As a Chiropractor, my mantra is alignment, alignment, alignment. Your body needs to be in proper alignment so that your neuro-musculo-skeletal and organ system can function optimally. There’s a proper posture in standing, a posture in sitting, a proper posture in exercising…and a proper posture in pooping!
In many parts of Asia, people traditionally use the toilet in a squatting position. However, Western-style toilets are mounted at sitting height. This type of toilet, though considered more “convenient and civilized”, puts the person at a 90 degree sitting angle, which actually puts a strain in the pubo-rectalis muscle during elimination.
This muscle loops around the rectum like a sling, pulling the rectum forward to create a more acute angle between the rectum and the anal canal. This is referred to as the ano-rectal angle. The posture you adopt for defecation affects the relaxation of the puborectalis muscle and can affect the ano-rectal angle.
Sitting allows creation of a partial opening whereas squatting fully relaxes the puborectalis muscle that allows a more open angle to create a straight and clear passage for stool to pass through the anal canal.
Though squatting is our natural defecation posture (and natural birthing posture), we’ve been so habitually trained to sit at 90 degrees. Majority of the Westerners have lost this ability to fully squat down. Aside from that, chronic digestive issues are now rampant due to poor eating habits and stressful lifestyle: from chronic constipation, hemorrhoids, colon illnesses, to pelvic floor weakness. All this adds to unhealthy, unhappy elimination experience.
I have to admit, it’s a little weird to use it at first. Even though I’m Asian, and it’s easy for me to squat (compared to my American significant other who could not squat), it still took me a while to feel comfortable having my feet elevated. However, it is quite noticeable how easy it was for the stool to come out, because the gravity was doing most of the work. No straining needed! And the elimination actually felt more complete. One downside though…it doesn’t allow me to spend anymore time on the toilet to read a book! I guess, that’s the least of my problems!
We love using our Squatty Potty. It’s one of those practical health equipment that every bathrooms in every homes need to have. It’s easy to clean and use. When you’re done, you simply push it underneath the bowl to hide it. It’s design simple blends in when not in use. It’ll change the way you poop!