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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 1999 7:23 pm 
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Melanie

This is a good question, and it doesn't have a simple answer. I'll do my best to answer what I think based on first principles.

I checked in a rather extensive reference (Kulund, DN: The Injured Athlete). There were lots of references to various intestinal injuries, injuries to the bladder, kidney, pancreas, and even penis and testicles. NOTHING on the ovaries - probably the most vulnerable point. My guess is that women have not been involved in contact sports long enough to have a history of the problems that are possible.

When you talk about conditioning, you are talking about repetitive, low force blows to the abdomen. Individual low force blows done to a relatively toned and properly flexed abdomen are not likely to give problems. Repeated blows over time are another story.

I'm sure some might like to attribute fibroids to trauma. As far as I know, there is no connection.

This reminds me of when my wife was preganant with he first child, and wanted to know if she could continue her weight lifting. Everyone gave her blank stares, and then said something like "Why would you want to?" There was little data on the issue, so she was on her own. I spotted her as she weight trained through the entire pregnancy, except for the last week. I was (inside) a bit concerned when I saw her benching 150 while 5 months pregnant, but I kept my concerns to myself. She was checking her pulse and she was breathing properly. She was not experiencing any bleeding. The only problem she got was a split of the abdominal muscle wall (very common), possibly due to the fact that she kept doing situps through the pregnancy to keep toned. This corrected itself within 6 months after delivery. She delivered a 9 lb 5 oz boy that was healthy beyond our wildest expectations. If anything, he might have appeared a bit precocious for a newborn.

So what am I telling you? There's little data on it. Your ovaries are the biggest concern. My recommendations are the following:

1) Take your time with abdominal conditioning. You are in it for the long haul.

2) Pain is an important tool in conditioning. Learn to pay attention to it.

3) The solar plexus is the biggest achilles heel in the abdomen. You can condition that reflex without going near any of the female reproductive organs. Do you really feel a need to condition elsewhere on the abdomen? Think about it.

4) If you are going to condition elsewhere on the abdomen, go for quantity of strikes and frequency of sessions over magnitude of impact.

5) Pay attention to any unusual bleeding (vaginal) and make sure you never see blood in the urine or stool.

6) Stay away from areas below your karate belt.

To some extent you are on your own. Proceed cautiously.

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-05-99).]


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 1999 11:51 pm 
JD,

Machismo?

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maurice richard libby
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 12:34 am 
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Bill, J.D. san: I suggested Melanie come to this site to quiz you two. I will tell you why I had a concern (anecdotal).

My mom, sister, mother in law have all had hysterectomies. My mom and sister were in their 40's. As I recall, the reason for the operation was due to internal connective tissue failing which allowed the uterus to sag into/onto (?) the bladder. This condition caused all kinds of urinary problems. The term 'prolapsed' is in my memory but I am not certain as to the official medical description.

My mom worked vey hard in her child bearing years, and was mopping floors before, during and after pregnancy. Could be a relationship here. Since my sister also had the problem while relatively young, perhaps it is just genetic. Maybe doctors in Pittsburgh are just 'quick' to cut.

As we karateka all generally fit and conditioned, perhaps this is not an issue. However, there is a lot of soft tissue down there that may not be conditioned for repeated blows (no pun), with the results showing up much later.

Not a doctor, but concerned.

Rich


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 5:38 am 
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Hello Glasheen-sensei,
I brought this question up on Lori San's Forum and it was suggested that I ask you about it. Is there any possibility that long term stomach conditioning could adversly effect female reproductive organs?

Any ideas?
thanks,
Melanie


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 1999 7:39 pm 
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I hate to recommend a book that I have read but not thoroughly digested.

However, Mantak CHia's "Bone Marrow Nei Kung"
might be helpful. There are chapters devoted speifically to "hitting" and "packing" as conditioning and detailed conditioning exercises for male and female.

Sensei Bill's certainly seems the safest course, ie: that of some caution in this area.

I confess that recommending alook at the above mentioned book may be "Martial
Arts Name Dropping" in this case.

My wife was practicing while she was pregant in 1988. CAution worked there.

JOHNT

JOHNT

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 1:40 am 
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J.D.

My wife used to be a competitive bodybuilder. In fact we met in the weight room at UVa. I can remember days (around 10 years ago) when she (not a "butch" by any measure of the stereotype) would go over to a bench and do flys with 45 pound dumbbells. On more than one occasion I witnessed a few guys watch with gaped mouths, and then quietly grab their gym bags and walk out. Too much for fragile male egos.

And this was the problem with her and lifting during pregnancy. Folks like her were pioneers in these traditionally male sports. Nobody quite knew what to tell her when she asked about lifting during pregancy. Several years after the birth of our first son, we saw articles come out on the subject. It turned out that her approach (monitor pulse, breathe properly, be cautious of balance, be cautious of lower back, be cautious of loose joints, watch for vaginal bleeding) turned out to be the recommended path.

Contact with the lower abdomen for women is not entirely unheard of in sports. Anyone who has watched gymnastics has seen the significant contact women receive on the uneven bars. Injuries from such contact appear to be anecdotal, and the result of the bar striking above the iliac crests (Dauneker, DT et al: Case report: intra abdominal injury in a gymnast. Phys Sportsmed 7(10): 109-111, 1979). However injuries like these are no different than what males would experience given identical circumstances (pound for pound).

I will keep a look out for references. However at this point the record for bad outcomes doesn't point to a need for caution "out of the ordinary".

To Rich:

Women get hysterectomies all the time. There are many reasons why things go wrong with the female reproductive apparatus. Causality is never clear - ESPECIALLY to the lay folk. I cannot speak to the specific cases that you talk about, but family history is certainly an obvious pattern here. In any case, I have NEVER seen a reputable, modern reference that suggests that normal women should refrain from vigorous activity to avert the condition you suggest.

Women have been working a long time to come out from under the stereotype of a "weaker" sex. It used to be that they were not allowed to race in long distances because it was thought that the stress was too severe. And forget the idea of weightlifting! Nowadays the literature is showing that the very things that men suggested might be problems (like resistence training) actually help women prevent common problems (like osteoporosis). The only common concern is that women not drop below a level of body fat (and/or stress) that causes amenorrhea (loss of a period).

Bill

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-07-99).]


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 1:58 am 
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One final note:

Any woman who is pregnant or is putting herself in a position to get pregnant needs to consider herself as in a "special status" when it comes to vigorous activity. There are some unfortunate anecdotes coming out now about women bodybuilders dieting for a competition who are unaware of a pregnancy - until too late (example - "Siren" of the TV program Gladiators). The "ripped" state that both men and women put themselves in (often with the aid of drugs) is unhealthy enough without throwing a preganancy into the picture. The same could be said of heavy contact to the abdomen. While records of pregnant women in auto accidents demonstrate the remarkable protection provided by the uterus and amniotic fluid, the gamble isn't worth it.

A good rule of thumb is this - if it's unhealthy for a man, it's probably ESPECIALLY unhealthy for a woman who is pregnant.

[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 02-07-99).]


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 3:52 pm 
JD:

you wrote:

>Maurice:
> You are unfamiliar with "machismo?"

No, but I never associated it with a sensitive new-age nineties guy such as yourself Image

Just kidding,



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maurice richard libby
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 1999 4:00 pm 
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To J.D. on the soapbox:

I think your points are valid and not "from a soapbox". I am not an MD.

I think that Chinese Meridian theory and medicine may have some validity. However, it evolved from a different root.

Whenever hear somebody take Chinese medicine and Chi as complete "Gospel" I remind them that the Chinese still prescribe Rhinoceros Horn, and that, ages ago, they treated the founder of the Chin dynasty with Mercury and Powdered Jade taken internally. Of Course it made him "Mad as a Hatter" (mercury was what made Hatters Mad) and killed him, in that order.

Whenever I hear people POO POO ing Chinese medicine and Chi etc., I might tell them that Master Heung cured his own broken neck. But since that is hearsay, I might not.

Point being is that you do actually keep and open mind-so that's good.

Being a history hobbyist, I have fantasied showing up at a Kwoon where they practice a spear form and punching a Roman Pilum through four ply Plywood at fifteen yards. (Ancient Western Martial Arts) Since that would probably render me permanently personal non grata-I don't think I'm gonna do that and we all understand the reasons why. (they could probably dodge it anyway.

Mantak's Chia's stuff is interesting reading and there is "something" to it.

Bill Cosby said his wife said giving birth was something like "having your lower lip pulled up over the back of your Head" or "pooping a watermelon". That's just to keep things light.

BEST to all, sorry to digress so.

JOHNT

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 1999 5:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 1998 6:01 am
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Hello All
Thanks for all your responses! Glasheen-sensei: Your advise to excersize caution is well taken! I think conditioning is one of the most intricate of our Uechi practices. Finding the right balance is both crutial and challenging for men and women.
Thurston-san: Thank you for the book recomendation. I'll put it on my summer reading list.
Doctor-X: Thanks for your input also. I'm glad I brought up a topic about which you could agree with Glasheen-sensei.

Peace,
Melanie


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 1999 5:43 am 
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Melanie

Thank you for the stimulating topic.

J.D. and I will try our best to refrain from agreeing again unless it is absolutely necessary.

Bill


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