What is hypopressive? Hypopressives is a sequence of rhythmic postural exercises combined with manual techniques, and breathing techniques to reprogram the brain-abdomen-pelvic floor connection. Hypopressives normalize the muscle tone in the abdomen and pelvic floor. It improves trunk control, core stabilization and proper posture alignment.

It is very important to understand that hypopressives postures do not always need the apnea to be called hypopressives.

What is the Main Goal of Hypopressives?

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The main goal of hypopressives is to learn each hypopressive posture step by step with normal breathing. Secondly, rhythmic breathing is added to each hypopressive posture. When the rhythmic breathing and hypopressive posture are learned correctly, the apnea will be added. The apnea is performed during the whole hypopressive posture with small breaks in between to allow recovery.

Hypopressives

Hypopressives Types:

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According to Dr. Marcel Caufriez, the creator of the hypopressive method, hypopressive is divided in three types:

  • Hypopressive Abdominals.
  • Diaphragmatic Aspiration (Vacuum Breathing).
  • Hypopressive Postural Reeducation

Hypopressive abdominals are postural exercises to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles, and pelvic floor muscles. The apnea is optional.

Aspiration Diaphragmatic (Vacuum Breathing) The main goal of this technique is to decrease the intra-abdominal pressure. This technique relaxes the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. The main purpose of vacuum breathing is to improve circulation in the pelvic area and legs.

Tensional transference improves postural alignment and postural awareness.

Benefits of Hypopressive:

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  • Strengthening the core and pelvic floor muscles.
  • Decrease muscle tightness.
  • Postpartum recovery.
  • Prevent urinary incontinence.
  • Reverse/prevent organ prolapse.
  • Improve sexual health.
  • Improve posture.
  • Improve back health.
  • Strengthen core muscles after abdominal surgery.
  • Shrink the waist perimeter.
  • Prevent muscle injuries.

Contraindications:

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  • Hypertension
  • Pregnancy
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Hip, knee, shoulder conditions

Who Can Benefit from Hypopressives?

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  • Women after childbirth to recover the core and pelvic floor.
  • Women who are dealing with abdominal separation or Diastasi Recti.
  • Women or men looking for a healthy way of training the abdominal muscles.
  • Women or men who want to improve their lung capacity and fitness.
  • Anybody looking to prevent urinary incontinence.
  • Women who want to have a flat tummy and a small waist.
  • Someone tired of doing crunches or sit ups, but still wants to have a strong core.
  • Women with pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Someone looking for a gentle way of getting stronger without lifting or doing fast movements.

What is the Difference Between Hypopressive and Traditional Sit-ups?

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» Traditional Sit ups

  • The diaphragm puts a lot of pressure in the visceral organs, debilitating the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor.
  • The abdominal pressure increases, predisposing the body to weak pelvic floor and subsequently urinary incontinence.
  • The abdominal muscles contract concentrically shortening the muscle fibers and affecting the upright posture due to abdominal muscles tightness.
  • Reduce circulation in pelvic area and legs.

» Hypopressives

  • The diaphragm is able to relax and synergically contract the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles.
  • The abdominal pressure decreases and the pelvic floor is able to support the organs more efficiently.
  • The abdominal muscles contract, maintaining optimal elongations and an upright posture.
  • Improve circulation in pelvic area and legs

What is the Difference Between Kegel and Hypopressives?

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» Kegel

  • Active contraction of the pelvic floor.
  • Does not follow a posture sequence.
  • Strengthen only the pelvic floor muscles.

» Hypopressives

  • Involuntary contraction of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
  • Follow a sequence of rhythmical postures, apnea is optional.
  • Strengthen the whole body, improve posture, and normalize abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.

How Long Does it Take Hypopressives to Work?

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The brain starts making postural changes with each hypopressive posture sequence from the first day of visit. The changes will continue with each hypopressive practice. At the beginning, the body can resist the change because postural habits are hard to break including learning unfamiliar movements. Verbal cues and tactile cues are always applied by the therapist with each movement to avoid any body compensations.

It will take 6 to 8 weeks for the brain-body connection to normalize the muscle tone, including abdominal muscles and pelvic muscles and see significant changes with the hypopressive practice.

Hypopressives become integrated into the brain after 6 to 8 weeks. It is advised to continue hypopressive daily for 20 minutes after this time to maintain an optimal abdominal muscle tone and avoid the body going back to old postural habits.

How Often Should You Do Hypopressives?

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Hypopressive should be performed at least three times per week for 45 minutes with one rest break in between to allow the brain to store the new postural habit and release the old postural habit.

What is the Best Hypopressive Posture to Start?

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Hypopressives can be performed in standing, kneeling, sitting, lying down on the back, and on hands and knees.The therapist will develop a hypopressive sequence according to the patient needs, goals, and expectations.

When is the Best time to Practice Hypopressives?

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The best time to practice hypopressives is in the morning because this practice produces energy and vitality.  Avoid practicing hypopressive at night before going to sleep. It could disturb your sleeping cycle and keep you awake instead of helping you to sleep. Opt for a gentle yoga practice, a nice warm bath to relax your body and mind and help you to sleep better.

What to do Before Starting Hypopressive Practice?

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  • Always empty the bladder before the practice.
  • Get hydrated before, during and after the hypopressive practice.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.
  • Remove watches, bracelets, anything that can distract you during the practice.
  • Choose a quiet place with minimal distractions.

How do I sign up for a Hypopressive session?

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Contact our Chaux Physical Therapy office today at (805) 203-9940 or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Alexandra Chaux, DPT and discover the healing path in which Hypopressives can benefit you!