Human kind has existed for hundreds of thousands of years and the natural position adopted for “going to the toilet” was the squatting position. It may seem backwards or “uncivilised” to someone who has been using the modern toilet all their lives, but it is the way the human body was designed to function. It is estimated that over the half the world’s population squat, majority of them do not have access to modern toilets. Toilets designed specifically for squatting exist primarily in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Europe. An architect, Alexander Kira, has stated in his 1966 book, The Bathroom, that human physiology is better suited to the squat.
In the human body, the puborectalis muscle is responsible for choking the rectum (the final straight portion of the large intestine). This choking mechanism maintains continence. When you sit on a toilet, the puborectalis muscle is partially relaxed thus allowing elimination to take place. However, when you adopt the squatting position, the muscle is fully relaxed, allowing elimination to take place more freely.
Sitting on toilets, in retrospect to the history of human kind, is a fairly recent phenomenon adopted largely in the 16th century with the advent of the flush toilet. The end of the squatting position and the introduction of the sitting toilets was the beginning of something unintentional and new: a variety of ailments caused by unhealthy colon hygiene and toilet posture.
Hemorrhoids, constipation, colon disease, difficulty in urinating, urinary tract infections and pelvic floor disorders – these are just some of the problems humans are faced with today. Although not discussed freely, these symptoms are a lot more widespread than you think.
Constipation is a problem we’ve all faced and is characterized by dry, hard, difficult or infrequent stools which require excessive straining to eliminate. One of the causes of constipation is the lack of a proper diet – many finding it difficult to maintain a healthy diet in this fast-paced day and age. Another factor which can be attributed to constipation is the largely ignored subject of toilet posture.
Hemorrhoids are the swelling of veins in the region of the anus. These veins can stay swollen and passing a large bowel movement can be extremely painful and on occasion cause bleeding. There are a variety of factors which can lead to hemorrhoids, the primary factor being the excessive straining during bowel movements coupled with a diet low in fibre and water intake resulting in hard stools. Symptoms of hemorrhoids include anal itching, anal aches, especially while sitting, bright red blood on toilet tissue, pain during bowel movements, etc.
Colon disease – your colon (large intestine) is part of your digestive system. Fecal matter is traversed through the colon and exits through the anus. An array of colon related diseases result from improper or poor colonic hygiene. Fecal stagnation occurs if we do not fully eliminate the colon of all fecal matter on a regular basis. One of the main causes of colon cancer is fecal stagnation due to incomplete elimination of the bowels.