Author Topic: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system  (Read 27482 times)

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Offline wodgina

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Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« on: February 10, 2010, 11:56:59 pm »
Squating isn't just for getting strong it also affects the nervous and is especially beneficial for the digestive system. Important info for IBS'ers.

I find 'the Asian squat' is great for stretching the back. The squat is a lost art for us neolithes and I believe paleoman would of spent much of their time resting in this position.

http://mikedemeter.com/articles/You%20Should%20Squat.pdf
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Offline KD

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 02:13:41 am »
Great article

I've been doing full squats during elimination for years (in times of eating cooked food, this is usually harder even with good leg strength and often use a "stool" which is usually anything I can grab like a trash can)

as for exercise, theres another really great no-weight squat one can do which I think was popularized by Matt Fury called the "Hindu" squat. better to youtube it as its hard to sum up in text, but basically it is sorta like preparing to jump off of something but you keep it going up in down in a circular motion.

I tend to get lazy about doing these, but I try to make up for it when I do something with free weights like biceps or shoulders, I'll go down for a full squat while I'm lowering the weight then lifting the weight when on the the rise close to my waist. not sure if this is something others recommend but works for me.


Offline Paleo Donk

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 05:57:50 am »
I agree, nice article and squatting is certainly something we should all think about adding to our lifestyle. I was quite disgusted when I was in China not too long ago entering a restroom with no toilet or paper. I found some paper and squatted for one of the first times in my life. You'll use less paper this way as well. You can do this without a stool as well, I just hop on the seat with my feet and bombard away.

 This should probably be in the health section.

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 06:23:38 am »
I couldn't face squatting while defecating. I've been to some of those public French toilets in certain national parks where they have such squat-toilets and the places where one puts one's feet are almost  always covered in sh*t. Most unpleasant. At least with a seat and a proper toilet, 99% of people can be toilet-trained to aim at the right place, with lavatory attendants fixing any unusual occurrences each day.
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 08:29:06 am »
Squatting is also [a common] way most people in the world normally sit:

So between sitting and defecating, most people in the world (other than Westerners and Western-influenced cities) get tons and tons of daily squat exercise.

Notice also the soft, flat-soled shoes this man wears, which are superior to Western stiff, thick-soled shoes with heels.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 12:43:56 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
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Offline miles

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 10:14:31 am »
Notice also the soft, flat-soled shoes this man wears, which are superior to Western stiff, thick-soled shoes with heels.

+1 I hate the standard western sole-model with thick sole and elevated heel... I'd like to be able to get all seasons' footwear with the flat, soft and flexible soles.
__________________________________________________________

That way of sitting, though, isn't all great... It cuts off circulation down the backs of the legs, through the backs of the knees...

Just out of curiosity: Try going into this squatting position, heels flat on the floor and with no shoes(no elevated heels at least). How do you feel? Aside from the feeling of cutting off the blood behind my knees, I feel like I have to put quite a lot of effort in with my shin muscles to stay up as I'm not really on balance. That is with me leaning over my knees like this guy.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 10:21:12 am by miles »
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 12:05:50 pm »
...That way of sitting, though, isn't all great... It cuts off circulation down the backs of the legs, through the backs of the knees...
I've been sitting that way (where possible) all my life, despite my mother's and other modern adults' efforts to get me to stop. It came instinctively to me as a child (and I've observed it in every other infant child I've ever seen that had working legs) and I found Western chair sitting to be much more uncomfortable, painful, and circulation-suppressing (for one thing, my ass tended to fall asleep in chairs :D --though not now that my circulation-promoting diet is able to overcome the ass suffocation by modern chairs :D ...my legs still do fall asleep if I cross them for too long, though...which is a problem squatting does not share). I find it eases the pain on my back and is better for my circulation. Note also that the fellow in the photo also has no apparent problems doing it or discomfort from it. Note also that all primates squat in nature. Humans have to be trained to not squat.

However, folks with knee joint arthritis/stiffness and/or muscle atrophy from years of Western-style chair sitting do have trouble squatting. Billions of other people do not, however--including extremely elderly folk, some of which I have posted images of elsewhere in this forum. If you do it in public in a modern society, you'll soon find that it is disapproved of. The main problem with squatting appears to be social, not physical. I think that the biggest problem with it is that it reminds us that we are animals too. I don't look down on other animals (pardon the pun ;) ) or consider nature to be inherently sinful or evil, so for me it's not a problem.

See also:

"The Asian / Third World Squat"

Image: people who haven't forgotten how to sit. -- One thing this image reminds me of is that children and animals tend to act as if they feel more comfortable and less threatened if you squat or sit on the ground like this, at their level and in this non-aggressive posture. Standing or sitting high makes adults tower over animals and children, and thus appear more threatening and attack-ready. The best pose to frighten off even a ferocious predator is standing as tall and wide as you can. Try it some time. Squat or sit down at floor/ground level and see if children or animals come closer to you. I've seen some people instinctively squat down and use a smaller, more child-like voice when they want a dog to come to them.

I have an advantage over many Westerners, in that because of my back pain I never stopped squatting. So it still comes naturally to me. If you're joints are still limber enough to squat and your muscles can handle it, but you don't have the balance, you can also try a modified squat, described by Esther Gokhale at the above link.

Remember, that one of the principles of Paleo lifestyle is that the best way to do things is often (though not always) the opposite of how moderners do it and how the experts tell you to do it. Bear in mind that the ways of sitting and getting around that require the least amount of muscle involvement and balance are usually the worst, not the best. The primary thing to avoid is atrophy, not muscle use. You should put your weight on your muscles more than your joints and spine. When I told my nephew that flat-soled shoes are the best, he insightfully responded, "But they make you use your calf muscles more." I replied, "Precisely--and you want your calf muscles to get stronger and bigger, don't you?" He immediately saw the wisdom of that.

You can also try other sitting postures, like a half lotus, bent-knee sitting, or natural butt-on-ground sitting, which Gokhale shows how to do with images of infants. The first step in healthy sitting is to forget what Western culture taught us about it and open our minds to re-learning the instinctive ways of sitting.

Paul Chek is right about squatting, IMHO. I like other ways of sitting and reclining too, of course, but squatting is one of my faves.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 12:59:58 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline goodsamaritan

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 12:56:24 pm »
This seems very important.
My pooping has improved since I did semi squats.

As for those pics where people do a full squat, I have never been able to do that since I can remember ever in my life, I try and but I have to be on my tip toes and then fall.  Maybe I grew up not physically developing fully.  Although lately I've been feeling a lot stronger, maybe there is still hope for a 40 year old guy to be more limber?
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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 01:02:44 pm »
See if you can do Gokhale's modified squat. Try the other yogic (ie natural) sitting postures too and start out with what you can handle, then gradually work up from there. If your joints are ossified, you may find (like my father, who is in his 70's) that they gradually loosen up again on a Paleo-type diet. If it's just your balance then I think your progress could potentially be faster than folks with stiff/arthritic joints. If your connective tissues and inner ear are OK, then the main issues will probably be muscle strength and balance practice. Connective tissues and inner ear problems tend to be more permanent than muscle issues, but I have experienced some improvements in all those areas.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 01:12:32 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline miles

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 10:28:26 pm »
Phil, don't you feel like most of your weight is on your heel, even leaning forward as much as you can...? I could hold it for a long time.. I mean hours(though I haven't tried. I'm finding it a lot easier today than last night), but it doesn't feel particularly restful. I don't know, but I like the idea of squatting places instead of sitting anyway =) I've 'always' done (exercise)squats this way, flat feet, all the way down; just not holding the bottom part for more than 10secs ever.

It does seem like it may be bad putting your butt on the ground out of the wild.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 10:50:44 pm by miles »
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Offline wodgina

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 12:19:51 am »
Hi Miles with practice and pointing your feet out at 90 degrees it becomes effortless. Make sure your arm pits site over your knees. There is something special about the squat as PP mentioned it's grounding.

To TD those french toilets are probably ruined by tourists who couldn't squat although when I was in France I was suprised by people pissing in public more so than in Australia. 
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Offline TylerDurden

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 12:27:34 am »

To TD those french toilets are probably ruined by tourists who couldn't squat although when I was in France I was suprised by people pissing in public more so than in Australia. 
  Hmm, I remember my uncle, who was an eminent high-court judge, being disgusted by the sight of Norwegians pissing in public. Apparently, there are now even urinals open to the air  in some countries. As for those toilets in France, I just don't think they were used to squatting, French or otherwise. Personally, re squatting, I shudder at the thought, as one only has to become imbalanced and end up sitting in one's own excrement  - not pleasant. When I was in scout-camp in my childhood and faced  with a similiar predicament, I made damn sure that the hole I dug was at least a couple of feet deep, and steadied myself by holding onto branches.
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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 12:52:11 am »
In Malaysia and Indonesia, it seems squat toilets are common.

Our provincial folk in the Philippines squat on top of the crapper toilets.
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Offline KD

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 02:14:03 am »
Other than pictures, I havn't seen euro or asian squat toilets, but for me the elimination squat is far different then the resting squats above or exercise squats. I would think a full on squat although good for strengthening those internal muscles, would have similar issues to the typical western bowled over on a seat - compression. What works the best is creating an open up line (from the side this would look like a diagonal from your head into the receptacle) of your elimination organs by basically performing a chair like posture over where the hole is (with American style the seat being up of course) and lifting your arms above ones head helps greatly as well.

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 02:26:26 am »
... lifting your arms above ones head helps greatly as well.

    I have done that on and off for many years using the bathroom.  It is a help, or it feels like it does.
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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2010, 06:45:43 am »
Other than pictures, I havn't seen euro or asian squat toilets, but for me the elimination squat is far different then the resting squats above or exercise squats. I would think a full on squat although good for strengthening those internal muscles, would have similar issues to the typical western bowled over on a seat - compression. What works the best is creating an open up line (from the side this would look like a diagonal from your head into the receptacle) of your elimination organs by basically performing a chair like posture over where the hole is (with American style the seat being up of course) and lifting your arms above ones head helps greatly as well.

LOL How to make the shit-simple complicated. And the picture of uplifted arms! This is naturally a prayer posture. :) Too funny.                         ....but it might help if one is constipated...

In the 1980s rural Mexicans also squatted on top of the toilet seats.

Pissing outdoors is called using "The Big One" by the lucky who have escaped overcrowded repressive civilization.

As for falling into it while squatting, this is impossible.

Offline jessica

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2010, 06:56:23 am »
william i pee on my shoes all the time
i am pretty sure i am not blessed with as much grace as yourself and although i has not happened yet feel there is a great possibility i could land in my own "natureduke" at some point !
the squat is powerful tho, planting and harvesting low crops has you in that position for hours on end and is pretty sure to relieve any sluggish digestion and perhaps expedite the process

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2010, 07:49:43 am »
No, I've never had a problem with squatting. Nor apparently do the billions of other people (Asians, Indians, Africans, etc.) who squat-sit. On the contrary, I like it. I like half-lotus too. I can do full lotus for a little while, but my left knee gets sore in full lotus (my left side is the main problem side), apparently due to my spinal malalignment and tight muscles in that area--though that's another thing that's slowly improving.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2010, 03:52:43 pm »
As for falling into it while squatting, this is impossible.

    Us raw paleos have no problem, as our bones get healthy density and our muscles get more muscular.  I have been super skinny and no hips.  I was a little scared I'd fall in.  I was sitting though.  Yes, squatting is more secure, like a bird on a perch, they don't fall.
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Offline raw meat man

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2010, 04:09:56 pm »
Paul Chek is an anorexic over exerciser but I agree he does have some good things to say and squatting is one of them. I try and not go to the toilet that much and not drinking any water helps this. By dehydrating the colon and being semi constipated your body can culture more beneficial bacteria. That helps add the healthy body fat and builds fitness that way.



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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2010, 05:23:29 am »
In Japan, the traditional public bathrooms are for squatting. And usually there is not shit where you put your feet!

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2010, 05:47:03 am »
^ lol that's because they have a lot of aiming practice. I saw some of those in rural bars here but they are not clean and it's probably because drunk people don't have much skill.

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2010, 07:32:24 am »
I've seen plenty of restrooms in bars and other public facilities in this country where the were the toilets were filthy and even the entire floors at times were covered in urine and/or vomit. I even volunteered to do some janitorial work at a Catholic elementary school and there was always urine on the floor of the boys' bathroom and there were even feces on the floor a couple of times. So it seems to require education, practice and sobriety to properly use any toilet, though the squat toilets apparently take a bit more skill (though I haven't had a problem; just make sure to keep baggy pants clear--I almost sprayed my baggy pants once, and I think I now know why baggy pants weren't common in history :) ).
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Hans89

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2010, 05:41:50 am »
When I was working a factory job, there were some guys from Turkey who obviously didn't quite get the thing about sitting on a toilet, so you would have dirty footprints and sometimes feces on the toilet seat... So I like squatting toilets better. It's better to stand in shit than to sit on it.

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Re: Paul Chek on squating and your digestive system
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2010, 12:43:38 am »
When I was working a factory job, there were some guys from Turkey who obviously didn't quite get the thing about sitting on a toilet, so you would have dirty footprints and sometimes feces on the toilet seat... So I like squatting toilets better. It's better to stand in shit than to sit on it.
  Middle Easterners can be quite primitive. I remember when some north african immigrants broke into our villa in Italy and used the curtains for wiping their arses instead of the toilet-paper.
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