A Naturopath's Guide To Avoiding Constipation
You feel bloated, congested, and maybe a little gassier than usual. You've spent the majority of the day trying to get some form of bowel movement happening so that you can have substantial relief, yet every trick under your belt fails dismally. You're desperate and do not want another day of feeling toxic. Sound familiar?
Can I share with you what I do to avoid another day in poo-less despair?
My bowel movements are 98 percent regular. I've spoken about my experience with constipation in many podcast interviews and after much experimentation and dedication to personal awareness, I've figured out that constipation happens either when I travel or when I neglect my morning ritual and run around like the house is in flames.
So in order to avoid another day sans poo and instead encourage healthy and satisfying evacuations, I make sure to do the following:
Eat supercharged food.
Sit, stand, walk, jog, swim, or do some yoga during the day. I rarely spend more than two hours in the same position even when I have deadlines to meet for work. Movement, whether it's exercise or simple activity during the day exercises the intestines, improves bowel tone, and stimulates peristalsis, the pinching, squeezing, and kneading action of the intestines that helps move waste through and out of the colon quickly.
Move the body with this Digestive Support Yin Yoga Sequence Video.
I drink at least 1.5 liters of room-temperature water, sometimes with a pinch of Himalayan salt for enhanced absorption, and enjoy 2 to 3 cups of my favorite organic herbal tea blend, brewed for 10 minutes, throughout the day. This blend contains a selection of herbs and spices that gently nudge poop through the intestines and reduce any inflammation and bacteria that may result from the toxins I recycle by having constipation. Note: Dehydrated feces becomes hard and compact and is much more difficult to pass.
I take a full dose of practitioner-only magnesium bisglycinate powder with a large glass of water in the evening, generally 30 to 40 minutes after dinner and not too close to bedtime so that I do not disrupt my sleep with multiple loo visits. I often add a simple greens powder that contains algae, leafy greens, and vegetables for extra fiber, cleansing and alkalizing agents.
My morning ritual
The next morning I bring back my morning ritual even if it means getting up half an hour earlier. At the moment my ritual consists of a 15-minute guided meditation or breath work. I use MUSE for my guided meditation as it measures my brain waves and gives me a poke if my mind wanders. Other great platforms are Headspace, Insight Timer, or Dr. Joe Dispenza's work.
My favorite forms of breath work are kundalini breath of fire, or alternate nostril breathing. Then I move onto a three- to five-minute Maya Abdominal Massage, a practice of gratitude, movement of some sort (yoga, walking, jogging, HIIT, or swimming), and the newest addition is reading 10 pages of a book that will contribute to self-development.
This 40- to 50-minute morning commitment accelerates my personal growth, supports my ability to respond to daily stress, strengthens and nourishes my digestive organs, and therefore supports my bowel movements. I walk away from my morning ritual feeling charged and ready to take on some pretty monumental, rewarding, and often uncomfortable projects.
Drink apple cider vinegar.
I pop 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup boiled water, and ¼ cup of room-temperature water into a large glass and chug it down at least 5 to 10 minutes before my first meal of the day.
If you want healthier bowel movements, you need to put the effort into your diet, movement, and mindset. I love this quote as it highlights this sentiment perfectly, "Proper preparation prevents poor performance."
There you have it, a snapshot of how I get my mojo back. Hopefully some of these tips will help you move more freely, too. Please remember that everyone has different triggers for constipation, so if you don't get any relief, read "13 Tricks To Have A Great Poop, Every Time" or seek support from a practitioner.