Lets talk about constipation and IBS
Yep, let’s discuss poop. I’ve always been a three times a day girl. In the morning. If I only go twice, that’s ok. If just the once I feel unfinished, and heaven help us if I don’t go at all. Major grumpiness! Constipation can be a problem for many with varying degrees of blockage, and us Brits hate talking about it!
I have always enjoyed my morning ablutions. A way of getting rid of the residue of food your body doesn’t need. After it has taken out all the nutrients what remains is the poo. The consistency varies depending on your diet. Back in the 90s Gillian McKeith became famous for her book ‘You Are What You Eat’. As a salon owner always looking for the underlying reason why a client would have a problematic skin, this book was quite a breakthrough. It caused a bit of a stir too, as Gillian didn’t mind talking about the consistency of poo either. As Brits, we are rather stuffy about such chat.
No one likes being asked about their ablutions.
There are so many more holistic therapists, nutritionalists and naturopaths out there these days, and lets face it, we all know so much more than we used to, with the advent of social media and the #EatClean campaigning, we are much more aware of how our bodies can get blocked and sluggish. We often blame a day of ‘not going’ with too much white bread, pasta, or pizza. We say we feel bloated and we then grab a handful of seeds and nuts to push things along a bit. If we only just ate a balanced diet we would stay ‘regular’, but lifestyle can upset things and sometimes we have a few days of blockage!
It’s those plane journeys that upset me!
For me, travelling does it. Total stop in all systems. If I don’t go, then I’m not hungry either. Grumpy and needing nutrients. Not good! It can be caused by the time difference, not being able to use a clean loo at the time your body is used to or just different food from different cultures.
Travelling through airports causes all sorts of issues from eating fast food, and food we aren’t used to in. The drying environment on the plane also causes dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water your poo will be dehydrated and it gets stuck! Simple really.
Some people who travel a lot get used to a constantly changing routine and can just go as and when they need to. My husband can do that. Lucky. For me, being a three times every morning girl, I take a day or two to adjust. Like he says, ‘you don’t travel well do you?’.
If your skin is congested, then so is your bowel.
The elimination of waste is so important for general health and for me from a therapist point of view, for the skin! That’s why one of those questions on your consultation form relates to your bowels. People often find it odd that I ask, but if skin is congested, it’s more often than not caused by a congested bowel. The skin is a massive organ in your body, and it’s on the outside. It eliminates waste too, so anything not being pooped out can come out of the skin.
There are tips to keep things moving when travelling:
Drink more water.
Consciously eat less processed food a couple of days before travel. (That is if you eat any normally)
Up your fibre before you travel. Have an extra apple or even a few prunes, or take some muesli bars with you.
Yoga. This really helps. Seated twists will help squeeze the gut and encourage it to keep on moving!
Breathe. Deep breath work while travelling pushes your diaphragm down and your gut will get a little massage.
One thing that I have discovered recently and I am telling everyone about it…. Squat!
This rather odd video was doing the rounds on Face Book last year and I was quite shocked that this is such a simple thing, so why isn’t this taught from a young age? Why am I nearly 50 and have only just realised? If people in the western world invented the loo, and we have a high rate of bowel cancer when Eastern countries don’t, we should look at this. Children are potty trained and they are pretty much in a squatting position on the floor.
When we get older and use the loo, we sit. Sitting squashes the bowel by creating a kink. To add to the problem, when we can’t ‘go’, what do we do? We sit forwards with a book, the newspaper (or our phones!) and we wait. We are even more squashed. Then we are running out of time so we strain. We strain, while sitting forwards. If you sit back and raise your knees, the kink in your bowel opens, and eureka! Poop!
They say there have been studies with scientists looking at the speed of bowel evacuation in people who squat and those who sit. I don’t need to see the studies, I’ve been doing this for about a year now, and I just wish I had known before! No straining, less risk of piles, IBS and any other bowel disorders. Let it out but changing your pooping position! Personally I don’t need to buy a purpose built step (I can lift my knees up anyway – all this yoga!) but you can get them from Amazon. – sadly not with the unicorn!
The subject of poo is a massive one!
I’ve recently been reading a great book by Guilia Enders simply called GUT.
Written is quirky way, with no confusing medical jargon, and there are even cartoon images, to amuse you and make you feel like it’s ok to talk about it. If you want to know more about how the whole gut works, it’s well worth a read. She explains the Bristol Stool Chart too. You all thought Gillian was the first to publish the size and weights of poop? No, it’s been around a while. We can learn so much about the individuals health from their poo.
Your gut has a great deal of work to do while we just carry on with our day. Finely tuned and reactive to all sorts of environment issues, it carries on doing what it’s programmed to do. Until something upsets the routine. Then it gets confused and ‘backs up’. Treat it with respect. Think about it….. and squat!