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Janitor On Duty

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January 18th, 2008

1:19 AM

Bowel Movement 101

Someone emailed me this. Apparently this is actually real, written somewhere on one of those many blogs on the Web. As much as I admire this person's enthusiasm, I don't think taking a dump is that big an issue that one should plan one's day around that time. Squatting and watching a movie at the same time on the DVD player seems especially like a bad idea to me.

How to have a bowel movement every day, be regular, and not be constipated.  Bowel movements are usually something nobody likes to discuss, but you'll be a lot healthier and happier if you're having a BM once a day, or at least on a predictable schedule. But since no one wants to talk about it, it's hard to find out how you go about doing that.

Throughout my childhood I was never very regular. I could go without having a BM for four or five days. I didn't realize that was probably a bad thing until I did some reading as an adult. Then I decided I should be using the bathroom a lot more. But training my body to have a BM every day without resorting to a laxative wasn't easy. Commit to being more regular however, and your colon will thank you. Here's how I did it naturally:

1. Start with exercise and a good diet (no artificial supplements) with the recommended fiber you need. There are many resources online to help you figure out how to get fiber, but typically your diet will be high in fruits and vegetables and some bran. Drink lots of water.

2. Pick the same time of day to have a BM, unless of course you have the urge at a different time, then act on it. A lot of people say they prefer mornings when they wake up, but I prefer late afternoon or early evening when I find things to be quiet. It's best to plan it shortly after you've had a meal and something to drink.

3. Privacy. For most people it's really important to be alone without interruptions. Some people don't like feeling like others think they're spending too long in the bathroom, or that someone is waiting for them to come out. I like to be alone in the house when I'm in the bathroom.

4. If you prefer, take some reading material, your iPod, your laptop or even a movie if you have a small DVD player.

5. Keep your legs open and apart and relax as much as you can. Sometimes it helps to take off your pants or even remove all your clothing. You can see why total privacy is very important.

6. This is the gross part, but you should gently push. Pushing out a BM uses the same muscles a woman uses to push out a baby (in fact a woman in labor is often told to push like she's constipated), and the same technique can be used. Take a deep breath and hold it, push for three to eight seconds, breathe, then push again. Don't strain or push hard because it can give you hemorrhoids. If you get tired, take a break for a few minutes. When you feel the BM coming, don't push harder like your body wants to. Instead, stop pushing or push all the more gently and let it come out slowly. This can feel uncomfortable and unnatural, but a very large BM can tear you if it comes out too fast. Sometimes it helps to pant if the BM is very large. The more regular you are, the smaller your BMs will be and the easier this part is.

7. If you've pushed for 10 or more minutes and nothing happens, there's a variety of things you can try. Get up and walk around for a few minutes. Run water while you sit on the toilet. Some people benefit from drinking water on the toilet. You can also try gently rocking up and down, or massage your stomach in a gentle downward motion, to help stimulate your bowels.

8. If you're still not having luck, you may want to try to squat. For Westerners this can seem very awkward and strange, but in many cultures this is how everyone uses the bathroom. You can simply raise your feet up on a step stool or crate. I think the easiest way to do a good squat is to put a towel down on the bathroom floor, face the toilet and hold onto it for support, and squat over the towel. Push just like before. When you feel a BM coming, move back to the toilet. Once you are more regular, you shouldn't have to resort to squatting.

9. If nothing happens after 20 minutes, quit and take a break for a few hours. After you've eaten another meal try again.

10. Commit to spending at least 20 minutes a day trying to have a BM. It can take several weeks to get your body used to going every day. But each day it should get easier until you only need to spend a minute or two on the toilet in order to have a successful BM. With time such a commodity, becoming regular should save you hours over the years.

4 comment(s).

Posted by December Quinn/Stacia Kane:

But have you seen this?

(You do NOT need to have a BM every day to stay healthy, btw. That's an old wives' tale.)
January 18th, 2008 @ 5:05 AM

Posted by December Quinn/Stacia Kane:

(BTW, ignore some of the possibly offensive reviews which mention the bad translation. It's the basic theory of the book I was pointing out.)
January 18th, 2008 @ 5:11 AM

Posted by romblogreader:

Call me old fashioned (or regular) but BMs strike me as something one shouldn't try to push, or force, not unlike orgasms. Upping your fiber, definitely, and I'm the first person to recommend the introduction of high-fiber cereal if you're interested in back door action. Adequate hydration is also good, but if you have to strain and squat and push like the dickens, chances are you've got a dietary imbalance or something up medically.
January 18th, 2008 @ 10:21 AM

Posted by Gennita Low:

You guys are talking shit.
January 18th, 2008 @ 2:22 PM