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How Clean Are Your Bowels? The Squatty Potty Revolution
This entry was posted on 25/01/2013.
In the past doctors have told us that to have a healthy bowel you must eat plenty of fibre to help keep things moving. It's true that fibre keeps our stools soft and makes them easier to pass, but medical professionals are increasingly believing that it's not just diet that makes a healthy bowel; it's the way we poo. Squatty Potty is set to change the nation uses the loo to make our bowels as healthy as possible.
Humans have been anatomically designed to squat for a number two. Just the same as any other animal, squatting allows complete and natural defecation. But since the prevalence of the modern toilet, which makes using the loo far more comfortable, we've been doing unseen damage to our bodies by straining to defecate and failing to completely empty our guts.
Our bodies are naturally programmed to remain in continence mode all the time, otherwise we'd have endless accidents. When in continence mode, the puborectalis muscle chokes the rectum and holds faeces inside. When sitting, standing, laid down or walking around, this powerful muscle keeps everything inside. It is only when we squat, with knees raised above our hips, that the puborectalis releases the rectum and allows defecation.
So, how many of us squat to poo?! Not many, because we're used to the comfort of the sit-down number two. When sitting though, the body remains in continence mode with that strong puborectalis muscle choking the rectum. This makes it difficult to eliminate waste, and we end up straining to push the faeces past the puborectalis muscle.
This can do damage in a whole host of ways. Straining puts pressure on the muscles and blood vessels around your rectum. Over time this begins to damage the muscles which could lead eventually to lack of control and in the worst case scenario, faecal incontinence. Plus, pressure on the blood vessels leads to haemorrhoids, a painful condition where the blood vessels protrude from the skin. Then there's our pelvic floor; excessive straining puts pressure on these muscles and weakens them, and weak pelvic floor muscles lead to bladder weakness and urinary incontinence.
But straining isn't the only problem. When our bodies are not fully in elimination mode it is unlikely that the bowels are completely emptied and faeces begins to build up. This can then harden and lead to constipation, which causes bloating and severe discomfort and means even more excessive straining in order to pass it. Built-up faeces in the bowel also prevents our bodies from fully absorbing all the nutrients in our food, which makes us feel tired, sluggish and prone to illness as we're not getting all the necessary good stuff to keep our bodies going.
There are also links to excess faeces leading to IBS, bowel disease, appendicitis and even bowel cancer. Where faeces gets stuck the surface of the bowel can become irritated and inflamed, and can lead to infection; appendicitis occurs when hard stool becomes trapped within the appendix and causes infection and severe swelling.
It's interesting to note that since 1900, when sit-down toilets became increasingly popular, colon cancer has climbed the list from 37th place to become the second most common cancer. Plus, most bowel cancer cases occur in the large colon and rectal area where faeces tends to build up, rather than in the small intestine. Both of these facts suggest that incomplete defecation may be a major contributing factor to bowel cancer.
So with so many health risks occurring from sitting on the loo, it's really important that you adopt the squatting position instead. The toilet is a very Western invention but in Asia and Africa it's the norm to see squat toilets. It may seem unnatural or a little gross, but actually it's the healthy way to do your business. In the Western world we need to revert back to the natural squatting position, and Squatty Potty can help.
The Edwards family from Utah, USA, came up with an ingenious concept in 2010 when Judy had bowel-related health problems. She was advised by her doctor to raise her feet when using the loo so that she would be closer to the natural squatting position and would have easier, more comfortable and healthier bowel movements. After the inconvenience of stacking up books and cans to achieve this, Judy's son Robert decided to build a simple platform for her instead. The Squatty Potty was created.
Seeing for themselves the incredible benefits, the Edwards family began to do some in depth research about the perfect squatting position, and after speaking to specialists across the country they realised just how much Squatty Potty could improve the health and well-being of everybody, whether they had an existing medical condition or not. From then the success of Squatty Potty has been incredible with over 10,000 units being sold across the world in 2012 alone.
Squatty Potty is ergonomically designed to store conveniently beneath the bowel of the toilet and be pulled out when needed. It is sturdy and durable, and lifts your feet up so that your legs are a 35ᵒ angle from your back, the optimal squatting position rather than 90ᵒ in the sitting position.
The idea is that when sat on the loo you put your feet on Squatty Potty and lean forward gently, pushing your abdomen into your thighs. This gently supports your abdominal muscles, straightens your anorectal angle so that faeces doesn't get stuck, and relaxes the puborectalis muscle to prevent straining. This allows you to enjoy the comfort of a sit-down poo and have a complete bowel movement, but expert squatters who have good muscle control in their legs may be able to completely lean forwards so that their bottom is not even sat on the toilet seat.
Squatty Potty is the perfect solution for people who have bowel cancer or disease, chronic constipation or painful haemorrhoids who find it painful or impossible to use the loo. In fact, Squatty Potty can help to completely clear the bowels of someone suffering from constipation, and can dramatically reduce the severity of piles as it massively reduces the amount of pressure on the blood vessels.
It's also a huge help for disabled people who are prone to constipation as a result of using taller toilets for easier access from a wheelchair. The taller a toilet is, the more unnatural the position for defecating and the more difficult it is to eliminate waste. Squatty Potty allows disabled people to achieve the effective squatting position and find relief from persistent constipation and discomfort.
The health benefits of squatting rather than sitting are endless. Squatting aids dieting as it helps to clear the body of toxins and encourage effective absorption of nutrients from food. Detox diets and colonic irrigation, both popular dieting aids, can often be too harsh and cause dehydration and even perforation of the bowel, but Squatty Potty allows complete elimination in a natural and safe manner. Efficiently emptying your bowels also helps to prevent bloating and keeps your stomach flat, plus if you become an experienced squatter and use SquattyPotty to help you squat over the toilet without touching the seat at all, you'll really tone up your bum and thighs.
Squatty Potty could even improve your sex life. Constipation and bloating as a result of incomplete defecation can cause the colon to expand and sag downwards, putting pressure on the vaginal wall and making sex painful or even impossible. By clearing your bowel with a healthy squat you can prevent this problem. Both men and women have reported that constipation puts them off sex, as they feel uncomfortable, letharthgic and simply not in the mood. Complete bowel movements will clear your body of toxins, reduce bloating and allow you to get more energy out your food, making you more inclined to have some fun in the bedroom.
Plus, squatting relieves pressure from your pelvic floor by reducing straining and preventing the colon from pressing down onto the muscles. It also causes your pelvic floor muscles to work to support your abdomen, helping to keep them strong and toned. A tight, toned pelvic floor means bladder weakness is reduced, sexual sensation is improved and your core abdominal muscles are strong, giving you a flatter tummy. So you may not look your best when squatting over the loo, but you'll look and feel trimmer, more toned and so much healthier.
Pregnant women will find a whole host of benefits with Squatty Potty. Not only will it reduce haemorrhoids, which is a common affliction during pregnancy, but it also takes a huge amount of pressure off the uterus compared to sitting on the loo. Plus, it helps to strengthen the lower body, builds up power in the uterus and pelvic floor muscles and prepares the body for a natural birth free of complications.
Following on from pregnancy, many people have reported that SquattyPotty is a great toilet-training aid for young children. Encouraging your child to use the loo can be difficult as the tall, looming toilet can seem a little intimidating compared to the little potty that they're used to. Squatty Potty offers a welcome platform for kids to rest their feet on as they're getting used to the grown-up toilet. Plus, by encouraging them to use Squatty Potty from a young age you are preparing them for a lifetime of healthy squatting and happy bowels.
Squatting has so many health benefits that it seems ridiculous that we put our bodies through so much torture with the modern sit-down toilet. For healthy bowels we need to go back basics and adopt the position that our bodies are designed for, and Squatty Potty allows you to do exactly that without losing the comfort and luxury of the western loo. It's taking over America and soon enough it will take over the UK too.