Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To Squat Or Not

 As a society, we are constantly being bombarded with the ideas that we are doing everything wrong in our lives. We eat too much, we don’t chew our food well enough, we don’t get enough sleep, and, as of late, what we do behind closed doors is now under scrutiny.

No, I am not meaning the birds and the bees (sex), I am talking about the good old number 1 & number 2 (urination and defecation).

So I was online recently and came across an interesting advertisement called Squatty Potty. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a look at the video at the website. In a nut shell, the site claims that the natural squat position is beneficial for us and the more common sitting at a 90 degree angle poses risks for health problems.

Squatty Potty a stool that is designed to elevate the feet and legs to “allow greater hip flexion and straightening of the anorectal canal.” It is recommended for everyone, too, especially those who may suffer from a variety of conditions like constipation, IBS, pelvic floor issues, hemorrhoids, etc.

You can freely read all the science-type facts and the various publications that support this concept; which are on the website. I won’t go into all those details.

Intrigued by what I had read, though, I decided to write the company and ask for a Squatty Potty, so I could do a review on the product. Was I actually going to the bathroom incorrectly all of these years? Are we all actually doing it wrong?

I received a pleasant response back and, within a couple of weeks, I had a plastic white, 7-inch Squatty Potty Ecco Toilet Stool to test out.

Sharing the news with a few people, who really thought I was off my rocker, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.

So far a month has passed. Keep in mind, what works for one may not work for another.

To start off, the design of this particular toilet stool is a little awkward. Even though it says that it wraps around any standard toilet, and is easily stored when not in use, it wasn’t quite the case.

Our bathrooms are small, so perhaps if you have larger ones, this would work better. Anyhow, I tried to put it under our upstairs toilet, and I agree it does wrap around snuggly, but every time my boyfriend had to go in, he would bang right into it. So it became more of a hindrance entering the bathroom, which was a definite negative.

Approaching the porcelain throne with this new device to try out was an interesting time. The way it works is that you comfortably sit down in your usual position, bring the Squatty Potty out from underneath, and then elevate your legs and feet. As you do this, you are now put in the natural squatting position and you can go about your business.

The posture position didn’t feel natural at all, and even though you are supposed to ‘relax’ it’s difficult to do so.

Like anything new, it does take a few times to adjust, and finally, after a few times of situating my body right, it became second-nature.

*Funny side note: my boyfriend decided to humour me and try it out. Sadly, he ended up almost falling into the toilet by elevating his legs onto the stool because of the awkwardness of how his posture was supposed to be. Hygienically, that’s a no-no, and so Squatty Potty was simply for me to continue to experiment with.

My results: I found an immense amount of pressure that was really uncomfortable for the first few times using this product. It does mention that for most people, “the difference is immediate, while some bodies take about a week to adjust, relax and get things moving.”

Consistently using it, the pressure fluctuated a bit, and I was able to squat like a champ. As far as having faster and more complete eliminations, I did see some positive changes. But that could have been assisted with the fact that I have been consciously added more fiber to my diet. So I don’t see any casual link here, just a correlation.

I didn’t really see a huge difference using the stool, and after stopping its usage to document any changes, I felt pretty much the same. Others may experience different results, but I don’t believe this product was all the hype that it claimed to be.

Regardless of how you choose to use the can/john/loo, or whatever name you call it, one thing I definitely agree with is the idea of their slogan: “healthy colon, happy life!”

This review was probably TMI (too much information). But, these are important things to discuss. Maybe not at the dinner table, or on a first date, but eventually it’s a conversation that you are guaranteed to have at some point in your life.

If you’d like to learn more about Squatty Potty (they also come in 9” and bamboo style), please visit the website: Squatty Potty