When it comes to the bathroom, things can get a bit complicated. It’s no secret that the modern American diet is greatly lacking in real food and is laden with preservatives, chemicals, and far too little nutrition. If you couple that with 40+ hours of pure stress at the office, and the sedentary lifestyle that a lot of us lead, it’s not always a smooth move when it comes to potty time.
However, there may be another reason things aren’t moving along like they should—something totally unrelated to diet, exercise, and stress. It’s your toilet. Yup, your toilet is a big problem. Sure, it’s a comfy little convenient thing, but it’s not helping you as much as you think. When I was 18, my mom and I traveled to Sri Lanka for hurricane Katrina relief. The hotel we stayed in was westernized, but on the job site it was completely when in Rome, and Rome’s toilet was a hole in the ground surrounded by an unstable wooden shack. In the two weeks we were there, I never did master the proper balancing technique. It’s hard to brace yourself while squatting and not pee on your shorts at the same time! I was so glad when we got home that I could comfortably sit on a normal toilet. Boy was I silly!
You see, long before the modern toilet was invented, humans relied on the power of the squat to help them go. In fact, that is exactly how our bodies are designed to effectively remove waste. Inside your tummy, wrapped around your rectum, is a slingshot looking muscle called the Puborectalis. When you sit, the puborectalis pinches the rectum, keeping it from releasing all the waste properly. However, when you squat, this action relaxes the muscle and allows you to have a complete bowel movement without strain. Pretty crazy, huh? Turns out that we had it right before the invention of the porcelain throne.
Even if you eat a plant based diet, exercise 3 – 5 times a week, and have the job of your dreams, if you’re not in the right position, you won’t be able to effectively eliminate waste like you should. Take a look at this:
Makes sense, huh? There are a few products out there such as stools and pillows that help you get into the ideal position with the right pressure to help you go, but there are ways to get the benefits without shelling out a bunch of dough. Next time you head for the john, grab a short box, step stool, or heck, turn your bathroom garbage can on it’s side and prop your feet up! You will be amazed at the difference!