So you’ve tried changing your diet by getting rid of processed foods, adding more fiber, and drinking more water. You’re taking your probiotics and you’ve tried some supplementation.
But you’re still having issues?
In this article, I’m going to talk about some alternative solutions to constipation that aren’t often talked about.
It’s best to incorporate many different modalities into your lifestyle because the issues you’re having are probably not caused by any one thing, but rather an accumulation of habits.
I know this is one people hear a lot but I don’t find that most people take it seriously. The human body needs movement to function properly. It supports all our body systems.
Personally, yoga has been what has really got me back on track recently. I had changed my diet by removing sugar, grains, and dairy. I was taking probiotics. I was drinking 65+ ounces of water every day. But until I started practicing yoga and doing breathing exercises, I was only half-healed.
Which makes sense since I was only half-assing the requirements of my body.
I know the word exercising can be scary or maybe it just doesn’t sound fun.
Go for a daily walk. Dance! Hike! Bike! If you want to try yoga, Yoga with Adriene is fantastic for beginners. Adriene is easy-going, funny, and adorable. No fancy props needed. Here’s a 30-day practice you can try that I’m doing right now. You’ve got nothing to lose because it’s free!
If you’re looking for specific poses that help with digestion, there are yoga videos for that too.
I know that in modern society, sometimes it’s not always convenient to take a bathroom break. Maybe you’re out with friends, or you’re in a meeting or you’re traveling. We have a tendency to put it off and ignore the signals our body is sending us.
This is actually training your body to stop sending the signals because they often go ignored. You may end up not being able to feel when you have to go causing constipation.
To help remedy this, we can start to retrain ourselves to feel the signals again. It would be helpful to keep a record of the times of your bowel movements as well as all the food and drinks you consume.
Then you’ll pick a time of the day when it’s most convenient for you to go to the bathroom. Sit on the toilet for 15 minutes at that time of day, every day. Don’t sit for longer than 20 minutes.
To learn more about bowel retraining you can read about it here and perhaps work with your doctor to figure out what’s best for you.
Also, I find that it helps to do directed breathing exercises for relaxation while on the toilet. Find an app that will guide you. Bodily stress is something that you’ll have to learn to regulate to help things go smoothly!
Sometimes when we need a little help clearing things out it helps to assume a certain position on the toilet.
The toilet is a very new invention and it puts us in an unhealthy and ineffective position for elimination. Sitting at a 90-degree angle actually pinches off your rectum, which obviously makes it more difficult to have a bowel movement.
Humans historically speaking would assume the flat-footed or primal squat position when they had to go. This actually relaxes the puborectalis muscle that is wrapped around the rectum, allowing things to move through more easily.
Of course, not many of us are pooping outside where this pose would be more accessible. What can help you achieve the 35-degree angle (or less) squat we’re looking for is a little stool. No not that kind.
You put it at the base of your toilet and put your feet up on the platform. This one is special because it has rolling massagers for your feet so you can work the pressure points that correlate to digestion! So not only are you relaxing your puborectalis muscle by propping up your feet to the proper angle, but you’re also practicing foot reflexology.
Take a look at the charts here to see what areas on the foot you can focus on to get relief from constipation, stress, and many other things stuck in the body.
The Oculocardiac Reflex
There is a way to help your body get into a parasympathetic state, or rest and digest. Watch this video for instruction on a super simple way to attain this.
Aligning Body and Mind
To relieve constipation it’s important to understand the body-mind connection. Deep breathing, relieving stress, calming the nervous system, moving the body to improve the functions of all your bodily systems – these are all ways to work with the body to support healthy functioning.
Eliminating toxins on a daily basis is critical to health. If you’re constipated it means that there are toxins that are recirculating in your body because you’re not able to get rid of your waste.
There is no judgment here! My body has the same tendency and I am always working to keep myself regular. We all have different issues that we are inclined to. What’s important is that you are now taking steps to get things back on track.
Let me know in the comments if there are any alternative remedies that work for you that I missed, or if you’ve tried any of the ones I mentioned with any success.