Relaxin is a hormone which is most commonly known for childbirth. It relaxes the muscles and tendons so that the baby can move through the pelvis.
Unknown to many, the hormone Relaxin plays a much more general and everyday role for women. Here is a list of a few of the roles Relaxin plays.
- The musclo-skeletal system (the muscles and the bones)
- Pre-menstrual lower back pain
- Slow wound healing
Relaxin is only in the blood stream of women, in men it is only located in the prostate gland, not in the blood system. This is why most of the conditions listed in this blog will be more applicable to women.
Relaxin On Muscles & Bones
Bone remodelling is a process where bone is constantly regenerated in the body. I imagine these cells like little pacman shapes going along eating old bone cells (in the image, they’re on the left). Quickly followed by builder cells (on the right) laying new bone cells where they’re previously been resorbed. Every 7 years every cell in the bones of the body will have been renewed by these cells.
If the relaxin levels in the body are too high or too low, the bone remodelling process is impaired. If old bone is resorbed and not enough bone is generated, it results in lower bone density. Conditions such as osteoporosis are due to having low bone density. Once women have gone through the hormonal changes in the menopause, the risk for bone related conditions increases.
In men, relaxin is secreted by the prostate gland and it is present in the semen. Its role is for the forward movement (swimming) of the sperm.
Studies from 2007 have shown contradictory conclusions about whether having more relaxin is beneficial in fertility, but for sure it’s worth noting that relaxin plays a part in male fertility and I would definitely be testing for this hormone if a male client attended with this problem.
Pre-Menstrual Lower Back Pain
After ovulation, your levels of estrogen drop dramatically. Estrogen strengthens muscles and ligaments, whilst relaxin relaxes them. It’s why also at the gym or working out, you will feel more strong and able in the weeks between your period and ovulation, and not so good between ovulation and the period when the relaxin levels are higher.
Relaxin softens up the ligaments in the whole body, and it becomes harder for the pelvis to support the weight of your upper body. As a result, it puts a burden on muscles around the pelvis and you’re likely to feel lower back or back pain.
As the menstrual period is getting closer, your body sends more blood to the uterus, and blood flow in your back worsens. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, most of the symptoms of PMS such as back pain are attributed to poor blood flow. So the worsened blood flow in your back is thought to cause lower back or back pain. Kinesiology works on Chinese Medicine theory and I will be working on your blood flow all over the body during the session.
The ratio of people with diagnosed fibromyalgia is female to male, 9:1. This makes sense given that we know that females have relaxin hormone in their blood stream whereas men do not. Symptoms which sufferers experience include widespread muscular and joint pain, spasm and diffuse tenderness in most areas of the body, unrefreshing sleep, fatigue and emotional distress.
Female fibromyalgia patients seem to have increased severity of their symptoms one week before and one week during menstruation on a regular basis which points towards relaxin playing a role in the condition. Further, many fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms appear to be greatly aggravated during menopause between their fourth and fifth decades, or prematurely through surgically induced menopause.
How Does Kinesiology Help?
No matter what condition you present with, I will always check first of all that your meridians are in balance. I test the body for the most important corrections to work on first. In Kinesiology this is known as working ‘In Priority Order’.
With all conditions, including those listed above, Relaxin will not be the only hormone or body substance playing a part. I feel it is important that we know it is part of the bigger picture and how varying levels of it can have an effect on the body.
Relaxin test vial is in the Hormone Test Kit. I will test to see if your body recognises the hormone, and knows how to process it. Relaxin may relate to a condition you have come to see me about. I’ll also check whether levels of Relaxin are too high or too low. You will be able to find out after the session what you can do to help keep the hormone system more in balance. This could be to do with taking remedies, slightly altering nutrition, or something else such as wearing a magnet for a short time.
If you would like to book an appointment to work on your hormones, or if you’ve read this blog and think that you could benefit from having a check to see if yours are in balance, please get in touch and we can arrange a time to have a session.
~ Ellie x