We all do it. It’s no secret. Yet, for most of us, it’s the last thing on our minds.
Yes, I’m talking about #2, i.e. poop.
Despite being a universal human endeavor, most of us give no thought to it.Unless something is going wrong, we go about our lives ignorant to the information our poop has for us – and to the benefits of being a blissfully well tuned pooping machine.
Of course, if something has gone awry in your elimination system, it can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable.
Image you wake up, excited for a new day. You get in your car for your morning drive to work and then as soon as you get on the highway, you come face-to-face with an endless line of traffic. You’re not moving. There’s no off ramp. You’re stuck.
Now imagine that same drive, but pulling onto the highway and seeing nothing but the sun in the sky and the horizon ahead. The road is free and clear, you put on your favorite tunes and in no time, you’re at work ready for a great day.
This is the equivalent to starting your day with a hearty, effortless poop.
If you’re not starting your day by emptying your bowels, you end up taking yesterday’s crap with you into your new day. This is constipation and constipation means food is stuck in your gut for longer than it should be, which can lead to putrefaction (and resulting gases) as well as gumming up the intestinal walls, which has a direct impact on the lymph and, thus, the efficiency of the immune system (hello allergy season!). It also just weighs you down and can feel really uncomfortable.
And, as you know, the physical body has a direct connection with the mental-emotional body. When stuff is stuck in your bowels, this can reflect in your mind and emotions as being stuck in unhealthy patterns or having a lack of flow (tip: the inverse is also true: your gut often reflects your state of mind).
Your #2 has a story to tell about your overall health.
If your elimination system is stuck, overactive, burning or mucousy, this is a sign that your system needs to be tuned up. The good news about this is thatit’s also an opportunity, inviting you to invest in yourself and in improving your digestion, which will positively impact your stress, weight and energy levels.
What it means to have healthy elimination
- You go #2 one to three times per day
- You go first thing in the morning (within an hour of waking)
- Your morning log is one long, well formed piece about 18” long (about the length of your transverse and descending colon)
If this sounds like you, then bravo!
If this sounds unheard of for you then you need to get your digestive system in order. Seriously. Digestion is the root of health. Your tissues, your fluids, your cellular environments all depend on efficient digestion to work their best. If they aren’t working their best then you’re setting yourself up for feeling like crap (pun intended) – and over the long haul, that results in illness and disease. And, plus, when you feel like crap, you’re not as productive, patient or fun.
The good news is that Ayurveda is amazing for tuning up your #2 machine.
DIY #2 tune-up tips
Here are some basic recommendations that, when practiced consistently, can help to bring your digestive system back towards normal:
- Don’t eat at least 3 hours before bed. This allows the body to fully digest food before it goes into rest and repair mode.
- In the morning after you wake up, deeply hydrate your body by drinking a cup of warm water. This will encourage bowel movements. Gradually build up from 8 to 32oz of water.
- If you tend towards constipation, eat warm, most, well cooked foods for most meals. Avoid cold, dry, tough foods.
- If you tend towards loose stools, avoid further aggravation by reducing spicy, oily foods, alcohol and coffee.
If you’d like to get more fine tuned with this, you can learn what your dosha profile is and how to balance it (optimizing digestion is a big part of this). Here’s a basic introduction to doshas to get you started.
Or are you ready to get some help with your constipation, gas, acid reflux or other exciting digestive complaints? I can help! You can learn more about how to work with me here.
Have a great week!