Squatting toilets are old-fashioned toilets used during the early times. They are also known as Natural position toilets, Nile pans, French, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, and Indian toilets. The main mechanism of squatting toilets is to allow the person using it to squat rather than to sit and this shows the early means of people to evacuate.
There are many types of squatting toilets including a basic toilet at ground level with a hole. At present, there are also some sitting toilets that you can use to squat, but extra care and safety should be ensured as they are not specifically designed for squatting. While squatting toilets are considered to be old-fashioned, they are considered as more beneficial than the modern sitting toilets.
Advantages of Squatting Toilets
There are several advantages of using squatting toilets including:
- Hastens elimination. Squatting promotes the normal contour of the bowels and the rectum allowing for better evacuation. Squatting makes elimination easier and promotes complete evacuation as compared to sitting. Complete evacuation prevents possible fecal impaction or stagnation further preventing more serious complications such as inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis and colon cancer.
Squatting promotes the relaxation of the puborectalis muscle preventing the choking of the rectum for easier and more complete elimination. You may feel the difference of squatting vs sitting as you won’t need to strain when you squat because of the relaxation of the rectal muscle. In addition, the thighs serve as a natural means to compress the colon to allow for better evacuation.
- Prevents nerve damage on the pelvis. When you strain during bowel elimination, the nerves that connect to the uterus, bladder and prostate also become stretched and injured in time leading to neurologic problems.
- Prevents small intestinal contamination. Once the waste materials pass the small intestines, they are formed into feces in the large intestines. When you eliminate through squatting, the ileocecal valve that connects the small intestines and the large intestines close to prevent the backflow of fecal material into the small bowels. During sitting, the ileocecal valve opens, which may promote small bowel contamination.
- Helps manage hemorrhoids. Squatting was found to be a highly effective remedy for hemorrhoids. Since it prevents straining, it prevents the worsening of the hemorrhoids and promotes the distended veins in the rectum to go back to their original position.
- Prevents pressure-related bowel conditions. Straining is one of the most common causes of pelvic organ prolapsed, diverticulosis and hernias because of the increase in intra-abdominal pressure.
Aside from its advantages mainly for elimination, squatting toilets can also be advantageous for pregnant women. Squatting prevents pressure on the growing uterus and also prepares the mother for natural childbirth.
Squatting toilets are indeed advantageous in terms of ensuring healthier bowel elimination. You may convert your toilet into a squatting one and use a especially designed squatting toilet. Also, ensure not to squat on a sitting toilet as this may not adequately support your weight and legs leading to risks for falls and injuries.