Saturday, February 04, 2006

Squat on the Pot for Health

Those who aspire to longevity
Must keep their bowels clean;
Those who wish to delay death
must keep their bowels unobstructed.

Taoist writer Ko Hung

Have you ever bonded with the bears and mountain lions by leaving your own scat track in your local forest? If you have it was probably one of the most satisfying and facile releases you’ve ever had. Not only because you were miles from a toilet and the sense of urgency prompted you to use the forest instead, but also because you were probably squatting during the procedure.

In 1998 I visited England for a mixed volleyball and tourist trip. While there we browsed one of the monarchy’s old castles and I remember the exhibit and story of the creation of the “first toilet”. The story went that the inventor of today’s common flush toilet was a member of the royal family who believed that royalty should be sitting on a throne even while pissing and shitting. Leave it to royalty to create one of society’s greatest bowel blockers.

While sitting on the toilet, the lower end of the colon is bent upwards, meanwhile the feces must exit downwards. This requires that when defecating, the muscles of the colon must put out an extra effort in order to evacuate the bowels. If the person already tends toward constipation and the feces are hard, this usually results in grunting and pushing, or sitting on the pot for several minutes reading while the feces come out in waves. All that pushing breaks capillaries, provokes hemorroids and the inability of the colon to evacuate all its remnants (autotoxicity follows).

Squatting on the toilet (or in the woods if you prefer) on the other hand points the colon and rectum in the downward direction, aiding the colon muscles so they don’t have to overcome gravity in order to evacuate. As a result the colon muscles don’t have to work so had and the feces exit smoothly, easily and entirely, in one movement of the colon. If you just have an inkling of a BM coming on, you’ll find that the squatting position itself will bring it on full force and allow you to evacuate fully.

When squatting on the toilet with shoes on, lift the seat and stand with one foot on each side of the rim. Squat down with your knees to your chest. Hold on to the toilet paper holder to keep your balance if you must. (I haven’t fallen in yet!) This technique is great at home, and has resolved the conundrum of sitting on a public toilet seat in case of needing to defecate.

In Europe this is easier, as many public toilets are of the Turkish style, which consists of a hole in the floor. Squatting over this type of toilet is the traditional way of using it, and indeed most of the rest of the world and the animal kingdom squats when defecating.

Yes, there are many other factors in resolving and avoiding constipation that must be taken into consideration as well: diet, exercise, the amount and type of water drank, food intolerances and gastro-intestinal function. Squatting on the toilet is one more thing that can help keep the colon clear, which helps keep the whole body blockage (disease) free.


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