Paunch belly. Pooch belly. Call it what you may, but I know many of you out there reading this wonder how you can rid yourself of the “Pooch Belly.” Believe it or not, you can—but first you need to understand how this situation occurs.
The most obvious situation that brings on pooch belly syndrome is pregnancy, as many of you women reading this know. But did you also know (men, listen up) … weight gain and an inflamed GI system (gastrointestinal) can also be culprits and all of these situations can lead to chronic back pain among other aliments. Many times, I can tell if someone is suffering from back pain or weak abdominal strength not just by looking at someone’s abdominal area but also their butt. Why is this? Because when the abdominals are weak, the entire core system that includes the pelvic floor muscles also becomes weak and as a result, the butt appears flat and looks like an upside-down heart. Think of the core system as a sling. When the sling is healthy, it is taut and lifted and when it has become stretched and weakened it hangs thus causing instability.
Let’s talk about a few common situations that lead to weakened abdominals.
1. Weight gain: Whether you gain weight from pregnancy, an inactive lifestyle, or poor food choices, the belly begins to grow, resulting in lengthening of the abdominal wall. As the abdominal muscles begin to lengthen, this action produces a stretch force. When the abdominal muscles have been under a prolonged stretch, they become long and weak, therefore causing pooch belly. The lengthening that occurs can be fixed over time—however, you should be aware that the longer the muscles have been under a stretch, it may take a bit longer in getting them back to their original length. Therefore, ladies, it is always better to not become pregnant too soon after you already have had a pregnancy and be cautious of C-sections. The reason to be cautious of C-sections is that you already have the abdominals lengthened from the pregnancy itself, then the abdominals get cut (all three layers), which causes more weakness. In addition, when these layers get sewn back together again, scarring and adhesions can occur, which then make it difficult for the muscles to slide across each other effectively. As a result, when muscles cannot work efficiently, they begin to shut off and other muscles take over, thus destabilizing the back and causes weakness.
2. Inflamed GI system: An inflamed GI system can be caused by food allergies and/or food intolerances. The reason this happens is when we are eating foods that are not good for our bodies or we continue to eat the same foods over and over again (this is usually what causes food intolerances), this will inflame the digestive system. When the digestive system gets inflamed, the organs can swell. When the organs swell, this pushes on our abdominal muscles and makes it difficult for the abdominal muscles to activate properly. When the abdominal muscles cannot turn on, guess what happens … they begin to get weak and we now know what happens from there.
If you suffer from pooch belly syndrome or any ailment caused from weak abdominal muscles, this would be a great time to go see a professional. I would advise you to first look for CHEK practitioners in your area. CHEK practitioners like us here at Replenishing Soul have been trained on how to look at the person as a whole, not a part. For example, you can strengthen the abdominal muscles until you’re blue in the face, but if your problem is not being assessed appropriately and your root cause is coming from inflammation in your digestive system and has not been identified, all the physical strengthening in the world will not fix the problem. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. We are more than happy to help you.
Resources: How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek