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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Squatting – the best toilet posture....

The best posture for passing stools is squatting. In this position, waste elimination is easier, faster and complete.Sitting, on the other hand, obstructs the passage of waste through the colon. Elimination is difficult, requires straining and can never be complete.

Ayurveda recommends that one should evacuate the bowels every morning, and feel that the colon is clean and light. Feeling energetic and relaxed are signs of proper evacuation. Inability to completely evacuate the bowels or passing very hard stools is known as Constipation or Vibandh in Ayurveda. This prevalent problem is due to an incorrect lifestyle and poor eating patterns.  Wrong position for evacuation can also be one of the major reasons. Squatting is the most natural and physiologically sound posture to use for evacuation.  Proper elimination is one of the basic core foundations for a healthy digestive system and good absorption of nutrients. To aid this process and allow the body to make use of its natural urge, a squatting style toilet has been used for centuries. In fact, constipation in a huge percentage of cases can be avoided by just switching to a squatting style toilet! Now, people all over the world who are constipated are advised to squat for a couple of minutes before going to the bathroom or to use a squatting stool. This simple and efficient method can take a little while to get accustomed to but can go a long way in preventing constipation and hundreds of other gastrointestinal problems.

One should try to have a bowel movement daily. If one doesn't have the bowel movement, it is good to simply squat for a few minutes without forcing. Practicing this daily, following the consumption of the glass of Luke warm water will develop a good habit in promoting consistent and healthy bowel movement.

Western toilet seat to blame for constipation?
Constipation, while not life-threatening in most case, can be quite debilitating. Being constipated can lead to an array of problems: bad breath, weight gain, allergies, bloating, poor nutrient assimilation, fatigue, migraine, breakouts, heart burn, lower back pain and sadly, the list goes on. Unfortunately, many people even grew to believe that going to the toilet 2-3 times a week is normal. It is a bad news since all the waste that is not eliminated is rotting inside and changes the blood chemistry in your body allowing the disease to set in.

Digestion builds blood and feeds all our organs. To create good blood and healthy new cells, we need good digestion.

If fecal matter stays inside too long food starts to rot and creates toxins and waste products. Waste products can irritate the intestines. Overtime constipation can result in gray, lusterless skin, emotional disturbances, tight muscles, low immunity and joint pain.
Advantages of Squatting
  • Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent "fecal stagnation," a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
  • Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.
  • Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulitis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
  • For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery hence Malasana (Garland pose) is advised in prenatal yoga .
  • When in squatting posture urinary bladder evacuates completely, because in this position the human body is more naturally relaxed and that helps urine to completely leave our body thereby preventing various urinary disorders.
  • Squatting also helps to tone and strengthen the leg muscles.
Historical Background

Man, like his fellow primates, has always used the squatting position for resting, working and performing bodily functions. Infants of every culture instinctively squat to relieve themselves. Although it may seem strange to someone who has spent his entire life deprived of the experience, this is the way the human body was designed to function.And this is the way our ancestors performed their bodily functions until the middle of the 19th century. Before that time, chair-like toilets had only been used by royalty and the disabled. But with the advent of indoor plumbing in the 1800's, the throne-like water closet was invented to give ordinary people the same "dignity" previously reserved for kings and queens.

The plumber and cabinet maker who designed it had no knowledge of human physiology – and sincerely believed that they were improving people's lives.

The British plumbing industry moved quickly to install indoor plumbing and water closets throughout the country. The great benefits of improved sanitation caused people to overlook a major ergonomic blunder: The sitting position makes elimination difficult and incomplete, and forces one to strain.

The rest of Western Europe, as well as Australia and North America, did not want to appear less civilized than Great Britain, whose vast empire at the time made it the most powerful country on Earth. So, within a few decades, most of the industrialized world had adopted "The Emperor's New Throne."

150 years ago, no one could have predicted how this change would affect the health of the population. But today, many physicians blame the modern toilet for the high incidence of a number of serious ailments. Westernized countries have much higher rates of colon and pelvic disease, as compared to developing countries.

This theory reflects the common belief that our society is "clean" while the developing world is "dirty." In terms of colon hygiene, exactly the opposite is the case. What protects the developing world from bowel disease is the natural cleanliness that comes from evacuating as nature intended. By contrast, our contrived toilet posture leads to fecal stagnation – the primary cause of colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. 

There are several ways you can manage to turn your present toilet into one where you can squat:

A few companies made ‘going back’ to the squatting basics a bit easier for us spoiled Westerners. Squatty Potty, Health Step, and The Welles Step are among a few of those products. Here is how Squatty Potty is described..
“The Squatty Potty helps you to eliminate faster and more complete by putting your body into a natural squatting position over your own toilet. Using the Squatty Potty during elimination will un-kink your rectum taking your body from a continent mode to an elimination mode. This will speed up the elimination process therefore reducing the risk of toxic build up of fecal matter left in your colon. Using the squatty potty for elimination will reduce straining and decreases the pressure in the anal and rectal veins. The reduction of straining will help to heal and prevent hemorrhoids. It will also reduce the risk of bowel herniation and other damage to the lower digestive tract. The Squatty Potty is attractive and will discretely tuck under your toilet bowl when not in use. Its versatile design allows for both a forward and backward slant to ergonomically align the body for a comfortable and complete elimination.”

It can be used by men and women of all ages; pregnant women may find it especially comforting and relieving, according to the Health Step reviews.
You can get detailed information about squatty Potty in the link given below

Pile up bricks around your toilet (make sure they are safe and sturdy)
Consider having a real eastern toilet in your house               Conclusion  Trying to evacuate while sitting is like trying to drive a car without releasing the parking brake.In frustration, one pushes down forcefully depressing the pelvic floor many times each day.In short, the porcelain throne has caused enormous amounts of needless suffering, and the annual waste of billions of dollars in health-care costs. Clearly, the time has come to reacquaint people with natural habits for evacuation used by our ancestors.

        Stay Healthy!!


Danny Skinz said...

Peace Dr.Vaishali, I would like to thank you for writing this article. I have been studying Ayurveda with Dr Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque New Mexico. I am a true believer in the effectiveness of squatting during elimination. So much so that I design my own "Squat Stool". It’s called the Apana Stool since the sqautting position helps activate the apana movement in our body. You can see pictures of it here:

Love & Light,
Danny Skinz

Dr.Vaishali Gautam Kamat said...

Sorry for late reply.
Thanks for appreciation and good to hear about your apanastool invention...

Vani said...

I came across through your blog. Thanks for sharing.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Skin Diseases