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Drinking an average of eight glasses of water daily to get the bowels moving is a not just a hyped remedy.
Let’s begin with the fundamentals. More than half of a person’s weight is water. Without water, the human body cannot carry out life-sustaining functions. Well-moisturized digestive organs break down food properly to form ideal stools which consist of at least seventy percent water.
Water is lost during perspiration, urination and defecation. Water is also lost during bath and sleep! That’s why conscious effort must be made to replenish water in the body. The best time to start drinking water is upon rising in the morning when the stomach is still empty. If sufficient food was taken the night before, the water would help “wake up” the intestines to contract and relax.
Generally the quantity of daily water intake is 1200ml. A constipated person needs more, that is 2000 ml. Folks who worry about water retention problem could try to drink slowly, before meals and before noon. They should also refrain from drinking water after evening. Of course, water has to be taken with dietary fiber to be effective. Almost every edible constipation remedy such as sugar and herbs has to be taken with water as well and a lot of them are not as palatable as water.
Apart from being consumed orally, bathing with water can also relieve constipation – in fact, it is one of the common methods to treat babies. The father of hydrotherapy Sebastian Kneipp advised his patients to drink water and to take baths. ” ( Baths )… has always been of good service to to me for the evacuation of stagnant matters in the bowels…” he wrote. Kneipp was not alone in his opinion. Bath cultures have existed for centuries in different parts of the world where therapeutic properties of water is highly esteemed such as: Hungarian thermal bath, Turkish bath and Japanese onsen to name a few.
Enjoying a bath relaxes a component of the nervous system – the parasympathetic nerves, also known as ” rest and digest system “. When a person is calm, parasympathetic nerves restore the internal body state to normal by promoting digestion and elimination. Modern bath equipment such as Jacuzzi not only relaxes, it also massages the body. There is a manufacturer who claims that soaking in a whirlpool which churns out ultrasonic bubbles is as good as jogging three kilometers. Yes, water can be a luxurious constipation relief for people who can afford the gadgets.
On top of a list of simple things doctors wish we would do for the sake of health is to learn to handle stress. “Not everyone relaxes by doing yoga or meditating-a brisk walk or smashing a tennis ball might be better,” says David L. Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. “Just figure out what works for you.” Contact with water doesn’t require much figuring out – Sound of water in natural setting is soothing, just listen to the pitter pattering rain. For people who cannot be near the side often, they can opt for sound of sea waves incorporated in relaxation tapes.
In the case of severe constipation that seems to defy all the remedies a person has tried, water can be employed to flush out waste matter. When squirted into the terminal end of the alimentary canal in the form of enema, water becomes the potent fast acting laxative. At times, a disabled person may legitimately need a watery enema to induce bowel movements. Another practice of cleansing the colon for the purpose of detoxification, though popular, is frowned upon by mainstream medical community.
People who complain that water doesn’t help with their constipation should reflect on the silent role it plays on their mental, emotional and physical well-being which ultimately benefits the gut. Don’t take water remedy for granted, it may not be a free flowing goodness from Mother Nature for us to enjoy when we are grievously sick. Dialysis patients who cannot drink as much as they would like to, would miss this privilege a lot.