For good number twos, lift your shoes, say some moos

What I’m about to tell you will change your life, forever.

In my job, I help people overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. When I was a medical student, fuelled by my strong sense of idealism and too many episodes of ER, I thought those challenges would be thumping on someone’s chest to save them from the clutches of death, or removing a gangrenous appendix with just a butter knife and some twine, or delivering a baby whilst upside down in some plane wreckage. You know, something heroic.

But from my first day as an intern, I learnt something … nothing is as life changing as a good poo.

You might be thinking something smells a little funny here … “one moment you’re talking about delivering babies and the next minute you’re talking about delivering Mr Hankey. How is that suddenly heroic?”

Sure, talking to people about their time on the porcelain throne isn’t particularly glamorous but the daily download, exorcising a demon, pressing towards the bowl … it’s vital. Not enjoying a regular Trump dump leads to stagnation in the literal and economic sense – chronic constipation costs the US over $18 billion dollars in additional health care costs, not to mention lost productivity.

So how does one regularly clean the pipes to ensure the health of our bowels and our budgets? Well, we’ve all heard that “fibre is your friend”, and that remains true, though most people don’t realise that fibre works better when you drink lots of water with it. So more veggies, and more water.

Though the main push of this particular post is a look at the production side of the Captain’s log. This was inspired by a blog I came across as I click-grazed across the internet the other night – http://www.evidentlycochrane.net/feet-up-constipation/

So apparently if you want your bowels to move efficiently, assume the crash position … “Lean forwards and rest elbows on knees, almost like the crash position on an aeroplane. The anal sphincter should relax …” Yep, the anal sphincter would definitely relax if one were really sitting in the crash position on an aeroplane, though I dare say it’s not the position that’s the key variable!

But, ok, the author of the blog does have a point – sitting with our hips flexed naturally reduces the otherwise convoluted path of our sigmoid colon to an efficiently straight rectal super-highway. One way to do that is to squat, but if you’re old, inflexible, or like me, no longer have a great sense of balance (or you’re trying to defecate whilst drunk) then squatting is probably not a good idea – you and your poo are likely to end up on the floor.

The alternative is the ‘crash position’, leaning forward slightly with your elbows on your thighs and putting your feet up on a small stool (the ‘stool stool’ and she called it!).

The other thing to do, although perhaps not in a public toilet or at a dinner party, is to moo. As the author said: “Leaning on the elbows and making a “moo” (or other) sound reduces the urge to strain” … Well, it works for cows I guess.

So, the bottom line: you need to lift your shoe and moo on the loo to poo.

See … life changing!

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