Ok who's up to talk shit?
Just kidding, I just really wanted to use that pun! They're kind of running through my head today. 'A stool for your stools' is another one I had going. No? No one else is cracking up except for me? Am I the only one with the mind of a twelve year old? (PS This is an actual book.)
Anyway, let's get serious for a sec, because I can tell you honestly that whenever I send out an intake form for retreats that asks students about things like food allergies, or any issues I should know about, 75% or more of the people write back that they have IBS issues and need to stick to a specific diet. And that's no laughing matter, people!
As someone who suffered for years in college with debilitating anxiety, I know what a pain in the ass it can be (see what I did there?!), to be plagued by something that pretty much dominates your life. So if I ever come across something that might be able to help someone out, you can bet your bottom (I'm on a roll!) that I will put the fear of TMI aside to help a sista' out.
So here's the deal.
Years ago, I dated this guy who had a kid. The kid was taught by the mom to squat when he pooped. Since he was just a little kid, he'd put his feet on the toilet seat and do his business. When my boyfriend at the time told me about it, I was like, "Really?! Why? Is there a reason behind it?"
He shrugged and said she said it just made things come out more smoothly. She was kind of into alternative medicine and somewhat holistic, so I just kind of thought it was a cool tidbit of information, filed it away in my head, and sort of forgot about it until a few years later when one of my friends started talking about this special stool that had changed her life.
"Um, you need this in your life," she told me over coffee in this hushed, excited voice. "I'm telling everyone I can about it, because we don't poop right!"
"What do you mean?!" I laughed, glancing around to see if anyone was overhearing our conversation.
"Well, look at dogs," she said. "Do you ever notice how they squat when they poop? They round their backs so their anatomy straightens out and out it comes - easy! We need to follow suit because of the way our anatomy is shaped. If you sit normally, things are still crooked and therefore, it's not as easy to go. When you prop your feet up, you come into proper alignment and there's no straining at all. You just...go!" She went on the say that many countries in the east have toilets that are meant for squatting over.
"Huh," I said, suddenly remembering the squat toilets I'd seen in Thailand and India.
So a few months later, when we were brainstorming ideas for the Weird Health Trends series, I thought that for sure we needed to get this in there. I reached out to Squatty Potty (props on a bomb name!) to see if they would be interested in partnering up for this post and they said they would! So yay!
Anyway, we received our squatty potty a few months ago and as it turns out, my friend was right - even if you're someone who didn't have any bathroom issues to write home about, things are just easier, quicker, and if you're short like me and your feet barely touch the ground anyway, the stool is a nice change up!
For the record, my husband Greg thought I was positively nuts when it arrived. He laughed and shook his head and goes, 'You are so weird." But I showed him the science behind it, and he was on board as well.
The science, in case you're pressed for time, basically goes like this: the colon has a natural kink in it to maintain continence. When you squat, the kink straightens out and you can go smoothly, easily, and without strain. This may prevent things like hemorrhoids, and may make things like constipation easier to deal with.
Is it weird having a stool at our place? Yes. Did I feel like I had to explain it to Lauren, YBC's Marketing and Events Director, when she came to the office to do work? Yes. But you know what she said?
"Um, we've used a stool for years!"
So ok, maybe this is the new norm and I am the last one on board. But if not, maybe this will help someone out there dealing with IBS, constipation, hemorrhoids, or any other ba-rutal bathroom issue and if so, then I'm happy as a pig in shit (couldn't resist!).
So tell me, would you or wouldn't you give it a try?
If you'd like to enter, just let us know down in the comments below (and make sure to click the widget below that you entered). Alternatively, for fake bonus points that don't count for anything, share a funny bathroom story because honestly, I could use a good laugh. XO