Ever wonder why toddlers find a quiet, private spot and squat to poop?
Healthy muscles silently do their job by allowing our body’s systems to function without interruption or symptoms of bother. BUT if our muscles are not integrating and firing in a coordinated way, we may experience signs or symptoms that are clues for us to take action on. Did you know that you have a collection of muscles in your pelvic floor that need to have just the right amount of tone to relax and allow for the passage of your poop? If these pelvic floor muscles are tight, then smooth and efficient evacuation will be unnecessarily difficult.
Constipation is not a normal and balanced state of the body. Although constipation in COMMON, it is NOT normal. Constipation is merely a symptom, not a diagnosis, of an underlying imbalance in the body. Constipation ranges from infrequent elimination, ineffective or incomplete evacuation, to a difficulty passing dry stools or a combination of the aforementioned. The reasons for constipation are varied and numerous and it is my job as a Naturopathic Doctor to uncover the reasons for infrequent or ineffective evacuation.
We often think to look to food sensitivities, lack of hydration, lack of fibre, and a lack of physical activity and blood flow to the pelvis as common culprits for constipation and those are great places to start. But what about the mechanics of your colon, pelvic floor, and sphincter tone? In combination with exploring food sensitivities, and fluid and fibre intake, take a closer look at your toilet mechanics – kind of like being ergonomically correct for the bathroom instead of your work/school desk. Did you know there is an optimal position for pooping? Did you know that rushing to poop in a flight/fight/freeze mode will NOT work efficiently when we are trying to relax the pelvic muscles to release stool?
To work on relaxing the pelvic floor try the following in addition to a closer look at your food and fluid intake:
Squatty potty (or a stool that will elevate your knees above your hips)– keep your knees elevated above your knees to allow the large intestine and colon to align with a maximally relaxed pelvic floor.
Mindful toileting: follow the AIRBAG mnemonic in Shelly’s video to start taking your time in the bathroom.
By: Dr. Carly Wendler ND
Dr. Carly Wendler, Naturopathic Doctor is now Level 1 certified in pelvic health therapy for assessing and treating incontinence. Stay tuned for an announcement soon on when appointment bookings will open up for pelvic floor assessments and treatment.