It's pretty hard to get through life without ever experiencing constipation. We've all been there at one point or another. But once you're there, sitting on the porcelain throne waiting for the deed to be done, it can feel like you're stuck. No pun intended.
So many constipation "remedies" are preventative. Telling you to eat more fiber now that you're already here in this sticky situation doesn't do much for you. But what if there was something you could do, right now, even sitting on the loo to help work that poop out?
That's exactly what I have for you today. I am sharing three exercises/techniques you can use to get the juices flowing to stimulate a bowel movement.
The first technique is a basic colon massage. Bet you didn't know you could massage your colon, did ya? So to understand why this works, you have to understand a little anatomy. The colon runs in almost a complete rectangle around your core. One side is called the ascending colon. It runs from your small intestine up toward your lungs. It then takes a turn and travels across your body. This is your transverse colon. It takes another turn and heads down toward your bum and this is the descending colon. The idea with the colon massage is to gently push from ascending, to transverse, to descending colon to manually stimulate the proper flow.
To do the massage you'll gently place your hands at the bottom of your stomach where the ascending colon starts. With light pressure, you'll go in a very gentle rectangle up toward your ribcage, across your body and then back down the other side.
The next technique you can try is actually a self-organ mobilization. The goal with this is to open up some valves in the body that often get blocked or clogged or aren't functioning at their best. With the pads of your fingers, you'll want to just massage in slow circles over the base of your sternum. This is where the pyloric sphincter is located. After about 30 seconds, you can move on to the ileocecal valve located slightly up and inward from your left hip bone. Massage in slow circles for another 30 seconds at this spot. The last spot is opposite the ileocecal valve. The ileosigmoid valve is just slightly up and inward from the right hip bone. The last spot is the colorectal valve located above the pubic bone. Try massaging this last spot.
The final technique actually utilizes a small sink plunger. If you'd like to purchase one, you can get it on Amazon here. We'll be using this small sink plunger to "plunge" a few different spots to help stimulate a bowel movement. Please review our "Exercises for Constipation" video above or our abdominal plunging video below for more information on how to effectively plunge the viscera.
Hopefully after trying these techniques you've been able to head to the bathroom and take care of business. Sometimes it does take repeating the techniques once or twice to get the full benefit. If you continue having symptoms of constipation, it may be time to seek out a professional evaluation just to make sure there are no more serious reasons for your constipation.
We can and we will get better together,
Dr. Justin C. Lin