shutterstock_163492337 Constipation

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Constipation results when food moves too slowly through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. About 80 percent of people suffer from constipation at some time during their lives. Brief periods of constipation are normal. Constipation is usually diagnosed when bowel movements occur fewer than three times per week on an ongoing basis. Other signs of constipation occur when the stool is hard, dry or there is excessive straining. The stool can often be described as “rabbit pellets” or like “toothpaste squeezed from the tube”. Sometimes it is painful to pass. Sometimes the patient does not feel complete after a bowel movement.

There is widespread belief that everyone should have a bowel movement at least once each day. There is no “right” number of bowel movements. Each person’s body finds its own normal number of bowel movements. It depends on the food you eat, how much you exercise and past history. This kind of thinking has led to the overuse and abuse of laxatives.

Constipation can arise from lack of enough fiber and water, inadequate exercise, advanced age, muscle disorders and poor diet. Pre-menstrual and pregnant women can suffer from constipation also but, the most common cause is usually dietary. However, constipation can be a component of irritable bowel syndrome or can result from a wide range of causes, such as a drug side effect or physical immobility.

Many medications, including pain killers, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and other chiatric medications, blood pressure medication, diuretics, iron supplements, calcium supplements, and aluminum containing antacids can cause or worsen constipation.

Constipation can sometimes have an unknown or idiopathic cause. Some people have a good diet, drink plenty of fluid or do not have a disorder, which can cause constipation, yet become constipated. Their bowels are said to be ‘underactive’. This is rather common. Most cases occur in women. This condition tends to start during childhood or in early adulthood and persist throughout life.

Transit Time is the amount of time it takes for a meal to go from the mouth to the rectum. A healthy transit time is less than 24 hours. Constipation is the result of poor digestive and bowel habits, which slow down the transit time, allowing waste materials to sit longer in the intestines. Stool (waste products) builds up along the wall of the colon preventing healthy absorption of nutrients. Our stool is made up of our body’s waste including undigested food, toxic waste from the liver and billions of bacteria. As the stool sits longer in the intestines a metabolic process continues. The intestines continue to absorb water, making the stool harder and fermenting the bacteria. This starts the waste to rot creating toxic by-products, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. This absorption of toxins is a form of self-poisoning, called autointoxication.

Symptoms of auto-intoxication include: headaches, brain fog, depression, obesity, diverticulitis, PMS, bad breath, foul smelling gas, bloating body odor and include some autoimmune diseases.

Serious diseases, including colon cancer, can sometimes first appear as bowel blockage leading to acute constipation. Therefore, particularly constipation of recent onset should be diagnosed by a physician. Dietary and other natural approaches should be used by people with constipation only when there is reason to believe no serious underlying condition exists.

The “Cross Training” Support Program ® was developed by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac as a multi-layered health system for healing. This great resource is for those looking for a sensible and easy-to-use guide to the best researched alternative therapies. Developed and referenced from the foremost experts on nutrition, herbs, acupuncture, exercise, homeopathy, touch therapies and the metaphysical arts, this program allows one to use an “across the board” method for healing.
The following maladies are all situations that can benefit from a “cross training” of therapies and support. From acupuncture, herbs, exercises and nutrition to such treatments as homeopathy, massage and lifestyle changes are combinations of therapies that have shown to help in many situations.  These “Complementary Therapies” are the ‘cross training program’ of Alternative Medicine and a great place to start on your healing journey.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader.  Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease.
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Constipation Self Test

1. Do you feel fatigued, have low energy or muscles aches? (yes = 1/no = 0)
2. Do you have a bowel movement fewer than 3x/week on an ongoing basis? (yes = 1/no = 0)
3. Do you strain to pass stool? (yes = 1/no = 0)
4. Do you pass dry hard pellets or stool that looks like toothpaste? (yes = 1/no = 0)
5. Do you have an abundance of foul smelling gas? (yes = 1/no = 0)
6. Do you eat 25-30 grams of fiber per day? (yes = 1/no = 0)
7. Are you unable to loss weight even though you eat “healthy”? (yes = 1/no = 0)
8. Do you take anti-depressants or pain medication? (yes = 1/no = 0)
9. Do you drink 8 glasses of water per day? (yes = 1/no = 0)
10. Do you exercise at least 3x/week? (yes = 1/no = 0)

Total Score______

A score of 4 or higher may indicate that you are suffering from poor colon health.

Tips for Good Colon Health

1. Peristalsis:: Peristalsis is the natural waves of contractions produced by the digestive tract in order to move food through the colon. There are many ways to stimulate peristalsis, but the most important way is through hydration.

2. Hydration: is often a cause of constipation . Hydration of the colon is key to making peristalsis happen naturally. It is the age old story about a boat being stuck in a dry river bed. The captain pushed and pushed yet the boat did not move. That night, the tide came in and by the next day, the boat simply floated down the river bed. (see Chinese Medicine below)

 3. Bulk: The colon requires bulk for it to achieve healthy movement. Optimal intake of fiber is about 25-30 grams per day. The ideal combination of soluble fiber (psyllium husk) and insoluble fiber (flax oil, fiber) helps to absorb water and toxins and adds roughage to bulk up stool and sweep away built up debris in the intestinal tract.

4. Lubrication: is essential for the smooth flow of stool out of the intestines. Essential oils such as flaxseed oil, borage oil and fish oil are ideal.

Signs of Good Elimination

1. Color: Stool color should be a walnut brown. Given temporary variations with dark green leafy vegetable or beets.

2. Consistency: Stool should be smooth with the consistency of paste. This shows the bowels are well hydrated. The length of stool should be the length of a banana or longer.

3. Frequency: As discussed above, this depends on the individual, but in the natural health community, one movement per day is good, but two-three per day is healthiest!

4. Gas and Odor: A normal amount of gas is the by-product of digestion. An abundance of foul smelling gas indicates poor colon health.

5. Sink or Float: Healthy stool tends to leave the body easily, is well formed, floats in the water then gently submerges. In some natural medicine beliefs, if the stool floats, this may indicate undigested fat in the colon.

Nutritional Advise

 Water and other liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices and clear soups are essential in any healing process. Liquid helps keep the stool soft and easy to pass, so it’s important to drink enough fluids. 6-8 eight ounce glasses per day is recommended. Try not to drink liquids that contain caffeine or alcohol. Although a little caffeine works well as a diuretic, excess caffeine, dependency on caffeine for a bowel movement, as well as alcohol tend to dry out your digestive system.

Prunes are one of the best natural remedies for constipation! A simple handful of prunes will make all the difference. Today, prunes actually come in different flavors! You can find them infused with natural cherry, grape and apple essence!

Apples contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, some of which have been proven to have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free radicals in the body. Cell damage from free radicals can be a factor in certain cancers, heart disease, strokes, and other conditions such as diabetes and constipation.

A diet combined with both insoluble fiber (fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water) will keep most people regular. You get fiber from eating lots of vegetables, wheat bran, whole-grain breads and cereals and fruit.

Foods high in fiber are fruits such as apples peaches, raspberries and tangerines. Vegetables such as acorn squash, raw broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, spinach, black-eyed peas, cooked zucchini, kidney beans and lima beans. Also cooked whole-grain cereal, cold (All-Bran, Total, Bran Flakes), whole-grain cereal, hot (oatmeal, Wheatena) and whole-wheat or 7-grain bread.

Juice Therapy is a great way to take advantage of the elimination and cleansing capacity of the organs. This cleansing capacity is greatly increased and accumulated metabolic waste and toxins are quickly eliminated. It affords a physiological rest to the digestive and assimilation organs. After the juice fasting or juice therapy, the digestion of food and the utilization of nutrients is improved.

Powdered psyllium is a quality source of supplemental fiber. Be sure to drink plenty of water, otherwise the fiber will form an obstructing mass, adding to your condition. Start with one rounded tablespoon of the powder stirred well into a glass of water or diluted juice.

Acidophilus: The normal, healthy colon contains “friendly” bacteria (85% lactobacillus and 15% coliform bacteria). It is the friendly bacterial flora found in yogurt and is essential to the digestive system. When these bacteria are not in balance, then the person may experience bloating, flatulence, constipation, and malabsorption of nutrients. Acidophilus taken as a dietary supplement may help to detoxify and to rebuild a balanced intestinal flora. Acidophilus aids the digestion and helps to replace the “friendly” intestinal flora.

The power of Green Whole Foods is essential for all day energy, greater focus under stress, sense of well-being, strengthened immune system, fewer food cravings and optimum synergistic balance of essential nutrients for total health. Green Whole Foods is a powder that contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, active enzymes, bioflavinoids, chlorophyll and other phytonutrients necessary for optimal cellular metabolism, repair and protection! These ingredients contain the most powerful combination of nutrients ever known in any grain, herb or food. They contain almost all of the vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes necessary for the human diet, plus chlorophyll.

Spirulina Blue Green Algae: Spirulina possesses a complete protein richer than steak, abundant organically complex minerals, a wide variety of essential vitamins, and many beneficial enzymes. Spirulina is more than just a food. As with Chlorella it has been shown to be valuable with almost every aspect of health. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients. Because of algae’s high chlorophyll and high nutritional content it is an excellent part of a cleansing program.

Chlorella Green Algae: Chlorella’s tough cell wall protects the valuable nucleus inside. When it is harvested it is instantly dried and the cell walls are gently cracked open. The nutrients inside retain full potency. Once in your body, the cracked open cells release their valuable nutrients. Because it is so easy to digest, your cells get the full benefit of this nutritional powerhouse. These necessities are bio-available which means that they are easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract, giving instant access to vital nutrients. The algae provides intestinal nourishment and has a soothing and healing effect on the mucous lining. It works to detoxify and purify our system.

Barley Grass and Wheat Grass: Eating barley and wheat grass is like eating a plate of green vegetables. These cereal grasses, are harvested young and are ecologically grown in nutrient rich soil. They are approximately 25% protein and contains all the essential amino acids, concentrated vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have been shown to increase our overall health by reducing intestinal putrefaction and maintaining healthy blood another important component of cleansing.

Klamath Lake Blue Green Algae: This remarkable plant grows 100% organically in the Upper Klamath Lake of Oregon. Blue Green Algae has more protein and chlorophyll by weight than any other plant or animal on earth. Klamath Lake algae is considered to be the most nutrient rich of the algaes.

Lecithin: Lecithin is produced naturally and is one of the main substances that digests cholesterol in the human body. Lecithin supports the liver and aids in the metabolism of fat. Lecithin is used to strengthen the heart as it clears the blood vessels of cholesterol. It also useful as part of a weight loss programs to help dissolve fat.

Fiber (water-soluble), psyllium, seed husks, or oat bran are suggested. Take 1 to 2 teaspoons of fiber supplement at night before bed.

Magnesium: The supplement magnesium has been found to aid in the management of symptoms. Taking 200-300 mg of magnesium 2 to 3 times daily has been shown to help.

Omega-3 : This fish oil has been shown in many studies, to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and reduce plaque buildup in your blood. By reducing your bad cholesterol, you are helping your body to fight off stress and relieve anxiety, tension and even prevent heart disease! Fish that are high in Omega-3 are excellent ways to help your blood stream.

Psyllium Husks: A natural plant source of dietary fiber essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system. Fiber significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.

Add protein and carbohydrates to your diet: Incorporate protein into your diet. Protein helps to keep sugar levels stable. You can find protein in nuts, yogurt, beans, fish, chicken, tofu and lentils.

Food to Avoid

Limit foods that have little or no fiber such as ice cream, cheese, meat, snacks like chips and pizza, and processed foods such as instant mashed potatoes or already-prepared frozen dinners. Too much white flour and refined sugar, two major constipation causers, means you need more fiber.

What you don’t eat may be even more important than what you do eat. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugar, because they tend to worsen constipation. If you can?t avoid them, then at least cut down.

Limit Caffeine: Caffeine is something many people in America and Europe are used to having in their daily lives. Though many studies have shown that this addictive stimulant can help produce symptoms of anxiety, insomnia and the like. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, many sodas and even certain medications. Always ask your doctor about a medication containing caffeine before using it. Also, ask the doctor if there is an alternative medication if your medicine contains caffeine. Based on the current research I have found on caffeine shows that 24 ounces a day is beneficial.

Reduce Processed and Refined Foods:

Processed food can rob your food of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to fight off stress and promote good health. Try to buy whole foods, unprocessed foods and try and stay away from “instant” foods, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fat and MSG.

Reduce Sugar Intake:

Too much sugar can rob our body of essential nutrients. Replace the sugar with Stevia the natural sweetener from the Stevia plant. Artificial sweetener can also cause anxiety as well as other health concerns.

Reduce Alcohol Intake:

In small amounts, alcohol can be good for your heart but too much alcohol is not a good thing for your body and too large of an intake increases your body’s need for extra vitamins. The body has a harder time using oxygen. As a result, you can become more sensitive to stress – which in turn can cause constipation.

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Managing Your Constipation

1. Eating a diet that focuses on fresh vegetables and fruits.

2. Eat whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

3. Adopt a healthy lifestyle including regular exercise.

4. Avoiding drugs, excessive coffee and alcohol.

5. Taking a high potency multiple vitamin and also consider flax, fish or borage oil and mineral supplements.

6. Take nutritional/herbal supplements to promote and enhance colon function.

7. Fasting is one of the best ways to increase elimination of wastes and enhance the healing process of the body.

8. Allow yourself enough time to have a bowel movement. Sometimes we feel so hurried that we don’t pay attention to our body’s needs. Make sure you don’t ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.

9. Drink plenty of liquids and stay hydrated.

10. Consider clearing your mind and “let go of what you are holding on to”.

The Full Spectrum Diet

As a Nationally Certified Herbalist and Licensed practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. has spent years developing a natural healthcare plan, which incorporates the benefits of fresh, full spectrum foods based on their color and their properties. A balance of attractive colors in the foods you eat, play an instinctual part as to what the body needs in the moment. The color energy of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals all come into play when furnishing your body with the proper nourishment.

This easy to use system monitors healthy weight by the colors of food on your plate!

It is a simple way to eat healthy in order to achieve healthy results!   Want to know more?

Herbal Remedies

 Burdock is a tonic herbs and have been used in the treatment of skin conditions. Burdock is an herb that boosts immunity and purifies the blood. It’s a traditional liver tonic and a mild, natural diuretic. Burdock’s laxative and diuretic properties help remove toxins from the system. The Chinese utilize it against tumors, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections. It is often recommended for dry, scaly skin. You can take burdock in capsule form (follow the directions) or make a acne fighting tea. Burdock root tincture may be taken in 2?4 ml amounts per day. Dried root preparations in a capsule or tablet can be used at 1-2 grams three times per day.

Cascara Sagrada: Supports the colon, stomach, liver gallbladder and pancreas and is considered one of the very best and safest laxatives in the plant kingdom. Has an antibiotic effect on harmful bacteria in the intestine. Promotes peristalsis and tones relaxed digestive system muscles.

Dandelion is a leading remedy for detoxing the liver. It stimulates the flow of bile, a fluid that aids fat digestion, which is why it’s used for liver and gallbladder disorders. Dandelion has scientifically documented potent diuretic properties. It relieves constipation and eases bloating and swelling. Dandelion should be used for 4 to 6 weeks at a time. For it’s liver benefits, dandelion is helpful for detoxing.

Hawthorne Berry may help strengthen the heart, help increase blood flow, encourage healthy blood pressure levels and maintain healthy arteries. Useful for anemia, and circulatory disorders, high cholesterol and lowered immunity. High in Vitamins B &C, it is also used as a kidney tonic. Often used as a digestive aid.

Milk Thistle is the great liver detoxer! The importance of milk thistle in cleansing your liver, may decrease your chances of developing cirrhosis, chronic fatigue, PMS, and cancer. The fruits, leaves, and seeds in any form, contain some of the most potent liver protecting substances known. Protects the kidneys and is good for adrenal disorders, bowel disorders, and weakened immune systems.

Plantain Herb: Psyllium is a soluble fiber used primarily as a gentle bulk-forming laxative. It comes from a shrub-like herb called plantain that grows worldwide. There are many species of plantain that can each produce up to 15,000 tiny, gel-coated seeds. The plantain herb that produces psyllium seed is not the same plant as edible plantains, which is a staple in Caribbean and South American diets. Psyllium husk is derived from these odorless, tasteless seeds.

Senna Pods are milder than the leaves since the do not contain the resin. It is the resin in the senna leaves that causes griping in your colon. It is the chemicals anthraquinones that provide its strong action on your colon walls. Senna is the second best herb to use for chronic constipation because it creates strong peristaltic action. It is not healthy to use it for a long time, since its action moves fecal matter through your colon quickly. This quick action prevents absorption of nutrients by your colon depriving you of necessary minerals and vitamins. Use senna only in amounts that produce the required bowel movement and stool softness to relieve your constipation. Start with small amounts and increase your amount slowly.  Caution: Only use senna for a short time, 1- 2 weeks. Senna leaves may cause some cramping. Do not drink senna if you have any type of colon disease, stomach pain, diarrhea, or are pregnant.

Tamarind is the only important spice of African origin. Today, it is a much-valued food ingredient in many Asian or Latin American recipes. The sour and fruity taste of tamarind merges well with the heat of chillies and gives many South Indian dishes their hot and sour character as well as their dark color. The fruit pulp is digestive, antiflatulent, cooling, laxative and antiseptic. It’s seeds are also astringent. Pulp of the ripe fruit is beneficial in the treatment of bilious vomiting, flatulence and indigestion. It is also useful in curing constipation.

Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic Indian herbal compound used for constipation and poor bowel tone and is designed to support the body’s natural cleansing process. It is one of Ayurveda’s most important herbal formulas for thousands of years. Triphala is a balanced blend of three Indian Herbal Fruits: Harada, Amla, Behada. This combination of fruits is unique because the astringent qualities of the fruits serve to tonify the colon therefore promoting internal cleansing naturally. This is highly recommended for anyone doing a detox program.

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Herbal Combinations and Formulas

Herbal tinctures are concentrated liquid extracts of the medicinal properties of herbs. Shake the tincture bottle well. As a dietary supplement, place 1 to 3 droppers full ~ approximately 1 tablespoon or 40 drops, under the tongue, or in juice or water as needed, 2-3 times a day.

Blood Purifier Pau D’ Arco, Red Clover, Yellow Dock, Burdock, Sarsaparilla, Dandelion, Cascara Sagada & Buckthorn.

Digestive Aid Peppermint, Dill seed, Chamomille, Gentian, Fennel, Ginger, Parsley.

Triphala is a traditional Ayurvedic Indian herbal compound used for constipation and poor bowel tone and is designed to support the body’s natural cleansing process. It is one of Ayurveda’s most important herbal formulas for thousands of years. Triphala is a balanced blend of three Indian Herbal Fruits: Harada (haritaki), Amla (amalaki) and Behada (bibhitaki). Each balanced to vatta, pitta and kapha respectively.

Herbal Teas

In a stainless steel pot, boil desired amount of water. The moment it boils turn the heat off. Add the following herbs in an infuser, muslin bag or tea ball for a single cup or add one-three teaspoons of herbs per cup for larger amounts.

Allow the herbs to infuse for up to 5 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups a day. For flavor-add lemon and sweeten with Stevia or organic honey. These herbs are helpful for gently cleanses, purifying, detoxing, anti-inflammatory. This powerful formula will help remove accumulated toxins in the body. Strong antioxidant, cleanses the colon and stimulates circulation.

Alfalfa Mint Tea – This great tasting tea helps to detox the system, eases inflammation, lowers cholesterol, balances hormones. Helps in digestive and skin disorders. Provides great vitamins in this form. Alfalfa and Peppermint.

Detox Tea-This powerful formula will help remove accumulated toxins in the body. Strong antioxidant, cleanses the colon, reduces cramps, and stimulates circulation. Rosehips, Red Clover, Ginger, Nettle, Alfalfa, Dandelion, Goldenseal Leaf, Echinacea, Pan D’Arco, Burdock, Clove, Stevia.

Digestive Tea-Demulcent herbs especially blended for gas, diarrhea, and ulcers. Helps soothe an upset stomach. Helps in digestion and is good for heartburn, indigestion, circulatory problems, and nausea. Peppermint, Papaya Leaf, Hibiscus, Mint.

Energy Tea-No caffeine. Provides important vitamins and minerals. Increase blood flow, circulation, and oxygenation. Decreases fatigue and depression by stimulating the nervous system. Roasted Chicory Root, Roasted Dandelion Root, Guarana Root.

Slim Tea-Appetite control. Will flush excess water. Helps to firm and tone. Useful for circulatory problems, acts as a diuretic, eases inflammation and balances hormones. Blackberry Leaf, Myrtle Leaf, Uva Ursi Leaf, Rose Hips, Alfalfa Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Juniper Berry, Psyllium Husk, Licorice Root, Sage Leaf

Homeopathy

This medical system uses infinitesimal doses of natural substances to stimulate a person’s immune system and body’s natural defenses.

Constipation

Graphites if symptoms are constipation, tendency towards obesity, cold, menopause.

Nux Vomica  if individuals work too hard, exercise too little, eat too much.

Sepia  if a women has constipation just before or just after menstruation.    

Aromatherapy Remedies

Essential oils can assist in improve digestions, reduce stress, and increase peristalsis (the rhythmic contractions of intestinal muscles that push waste out of the body). Helpful, are Essential oils such as basil, chamomile, coriander, ginger, lavender, lemon, orange, rose, rosemary… These essential oils work as an antiseptic, diuretic and are excellent for their detoxification properties. Stimulates lymphatic circulation, improves immunity. Stimulates the adrenal glands, circulatory system, liver, gallbladder, promotes nerve health.

Basil is an antispasmotic oil that can be massaged into the abdomen to increase peristalsis.

Lavender This oil is an amazing therapeutic oil. Stimulates new cell growth, lifts depression, calms nerves, fights infection, reduces inflammation, and eases congestion. Relieves pain and muscle spasm. Lowers blood pressure.

Peppermint relieves pain, muscle spasms, reduces inflammation, fights infection, clears congestion, helps in digestion, and promotes good nerve health.

Rosemary Stimulates the adrenal glands, circulatory system, liver, gallbladder, promotes nerve health, improves the functioning of the heart and nervous system. It is a great oil for muscle spasms and eases digestive orders. Warning: This oil may trigger epileptic seizures in prone individuals, may irritate sensitive skin. Avoid if you have high blood pressure. 

Not a DiY (do it yourselfer?)

3 times a day, morning, noon and night, utilize these blends of essential oils:

Angel’s Mist Constipation Rub Essential Oil Remedy Blend

Angel’s Mist Constipation Bath Essential Oil Remedy Blend

Angel’s Mist Constipation Massage Essential Oil Remedy Blend

Tummy Massage Recipe

 Sometimes, our bowels and digestive tract just need a little coaxing. A tummy massage with these essential oils can help to assist the body and gently letting go of tension, fullness and bloating.

Blend in 5 – 10 drops of peppermint and lavender in about 2 ounces of a carrier oil such as sunflower, safflower, jojoba or vegetable oil. Do this prior to bed time.

Apply a small amount into the the palm of your hand. Now gently massage over the lower abdomen (below the navel) in a clockwise circle for about 3-5 minutes.  Wipe off any excess oil before you go to bed.

 

 Hydrotherapy

The mysterious and amazing healing power of water has been utilized for centuries. Water cleanses, refreshes and restores all life. We are always drawn to water. Be it a soothing fountain or majestic waterfall. Water is a carrier. It flows. It moves along the line of least resistance to find its way to the ocean where comes and goes in the ebb and flow of tides and waves. The appeal is inexplicable! We crave water, maybe because our bodies are made up of a large percent of it. Maybe because we instinctively know how it can heal us.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water in any form, in the treatment of dis-ease.

Steam treatments and hot baths have a cleansing effect on the bowels. Instructions for a warm bath: Fill your bathtub with water slightly warmer than body temperature, around 97 degrees to 101 degrees F (You can check the temperature of the water with a regular thermometer.) As the tub fills with water add 2 spoons of Angel’s Mist Deep Soak Sea Salts to the bath water for a soothing, relaxing cleansing soak.

Submerging as much of your body as possible, stay in the bath for at least 20 minutes, adding water as needed to maintain the temperature of the bath.  

A warm water enema helps to clean the rectum of accumulated fecal matter. This is not only the safest system for cleaning the bowels, but also improves the peristaltic movement of the bowels and thereby relieves constipation. A cold water enema is helpful in inflammatory conditions of the colon, especially in cases of dysentery, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids and fever. A hot water enema is beneficial in relieving irritation due to inflammation of the rectum.

Consider a relaxing bath with the cleansing anti-bacterial effects of Angel’s Mist Anti-Bacterial Soap -A cleansing blend of Lavender, Tea Tree essential oil makes this soap wonderful for creating clean and bacterial-free skin.

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 Exercise

Walking or aerobics or some other activity you enjoy doing at least three times a week offers multiple benefits, including helping food travel through your intestines at a quicker pace. Chronic stress and anxiety could also contribute to constipation.

Exercise will help, as will relaxation techniques, especially biofeedback, breathing exercises and yoga. 

Pelvic Floor Exercises

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that supports the organs within the pelvis and lower abdomen. If you have pelvic floor dysfunction, you may be having difficulty coordinating the muscles necessary to go to the bathroom. Here are two moves to try:

Deep Squat Pose: With feet slightly wider than hip width apart, keeping your ankle and knee in a vertical stack (shin is vertical), hinge back at your hips and lower your butt back and down toward the ground. You may want to use a chair initially to help as you start to get those gluteal muscles firing. Go down as far as you’re able while maintaining the vertical shin position. You may notice that your upper body moves forward quite a bit more than you may be used to with a regular squat. That’s okay! Return to start and repeat 10 times.

Forward Lunge: Keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back and relaxed, chin up (pick a point in front of you to stare at so you don’t keep looking down). Engage your core and step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight on your heels as you push back up to starting position. Perform 5 repetitions, holding the lunge position on your last repetition for 5 seconds while you really concentrate on contracting the gluteal muscles of your back leg. While still in the lunge position, perform 5 shallow pulses. Repeat on the opposite side.

 “Coffee” Enema

The coffee enema is one of the most famous types of enema. It has become well known due to its promising effects in alternative cancer treatment. The coffee enema was used extensively in the 1940’s, by Dr. Max Gerson, in the treatment plan of his cancer patients. There has been more recent research on the use of coffee enemas in cancer treatment through the work of Dr. Nicolas Gonzalez. Some of the coffee enema’s fame can also be attributed to the 1930’s Actress Mae West, who attributed her healthy and youthful appearance to her enema regime. The coffee enema is famed for its detoxification effects. The palmitates in coffee (kahweol and cafestol) enhance the action of glutathione S-transferase, a family of enzymes which play an important role in the bodies detoxification process.

Coffee contains caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, substances which cause a dilation of the blood vessels and encourage the flow of bile.

Coffee Enema Recipe:

3 Tbsp organic coffee
1 liter filtered water
Add the coffee to the water and boil for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool the mixture to the appropriate temperature, filter and administer. Retain the enema for 12-15 minutes.

Cautions and Considerations:

To ensure the most thorough cleansing, you may want to perform another enema 4-6 hours later. This will remove more of the bile that was released into the small intestine, as there may be some left over which was not eliminated in the first enema.

The coffee administered via enema goes directly to the liver and so do any chemicals that were used in the cultivation of that coffee. To lessen the toxic load, use only organically grown coffee in your enema.

Although the coffee administered via an enema is not absorbed in the same way as when you drink coffee, it is not advisable to administer a coffee enema in the evening, as some individuals can still experience side effects of caffeine. Those with a sensitivity to caffeine should not take a coffee enema.

Do not use coffee enemas for more than 4-6 weeks. Regular usage of coffee enemas can deplete the body’s stores of iron as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the oldest, continually practiced, and professionally administered health care system in the world. It is a documented medical system spanning over 2,500 years based on comprehensive philosophies, rational theories, clinically tested and empirically verified by over 100 generations of highly educated practitioners.

Chinese Medicine is a total system of internal medicine, which is comprised of a diagnostic procedure based on signs, symptoms and treatment styles including acupuncture, herbal medicine, exercise, diet and meditation. It’s foundation is based on the principles of balance; the interdependent relationship of Yin and Yang. Through this balance, health is achieved and maintained.

 For example, an ancient Chinese teaching shows a man with a boat that is stuck in the mud due to the fact that the tide has gone out and the boat simply sits on the river bed with nowhere to go. The man pushes on the boat and strains to move it, but makes no progress. His friend comes along and says to him, “have patience as the tide will come back in”. As the tide comes back and fills the river bed with water, the boat rises and floats away from it’s restrictions. This proverb is likened to the treatment in Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are an effective therapy for constipation. Acupuncture redirects your Qi or vital energy into a more balanced flow. It provides support to the underlying energetic spheres affected by poor digestion and lack of movement. Acupuncture releases tension in the muscles. This allows increased flow of blood, lymph, and nerve impulses to affected areas, decreasing the stress experienced by you. Acupuncture also is effective in relieving the physical symptoms associated with stress-related and toxic disorders, such as autointoxication.

The specific course of herbal treatment depends on the pattern and severity of your symptoms. Herbs are use to “increase the flow” and “raise the water level” to move the obstruction out of the way. In TCM there are either deficiency conditions causing constipation or excess conditions causing constipation.

Bowel obstructions, drug reactions, parasitic, viral, or bacterial invasions, and depletion of fluids by high fevers are examples of excess type constipation. This type of constipation is often extreme, painful, and sudden, and requires the use of strong purgative herbs.

Deficiency of blood or other body fluids can lead to constipation. Lacking enough fluids, the body reabsorbs too much water from the stool, creating dry stool and constipation. These deficiencies are often accompanied by other signs of dryness such as dry skin, dry eyes, dry scalp, itching or thirst. Internal “heat” may also be a factor in depleting the fluids. Also, deficient qi (vital energy or deficient yang) can cause constipation, particlarly in elderly or extremely weak people.

Visit Your TCM practitioner for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

DIY Acu-Pressure

Acupressure is a great way to relieve congested areas, improves blood circulation, relax the muscles and increase metabolism. Use your index finger or thumb. Apply pressure slowly, gradually increasing, before you release. 1 or 2 minutes for each point.

Try these two points on the face:

Ren 6 Sea of Qi
Location: Below the navel, midway between Ren 5 and Ren 7, 1.5 cun (approx inches) below Ren 8 (umbilicus-belly button).
Indicated for hernia, uterine bleeding, irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation / cramps), amenorrhea, leukorrhea.
Men’s health – impotence, seminal emission, nighttime urinartion, hernia.
Deficiencies of the lower and middle areas – abdominal distention, constipation, bloating, edema, poor digestion, loose stools, diarrhea, fatigue.

St 25 Celestial Pivot
Located: 2 cun (approx inches) lateral to the navel, level with on either side
All intestinal issues: constipation, diarrhea, dysentary, distention, pain, masses/accumulations of any type.
Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation, fibroids/cysts, fertility issues and leukorrhea.
Connects the Upper and Lower Warmers (pre & post natal Qi).

Ayurveda

The principle medical system of India is known as Ayurveda and is over 5,000 years old. This “Science of Life” is considered the art of living in harmony with nature. Developed from the ancient text of The Vedas, Ayurveda views the human body as a “homunculus” of our cosmic Universe, regulated by the balance between three primordial humours, call Dosha.

Your dosha are your Ayurveda mind and body type. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We each have all three of the doshas in our physiology, just in different proportions, so your dosha is unique and personal; it is like your fingerprint.

Digestive Health

According to Ayurveda, constipation occurs when Vata’s cold and dry qualities disturb the colon, inhibiting its proper functioning. The remedy is to add warmth, oil, and hydration to the system in order to counter the excess Vata. The following strategies specifically counter Vata’s cold and dry qualities and can be very helpful in supporting the return of normal bowel movements. Consider Vata Digestion formulas.

Drink Lots of Warm or Hot Water and Herbal Tea
Drink at least 80 ounces of water or herbal tea per day. Warm and hot fluids are best because they balance Vata’s cold quality. It’s also important to drink the majority of these fluids away from meals – at least 20 minutes before, or 1 hour after eating.

Increase the Quantity of Organic Oils in Your Diet
High quality oils help to lubricate the tissues so that an appropriate amount of oil or fat can remain in the stool. While most oils are generally supportive, the best oils for Vata include sesame oil, ghee, and olive oil.

Eat Plenty of Fruit
Fruit is hydrating, fibrous, and generally pacifying to Vata. Especially supportive choices include ripe bananas, peeled apples, soaked raisins, soaked prunes, and peaches.2 Be sure to eat the fruit at least one hour before or after other foods and chew them thoroughly to receive the maximum benefit.

Triphala
This combination of three fruits is one of the best bowel formulas in the world! Assists natural internal cleansing, Gently maintains regularity, nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues, supports healthy digestion and absorption and is a natural antioxidant.

Ghee Recipe: The Super Food

Ghee is a prized remedy in India and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is considered to be one of the best health enhancers of all foods. It is famous for both its curative powers and as being a wonderful cooking ingredient. It is also called clarified butter. It improves taste and the flavor of food. Simply drizzle a teaspoon over food as you serve the food. It can also be added to food beforehand in place of butter.

-This remedy is said to stimulate digestive fire as it helps to improve absorption and assimilation. It nourishes ojas, tejas and prana and therefore assists in weight loss.

-It is used as an anti-aging therapy, promoting longevity as it assists absorption of vital nutrients. It is good for improving memory and lubricates the connective tissue.

-Ghee, when used in moderation, is considered tridoshic. Ghee pacifies pitta and vata and is acceptable, in moderation, for kapha. Ghee is a yogavahi (a catalytic agent) that carries the medicinal properties of herbs into the seven dhatus or tissues of the body. As a pre-caution, those who already have high cholesterol or suffer from obesity should be cautious in using ghee. Ghee is not to be used when there are high ama (toxic) conditions.

“Ghee”

Ghee is easy and inexpensive to make in your own kitchen. You can store ghee in an airtight container on a pantry shelf.

Ingredients:

1 pound unsalted butter

Preparation:

Using a medium saucepan, heat butter on medium heat.

Allow butter to melt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. You will notice that the oil will separate itself. The top will begin to froth; remove froth. Turn down the heat until the butter just boils and continues to cook at this heat. Do not cover the pot. The butter will foam and sputter while it cooks. Whitish curds will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. The butter will begin to smell like popcorn after a while and turn a lovely golden color. Keep a close watch on the ghee, as it can easily burn. After a while it will become a clear, golden color. Take a clean, dry spoon to move away some of the foam on top in order to see if the ghee is clear all the way through to the bottom. When it is clear and has stopped sputtering and making noise, then it needs to be taken off the heat. This process takes about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes or until just warm. Pour it through a fine layer of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid. Discard the curds at the bottom of the saucepan. The ghee is burned if it has a nutty smell and is slightly brown.

Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered. It does not need refrigeration. Don’t ladle out the ghee with a wet spoon or allow any water to get into the container, as this will create conditions for bacteria to grow and spoil the ghee.

Use ghee in place of butter and as an ideal cooking.

Emotional Aspect:

There is an emotional aspect to every illness. Often times, it is the emotional thoughts or “excess emotions” that will lead to illness. The following therapies are utilized for calming the mind, help with stress relief and focuses on our mental powers over any situation. The ability to balance your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self are exceptional tools on your healing journey.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Gain control over your thoughts… and you maintain control over your life. 
  • Control issues can be at the root of your problem. Retrain your mind and you regain your freedom.
  • Obsessive, repetitive thoughts, lack of trust and fear of loosing control… can benefit from positive affirmations and mind quieting.
  • Allow yourself to be more flexible and spontaneous… Give into the “flow of nature” and change, as our bodies change.

Yoga and Constipation

Yoga poses can be good alternatives to “traditional” health remedies because they relax the body and mind, improve circulation and respiration, reduce tension and help the body through it’s healing process.

Deep Diaphragm Breath

Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable position. Breathe slowly and evenly from your diaphragm, through your nose. Fill your lower abdomen, lungs, then chest with air. Hold for a four count then slowly exhale the air out from your chest, lungs, then lower abdomen. Repeat 3 or 4 times. That’s it! Just allow your shoulders to drop and your face relax as you breath, deep.

A great overall muscle toner, Chakra balancer, mind wakening and cleansing exercise is the Sun Salutation exercise. Learn how to do it as a great part of your digestion and elimination therapy.

Yoga Therapy is very effective for digestive disorders due to the fact that it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which nourishes and increases metabolism. Yoga also has a regulating effect on the enteric nervous system, which independently functions to digest, move and eliminate food.

To relieve constipation, practice postures that compress the abdomen such as prone (belly down) Cobra pose, forward folds such as Cat and Cow, Head to Knee, Knee to Chest, Seated Forward Bends, Standing Knee Squeeze and twists such as Laying Down and Standing Twists. Use similar poses to reduce excessive gas, adding hip opening poses if the condition is chronic.

Cat and Cow Pose :Come to a hands and knees position on the floor, placing your knees underneath your hips and the crease of your wrists directly underneath your shoulders, palms on the floor. Your fingers should be pointing forward. Engage your core.

Cat Phase: Gently exhale and tuck your tail under, using your abdominal muscles to push your spine up toward the ceiling, making the shape of an angry cat. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds as you lengthen your neck, allowing your head to reach toward your chest.
Cow Phase: Using the abdominal and low back muscles, inhale as you tip your tail toward the ceiling, increasing the arch in your mid and low back. Allow the abdomen to stretch toward the floor. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds before returning to your starting position. Repeat the sequence of moves 10 times.

Wind Relieving Pose: Start by lying flat on your back with a neutral spine. Bring your right leg up toward your body, bending the knee. Using your arms, gently pull the right leg into the right side of your body. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, then release the leg. Repeat the exercise on the left side, then repeat with both legs drawn in toward the chest.

Metaphysical Thoughts

The power of your mind and your belief system has everything to do with the condition, the speed and the way that you heal.

* Our Belief System is one of the major factors that can get us through situations or can cause our life to crumble around us! I do believe that there is a lot of innate goodness and balancing our minds do subconsciously to get us through hard times. The other portion of this is how we “program” ourselves to deal with any given situation.

* Our self-confidence and self-love are often the key to opening and strengthening this portion of our thoughts which in turn emanates from ourselves!

* Energy follows thought. Program thought to be positive and your energy will reflect it!

* Really appreciating what we DO have as opposed to what we would like to have, sometimes makes a significant difference. This is always an important element in healing that is often neglected.

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Color Therapy

Yellow This energy gives power for digestion, constipation, flatulence in the intestine, liver problems, diabetes, and skin problems.

Orange This energy gives power to help lungs, releases flatulence from the stomach. You can learn to understand how the stomach tells us about our physical situations. If the Spleen Chakra is out of balance, our stomach is usually the first thing to warn us.

Determine what color you need. Learn more about your personal Color Therapy Analysis.

Crystal Reference

Crystals have both piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties. This means that the polarities of the crystal will change when subjected to pressure or heat (even body heat from the hands). This will radiate energy from the crystal due to this reversal of polarities. It provides the transfer, storage and transformation of energy.

Offering a balanced energy field, energy modification, amplifies both energy and thought, clarity in thinking, and harmony and alignment with the Chakra energy areas.

Chakra balancing stimulates the seven main energy sources, which govern all the major organs and psychologically alters and clears the body’s energy in order to allow healing to take place. This means that the polarities of the crystal will change when subjected to pressure or heat (even body heat from the hands). This will radiate energy from the crystal due to this reversal of polarities. It provides the transfer, storage and transformation of energy. It offers a balanced energy field, an energy modification, which amplifies both energy and thought, clarity in thinking, and harmony and alignment with the Chakra energy areas.

The Solar Plexus Chakra is located right below the diaphragm, near the stomach.The primary energy of this Chakra is free will. This chakra gives you strength and provides the ability to hold energy for personal power and emotional control. When it is unbalanced, it produces pain, burning, poor digestions, rage and destructive anger. Physically, it governs the pancreas, liver, spleen, stomach, gall bladder and the nervous system.

The Complete Chakra Kit stimulates the seven main energy sources which govern all the major organs and psychologically alters and clears the body’s energy in order to allow healing to take place.

Crystal Medicine Pouches are based on the Zodiac Medicine Pouches, each pouch comes with several crystals for cleansing negativity and the best way to use, cleanse and energize them in order to get what you want out of life!!

Crystal Empowerment Pouches are individually filled with several crystals to strengthen and enhance the best energy for each situation. Each suede pouch comes with several crystals and best way to use, cleanse and energize them in order to get what you want out of life!!

Crystal Elixirs are wonderfully scented oils come in .05 ounce roll-on bottles and contain genuine crystals in vibrationally compatible essential oil blends. They are fantastic for Chakra work, energy healing, as an Aura Balancer, as a balancing perfume oil or simply as a “refresher” for your Gem Potpourri. Crystal Elixir oil blends are used externally.

Gem Essence are the infusion of crystals, spring water and the power of the sun/moon in a bottle! These essence work in harmony with the body by interacting with our bio-sheath and are natural and self-adjusting. When crystals are activated by natural sunlight, they transfer their vibrational signature into water, creating a remedy that is safe, effective and used in conjunction with all modalities of healing. Gem Essence waters can be used internally.

The Body Crystalstm: Stone massage is a popular form of relaxation dating back thousands of years. The Body Crystals are tools used to deliver deep relaxation, helping with detoxification, melting tension and reducing pain. Learn more about these amazing stones!

Meditation & Crystals

Meditation can help calm a nervous stomach, It will alleviate much of the angst and anxiety associated with it!  Calming the mind and central nervous system have a direct affect on how our body “vibrates” and how we choose to handle stress as it comes at us.  The more you meditate, the more able you become in handling difficult situations!

~ Use a crystal of your choice or one mentioned. Sit comfortable on the floor and hold your stone or lie down and place the crystal on your Solar Plexus or below the Navel

~ Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths. Feel the crystal rise and fall as you slowly inhale/exhale. Allow your body to melt into the floor at each breath. Take this time to find your center. Let go of those things which hold you back. With each inhale, take in that which you deserve. With each exhale, release all that tension.

~ When you feel more calm and connected, slowly open your eyes. Give yourself some time to recover. You may even want to journal about your experience.

Crystal Associations

amethyst, aventurine, yellow jasper, clear quartz, rose quartz, citrine

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 What are your experiences with constipation?

Sharing your own experiences often helps others. We’d love to know in the Peacefulmind Community.

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