Is laughing no laughing matter? Comedy & Continence.
Elaine Miller is a physiotherapist and recovered incontinent with a hobby of stand up comedy – so she’s written a Fringe show in response to her patients’ cries of “Oh, don’t make me laugh, the tears are running down my leg”.
“Gusset Grippers” is a comedy show about the female pelvic floor – what it is, why it goes wrong, how to fix it and why having a good one is smashing.
1:3 women aged 35-55 wet themselves when they laugh. Most don’t seek help, which is a shame, as most cases of simple stress incontinence can be cured by doing pelvic floor exercises.
Elaine’s aim is to burst the taboo around incontinence by presenting evidence based practice in an entertaining way.
Incontinence is a barrier to exercise, is associated with mental health problems, sexual dysfunctions, hip fractures in older women who get out of bed to pee and slip in a puddle, and of course, the wider health issues associated with inactivity – like heart disease which kills 1:5 Scottish women. Who won’t do zumba, because they’ll pish themselves.
Audience members leave the show with an information sheet, exercise sheet, bladder diary, twitter link (@gussiegrips – when I tweet, you twitch your twinkle) and the option of filling out a questionnaire at 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months. That data will be used for Elaine’s study examining whether compliance is enhanced when pelvic floor exercises are presented informally and followed up with daily reminders to #doyerblardyexercises.
Obviously, no one is asked to share personal experiences, and knickers are strictly kept on. Vaginal prolapse is demonstrated by Elaine’s knitted vagina and crocheted birthing doll. Yep. You read that right. Rude knitting, fanny pad adverts and scatological humour. She’s not your average physio.
Gusset Grippers is part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival and runs between 1-24th August, 1200-1300 at The Newsroom (venue 93) 5-11 Leith St. Free, non-ticketed. PG.