Constipation sucks – particularly when being all bound up keeps you from doing the things you want in life. That may strike you as funny and maybe even odd but the reality is that something like 27% of the American population struggles with constipation.
Let’s face it guys, constipation is uncomfortable and unhealthy. It puts you in a foul mood and makes it hard to get your sexy on. I should know because I suffered from chronic constipation for years. Part of this had to do with struggles with IBS and part of it relates to lifestyle issues.
When I was in my early-20’s, I was in a toxic relationship and started to experience the tell-tale symptoms of being bound up. It sucked super bad.
“Laxatives offer relief but the benefits are usually temporary”
At that time of my life, I wasn’t too concerned with the “mind body connection” and was fairly ignorant about things that contributed to constipation. I also didn’t realize how my stress level was impacting my ability to move stool through my intestines.
When you are stressed out because of work, a bad relationship, money problems and the like, your body fights back by tightening up and holding everything in. It’s kind of like spilling poppers on your eyes when you are lying on your back. They automatically close up and won’t open. That’s a crude example but that’s what constipation is like.
And so the first bit of advice I will give to you is to listen to your body. If you are all plugged up and can’t pass anything, it may be an indication that you aren’t feeding your body, mind and spirit properly. And so in order to have serious healing to occur, you need to address these areas of your life that are being neglected. Reaching for laxatives offers relief but the benefits are usually temporary.
It was only after I started to truly listen to my body and started working with a mindfulness based therapist; and cutting down on alcohol use and party favors – that I discovered natural approaches to curing my constipation so that I could enjoy my life.
Here are five natural approaches that stopped the stoppage.
1. I engage in mindful meditation
At least once a day, I put aside 15 minutes for meditation. It’s nothing fancy or complicated and doesn’t involved crystals or chakras. Instead, mindful meditation is about focusing your thoughts on the here and now so that you don’t stress out about the future. This empowers your ability to listen to your body in a holistic way.
And it goes without saying that it is important to bring your awareness to your gastrointestinal track. This means actually feeling how food moves through the digestive system and developing an awareness around tightness and sounds.
Knowing how your digestive system reacts to certain foods is key. That’s why I usually mediate shortly after eating any new food products – I want to feel and hear how my body likes or dislikes what I have ingested.
2. I drink loads of water
You probably already know that water is something you need to drink plenty of if you want to have younger looking skin. But did you know that water also helps you to move stool through your intestines? It does and without enough of it, your stool dries up like an old troll’s face.
I like to use the analogy of a near empty bottle of lube. There might be enough droplets in it for some quick fun but it’s not enough to do the job properly. But when you have a near full bottle of lube around (I prefer silicone based) you don’t have to worry about taking care of business.
Your digestive system works the same way – well kind of. The point here is that water is crucial if you want to get that stool moving through and out of you. Staying properly hydrated throughout the day helps that movement to happen on a regular basis.
I can’t tell you exactly how much water to drink because each of us are different. I will say that if you have at least 10 fluid ounces from the time you get up until the time you go to bed, you are probably ahead of the game. Test and experiment and see what feels right.
3. I get massages regularly
Right now, there isn’t a lot of scientific research on this front. All I know is that when I was in that bad relationship years ago, I would hire someone for massage and it seemed to help.
Maybe this is because we do know that massage is a very powerful way to help the body destress and relax. And there is some evidence to suggest that massage helps lower blood pressure and prevent certain types of cardiovascular issues.
What’s more, a 2009 study that appeared in the International Journal of Nursing Studies demonstrated that abdominal massage – something many massage therapists do – helps to move stool through the intestines and into the toilette. When you combine massage with the two points above, it can help unplug you significantly.
4. I include olive oil in my diet
For decades, olive oil has been used to treat constipation. There have been some scientific studies to suggest that it offers a therapeutic benefit. I can only speak for myself but I discovered that if I ingest 3 tablespoons of olive oil a day, it helps things to run smoothly through my body.
Make sure you are using pure olive oil and not the cheap stuff that contains canola and vegetable oil. If you are worried about getting fat because of this, don’t be. Pure olive oil is natural and won’t cause you to put on tons of weight and the dreaded bloat.
5. I worked through my emotions
Earlier, I told you I am working with a therapist. I can’t tell you how much this can truly help you better understand your feelings and experience a sense of calm. Through talk therapy, I was able to identify my stress triggers and figure out ways to minimize their effects.
Look for a professional who specializes in anxiety and can help you figure out new ways of coping.
Summing Things Up
The five tips for helping you get passed constipation so that you can chill worry free worked for me. I hope they work for you too. And just think, the next time you want to hang with friends, go on a date or do whatever, being bound up won't stand in the way.