If you have ever struggled with constipation, you know. Life can be MISERABLE when we can’t go. But did you know that getting healthy depends on good BMs? It does!
The body is constantly working to rid itself of unwanted toxins which is a process that starts in the cells and works its way down the funnel all the way to the colon. It packages up these toxins along with other unwanted material in the colon. But when we are constipated or the waste is not eliminated regularly, the toxins can be reabsorbed back into the body to wreak havoc on our cells and other organ systems.
New to the concept of detoxing?
Let’s face it… there are many more toxins in the world today than our ancestors. Things like pesticides, cleaning chemicals, molds, chemicals in our personal care products, heavy metals in our air, chemicals in our water and food supply, and so much more. We actually have dedicated organs to do this with the liver being a major one, though it is constantly bombarded with more work than it can handle. Detoxing is a two sided coin… we need to both diminish the toxins we are consuming or coming into contact with as well as possibly taking specific supplements that support the cells and organs in getting rid of toxins such as toxin binders or digestive aids.
When we have issues with constipation, we are having issues with the bottom of the drainage funnel and this will be a major obstacle for healing. So phase 1 for detoxing should always be to get that drainage funnel moving and unclogged. Our goal should be at least 2 bowel movements a day or MORE when we are working on healing and detoxing. Once a day is ok for maintenance.
How can we resolve constipation?
1. Hydrate! Dehydration can make constipation much worse. Drinking ½ our body weight in ounces per day is the goal along with drinking the cleanest water possible. You will notice we use the Aqua Tru filter in our clinic and I also use one at home.
2. Get Moving. Our gut really needs our body to move to get the gut moving. Regular moderate exercise can really help and this can be anything from a brisk walk to a cardio class or even yoga. Do what makes you happy, but make sure it includes movement.
3. Belly breathing is definitely our friend for constipation. It brings our body into the “rest and digest” mode and out of “fight or flight” and it helps with stimulating peristalsis or gut movement. This can be easily integrated into our daily life by taking slow belly breaths before sleep each night, while driving, or holding our baby.
4. Getting fiber in our diet. We really need fibrous foods that require us to chew. If you find yourself eating meals that don’t require your mouth to work much, you may struggle with constipation. Not only is the fiber going to help things move along, the act of chewing improves digestion. Of course a varied color diet with fruits and vegetables is ideal vs just a fiber supplement. Your body will appreciate the nutrients that come from real produce and will reward you with better BMs.
5. Magnesium can help with both energy as well as with constipation. There are multiple forms of magnesium, so some can be more helpful than others for this purpose. Magnesium citrate or hydroxide are good examples for help with constipation while magnesium malate can be more helpful for the cells. Pills are the most common way to take magnesium, but magnesium bath flakes or lotion are also great ways to support the body’s magnesium needs. There are also many foods that are rich in magnesium that you may already be eating, but may be able to eat more often.
6. Work with a pelvic PT to be sure you can access all the other ways in which constipation can be resolved. This can include a breathing and core assessment, instruction in abdominal/GI massage, pelvic floor assessment (to resolve any issues with being able to physically eliminate), and help with creating a healthy bowel routine. Helping you move or exercise in a way that works for you is also our jam. We may also have some guidance on supplements that we have found very helpful for ourselves and patients on this constipation journey.
So if you are wanting to get healthier and FEEL BETTER, start with resolving constipation. We would love to help you on your healing journey and resolve your constipation!