Everyone has their favourite hobby-horse and bowel cleansing is mine. The bowel should dump literally pounds of waste every day. Most people get rid only 8-1o oz (225-300 g) and think they are doing well if they have one or even three bowel movements daily but in truth you should be eliminating four-fifths of the food you ingest over a 10–18 hour period. You could conduct a rather novel experiment to find out if this is so by liquidizing your entire intake of food for a day, taking a long hard look at it and seeing ifmost of this emerges the other end.
At the same time check to see how long food takes to pass through the body. It is not com mon for people to retain facces for days. You can do this with the sunflower seed test. Eat a heaped handful of sunflower seeds, chewing as little as possible (the only instance in which Il let vo get away with poor chewing!) and time their passage through the colon. They will show up very clearly, white and grey, in the faces. Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin F, which helps to rebuild the mucous lining of the colon, so eat them plentifully, and under ordinary circumstances chew them well. A sluggish colon is just as dangerous as an impacted one. Transit time itn’t solely reliant on peristalsis (the automatic wave-like movements of the alimentary canal by which food is propelled along it). Much depends on the condition of the nervous system, the liver, adrenals, pancreas and thyroid. The prolonged retention of faeces can be one of the sources of heart disease because a poisonous bloodstream raises serum cholesterol alarmingly, predisposing the body to coronary disease. The biochemical changes produced by retention may also be responsible for tumours and cancer.
EMOTIONAL INFLUENCES ON PERISTALSIS
Some people hold their tension in the neck, jaw or shoulders. 1 hold mine in my abdomen and this is true of many people.
Emotional tightness, rigidity, too much control and self righteousness will often make the colon seize up altogether and in this instance it is not the laxative herbs that are needed but those that will strengthen and calm the nervous system. I find valerian and lady’s slipper particularly helpful. Take equal parts of the powdered herb. If the condition is chronic take one size capsule hourly with plenty of liquid; otherwise take three cap sules with each meal.
GRAVITY AND THE COLON
The other ever-present factor that will influence peristalsis is the downward pull of gravity. The softest tissue in the abdomen is the transverse colon and it is the only organ in the body that runs across it completely from right to left. Prolapse of this part of the colon is very common (and easily detected by an iridology test). A prolapsed colon will push down on the bladder causing urination problems. It will push down on the uterus or the fallopian tubesor ovaries.
In extreme cases an egg from the ovary is unable to pass through into the uterus, causing sterility. One of the purposes of the colon is to flush out water from the
last of the food as it passes through and if the transverse colon has collapsed and is congested the poisonous by-product of retained faeces will flood out onto the ovaries causing ovarian cysts. Women who consult me about gynecological problems are astonished to find that their cause often lies in bowel problems (which sometimes explains why gynaecologists who just concen
trate on their reproductive organs are having so little success). Anal and rectal problems like haemorrhoids are often caused by a prolapsed colon and can be greatly eased by learning to defecate properly. Ideally you should squat with your feet flat on the floor, your knees spread and your elbows resting on them – fine if you are using a hole in the ground in France but dangerous if you try to squat on a toilet seat. Our so called civilized’ toilets are the worst possible devices for a healthy colon, necessitating pushing down against the rectum and positively encouraging haemorrhoids. Do what I do and keep a huge pile of magazines in the toilet, not for reading but for putting your feet up on. Have the pile high enough in front of the toilet to raise your feet 6 in (15 cm) below the toilet-seat level. You will tilt back a little so rest your
hands on your knees to right yourself. If all this sounds like too much palaver, simply place your hands on your head as you defecate. This will relieve the bearing down on the rectal muscles. It is not as good as squatting but it’s the next best thing.
A slant board is simply a strong piece of wood big enough to lie on and positioned so that one end is supported several inches off the floor. You lie with your head at the lower end. Begin with a 3 in (7.5 cm) slope but increase this gradually as you get used to it to about 2 ft (60 cm).
These exercises will help to correct prolapsus whether it be of the uterus, stomach; colon or bladder, and they are also useful for eye, car and sinus problems (or indeed any inflammation in the head). They are also very refreshing if you feel fatigued and muzzy-headed providing this is not the result of high blood pressure. I have a slant board in my clinic used mainly for demonstration purposes but I am occasionally to be found in the
middle of a tiring afternoon lying down on it myself. It works wonders. Caution: Slant boards should not be used by those suffering from hypertension or stomach ulcers, by those with a tendency to haemorrhage, by those with TB, appendicitis or abdominal
cancer, or during a particularly heavy period.
1. With your head at the lower end of the slant board, breathe in slowly, raise your arms and stretch them above your head, reaching right back so that you touch the floor with the back of your hands behind you. When you get there breathe out and hold for a few seconds. Now breathe in again and bring your arms back. Rest them by your sides. Repeat this ten times. 2. With your arms by your sides, breathe out fully and suck your stomach muscles in so that you feel as if your abdomen is touching your spine. Hold for a few seconds and snap out, at which point you will automatically breathe in again. Relax.
Repeat ten times. 3. Give yourself a stomach massage following the path of the colon from right to left (not left to right as for the stomach massage on page 71), or if this is initially too strenuous try rolling a small ball (about the size of a tennis ball) over your lower colon, pressing deeply as you follow its path in a big clockwise circle.
Holding on to the sides of the board firmly with your hands,
slowly bend your knees so that they are resting on your chest.
Don’t worry if you can’t do this fully at first- it will come in
time. Now turn your head from side to side (five times to each
side) while holding this position. Then, if you can, lift your
head slightly and rotate it, first clockwise, then anticlockwise
(three times each way), then slowly replace your legs so that
they are lying flat on the board.
5. Lift your legs vertically. You can bend your knees slightly if this makes it easier. Rotate one foot outwards in a circle ten times, repeat with the other foot, then both together. 6. You will need to rest after the last exercise because it is quite strenuous. When you have got your breath back, lift your legs up again, this time keeping them as straight as you can at the knees. Bring them up to a vertical position both together. You