health

Here’s How To Make Yourself Poop By Just Pressing Your Belly

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

There are a few conversation topics that most of us would be more than happy to avoid.

Most of these topics revolve, unsurprisingly, around our bodies.

That’s because bodies, while a beautiful and majestic marvel, can also be kind of gross and embarrassing.

Here at LittleThings, we get that, we really do — but we’re still big believers in confronting all of our weird body stuff up-front, especially if it improves our quality of life!

That’s why we’re always delighted when we have the opportunity to discuss the “awkward” stuff, from sleeping nude to the health benefits of passing gas. It’s all important, and we don’t gain anything by pretending it doesn’t exist.

So today, we’re here to explore another topic that makes lots of people squeamish, but is still super-important to everyone’s health: pooping.

As we tell toddlers during potty-training, “Everybody poops!” That certainly doesn’t change as we get older, we just get less frank about discussing it. In fact, lots of us still may not be pooping quite right!

Read on below to get the scoop on poop, and learn how to improve your daily pooping practices!

Scoop On Poop #1: Set Aside Some Time

Scoop On Poop #1: Set Aside Some Time
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According to experts like Kimberly Snyder, there’s a wide range of “normal” for bowel movements. Anything from pooping three times a day is normal to pooping once every three days is normal, depending on your body.

Still, the ideal is to go twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

The best way to establish a good “schedule” is to set aside 15 minutes at the beginning and the end of the day for uninterrupted bathroom time.

That way, there’s no pressure, and you know that you have all that time to see if your body is up for passing something.

Scoop On Poop #2: Squat, Don’t Sit

Scoop On Poop #2: Squat, Don’t Sit
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By now, you’ve probably heard of the Squatty Potty, a device which helps to align your colon while you sit for uninterrupted, painless bowel movements.

Well, even if you don’t have one already — or access to an old-fashioned, hole-in-the-ground style of toilet — you can still achieve the same effect simply by propping your feet up on an ordinary bathroom stool.

This pulls your colon into a straight line and encourages any poop to come out in one single fluid go, instead of getting stuck in a kinked colon.

Scoop On Poop #3: Don’t Strain

Scoop On Poop #3: Don’t Strain
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Sometimes, if you’re on the toilet and know you could go if you just pushed a little harder, it can be tempting to strain.

This is especially true if you’re in a rush or in a public place where you just want to get your poop over with, or if you’ve been blocked up for a while and are sick of it.

According to Dr. Oz, however, you should avoid straining whenever possible because it puts unnecessary pressure on your anal muscle and pelvic floor, and it can disrupt blood flow and cause arrhythmia in some people.

Scoop On Poop #4: Go Easy On The TP

Scoop On Poop #4: Go Easy On The TP
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Some poops pass cleanly through, while others leave a lot to clean up afterward.

Naturally, the impulse after a messy bowel movement is to wipe, and wipe until you’re totally clean.

While wiping is healthy, we should all learn to resist the urge to keep on wiping with dry toilet paper if we aren’t getting clean, and instead switch to a milder wet wipe to finish cleaning up.

That’s because the abrasive force of the TP can irritate the anus, and can even cause hemorrhoids to develop, according to Core Physicians.

Scoop On Poop #5: Use The 'Poop Button'

Scoop On Poop #5: Use The 'Poop Button'
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Here’s a handy pooping trick that we should all add to our rosters: when in doubt, use the “Poop Button.”

If you can tell you’re blocked up, but just having trouble getting things going, you can try making a fist and pressing it gently, but firmly, just below your belly button for about 20 seconds.

According to Redbook, this is an acupressure point that will stimulate your intestines to get things moving along. About 15 minutes after pressing the poop button, you should feel the urge.

Be careful not to press too hard on your sensitive abdomen, and double-check with your doctor before giving this a go.

Scoop On Poop #6: Get Moving

Scoop On Poop #6: Get Moving
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Have you ever noticed that, sometimes, you think you have absolutely no need to go number two, and then as soon as you get out the door, the urge overcomes you?

That’s because exercise and movement are two proven stimulations that cause constipation to disappear.

According to WebMD, movement gets your blood flow going and encourages the tiny muscle contractions in your digestive system that move poop along, helping your system speed up and get pooping.

Scoop On Poop #7: Cross Your Legs

Scoop On Poop #7: Cross Your Legs
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If you want to realign your system, but don’t have a squatting stool on hand, there’s another option: poop like a samurai.

According to Lifehacker, samurai used to align their bowels by crossing their legs on the toilet to encourage the body to pass stools more fluidly and easily.

To pull this off, prop up your feet so that your right ankle rests on your left knee, and your left foot stays squarely on the ground.

This position should make things go more smoothly!

Scoop On Poop #8: Distract Yourself

Scoop On Poop #8: Distract Yourself
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Of course, when in doubt, you can always rely on an old standby: distracting yourself!

Bring a book or a magazine to the bathroom with you (yes, just like your grandpa used to) and simply sit on the toilet while reading, without actively trying to go.

Simply being in that position will give your body the signal it needs, and focusing on something else will help keep you from tensing your muscles, or otherwise holding up the pooping process.

If you enjoyed these life-changing pooping habits, make sure to SHARE this helpful guide with friends and family!