Using the Bathroom
You probably think you have life all figured out, don’t you? I mean surely you have at least the basic stuff down like using the bathroom, right? Wrong!
It might shock you to know that until the 19th century and the advent of indoor plumbing, people used to squat to go number two. This is in fact a much more healthy and natural way to complete this act. It is still the way it is generally done in all but the modern Western world.
Studies have shown that squatting is easier, faster and helps prevent hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. If you want to replicate this action in your own bathroom, you can put a footstool in front of your toilet to rest your feet on and lean forward a bit.
The modern position women are put in to deliver babies is all about making things easier for the doctor instead of the woman. Sure, lying on your back with your legs up in the air gives your doctor full access to all the pertinent bits but really it leaves your baby fighting gravity to get out. Like pooping, a better position is squatting, which opens up the birth canal by about 10 percent which can mean a lot when you are pushing another human being out of your body!
Most people in the Western world take a shower with lots of soap and scrubbing every day but really all you are doing is damaging your skin and you’re not actually getting as clean as you think you are! Bathing and scrubbing the skin too much damages the outer layer of protective skin which leaves us more susceptible to diseases. And often, taking showers simply leads to microorganisms moving around in all the warm water, either from the shower itself to you or from one part of your body to another.
Studies have even shown that people who shower more don’t necessarily harbor less bacterial colonies. So what should you do? Well, don’t stop showering of course, but it wouldn’t kill you to shower a bit less often to let your skin repair itself. And when you do shower, be a little more gentle on your skin: don’t use scalding hot water and use a mild soap. Let your skin air dry or very gently towel dry and use lotion to rehydrate.
Go ahead and take a deep breath. Did your chest rise and fall? Well, you’re doing it wrong. You’re actually supposed to be using your diaphragm, the muscle just below your chest to control your breathing. If you are doing it right, it would look like your belly instead of your chest is rising as you breathe. It may seem strange at first, but this is how babies breathe and they are doing it right. Abdominal breathing allows you to make full use of your lungs, unlike chest breathing which only uses the top part of the lungs. In fact, chest breathing is so inefficient that it can cause an imbalance in the oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bodies and lead to side effects such as headaches, fatigue and anxiety. Better start practicing abdominal breathing!
Brushing Your Teeth
Our instinct is to brush our teeth right after a meal to get rid of all of the leftover grime from our last meal but in fact that is doing more harm than good. When you brush your teeth immediately after eating, the acids that were in the foods you ate have softened your tooth enamel and you actually do more damage with a toothbrush than a few stray food particles would do.
A better way to do it is to wait a few hours after eating to brush, especially if it was a meal full of acidy foods. And don’t forget to floss! Flossing is a really good way to get rid of the food particles between teeth and doesn’t damage the tooth’s enamel. Also, use a soft bristled toothbrush. You don’t need hard bristles to brush away plaque, you’ll only damage your teeth.