How to Get Your Bowels Moving Naturally
Seven Natural Tips to Move Your Bowels
Are you having days when you don’t have a bowel movement?
What does it mean if you miss a bowel movement? If you miss having a bowel movement on the very rare occasion, I wouldn’t put any thought into it. But, if once or twice a month you miss having a daily bowel movement, or the number of days you miss seem to be increasing, you should really start paying attention. Also, if you can’t have a bowel movement without the use of a laxative or caffeine then you should also pay attention to this article. I cannot say enough how important it is that your bowels move on their own every single day.
I used to suffer from constipation (less than one bowel movement per day) and I really didn’t think much about it. I also didn’t know how it was connected to my health and so I didn’t see any importance to making sure my bowels were moving. When I was quite young, I suffered from stiff and sore joints, a scattered, drifty mind, and extreme mood swings. What I learned later is that all of these conditions clear up once the bowels move.
Now, some people have regular bowel movements and they still suffer from some of the above symptoms, and if that is you, then your body is different, and there is another reason specific for you. But, if you are not having regular movements AND you are having health issues, then getting your bowels in good health will help clear up a lot of your health conditions.
How Do I Get My Bowels Moving Naturally?
This is the big question. I will give you some simple, natural ways to get your bowel health back on track. But remember, depending on how long the constipation has been going on, it may take a bit of time to reverse, and none of my suggestions include taking supplements.
The following suggestions are for those who aren’t obese. If you are obese, or have a large amount of extra weight, then please skip suggestions 1-4 and go straight to suggestions 5-7.
- Increase the amount of oil in your diet. Your bowels aren’t moving because you are dried out. You can replace the dryness by adding good, natural oils to your meals. This includes eating foods that naturally have oil in them, such as avocados, nuts and seeds. If you are eating these foods but still not having regular movements, I would still suggest you need more oil.
- Avoid dry foods. Dry foods require more moisture to digest, which means they take moisture from your body. Eat foods that are naturally moist, or foods that are cooked but not dry. The worst foods to eat if your bowels aren’t moving are rice cakes, Ryvita, popcorn, dried fruits, granola, and muesli.
- Oil your skin. If your skin is dry, this is a good indicator that internally you are dry. Oiling the skin will help bring moisture from the outside in. Sunflower oil is a safe oil to put on the skin. Don’t worry about pimples or skin eruptions; basically, if the oil is of good quality it will be absorbed by the skin and used in the body.
- Avoid raw food. If your diet is composed mostly of raw foods and you still aren’t having a bowel movement, then you should come off the raw food until the bowels are moving again and then start with the raw food in the summer. It takes a certain enzyme to digest raw food which is completely different than the enzyme we need to break down cooked foods. During the warmer time of the year we have an easier time adjusting our diets to raw. Make sure you educate yourself about how to eat healthy if you do want to stay on your raw diet. You should be having regular full movements if you do eat raw foods, and if you are missing bowel movements then I strongly suggest you seek advice, or stop and get digestion back on track before you proceed.
Some of us are very heavy and aren’t having regular movements. If you are in that group, here are my suggestions for you.
5. Give your body a cleanse. If you are heavy and have never cleansed your body, then my suggestion is that you do. Cleansing requires some will power, and I'd recommend asking a friend to help, or getting yourself a health coach. You need to have someone you are accountable to in order for the cleanse to work. There are a few ways of cleansing the body:
- Juice fasting. Decide to only drink juice (that you make yourself) for a certain number of days. In the beginning you may want to try one or two days at a time, and then once you know you can do it you may want to increase it to a five-day juice fast. I suggest that the fresh fruits and vegetables you juice for your fast be all organic.
- Fasting: I know this isn’t going to be a popular choice, but fasting once a week has been proven to improve any health condition. Choose one day a week where you will drink only water, and eat nothing solid. This will allow your body a break. Choose the same day every week to make it simple.
6. Avoid bread, pasta, and cereal. This is high on my list for getting the bowels moving again. These foods tend to be heavy and create stagnation in the body and make you put on weight. We become addicted to the “highs” we get from eating simple carbohydrates, but what happens is that after the high we have a very deep low, and energy plummets. Avoid this by replacing your bread, pasta, or cereal with whole grains.
7. Increase whole grains in your diet. Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that give us energy over time and are much more efficient fuel to burn. Whole grains include rice, quinoa, barley, millet, amaranth and oats. Yes, I said rice, and I do mean white rice, but not Uncle Ben's or a quick-cooking rice. Rice only needs about 20 minutes to cook and is one of the simplest food items to digest.
There are my top seven ways to get your bowels moving naturally. Remember that we are all individuals, and you will get the best results working one-on-one with a health coach. If you have questions or comments please feel comfortable in leaving them here.
If you have concerns about your bowel movements, I recommend you visit your GP for a full exam. My point of view is the result of my training in Ayurveda and my own experience. It is not intended to be used as a diagnosis or to replace a visit with your GP.