Constipation is the most common digestive disorder in the United States. It is estimated that 12% to 19% of the population is affected with constipation, which is approximately 63 million people! It is more common in women and appears to increase with age, particularly after 65.*
Certain yoga poses can help with not only constipation but also constipation-predominant (IBS-C). The cause of Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is unknown. A common theory is that IBS begins with a disorder in the interaction between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, creating abnormalities in the gut flora and/or the immune system.
How to Relieve Constipation
The common lifestyle management choices for constipation include dietary changes such as increasing the intake of fiber and water as well as developing a regular exercise regiment to keep stress, anxiety, and depression at bay.
Twists are a great way to activate the digestive system. They create a gentle massage on the intestinal tract to help keep things moving. Things usually get “stuck” in the large intestine, which is an upside down U-shaped tube starting at the right hip bone, moving up to the waist line across the belly, and then down the left side where it ends at the anus. The large intestine is where the 700+ bacteria species do their work, producing vitamins, helping nutrients to be broken down and absorbed, bolstering the immune system as well as sometimes producing excessive gas.
If you are suffering from constipation, meaning that you are having less bowel movements than your regular cycle or constipation-predominant (IBS-C), then you will want to practice this pose twice a day.
*Higgins PD, Johanson JF. Epidemiology of constipation in North America: a systematic review. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2004;99:750–759. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15089911