Sometimes constipation is more than just an occasional, frustrating occurrence. In many cases, for some people, the muscles in their pelvic area don’t contract or relax properly. For them, constipation isn’t just an irritant; it’s a way of life. If you seem constipated more often than not, it’s possible something is going on with your system–and you should consult your doctor about it.
One possible cause–for which an amazing healing therapy has been proven effective in treating–is called outlet dysfunction-type constipation. Basically, it means that people can’t relax the muscles that line the floor of their pelvis; this hampers their ability to push fecal matter along.
Recently, researchers from Italy and the U.S. have found that biofeedback training is useful in improving symptoms in people who have problems with “evacuating the rectum.” And this is good news because I know that many people don’t respond to standard treatments for this muscle-related form of constipation. They tested biofeedback on 52 patients–all of them went through five biofeedback sessions a week to help relax their pelvic muscles and increase the pressure needed to move fecal matter.
After a half-year, about 70% of patients with pelvic muscle problems reported a satisfactory response to the therapy, and 76% said that they were having at least three more bowel movements a week. (And if you’ve ever had constipation, you’ll know that’s a significant number.) Also, checking back two years after therapy, researchers found that the people were still noticing the same improvements.
How? Because of what biofeedback is. It’s not a tablet or a device–it’s a teaching technique. Basically, the patient takes control of his or her own bodily functions by learning to understand them. You learn with a clinician and an electronic machine, where feedback (essentially what’s going in your body) is displayed on a monitor so you understand how it gets better or worse with what you do.
The intent is to use lights, sounds, and images to reveal changes in heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, brain activity, and muscle tension. For constipation, the patient can learn what it takes to relax the pelvic muscles during a bowel movement and thus how to start getting over constipation.
Hey, it’s your body after all. Your mind controls everything-hence biofeedback is anything but far-fetched. All it takes is learning how to control your bodily functions, then you go and do it. Biofeedback has been around since the 1970s and it has been proven to help treat many different conditions.