Massaging This Body Part Is Guaranteed To Help You Poop!
If you’ve ever had an issue going to the bathroom, you know that sometimes you’re willing to try anything to get some relief. Fiber, stool softeners, cleanses—whatever, bring it on.
But there’s one thing you probably haven’t tried, and it might be the key to get things moving with zero side effects. The downside: It’s a little…hands on. The technique involves massaging your perineum—that stretch of skin separating your private parts from your anus. (Yeah, we know, but stay with us.) The spot contains a pressure point that, when massaged, can ease constipation, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Because constipation is a super-common complaint—up to 19 percent of us deal with it, states the study, and it strikes more women than men—researchers decided to look into alternative ways to ease that plugged-up feeling besides eating more fiber-rich foods and scoring more exercise. Pregnant women have long been advised to massage their perineum regularly to help relax the area and prevent tearing during labor, and the researchers theorized that massage might help relax the bowels as well.
When you’re about to jet off somewhere, the last thing you’re thinking about is how much the dietary change can wreak havoc on your system. “Lots of people have a diet they follow most days with a good amount of fiber that keeps them regular,” says Jordan Karlitz, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist and a member of the American College of Gastroenterology. “When they go on vacation and eat things they’re not accustomed to, that can lead to a change in bowel habits.” The main fix is making sure you’re getting enough fiber, which is 25 grams a day for adult women, according to dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “If you know you’re going on a trip but you eat a fiber-fortified cereal every morning or something of that nature, be aware of that and even consider taking some along with you,” says Karlitz.