected to our fight or flight system. So any action that you take to pour into your sense of well-being and calm be that acupuncture, inflammation, you name it that is all going to continue to facilitate an upward spiral of healing, even for your bladder and pelvic floor. You might be accidentally bracing down there because it’s all connected without even realizing it. So there’s so many holistic action steps you can take. One of our favorite things you can access for free is our decompression technique, and that is going to be a simple position you can put yourself in. I’ll make sure to share the link in your own home and lay there for 10 minutes, put gravity on your side and feel a massive swell of relief. Come over your hips, your back, your pelvic floor and your nervous system, put your body in a place that it’s set up to receive more healing input, and it all just works together so beautifully in the end, and one little step leads to another in that upward spiral of healing. And these are just simple things you can do to start moving that needle in that direction.
And this is so on par with everything that I have been teaching Right. The Mama Thrive method was created for this, and this is exactly what we talk about all the time, and so it’s just another great piece of how this is all interconnected. And I really want to talk about that, because there is this interconnectedness within our body that is often not talked about enough, and I find that the pelvic region is such a storehouse of emotion and thank you for a much shocker standpoint.
It’s the root Right I talked to. It’s our center of safety. Yes, yes, I mean this is big, big, visceral stuff it so is.
There’s so many components to this and I feel, as a woman who’s experienced this right, I get worked on all the time and my pelvic floor area and my stomach is a massive focus because I know that’s exactly where I store all of my big emotions, and I was just sharing. I had cranial sacral the other day. Literally last week I had a cranial sacral thing and she was like I’m going to work on your stomach too, and I was like, yep, I know Right, like it’s just like a whole intuitive thing. And of course she starts working and I start crying because I’m realizing this and I’m realizing that and it’s just such a beautiful experience and I see this over and over with my clients and I love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this too.
It opens the door for moments of clarity. When we pour in gentle stimulation that facilitates healing, it allows our body to receive that and then open up to moments of clarity. Like you said, you’re on the table and you’re crying, and sometimes this happens in session of my bodywork practice and sometimes we know why and sometimes we don’t, and sometimes we just need to feel seen. We just need our pain to feel seen to process it. I mean I could cry. This is so emotional. When you feel like you are broken at your center, it is impossible to feel well in any aspect of the roles in your life that you care about the most. It is a cloud that hangs over you and to remove that truly frees you to receive more healing, receive more grace, to be the mom you pictured you could be and that you know you can be. So it is incredibly emotional. We have many women messaged us that and this is all part of our signature program and approach. It’s not just the exercises, which is the part everybody gets excited about. Just tell me what movements to do it’s like. Well, we have to start at the very beginning, as Maria from the Sound of Music would have told us. She was right. We have to start at the beginning, which is setting our expectations, setting our intention for healing, learning to affirm ourselves in this process, knowing you have we have a whole set of tools to turn to to bring you relief as you gain strength, because life will keep happening. That decompression technique I talked about is one of those things. We have to know how to take care of ourselves when the three-year-old needs to be carried for longer than we thought they would that day, and maybe we’re not quite strong enough for that yet, but you don’t. But it takes the fear out because now you have a tool, you have the exercises to continue building strength and you have a tool to turn to that’s going to bring you relief. So it doesn’t have to jump into that place of fear oh, I’m broken again, I’m not getting better, this isn’t working, I’m not going to be okay. Oh wait, no, I’m not going to be able to get a tool belt that I know how to use to heal myself. And that is the emotional weight of this journey.
I love this so much and so many of the pains and the aches and the little things that are happening inside of us. You might not have ever experienced, you know, a traumatic anything or you know, maybe even not having a birth experience necessarily, but again, like the emotions that we feel can be enough to really support those aches and pains and we need to work those out, and so I’m so grateful for this.
I feel like the more what I learned along the way. I used to feel like I always had a focus on the positive. So, which is a great gift, and focus on what you have to be grateful for is a beautiful thing. But I learned in my journey I was not acknowledging the pain that I had been through enough, right. I had to walk that line between both and I learned a more, I would say, a more compassionate definition of trauma. That made me kind of acknowledge my own pain better, that it’s being pushed past the ability to cope under the circumstances at that time, right. So we don’t have to think of being in a war zone or nearly dying. It’s circumstantial, it’s personal, and so we have all been through things that pushed us past our ability to cope and to pour into our cup with grace and humility and vulnerability is the path to healing. I mean and it’s there for all of us.
It so is, it so is, and I okay. So we need to talk about your program. Where can people find you?
We are everywhere, Girl we have made this you are, you are Seriously. I’m like every question we get multiple times we make a YouTube video about. It’s like you can go down to all the nerdy and very intimate rabbit holes with us there, deep dive teachings on so many things we get repeated questions about and us sharing our stories of the things that you’re probably afraid to Google. Yes, we will tell you our story and you will know you’re not alone. Somebody has to get out there and talk about this stuff, amen. So we’re on Instagram at titanyoretingler. Of course, we have our website, titaniertinklercom, and one of the best places to start. If you’re going gosh, this might be me. Maybe this is my story and I’m ready to receive help. Go, take our five minute quiz. It’s right there. Linkedin, our bio on Instagram. I’ll give you the link as well, and it’s right on the top of our website. We took our research questionnaires that help. We noticed women in our study. They took these quizzes and they were like wait, all of this is connected. I can fix all of this stuff at once and, yes, so we just put them online into one quiz and it is a five minute experience that will set off light bulbs to let you know. Wait a minute. This is all one thing, and it definitely is. I don’t care what anyone else told you and yes, there’s hope to heal, and it will give you a score that will let you know if working with us might be the right fit for you from a symptom standpoint. Now you have to turn inward, from a emotional standpoint, and decide if we’re a good fit for you, because this is an emotional healing journey. But from a symptom standpoint, that quiz can really start moving things in the right direction of clarity and we have a really special gift for you today. Yes, so if you’re listening and Christina, tell us, tell them what they get, yeah, $50 off with your special code Jess from Miranda, and this is just going to let you hop into the Signature Program and begin your healing journey a little bit easier. I love it.
So if you’re listening in and you want that special code, go to the show notes. We have all of that information there for you. It’s yours for the taking. I highly recommend it. Christina and her partner, jin, are just absolutely incredible and very exciting what they have truly created here, and so I can’t stress it enough how important that is. So thank you so much for being here.
Thank you, Maranda. Thank you for all the gifts you bring to this world and the women that you serve. Thank you.
Thank you, I am so grateful you turned into the postpartum university podcast. We’ve hoped you enjoyed this episode enough to leave us a quick review and, more importantly, I hope more than ever that you take what you’ve learned here, applied it to your own life and consider joining us in a postpartum university membership. It’s a private space where mothers and providers learn the real truth and the real tools needed to heal in the years postpartum. You can learn more at wwwpostpartumu. That’s the letter youcom. We’ll see you next week.
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