Happy Holidays from all of us at CTS!

Thank you for trusting us with your health in 2021. What a year it's been!
We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to our continued partnership in the new year. The best is yet to come.

CTS will be closed on Christmas Eve 12/24 and New Year's Eve 12/31.

Where's Your Tail?

By Katherine Dahl, PT, MPT, CD(DONA)
Our family is in the process of adopting our first dog (a rescue), so I've got dogs on the brain. A few years ago I randomly grabbed a brochure from somewhere which was about how to safely approach strange dogs, and there was a detail that made me think "A-ha!" It was to look at the dog's tail to figure out its emotional state.

If the dog's tail is up, they are happy, and if it's down and held tensely between their legs, they aren't. I thought, "Oh, that's just like humans!" The status of our pelvic floor muscles - relaxed and open (tail up) vs. tense and closed (tail down) is related to not only our emotions, but our posture, balance, and digestive health as well.

True, we don't have tails, but we have a tailbone (aka the coccyx). Imagining a tail extending out from your tailbone is a fabulous, easy visualization to help you figure out where your spine, sacrum, coccyx, and pelvic floor are in space.


The spine has 4 natural curves and is shaped like an "S". With a "tail up" position, these curves are maintained. With a "tail down" position, the low back and neck curves become reversed and the spine becomes shaped like a "C." In standing and in sitting, a "C" curve is bad news, so lift your tail and restore your spine's natural "S" shape.

When we stand, we only have two points of contact with the ground – our left foot and right foot. Now imagine that you are a T-rex and visualize a tail that extends back from your tailbone, so long the tip of it contacts the ground. Just like before, you want your tail lifted, not tucked between your legs. Now, you have three points of contact with the ground. A tripod is a very stable structure to stand on! Visualizing your "tail" contacting the ground improves your standing balance. Now, lift one of your feet as you keep visualizing the tip of your tail on the ground. Before, standing on one leg meant only one point of contact, but with your tail on the ground behind you, you have two points of contact. This visualization technique increases your stability and balance as you walk, run, and do any type of activity that challenges your balance (this visualization is used in the martial arts).


Relaxed pelvic floor muscles (= tail up) promote good digestive health. When the pelvic floor muscles are tight and tense, they send a subconscious message to the brain telling the digestive system to slow down, because the exit of the digestive tract (the pelvic floor/anal sphincter) is closed. In addition, in the C-curve (= tail down) posture, the abdominal muscles become tight and tense as well, which impairs digestion. A soft, relaxed abdominal wall allows the intestines to move, promoting good digestion. Lift your tail for digestive health!


We know that body language expresses emotions (in both dogs and humans). When you feel sad or depressed, what posture does your body naturally assume? A C-curved spine with face down, your chest (heart) closed off and protected, and your tail between your legs. When you feel happy and confident, what posture expresses those emotions? An S-curved spine, with face up, your chest (heart) open and presented to the world, and your tail lifted. Body language expresses emotions, but body language can also influence emotions. Consciously lifting your tail brings your chest and face up and forward, which can positively affect your mood.

"Where's your tail?" is a great question to keep asking yourself, over and over, during all of your daily activities and exercises. Think of the happy dogs (and the T-rexes). Visualize your long tail, keep your tail lifted, and use that to improve your posture, balance, digestive health, and emotions!
When sex hurts, the problem is usually more than skin-deep. The culprit is often a web of interconnected factors involving the muscles, tissues, joints, bones, nerves, and skin.

Pelvic floor physical therapy, education and support can unravel this web of pain. 🎉

Mark your calendars! 📅 Starting on Saturday, January 15th from 10-11am, CTS will resume our in-person Women's Pelvic Pain Support Group!

This support group will be held monthly on the third Saturday of each month from 10-11am at our Sorrento Valley location. 🏢

Every meeting will start with a brief educational session. 📚 Arrive to our next session at 10am to participate in a discussion on the anatomy of the pelvic floor muscles and how these muscles may play a role in your pain.

We meet in a private and confidential environment to discuss sensitive women's health issues related to pelvic pain.

If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pelvic pain, interstitial cystitis, pain during sex, or other pelvic floor dysfunction, please join our group! We welcome all who identify as women 💃 to join us and be part of the discussion.

Contact Anne for more info - 858-457-8419 or anne@comprehensivetherapy.com 📧
CTS Move of the Month - December 2021:
Where's Your Tail Visualizations with Movement
Click the thumbnail images below to watch Katherine display these helpful "Where's My Tail" visualizations with movement!
Where's Your Tail? HANDS AND KNEES
Where's Your Tail? STANDING
Where's Your Tail? SITTING

comprehensivetherapy.com / (858) 457-8419 / Open Monday-Friday 7am-7pm