A misbehaving bladder is a very common problem. Some people go to the loo unnecessarily often, or leak when laughing or stretching. In some cases the bladder empties quite suddenly, before the sufferer can reach the bathroom.
The bladder gives you 'signals', which trigger your decision to head to the bathroom; but it starts giving signals early; the first one when the bladder is only a quarter-full, the second one when it is half-full and then the third one when it is three-quarters-full.
If you are in the habit of going to the bathroom on the first signal, your bladder will be 'spoilt'. You will also feel 'full' even when the bladder is carrying only a small amount of liquid, because the bladder wall will never be stretched. It is good to exercise your bladder's capacity to keep it functioning well; you can do this by regularly allowing your bladder to get full.
How to Retrain Your Bladder's Expectations
You can begin retraining your bladder by acknowledging the early signals and allowing them to disappear without taking any action for as long as you can. At first, you may not be confident enough to wait very long before you go to the bathroom, but do wait as long as you can. It will improve.
When you receive the first signal, acknowledge it by saying, "Thank you. I will go later." Then wait for the signal to disappear completely before you make a move to go anywhere.
A while later it will give you a second signal. Once again, say "Thank you. I will go later." Wait for the signal to disappear. If you are confident, (and in time, you will be) wait until you get the third signal.
Whenever you decide to go to the bathroom, don't run. Say, "Thank you. I will go in a moment." Sit or stand still, and wait for the signal to disappear. Only when you are quite composed, walk to the bathroom.
When you have been practising this for a while your bladder's capacity will increase and you will have the confidence to wait for a fourth or even a fifth signal.
Retraining Your Pelvic-floor Muscles
If you have 'leakage' from time to time, for instance when you sneeze, your bladder muscles are not performing well. Your pelvic-floor muscles must be retrained, but the exercise required is a very physical one and you will have to be quite strong-minded about doing the exercise every day. The good news is, simply moving the pelvic-floor muscles will soon strengthen them up.
How to Do Pelvic Exercises
While you are doing the washing-up, doing some computer work, or sitting in the car, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, about 10 times.
At first, when you try to do this exercise, you might feel as though nothing is moving down there! If this is the case, simply begin with the intention.
Begin by doing just one squeeze of the muscles. Although this might seem so little and so pointless at first (not to mention very hard work), each time you move this underdeveloped muscle, it will increase in size and strength. In just a few days, you will be able to increase the squeezes until you are doing it four or five times. It will become much easier.
Build up to ten times, then when you find that easy, increase it to twenty times if you like. Do these exercises regularly and you will soon notice the difference when you sneeze.
Sarah's Horror Story
Sarah was horrified. On her way home she had desperately needed to 'spend a penny'. As she reached home and put her key in the front door, she urinated all over the front doorstep. She was shocked and frightened and had no idea how it had happened.
Over the next few days, she made up her mind never to allow herself to have a full bladder while she was out. She went to the bathroom in the supermarket before she left for home. She planned regular bathroom stops into her days out.
However, the worry of a reoccurrence was compounded when it happened a second time. She had been out for coffee with a friend, and hadn't visited the bathroom before she jumped in her car for the ten-minute journey home. She did feel on her way back as though she might need to use the bathroom, but not so urgently that she couldn't wait. However, as soon as her key went into the front door, it happened again. Sarah was horrified. Was this going to happen every time?
Sarah didn't know that the signal that should have been her conscious decision to urinate had linked with the automatic sequence for unlocking her front door. And even if she did realize this had happened, she had no way of un-linking it.
Reprogramming the Subconscious to Correct a Sequence
I asked Sarah to rerun the incident in her head, this time imagining that everything went in the right order: she went up to the front door, turned the key, stepped into the hall, took off her coat, and then went to the bathroom. By beginning this rerun at the point when she could remember walking up the garden path, and ending it when she remembered leaving the bathroom, the imagined sequence would re-educate her subconscious for the future.
It's a simple way to allow your subconscious to correct a sequence. You simply do the movement slowly to allow the subconscious to re-record the correct sequence.
I suggested that she should also go outside, walk up to the door and unlock it very slowly, saying “Go-away”, if the urinary urgency appeared.
Sarah also worked on retraining her bladder using the 'Thank you — I'll go later' routine, the rehearsals before she went out, retrospective rehearsals after the unwanted feeling occurred, and the pelvic-floor exercises. Gradually her subconscious was retrained not to let her down on the front doorstep, and the urinary urgency disappeared.
©2012 Olivia Roberts. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press. www.findhornpress.com.
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Chronic Pain and Debilitating Conditions Resolution: Make Unwanted Symptoms Disappear! -- by Olivia Roberts.
This handbook lays out a plan for eliminating ongoing illnesses and the unpleasant emotions associated with them. Each part includes mental exercises that retrain the subconscious part of the brain. With the aid of the included audio CD, the guide’s 65 case studies, and simple mental exercises, it is possible to eliminate persistent, debilitating maladies over time.
About the Author
Olivia Roberts is a Master NLP Practitioner, an Alternative Pain Specialist and psychotherapist. Olivia works with people who have many different conditions in her practice as a full-time Resolution Magic therapist -- successfully helping clients suffering from migraine, M.E, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and many other symptoms and conditions.