Your life does not have to revolve around planning your next trip to the bathroom, feeling weighed down by bloat and abdominal discomfort, or constantly trying the next “clean” diet to get your insides to behave. Constipation is shown in research to bother up to 80% of us, and it can have a massive impact on pelvic floor health, social activities, concentration, and overall quality of life. Get a start on these simple tools to get a grasp on your constipation and step away from bathroom troubles!
Invest in a Squatty Potty
Having a quick, no-hassle bowel movement is all about positioning. The reason positioning is so important has to do with our pelvic floor muscles and alignment of the back passage. Using a posture that increases hip flexion – think knees above hips and leaning forward AKA a squat – helps relax the pelvic floor muscles and straighten the colorectal angle. In particular, we are “slackening” the puborectalis muscle that otherwise acts as a tight rubber band to “kink” off the rectum. If you don’t have a squatty potty, there are many simple solutions:
- Buy a squatty potty
- Use a step stool or turn the trashcan over/on its side
- Find anything you can put your feet on – books, boxes, towels…
Stop Straining, Start Breathing
Are you getting the urge to poop but then you sit on the toilet and just do everything you can to get it out? Well, here is an easier trick when things get stuck: stop holding your breath and take advantage of it instead! The pelvic floor muscles lengthen and relax with our natural rhythm of breathing. When taking a breath in, the pelvic floor muscles spread away with the help of our diaphragm. Then we can use a gentle breath out like blowing on birthday candles to use a bit of pressure to spread those muscles just a bit further and open the back passage. Check out the video below for all you visual learners!
Craft a Better Stool
If you want to have the best poop of your life day after day, the number one thing you must do is craft a better stool. Now this takes time and effort to have long-term results, but you can most certainly get started with a great supplement and one simple modification. Magnesium citrate is almost always a supplement we recommend to our clients. It helps draw water into the intestines and move things along. We not only need things to keep moving inside the colon, but we need things to be soft and hydrated. You should always consult with your doctor before adding supplements, but magnesium is generally safe in low doses for most folks. The next thing to do is CHEW your food. CHEW your food. One more time, CHEW your food. During your next meal, count how many times you chew one bit. Then double it, for EACH bite. Digestion starts with chewing and lessens the work needing to happen further down in the colon for you to poop. It’s as simple as that.
How many of these tools are you already implementing? Even one of these can make a big difference, but adding all of them to your routine will make magic happen!
If you still find yourself dealing with constipation, feeling bleh because you can’t get it out of your system, and tired of trying one thing to the next, give our office a call today to discuss how our team can help you find a consistent solution.