Get Down, Baby, Get Down
Humans have been around for about 200,000 years. Toilets have only been around for about 5,000 years. That’s a whole lotta years of squatting to poop. Anybody who has been to Asia or parts of Europe and has used squat toilets there can attest to the benefits: most obviously a speedier and more complete poo, but also the following (from Nature’s Platform):
Seven Advantages of Squatting
(1) Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent “fecal stagnation,” a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
(2) Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
(3) 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.
(4) Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
(5) Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
(6) A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
(7) For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.
That seems like a lot of bad shit (har har) you can avoid if you just poo the way nature wanted you to. Each time I’ve been to Asia, I come home newly fired up about this issue. I’ll put both toilet seats up, set my feet on the rim of the bowl and squat down. The problem with this, on Western toilets, is the distance that is now between the butt and the water. It’s big, causing splashing. Also the rim of the toilet is small and slippery. I have some friends who put their feet up on the tub in front of them or bend their knees and bring their feet up towards their bum to simulate squat position and get a healthier poo. There are also items you can buy to turn your home toilet into a squatting toilet like the Squatty Potty, or Lily Pad.
Recently my friend Lance Robbins, who also happens to be a chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates instructor, personal trainer and all around knows-stuff-about-health guy, posted the baby-squat photo on Facebook with the caption: “Try holding this for 60 seconds each day and see what happens.” Some of you will quickly discover that squatting is hard for you to do. It might take a bit of time to get your body comfortable in this simplest of postures. And what will happen if you spend some time each day in a squat? Get on down and find out.