Like it or not, everybody poops. Some of us poop more than others. Some of us are great poopers. Some of us have some serious pooping woes. Many of us are somewhere in the middle. Bathroom habits are sort of a taboo topic of conversation. And yet, we all poop!
So let's put that elementary school bathroom humor aside for a minute and get down to the business of pooping positions. Trust me, you need to keep reading because chances are you are going about the business of pooping all wrong.
Poop has the same basic exit strategy in most every living creature.
By exit strategy, I mean it comes out of a small hole in the middle of your bottom end. We don't have an option when it comes to elimination. Food goes in, waste goes out, and the cycle continues.
Most of us like to make this whole evacuation process much harder than it needs to be. Have you ever stopped to consider WHY a dog or a cat squats to poop? I'll admit, unless I am keeping a vigilant eye on my dog to prevent any, er, “post-poop snacking,” I really don't care to scrutinize his elimination behavior.
But guess what? Dogs and cats and many other animals are really onto something with the whole squat and poop thing. Think about it. They squat, they poop, they move on. There is not a lot of straining, very little time spent pooping, and certainly no need to settle in for a long, drawn out process.
When I went to Europe many years ago, I was appalled at the facilities available at rest stops and in many train depots. The rest rooms were composed of these holes in the ground, some with handles on either side of the hole, others without. At the time, there was no way on the planet that I was doing my business in some hole whilst squatting like a cavewoman. No thank you. Give me my hard white toilet seat and a magazine and leave me be.
I have since changed my tune.
A few years ago my mother-in-law was telling me how she would poop when she was growing up in Sri Lanka. They would go to a little shed with a hole in the ground. There were large stones on either side. The depositor would place his or her feet on the stones which would elevate the legs and force the depositor into a squatting position. Apparently, poop would fly on out in record time and with virtually no effort.
I decided to give it a try. NO – I did not set up some crazy nature contraption in my backyard. Instead, I perched on the edge of my toilet like a bird and gave it a go. Not exactly optimal but I did notice that the position made things a wee bit easier. Over the next few months I tried various props and positions but eventually gave up.
I literally stumbled on a product that caught my attention. The Squatty Potty is a very special stool designed to put you in the proper position to effectively poop. Now, before I get into the details of this great invention, let me give you a brief run down of WHY you should be squatting instead of sitting when you poop. It is time to review the mechanics of going to the bathroom.
People can control their defecation, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can't maintain continence on its own. The body also relies on a bend between the rectum (where poop builds up) and the anus (where poop comes out, in case you didn't know). When we're standing up, the extent of this bend, called the anorectal angle, is about 90 degrees, which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps feces inside. In a squatting posture, the bend straightens out, like a kink ringed out of a garden hose, and defecation becomes easier. Sitting on a conventional toilet produces an anorectal angle that's ill-suited for defecation.
Here is a little list of why squatting is the preferred pooping position:
- 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.
- Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
- A highly effective prevention for and non-invasive treatment of hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
- For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.
Convinced that you should be squatting? Ok good. Now let's talk about that Squatty Potty!
The wonderful folks over at Squatty Potty were kind enough to send me one to test out. I'll spare you all the gory details here but be warned…I need to talk about MY poop. I'm doing this for your benefit – just remember that!
After the holy grail of squatting contraptions arrived, I got it set up and waited. And waited. And waited. I have ulcerative colitis and NOT pooping is typically not the issue. Painful, frequent pooping is typically the issue. Of all days to get a shy colon…
My patience paid off and eventually I had to poop. I climbed aboard the Squatty Potty, got into the proper position and WHOOSH ZOOM! Sweet poop almighty! This Squatty Potty sure made my poop happy. Seriously. I think I broke a record with how quickly I finished my business. But the best part…pooping was not nearly as uncomfortable as it typically is. Yes, I had my usual colitis cramping but the exit? Pretty flawless.
Being a natural skeptic, I wasn't going to base my review on a one-time event. I used the Squatty Potty for two weeks as often as I could. With the exception of one little glitch (my daughter grabbed the Squatty Potty out from under me and hauled it away) the position it allowed me to poop in worked wonderfully. Seriously folks. I would not joke around about poop! Squatting is the way to go!
I am a convert. You won't catch me sitting to poop. Nope. I am all Squatty Potty, all the time. And you can be too! Here's how…
Head over to the Squatty Potty store and pick up your very own! Prices range from $29.95 to $79.95 depending on the model!
Full disclosure, if you order through any link here, I will get a little something for your efforts. However, even if I didn't get anything, I would still tell you about the Squatty Potty and insist that you use one. It really is just so freaking cool!