Rob Zukowski is a New York State LMT, certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, a Certified Medical Massage Therapist and holds a degree in Occupational Studies, with a focus on massage therapy, from the prestigious Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He has advanced training in sports massage, various relaxation therapies, and training in multi-therapeutic approaches to massage for oncology.

In addition to private practice, his experience includes being a massage therapist, lead therapist and member relationships manager in assorted fitness centers, spas, clinics and holistic healing settings and working in corporate wellness environments. Rob also works as a client services manager at a healing center, authors his own column on the subject of complementary and alternative medicine in a national HIV/AIDS magazine, works in student outreach and lectures on therapeutic massage for various pathologies.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Everybody Poops. Are you doing it right?

No matter what age you are or what your station in life, people often find poop funny. However, your poop posture; now that's serious. You will be either amused or informed. Maybe both.

I learned about proper poop posture in an Eastern Medicine class while on the topic of abdominal massage. Naturally, most of the class giggled when the subject was broached. I will never forget what the professor said, in fact, I made it a Facebook staus that day. "You are training to be medical professionals. We have to talk about poop."

Generally and briefly, colon/deep abdominal massage can help your colon to work more effectively. The less "full" you are the less sluggish you feel and losing toxins can help improve skin condition. This massage practice can help to assist the body's natural ability to heal itself by cleansing the colon of toxin build up. Starting at the bottom right corner of your rib cage, the massage therapist will massage your abdomen, using circular motions. The massage proceeds across your abdomen, along the base of your ribs, and then down the other side, across your lower abdomen, and back up again, in concentric circles. The areas targeted are your ascending, transverse and descending colon.

Squatting when defecating is not a new concept. In some of my travels I came across toilets designed specifically for this position, and I just thought it was a primitive toilet and cheap accommodations. It turns out, no pun intended, that squatting is believed to be a healthier position; it can help avoid colon disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, pelvic floor issues and similar posterior problems. No strain, all gain.

It's all about your anorectal angle - the angle formed by the junction of the rectum with the anus. Studies show, after a measure of the anorectal angle in various postures, that the angle is partially straightened out when squatting, thereby reducing the usual pressure required for defecation. Some research has shown that in some people, the kink is completely gone while squatting.
Anatomically speaking, when you are seated, the anorectal angle is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the pig in the pen, so to speak. I grasp that the toilet in your home is likely not built for the squat and that you likely won't remodel for a hole in the floor version. I get it; but you can always use a stool for your stool. Pun intended.

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