No one likes to talk about it. But it's such a huge part of our body's proper functioning! It's also an important indicator of not just your gut health, but also your overall general health. So I'm here to ask - how's your poop?
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Do you have regular, daily bowel movements? Are you able to pass a bowel movement without pain or discomfort? Do you feel you are evacuating completely? These questions are common in most acupuncture evaluations.
If you answered NO to any of these, let's work on your digestion! Acupuncture is a very effective way to promote bowel movements. But if you're not ready to try acupuncture, consider experimenting with these strategies.
While I'm a fan of topical external magnesium for a lot of things (muscle tension, stress relief, sleep quality), if there's constipation I recommend an internal supplement. I am a fan of Nature Vitality's Natural Calm. This product comes in powered form, so it's very easy to adjust and customize your dosage just for you. You can find it online, and I've also seen it at BC Essentials and the Natural Grocer in Newburyport. Magnesium attracts and draws water to your colon, thus stimulating a bowel movement. With too much internal magnesium, you can experience urgency and loose stools (a good sign you've passed your optimal dosage!).
Massaging your intestinal tract (in the direction it flows) helps stimulate peristalsis, or the constraction/relaxation of the intestine walls that pushes its contents along. This lady here is intense, but she describes the technique well!
INCREASE WATER INTAKE
The reality is that a lot of us aren't hydrating our bodies properly. Without enough fluid, it's hard to have regular bowel movements. Lubricate your digestive system by drinking more water! Consider starting the day with hot lemon water. And sip on room temperature to hot (avoid cold if possible!) water throughout the day.
Our guts are filled with microorganisms that help our digestive system do its job. These communities can take a hit in numbers and diversity when we do things like feed them ineffective foods, and take antibiotics. Repopulate your gut with good bacteria by eating probiotic foods such as kombucha, kimchi, and sauerkraut (unpasteurized).