Everyone experiences constipation now and then – even animals out in the wild. For us modern folks -certain foods, lack of water and exercise, too much or too little fiber, and poor gut flora (damaged by medications, sugar, alcohol, and stress)- can all slow our bowel movements. But I feel there are three main root causes of constipation (especially with chronic constipation) that you may not know about. Read on or watch the video below to learn what they are and how to resolve them!
Causes Of Constipation
Constipation should be taken very seriously. Your body need to to eliminate waste completely every day in order to stay healthy and vibrant. No, even though it may seem “normal” for you to have a bowel movement every other day or less, that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Also, you may be going daily, but just a little bit at a time and this is still constipation!
Addressing the physical causes relating to improper food choices (for you – everyone is different!), making sure you’re sufficiently hydrated, addressing nutritional gaps, detoxifying your GI system, and repopulating your gut flora is always the best place to start. And I can help you with those basic ways of support through TCM holistic health coaching.
What I want to focus on today are the causes of constipation that may fall under the umbrella of “stress” in Western Medicine. This is a very general term, and the advice around how to avoid, manage and resolve stress is not specific enough either in my opinion because:
- The root cause in these cases is energetic, emotional, and even spiritual in nature.
- It requires one to look closely at their lifestyle, attitude, history, and to make conscious changes (which can be challenging).
If you really want to get to the root of your issue with constipated, you’ll need to open your mind to the deeper reasons why it’s happening. So if you’re ready for it, seriously consider if the following points apply to you and try out the suggestions.
3 Deeper Root Causes Of Constipation
These three causes of constipation are from an energetic, emotional, and spiritual perspective.
1. Energy Stagnation
Our life force energy needs to flow freely in the body in order for it to work efficiently. Qi/Ki/Prana/Energy supports peristalsis in the entire GI tract and with the organs involved. Any blockage of energy along the way can impede energy flow to the bowels.
There can be emotional causes for this which we’ll talk about next. Emotions affect energy which then affects the body. Also, over-exercise, sedentary lifestyles, and injuries to the body can create tension in the upper body, constricting energy up there which prevents it from relaxing and moving down and out.
We can release this energy stagnation from many different angles. With tension – stretching, a warm bath with epsom salt, acupuncture/acupressure, and massaging with essential oils can all release the physical and energetic stagnation. Your body will likely love these nurturing treatments.
However, you’ll also get more effective, longer lasting results if you also incorporate energy healing. Qigong, Reiki, and Lightwork can release the energetic stagnation, unblocking your bowels. Just as important, energy work can help address the imbalances that make you more prone to constipation in the first place.
2. Emotional Blockages
It’s not a joke; you may be experiencing emotional constipation. By feeling and expressing emotions, we’re better able to digest experiences.
The Large Intestine is all about letting go and it’s related to the emotion of Grief in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Extended periods of Grief will also create an imbalance of Lung/Large Intestine energy. These meridians reside in the upper body – again, creating a disharmony between the upper and lower body or making the Large Intestine energy weak.
Liver qi stagnation is another condition that can create constipation, initiated by pent up Anger and Frustration. It creates tension in the upper body and along the sides of the torso. As mentioned above, this can keep the energy from flowing down. The Liver energy also affects other organs that have to do with digestion: mainly the Stomach, Spleen, Lungs and Large Intestine.
Again, there are many ways we can approach releasing emotional blockages. The best ways require your active participation. It’s important to incorporate mindfulness of feelings and the body. Where are feelings showing up? Can you actively be present with them, and then notice if the sensation in the body changes as you let your emotions shift. I love doing this with Journaling, Meditation, and Yin Yoga (which is an active form of meditation). This deep work impacts your mind and heart as much as your body’s digestion.
3. Disconnected From Or Trying To Over-control The Body
Many kids go through a phase of wanting to hold their poop in. Either they’re too busy playing, or they’re embarrassed to ask for help, or another issue that makes them want to control the timing of when to go (sometimes power struggles with parents causes this too).
Some adults still have these issues! If that’s you, consider these questions to get to the deeper root of your issue:
- Do you honor the urge to defecate or always think it can wait?
- Are you afraid or embarrassed about pooping in a house full of people or in public restrooms? (And if so, why is this fear a greater priority than your health and well-being?)
- Do you try to control the timing of your stools too much?
- Are there areas of your life that you try to over-control the timing of too?
- Do you strain and try to force it out when it’s not ready?
- Would you rather just take some laxatives or rely on coffee to keep your bowels moving than investigate why you’re chronically backed up?
Some of these questions may be triggering. If so, I’m glad, because that means we’re on to something. Journal about these or talk about them with a coach who can help you process. There may also be a deeper spiritual issue at the root too. Controlling life, trying to hold on to the past, not dealing with past trauma, not honoring divine timing, or questioning the amount of spiritual support you have – would all be great to explore with Shamanic Healing.
I hope this information helps you figure out why you may be experiencing constipation and motivates you to seek support on a deeper level. Not only with your digestion improve, but so will other aspects of your life.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Well wishes…