If you have been to Exhale you would have experienced a handy helper near the toilet.
No, not an attendant offering you a warm moist towelette, mascara and perfume, I’m referring to the Squatty Potty! The Squatty Potty has been a permanent fixture at Exhale since we opened our doors 2 years ago. Some of you have purchased one for home use and for those of you who haven’t, Yet, I’m now going to convince you why squatting is better than sitting.
It’s a pretty simply concept really. When we stand up or sit down there is a sort of kink or “S” bend at the bottom of our colons that help us stop pooping at any random moment, which is a good thing. Sitting down to poop means that the muscles in the gut have to strain to push excrement around the bend in the bowels. When we sit down to have a number 2, the puborectalis muscle bends. When we squat the muscle relaxes and straightens out. See I told you this was a simple concept.
We’ve all seen a toddler or two hiding in the corner, squatting and leaving a surprise in their diaper for Mum or Dad. Squatting is natural, no one told the toddler to squat, they just know. Dogs, cats, elephants and monkeys all squat to poop, we really should have been paying better attention.
Here are few other good reasons to have a squat:
- In the squatting position, gravity does most of the work. The weight of the torso presses against the thighs and naturally compresses the colon. Gentle pressure from the diaphragm supplements the force of gravity.
- Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle, allowing the anorectal angle to straighten and the bowel to empty completely.
- Squatting lifts the sigmoid colon to unlock the “kink” at the entrance to the rectum. This kink also helps prevent incontinence, by taking some of the pressure off the puborectalis muscle.
- The colon is equipped with an inlet valve (the ileocecal valve) and an outlet valve (the puborectalis muscle). Squatting simultaneously closes the inlet valve, to keep the small intestine clean, and opens the outlet valve, to allow wastes to pass freely. The sitting position defeats the purpose of both valves, making elimination difficult and incomplete, and soiling the small intestine.
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum. When we’re standing or sitting the bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. The sitting posture actually keeps us in ‘continence mode’. We thank our lucky stars for this muscle when we don’t want to go but when we need to go, and sit on our toilet to do it – it sure makes elimination difficult and incomplete, creating the need to STRAIN.
By age 50, about half of adults have had to deal with the itching, discomfort and bleeding that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids. The veins around your anus tend to stretch under pressure and may bulge or swell. Swollen veins — hemorrhoids — can develop from an increase in pressure in the lower rectum.
THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT HEMORRHOIDS…
Hemorrhoids can heal without relapse when the squat posture is adopted for bowel movements.
Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.
Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!
PELVIC FLOOR ISSUES
A 2008 study by Kaiser Permanente published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that one-third of women suffer from one or more pelvic floor disorders. In addition, aging, obesity, and childbirth increase the likelihood of experiencing these issues. Although pelvic floor disorders are more common in women, men also suffer from similar symptoms; the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey reports that nearly one in every five men ages 60 and older experience incontinence.
A network of ligaments, muscles and connective tissues, the pelvic floor acts as a “hammock” to support the pelvic organs, including the bladder and rectum – and in women, the uterus and vagina. Pelvic floor disorders, also called pelvic floor dysfunction, occur in both men and women when muscles and nerves in this area become damaged or weakened, causing the pelvic organs to prolapse (drop), which can lead to symptoms such as constipation and fecal and urinary incontinence.
“Most pelvic floor disorders are tied to the de-evolution of our normal evolutionary biology,” said Dr. Jack Kruse, optimal health coach and Nashville, Tenn.-based neurosurgeon specializing in treating chronic pain, neck pain and back pain. “By correcting our bathroom posture, the Squatty Potty can be a huge help to people suffering from these health problems. Not only is the Squatty Potty aesthetically pleasing, but it also makes a tremendous amount of sense with how we should eliminate.”
I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed this post and are wondering “how can I get my hands on a Squatty Potty?” Have no fear, I have them at Exhale. Get in touch and your squatting worries will be no more!