Is constipation inevitable with aging? Maybe not. Here’s a different perspective that worked to eliminate my chronic constipation at age 74. What if constipation could be the result of how you do and don’t move? I was chronically constipated until I was 74. Then I wasn’t. What happened? I experienced the results of changing how I move my body and the problem was eliminated. When I began Restorative Exercise™ at age 71, I had a history of chronic constipation since I was a kid. I figured it was genetic because my mother and my sister had the same problem. I learned from Katy Bowman that “genetics” might also be repetitive habit patterns that do not support the body’s “natural” functions. In my case, it turned out I was sucking in my gut (seeking that flat abdomen look) thereby restricting the natural moves of my organs. And, I was tucking my butt – thereby throwing my body out of alignment.
Squatting to Toilet
Katy talked about the benefits of “squatting to toilet” as done in different cultures. She said there were stools that could assist to achieve a squatting position while toileting. I found the Lillipad Toilet Squatting Platform™ on-line, ordered the kit, and assembled it. If you click on the Lillipad link, you will see a fully-dressed person with both feet on the stool at toilet height demonstrating squatting over a toilet. For me, I was unable to stand on a platform a foot above the floor while trying to squat close enough to the toilet to do business. Not having squatted since I was maybe two, this was too intense for me. I hadn’t noticed the alternative of sitting on the toilet with my feet up on the lower portion of the platform.
Katy brought our attention to the Squatty Potty – a plastic stool designed to fit around the toilet. Instead of standing on it, you sit on the toilet and put your feet up on the stool. This position places your body in its natural squatting position for easier elimination. For me, this was not easy. After nearly 70 years of not squatting, I found it difficult to get my legs and feet high enough. So I started with putting my feet on yoga blocks or stacked books until I found a height I could reach. Meantime, each day I began to integrate squatting into my daily routine. Each time I needed to reach something near the floor, I would squat – or try to squat. Initially, I could not keep my balance without holding on to something. And, I didn’t have the strength to stand back up unassisted.
Moves for Squatting
I continued doing my Restorative Exercise practices and integrating Nutritious Movement® into my daily life. This helped in activating, lengthening, and strengthening as many muscles as possible. As a result, my body is more accepting of more movement in more ways. It has taken me almost six years to be able to squat down to the floor and stand up again. The point is, I can now do it! And, concomitant with that, I can now get my feet up on the Squatty Potty and facilitate natural elimination. My chronic constipation disappeared three years after I began my Restorative Exercise practice.
The Younger Generation Moves
Constipation is not age restricted. My youngest daughter was chronically constipated as a child even though she was very active and ate lots of fruit and veggies. Recently our 29-year old grandson was visiting us at the Ranch. After using the bathroom, he commented on the Squatty Potty saying that one of his roommates had one in his bathroom. He had asked his roomie what it was for. He was told that by putting your feet up on the stool, it helped place your body in a natural position for elimination. Grandson was amazed to learn that instead of having to struggle to eliminate, it can come easily when the body is positioned properly. He has started using it and is seeing positive changes. I, too, was amazed to learn after years of struggling and pushing that elimination should/could be easy.
I’m not saying the Squatty Potty is the answer to all constipation problems. I know that for me diet, hydration and movement are also key components to a properly functioning body. However, I am motivated to continue to use the Squatty Potty just knowing that the whole elimination process can be easier. I continue to integrate squatting into my daily life and to continue my restorative exercise practices because they work!