How Inhaling Can Help You Have A Better Bowel Movement, According To A DPT
OK, raise your hand if you've ever strained on the toilet? Yeah, we've all been there. But while straining for a bowel movement may be an all-too-common practice, that doesn't mean it's healthy, or even helpful. In fact, according to pelvic floor expert Kelly Peterson, P.T., DPT—this is the "wrong" way to go about your bathroom time.
What's the "right" way? Well, Peterson recently posted a TikTok sharing the optimal way to have a BM, by "inhaling" to relieve yourself. Intrigued? So were we.
How to "inhale" your poop out.
Peterson explains that the "inhale" method is great for relieving pressure on the bowels and pooping comfortably. "A lot of us don't know how to poop properly," she notes. "We are trying to remember that when we are pooping or when we are evacuating stool, we want our pelvic floor muscles to lengthen, to open, and to relax."
Breathwork can help to relax the body on the whole, so it stands to reason it would also help get things moving with your bowels. "As you breathe in, that pelvic floor will lengthen or drop," she notes. "When you're having a bowel movement or even when you're urinating, you really want to focus on breathing downward toward the openings."
In another video, Peterson breaks it down into the following steps:
- Lean forward and rest your elbows on your thighs (using a step stool or Squatty Potty).
- Practice diaphragmatic breathing.
- Inhale downward toward openings.
- Try exhaling forcefully as though you're breathing through a straw.
Other ways to support regularity.
In addition to breathwork, you can support healthy bowel movements through a variety of daily habits: eating a high-fiber diet, regularly exercising, and even drinking plenty of water. But one sneaky method you may be missing out on is consistently taking a high-quality, specially formulated probiotic.
To promote great gut health and keep your bathroom routine on track, mbg created probiotic+, formulated with four targeted strains that will not only support digestion and reduce bloat but also help maintain abdominal comfort and regularity.* When taken alongside a fibrous breakfast and a big glass of water, your gut will thank you.
According to Peterson, there is a "right" and "wrong" way to poop, and straining falls under the category of something that you should avoid when relieving your bowels. Instead, the next time you head into the restroom, take a deep breath and exhale down "toward the openings," as Peterson says, in order to have a complete movement that doesn't cause undue strain. But remember, your routine outside of the restroom informs your comfort when it comes time to poop, so take your diet and supplementation routine into consideration if you need a little extra support.
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.