dog with toilet roll

3 Ps of a perfect poo: are you sitting comfortably?

There are 3 Ps of a perfect poo, including the one thing I teach in clinic that clients return raving about… to sit on the toilet properly!

We know we feel better if we have a regular daily bowel movement. It affects our mood, our energy levels, our confidence to go about our day – and even the taste in our mouth.

There are 3 Ps of a perfect poo which you should keep in mind during your ablutions: Position, Patience and Panting!


maybe for just your family (rather than innocent visitors): 

  • How do you sit?
  • Who takes the LONGEST ? Who reads the paper or takes their phone? 
  • What is your pushing method?  Do you have one!?! Might you be helping too much?

Does your family love a funny discussion?

Do see the video below to learn more about good bowel habits and promote some healthy/unusual/hilarious family conversations!

[Before you watch  – to explain the context  – this was an adventure on to a public speaking course a while back.  There was a Gala Finale with the brief to give a ten minute inspirational speech… well with a challenge like that it’s hard to hold a physio back….Apologies, a bit squeaky at the beginning – I was very nervous!!  ]

P for Position

giraffe in knot

They have actually done lots of research about the best way to sit on a toilet.  Yes really.  In Australia.

Nature did not intend us to sit lady like on a ceramic toilet.  We are supposed to squat down behind a tree.  

The key thing is knees higher than your hips.  This un-kinks the bowel and relaxes the pelvic floor muscles.

  • sit with your feet up on a toddler step or box
  • Bottom well back on the seat
  • Rest your elbows on your knees
  • Untuck your tail bone keeping your back relatively straight
  • Let all your body muscles relax, especially your pelvic floor and abdominals

You can buy a step to fit neatly around the shape of a toilet (eg Squatty Potty) or use a normal children’s bathroom step or an upturned box.

P for Patience

woman reading a book patiently

Emptying the bowel is a natural thing that the body does best on automatic pilot.  It is not something that ‘we’ do.  Like sneezing.  The best ones come from nowhere.  Don’t think too much or the feeling will disappear.

For a perfect poo try an old trick. READ. A book, a magazine, the back of a shampoo bottle (!)….anything to distract your corticol (thinking) brain and let your automatic brain do it’s own thing.  Give your body some time.  You are waiting for something solid to move out – it doesn’t just fall out like liquid.  Your body needs to accept that it is a quiet, private moment.

P for Pant (don’t Push) 

Dog panting

The danger of a traditional “hold-your-breath” push is that you can accidentally tighten your pelvic floor just as the stool is trying to come out.  This can cause it to be pinched off midway so you get some out but lots gets left behind in the rectum. AKA a “ghost poo” (when you thought there was more but can’t find it).

You might not be able to feel it there but it goes on giving off gas, making  you windy, pressing on the rectum walls, making you uncomfortable, and drying out into small pebbles.

For a perfect poo, rather open your mouth (which helps relax your pelvic floor) and let out pants or sighs, just as the midwives teach you to pant to deliver your babies head.  This allows the poo to come out as one full tube with just a nudge and light pressure from you.

Now you know what changes your life MORE than pelvic floor exercises (or even Pilates). Do share!

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