Thursday, October 29, 2009

Squatting to poop...is it healthy?


Your running late to a meeting and all of a sudden you feel a strong urge to go to the bathroom. You find a public bathroom and place toilet paper on the seat. There is no way you are going to sit without protection! Just the thought of all the germs that are sitting on the seat make you squirm.

You quickly finish, wash your hands and leave. At work, you run into an old colleague who happens to be from Pakistan. She invites you to her house later for dinner. When you arrive, the urge to go to the bathroom returns. You excuse yourself and head to the bathroom. Once inside you look around in confusion. Where is the toilet? Instead, there is a spot on the ground for your feet and a hole in the center. Your friend cant be serious? How in the world does she expect you to go to the bathroom? Does she really expect you to squat? This is so unhygienic!!!........squatting cant be good for you, can it?

For all you toilet lovers, i know what your thinking!!!! Squatting to go to the bathroom opposed to sitting on a nice toilet is appalling and uncivilized! Your living in the 21st century not the 10th century, right! The first time i tried the squatting method was in Morocco. It takes some time getting used to, but in the end i found i preferred it to sitting. Sure it can be annoying to take your pants off and have to hold it while you squat and hold yourself so you dont fall over....however its a lot more sanitary that toilets and healthier for your body.. I found an article that discusses why squatting is better for you than sitting........

Straining

squatting opens up the recto-anal angle, allowing the squatter to be a bit more lax when handling business. Sitting down to poop, on the other hand, constricts the passageways and requires more straining to push things through. The Israeli researcher Dr. Berko Sikirov, an especially adamant proponent of the squat method, identified the “underlying mechanism” behind constipation: “the obstructive nature of the recto-anal angle” in the sitting position. Constipation often leads to excessive straining (“at least three-fold more than in a squatting posture”), which has been fingered as a probable cause of colonic diverticulosis by Sikirov.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are another fixture of Western society that don’t enjoy the same prevalence in “squatting” countries. Sikirov assumed the defecation posture might be the culprit, so he gathered a relatively small group of hemorrhoid sufferers – twenty of them, to be exact – and “treated” them with the squatting method. The results were noteworthy: more than half showed marked improvement within weeks or days, while the rest took a bit longer. Everyone improved. Unfortunately for us, the necessary follow up research (on account of the small sample size) has yet to be conducted. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons don’t seem interested in the possible therapeutic value of squatting. In fact, you might even say Sikirov is the butt of their jokes.

Other Claims

Colon cancer is relatively rare in third-world countries, and now that the fiber hypothesis is all but dead, some suggest chronic constipation (possibly from sitting to poop) is to blame. These claims seem a bit more dubious, judging from this study’s (PDF) conclusion: that aberrant crypt foci (ACF) is the most likely cause of colorectal cancer, and that a cause-and-effect relationship between constipation and cancer cannot be established. Squatting may help clear the road, but I doubt it’s the key to preventing colon cancer.

Proponents also claim that seated toilet-induced “fecal stagnation” causes appendicitis and Crohn’s disease, both of which are rare in traditional cultures and relatively common in westernized cultures. I lean toward diet being the general cause, but I admit defecation positions and their possible health ramifications aren’t my area of expertise, so I’ll relay the information all the same. The appendix, seen here right next to the ceceum, may be vulnerable to fecal blockage (which is actually one of the official possible causes of appendicitis when waste is eliminated from a sitting position. In a stunning display of disturbing imagery, the folks at Nature’s Platform liken it to squeezing a toothpaste tube in the center and seeing both the bottom and top inflate with paste: when sitting, the ceceum cannot be completely vacated and the contents spill out haphazardly, presumably into the adjacent appendix and small intestine, causing appendicitis and Crohn’s disease. When one squats, however, the ceceum is squeezed empty from its base by the right thigh.

3 comments:

Ayela said...

Thank you for the info, that is very interesting. A fact I heard about a few years ago that really shocked me that the average kitchen sink can have 100,000 times more germs than a loo seat. Scary!!

Thirst For Knowledge said...

Thanks Ayela for your comment! Tonight i am going to sanitize my sink! =)
Kitchen sinks are usually the last thing on peoples mind, yet they tend to be the dirtiest and trap the most germs!

Lora said...

don't forget the weird way that people love to lay down to give birth and the complications that causes.

I was a squatter in labor, but ended up with a Csection anyway. Totally unrelated to labor though. I think birthing complications in the US and lots of other countries would go down if women would stop it with the epidurals and the lounging!