Day 3: Elimination Aides
Constipation, Squatting, Dry Skin Brushing, Cascara Sagrada
Welcome to Day 3!
Your bowel movements may have picked up! The loose stools that can be experienced are right on course for the beginning of a Juice Feast when there is uneliminated waste matter to release.. Hang in there—the number of bowel movements will reduce as this initial uneliminated waste matter is moved out.
All four files today concern elimination. Three addressing bowel health, and a final file on skin brushing to aid our largest eliminative organ, our skin. Tomorrow we will go more into depth on the functions of the digestive system, by reading some chapters from Dr. Richard Anderson’s Cleanse and Purify Thyself. Also included will be several charts on digestive and colon health for your files.
Learning about these aids to cleansing now will be of great benefit to you in the early stages of the Feast, and is essential understanding for healthy feasting and living in the future!
Health begins and ends in the intestines (well, maybe not completely… but this is an important partial truth to incorporate
Unfortunately, constipation is a common problem in the United States, affecting almost 20% of the population, who spend over $700 million annually on laxatives. Despite this fact, conventional medicine gives little attention to this growing national problem, preferring to prescribe drugs that treat symptoms rather than the root causes of the condition. Recognizing that regularity is important and that disease starts in the colon, alternative medicine offers a variety of approaches to help cleanse the colon and return it to a state of health.
Types of Constipation
There are two basic kinds of constipation: atonic (lazy bowel) and spastic (narrowing of the colon, with small, ribbon-like stools).
For atonic constipation, a high fiber diet and increased fluid intake is recommended. Once the problem has gone away it will be necessary to retrain the bowel, as explained below. Spastic constipation may be caused by an obstruction or nervousness or anxiety.
Why We Are Constipated (Ugh!)
Processed and Cooked Foods
Lack of Plant Fiber in Diet
Animal-Based Diet of Meat and Dairy
An Over-Acid Constitution
Lack of Exercise
Stress, and a Diet Which Disables our Ability to Handle It
Lack of Essential Fatty Acids (such as Omega-3 from Flax)
Compromised Intestinal Flora (We Require Probiotics)
“Holding It” and Not Going When Nature Calls
Constipation Itself: Leads to Greater Constipation
What to Do to Heal Constipation
Juice Feast, if appropriate, to remove uneliminated waste matter from Colon
Eat a hydrating plant-based living and raw foods diet
Enemas or Colonics to Help Remove Uneliminated Waste Matter
Eat 3 Tablespoons of Ground Flax Seeds each day (After Juice Feasting)
Eat/Drink 2 lbs of leafy greens each day (which you are doing through juice on this Juice Feast)
Practice Squatting for Bowel Movements Instead of Sitting
Exercise: Walk, Yoga, Deep Breathing Exercises, and Weight Training
Chew Food Thoroughly (Fletcherize)
How to Re-train Your Bowel
Since you haven’t been going to the bathroom on a regular basis, you will need to retrain your bowels to get into a regular habit. Follow these steps in the retraining process:
1) go to the bathroom at the same time each day, even if nothing happens; relax and don’t try to force the stool;
2) don’t spend more than five minutes sitting on the toilet without producing any results. If you go into the bathroom to read, remove the reading material;
3) don’t suppress the urge to defecate;
4) don’t strain to have a movement. Prolonged straining can injure nerves and muscles of the colon and rectum, resulting in hemorrhoids and fecal incontinence;
5) exercise at least four times per week for a minimum of twenty minutes each time;
6) stop using enemas or laxatives or other products used to relieve constipation. The idea is to make the bowel function on its own with no other aids. After a week or two with the necessary dietary and habit changes, your stools should come at a regular time and frequency.
This file is from Daniel P. Reid’s excellent book, The Tao of Sex, Health, and Longevity. Reid writes,”Take a look at nature and you will see that all animals squat to defecate. Even our closest ancestors, the primates, squat down with their knees drawn up to their chests when ‘nature calls’. What you may not realize, however, is that even today most human beings still defecate in this natural manner, especially in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.”
When we are Feasting, it is important that we squat to have bowel movements, if possible. This can involve setting a stool in front of the toilet, or standing on the rim of the bowl (at your own risk – make sure the rim is dry). Don’t worry – no one is in there, so take care of your health by making sure that all that old uneliminated matter is moving out!
Early plant chemists identified the active laxative constituents in Cascara Sagrada bark: anthraquinone derivatives. These compounds stimulate peristalsis, the vigorous wavelike contractions of the large intestine that keep food moving through the digestive system. When cascara speeds the process up, the body produces a softer, quicker bowel movement because the intestine has had less chance to absorb the liquid from the stool. Several studies have shown that cascara sagrada is effective in easing chronic constipation in elderly people.
On the Juice Feast: use of this bark is only advisable during parts of the Feast that you are experiencing solid bowel movements, and only in the case of feeling like more needs to come out of your colon.
For some, solid bowel movements may occur the entire Feast, and others perhaps only half-way through. You should have 2-3 bowel movements per day on the Feast, and many more than that in the earlier weeks (I had ELEVEN in one day on my first 90 Day Feast). Given that this programme involves an enema once every day, or every other day, the use of Cascara Sagrada should be minimal. Directions for use are one capsule in a day, and watch for results. If none, increase to two capsules in an entire day, and bowel movements should begin. Within 15-30 days of Juice Feasting, this herbal remedy will be less likely to be needed. Keep this one in your cabinet for occasional future use beyond the Feast.
Dry Skin Brushing
Your daily bathroom regimen (when you do an enema, shower, do hot/cold treatment, and brush your teeth) should begin with skin brushing for a period of three to five minutes. I believe skin brushing is one of the finest of all “baths.” No soap can wash the skin as clean as the new skin that you have under the old. You make a new top layer of skin every twenty-four hours. Skin brushing removes the old top layer and lets this clean new layer come to the surface.
The skin is one of the five main elimination channels of the body, throwing off about two pounds of toxic material each day in the form of perspiration. The skin has been called the third kidney because of its ability to rid the body of toxic waste material. Do not hinder the skin by using oils, cremes, or other noxious glop that serves only to clog it in the name of beauty. Instead, see what regular skin brushing can do for you.
Skin brushing is accomplished using a natural-bristle brush with a long handle to reach those hard-to-get-at places. The whole body (except the face) should be brushed one-half hour after rising and prior to the morning bath or shower. You may wish to skin brush again before retiring for the night. Note the powder that comes off your skin as you brush. These are crystals of uric acid and other dried waste products that came out with the perspiration.
Always brush the skin when it is dry, and never expose the brush to water. Although the bristles may seem a bit stiff at first, this is because the brush is new and your skin is not yet used to the brushing. If you find the brush is too stiff, you may, just once, hold the bristles in hot water for no longer than one minute and no deeper than one-half inch. This will soften the bristles a little. However, it will not be long before you desire a stiffer brush! Your skin will love you for brushing it regularly, and you will love the way your skin feels and looks, too.
TOMORROW on Day 4, we will discuss the water-based elimination aides: Enemas and Colonics.
See you in The Green Room!
Skin Brushing: A Sensual Experience
"I'm discussing the sensuality of dry skin brushing.
Have you tried it? OMG. It is an experience and a half. Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymph system, which enhances the body's natural detoxification processes. Pretty simple and clinical, right? But it's doing good things for your body.
But have you ever done it on a daily basis?
Have you felt the natural, coarse bristles roughly penetrating the largest organ in the body while still wanting more? Have you ever given yourself a sensual massage from toe to top every morning and starting your day off with the softest skin imaginable? Skin like silk?
The power of touch is an amazing thing. It can make your mood lighter. The more touches you give or receive, the better you feel. Touching is a necessity for a healthy life and what better way to get your touch on than dry skin brushing?
Well, I can think of better ways but, I'm trying to keep this PG-13."
Inspired to start brushing it up? We certainly are!
Like many other gastrointestinal conditions, constipation is largely due to poor eating habits, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, and dehydration. Although you are addressing all of these complications through Juice Feasting, according to Juice Alive by Steven Baily and Larry Trivieri these are some excellent things to juice for preventing and relieving constipation.
(Also, do not forget your enemas!)
+ yellow onion
+ black radish
+ dandelion root
Juice in any combination that your taste buds like, and enjoy the flow!
Squatting: The Science
An Israeli doctor named Dov Sikirov tested this idea for a 2003 study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences. He had several dozen patients defecate in each of three positions: sitting on a 16-inch-high toilet, sitting on a 12-inch-high toilet, and squatting over a plastic container. He asked his subjects to record how long each bowel movement took and rate the effort required on a four-point scale ranging from effortless to difficult. Sikirov found that, when squatting, subjects averaged a mere 51 seconds to move their bowels, versus 130 seconds when sitting on a high toilet. And as they moved from a sit to a squat, subjects were more likely to rate the experience as easier.
Then last year , a group of Japanese doctors extended Sikirov's findings by looking at what happens inside the body while people squat and sit. For a study published in the medical journal Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms, six subjects had their rectums filled with a contrast solution and then released the fluid from a squatting or a sitting position while being filmed with X-ray video. Image analysis showed that the anorectal angle increased from 100 degrees to 126 degrees as the subjects moved from a sit to a squat. The researchers also recorded abdominal pressure, and found that the subjects were straining less when they squatted.