If you aren’t pooping, you aren’t eliminating toxins. Stagnation in the digestive tract leads to a buildup of waste in our bodies. Without elimination we recycle toxins like excess hormones, pollutants, old cell fragments and other detritus. Constipation can make us feel bad physically and emotionally. Before you reach for a laxative, be sure to try these constipation relief tricks first.
Most of you are probably familiar with the benefits of massage. What you may not know is that the benefits of massage aren’t confined to your muscles. Abdominal massage can be a game-changer for those of us with uncooperative digestive systems.
Abdominal massage is a massage technique that focuses on the gut as a whole. Abdominal massage increases blood flow to your stomach and intestines. Abdominal massage helps keep you regular, alleviates bloating and even reduces stress. Creating a relaxation response will also help get things moving. It is best to go to a licensed massage therapist that knows how to massage abdominal tissue. We recommend the Mayan Massage at Mecca Spa. You may also consider seeing our favorite Rolfer, Norma. One friend saw her two years after her second child was born and her digestive system seemed off. Norma discovered the friend’s stomach was still displaced after birth. She was able to shift her organs into place and the friend felt instant relief!
Pop a Squat
The modern day toilet is convenient, but has one major fault; it requires us to sit. While sitting to do our business may be considered “civilized," studies show the natural squat position improves our ability to eliminate. Better elimination may decrease many modern day ailments including bloating, straining, hemorrhoids and constipation. Enter, the SquattyPotty. Now you can squat in a civilized manner and eliminate with ease. Every toilet needs a SquattyPotty!
Sometimes stagnation of our digestive system is related to our own physical stagnation. We spend long hours sitting down at the office or in class. Using our brains and facing stress all day can make you physically exhausted, leading to more physical stagnation. A 20-30 minute walk every day can boost oxygen to the brain and give your guts an internal massage that will lead to movement. Better yet, try a yoga class or hit the gym for your favorite class. Exercise doesn’t have to be torture. In fact, it is best if you find a movement that you really enjoy. Finding pleasure in movement leads to relaxation and combats stress head-on, it also leads to more, well... movements.
Fiber works by both bulking up the stool and retaining water. In addition, bacteria help digest the fiber which produces healthy ingredients for the colon such as short chain fatty acids. We encourage clients to eat 8 or more servings of vegetables every day. One serving of veggies is 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked. We teach creative and tasty ways to fit more veggies and fiber into your diet. Getting your fiber through whole foods also provides many other nutrients and minerals that you can’t get through a fiber supplement.
You probably know it is important to drink water. But how much? You should be drinking at least half your weight in ounces each day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you need at least 75 ounces. If you have intense workouts or spend more time in the sun, you need even more. Your urine should have a slight yellow hue to it. If your urine is clear then you can back off the water for a bit until color returns. If you like to jazz up your beverages try steeping non-caffeinated herbal teas, like hibiscus, for added flavor and no-added sugar. Keep a big water bottle with you so you can keep track of your intake. We love HydroFlask.
Constipation happens to the best of us time to time. However, if you try these tricks and still have difficulty eliminating at least once a day, you may need to see Path Nutrition or your doctor to explore an underlying cause. Book a free consultation to see how Path Nutrition can help with chronic constipation.