Sitting is bad for irritable bowels
what you can do about it
WHY SITTING TOO MUCH IS UNHEALTHY AND POTENTIALLY A TRIGGER FOR YOUR IRRITABLE BOWELS
SITTING NEGATIVELY AFFECTS internal organs in two ways. It increases the pressure inside our abdominal cavity (putting direct pressure on the organs) and increases pressure on the nerves that run to these organs. When you have poor posture, you increase the pressure even more (Figure 23-1).
Figure 23‑1: Poor posture squishing organs.
Sitting also puts pressure on the blood vessels, lymph tissue, and other tissues of the lower pelvic area. This increase in pressure disturbs the normal blood flow and lymphatic drainage in the region. This slows the nutrient flow in and the waste flow out, leading to a buildup of toxic metabolic waste surrounding the organs, causing a dis-eased state (feeling unwell). When your body experiences a prolonged dis-eased state, it eventually succumbs to a disease (like diabetes, heart disease, or cancer) and early death.
So it is important to move. Movement helps massage the abdominal region, which helps to move food material and waste through the intestines.
Sitting’s Negative Effects on Your Nervous System
In addition to squishing your organs, sitting compresses your spine, which affects the nervous system. Nerve rootlets exit the spine to allow for communication between the brain and body, and some of these nerves supply the digestive system.
Figure 23‑2: A stomach supplied by a compressed and irritated nerve.
If the nerve rootlets that communicate to organs are being pinched, the organs are forced to work without full input from the brain, causing immediate distress and leading to eventual disease.
For example, if the nerves supplying the stomach are under pressure, they may inappropriately send messages to the stomach telling it to produce more digestive juices (Figure 23-2). Poor posture makes this worse by increasing the pressure within the abdomen. Extra pressure on the stomach will squeeze the excess acid upstream, resulting in GERD.
This is why good posture is imperative for general good health. If you find it difficult to hold good posture, you may need to see a chiropractor or other body-moving practitioner.
Figure 23‑3: Organ with sufficient nerve supply.
Chiropractic works not only for back and neck pain but for general wellness (Figure 23-3). Chiropractic adjustments restore mobility and space to the spine, and chiropractors educate patients on healthy lifestyle habits to reduce the cause of their symptoms, including symptoms of IBS.
Reversing the Effects of Sitting with Inversions
If you suffer from constipation, as mentioned earlier, a great exercise to add to your day is inversions. I can’t stress enough that inversions aid your digestion. Your colon is coiled within your abdomen, so parts of it always have to push waste “uphill” against gravity. While you are inverted, those parts of your colon get to work with gravity instead of against it.
If you can do handstands are an excellent way to quickly burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health by temporarily increasing your heart rate. Click here to learn about how to build up to doing handstands (takes you to the low back exercises page, scroll through them to see how to build up to hand stands).
All day long, your blood is pooling to your feet, which increases your risk of varicose veins and swelling of the feet. Raising your feet in an inversion helps drain the lower extremities of any excess venous blood and lymph fluid. Inversions also cause extra blood to flow to the brain, waking you up better than any energy drink out there!
Spinal twists (help wring out the intestines), inversions (like downward dog which help drain the ascending colon), knee hugs, hip opening stretches (as tight hip flexors can impair the flow of the gut) all help the digestive tract. Click here to go to the low back stretches. Click here for hip stretches. Talk to your health care provider to see if they are helpful and safe for your specific condition. Click here for abdominal massage.
Drummond Chiropractic, LLC
More than chiropractors, we are wellness experts.
We can help you with your IBS!
565 N Walnut St Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 336 - 2423
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