Bowel Movements: An Embarrassing (Yet Important) Topic

A western style toilet.

Discussing bowel movements is such a funny thing. It’s a taboo topic, yet going to the bathroom is something that we all do every single day of our lives (hopefully). Because it is so common, and infrequently mentioned, we often think that there’s no reason to improve our technique. After all, at this stage in our lives, aren’t we all pretty much experts on the subject? And, even if we’re not, the most of us don’t really want to talk about excrement. I think I’d rather have a frank discussion of politics, religion, and how much I weigh.

Although it’s awkward, this is one subject that we really should spend some time contemplating. Yes, there is a better way to have a bowel movement, and most of us don’t even know it. There may be a healthier technique to relieving yourself than the one you are using right now. 

If you stop and take some time to think about it, how do we usually learn how to do things better? One of the most effective ways is by watching other people who excel, and copying their methods, or by watching people fail and resolving to not repeat their mistakes. Not so with bowel movements. We rarely (if ever) watch another person while they relieve themself, and if we see some sort of “toilet humor” in a movie, it’s almost certainly not designed to be helpful. 

So, does technique really matter? As long as you are not stopped up, is there really a “wrong” way to do it? After all, this is not an Olympic sport. We’re all doing it as soon as we’re born. Well, as it turns out there is a wrong way to go to the bathroom. You see, squatting to relieve yourself is much better for your body than sitting. When we are standing the muscles in our body work to keep the matter in our colons, where it’s stored. When we sit down, those muscles are only partially relaxed. Squatting essentially straightens out our colon and uses gravity to assist in elimation. 

A man with hemorrhoids.  Experts have argued that sitting down and pushing can cause digestive problems like colitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids. It has been shown that there is a direct correlation between the development of hemorrhoids and the amount of time we spend on the toilet.

In Asia, Africa, and parts of Europe squatting is the normal way that people eliminate waste. Even public restrooms offer these squatting toilets. What seems so “natural” to those of us who live in Western society, is foreign to most of the rest of the world. Western toilets are mostly designed around form and efficiency, rather than encouraging proper elimination protocol. We choose our “throne” based on how it looks, rather than how its abilities. 

So to sum up, squatting is faster, easier, and more healthful. However, this is one fight you just can’t win. Society frowns upon shoes on the public toilet seat, and if you fall off and hit your head, the paramedics are going to give you some very strange looks. The answer to this problem is to learn how to mimic squatting by leaning forward slightly when you use the facilities. This will help your body stretch out properly. If you have any other questions, talk to your Chiropractor. Healthy body mechanics is their specialty. And while it may be a blush-worthy topic, it’s one we all share an interest in. 

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.