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Can’t Poo? Here’s What To Do…

I wanted to share this article, because sometimes we all need a little help. In the second part of this post, I am including few other suggestions, please scroll to the end for more information.

Social Anxiety Constipation: Can’t Poo? Here’s What To Do…
By Holly at Chinese Reflexology

If you suffer from Social Anxiety Constipation, here’s what can help you poo if you're feeling constipated. In other words, here’s how to lighten up (aka release your bowels) when you're sitting on the can.  
Social Anxiety Constipation (BTW, it’s not a real medical term, I made it up) is a temporary condition which occurs when you need to poo, but can’t due to one of the following reasons:
  • Someone might hear you
  • You’re in a rush and you have a limited amount of time to poo
  • The toilet situation is not ideal
  • All of the above
Lest you think this article is purely in jest, let me reassure you that you will learn some Chinese Reflexology points and strategies to help you have a bowel movement when you’re experiencing conditions that are making it hard to poo.
But in light (pun intended) of being more lighthearted, I wanted to share some of the common scenarios where Social Anxiety Constipation might strike.  Of course, we’ll all deny this happens to us, but we can certainly imagine the following to cause a pause in pooing.
6 Scenarios Where Social Anxiety Constipation Might Strike
  1. You’re using the restroom at work and there’s someone in the stall beside you. It’s really quiet. If you try to poo, you may involuntarily grunt or horror of horrors, fart.  Your co-worker will hear you.
  2. You’re on an airplane and there’s a huge line of people waiting for you to finish using the toilet.  The pressure is on to finish fast.  Plus, the turbulence just kicked up a notch and the seat belt light blinked on.
  3. You’re about to embark on a 3-hour car trip where the only restroom you’ll see is at a gas station.  You have to poo now or forever hold your poo.
  4. You’re about to embark on an epic bike ride/marathon/[insert your favourite sport here].  If you can’t poo now, it will affect your performance.
  5. You have to poo before your yoga class, but you can’t seem to go and class is about to start.  Beware the Downward Dog.
  6. It was a fun idea to go to the beach, but now that you have to poo, the porta-potty is not so fun.  As your nose is assaulted by the combined stench of pee and chemical disinfectant, your eyes are overwhelmed by the mountain of soggy toilet paper (and personal sanitary products) heaped in the loo.  Poo here?  Ich don’t think so.
So, what are you to do when you find yourself in one of the above situations and Social Anxiety Constipation strikes?
First, An Important Message/Disclaimer
The information in this article is for educational (and entertainment) purposes and is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases.  The educational information only applies for situations where one is experiencing TEMPORARY constipation due to awkward social situations or timing.  If you have chronic constipation, have been constipated for 3 days or more, or you see blood in your stool, GO SEE YOUR DOCTOR! For more details on when to see a doctor when you’re constipated, here’s an article on the Mayo Clinic website.
Chinese Reflexology Points to Help Things Flow to Help You Go
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, all diseases can be traced to a disharmony in the flow of Qi (life force energy) in your body.  If the energy is flowing as it should, then the physical body follows.  However, if Qi becomes blocked or stagnant, over time this can lead to manifestations in the physical body.  On the flip side, if the physical body is “blocked”, Qi becomes stuck too.  The two interplay with each other like Yin and Yang.  If you move one, the other moves too.
In the case of Social Anxiety Constipation, self-consciousness or anxiety causes tightness and constriction in the body.  This stops the flow of Qi and the flow of poo.  Get the Qi moving again in combination with some relaxation, and you’re going to get the poo moving.
You wouldn't be sitting on the toilet unless you felt the urge to have a bowel movement.  Thus, it’s likely that you really do need to poo, but something has stopped the flow.  You’re about to learn how to get it flowing again.
Usually I teach Chinese Reflexology points on the feet.  However, in the case of pooing, it’s simply not practical to reach down and rub your feet (and it’s a little gross to do that on the toilet).  Hence, I’ll show you some reflexology points on your hands.  In fact, all of the Chinese Reflexology points on your feet can be mapped to your hands.  While the foot points are the power centers, the points on your hands can also be very effective.
Chinese Hand Reflexology Points for Large Intestine
Since we’re talking about poo here, the focus will be on the lower half of your large intestine.  To help the Qi flow through your large intestine, you can massage the transverse, descending and sigmoid colon points on your left hand. These are different segments of your large intestine.
LeftHandPalmThe transverse colon reflexology point is a horizontal line located around the halfway point dividing your palm in half.  The descending colon reflexology point is a vertical line located along the edge of your palm below your baby finger. It begins at the end of the transverse colon point and descends downwards to about one thumb-width above your wrist crease.
Finally, the sigmoid colon reflexology point is a horizontal line going from the descending colon point to the thenar eminence of your thumb.  That’s the big fleshy pad of your thumb that makes up part of your palm.
To massage these points, make a fist with your right hand and use the knuckles Start with the transverse colon and stroke horizontally across your palm from left to right.  When you finish the stroke, pick up your knuckles, place them back at the left of your palm, and repeat. Do about 10 to 15 strokes.  It’s important to ALWAYS go from left to right (from the index finger towards the pinky) as this follows the flow of food waste through your intestines.
Next, use a knuckle (I like to use the right middle finger knuckle) to stroke the descending colon point in a downwards direction only.  Start at where the transverse colon ends and stroke down towards where the sigmoid colon begins.  When you finish the stroke, pick up your knuckle, place it back at the top of the descending colon point, and repeat.  Do this for 10 to 15 strokes.
Finally, you will use your four knuckles to stroke the sigmoid colon point.  For this point, stroke horizontally from RIGHT to LEFT.  You’ll stroke from the outside edge of your palm (like where you would do a karate chop) to the inside of your palm (where your thumb is).  In medical lingo, you’ll be going in the direction from the ulna bone to the radius bone.
One easy way to visualize the correct direction is to look at your left palm and envision the strokes going in a clockwise direction.
Chinese Hand Reflexology Points for Anus (Tee Hee)
Seriously (or unseriously), it’s hard not to laugh when saying or writing the word, “anus”.  I had a French teacher once whose last name was “Annis”.  She was mercilessly ridiculed by a group of immature teenagers, but I digress here…
The Chinese Reflexology point for the anus (tee hee again) can be found on your left palm at the end of the sigmoid colon point.  It’s a small circle that is located just below the center of your thenar eminance. If you imagine a point right in the center of the big fleshy pad of your thumb (see the “x” on the diagram), the anus reflexology point would be located just below it.
To massage this point, use the knuckle of your right index finger.  Press into the point and twist back and forth as if you were drilling into the point with your knuckle. Do this for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Relax and Breathe
Prior to trying the reflexology, you’ve probably be straining to poo and/or holding a lot of tension in your abdominal region.  Now is the time, to take a breath and relax all of the muscles in your abdomen.  Try to release all tension and keep breathing easily, yet deeply.
Now, repeat the reflexology.  Then try to poo.
Repeat all of the above as necessary.  You’ll be surprised at how much easier and quicker the poo comes out.
Happy Pooing!
Number One Cure for Constipation;
By far, the number one reason folks suffer from stubborn bowels is Magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is a common mineral responsible for the relaxation of muscles. Years ago, when our food was grown in mineral-rich soil, and our cattle ate mineral-rich grass, we had plenty of magnesium in our diets. However, today we're sadly missing this vital mineral for our bowels AND our hearts; a magnesium dependent organ. 
The simplest way to fulfill this deficiency is by supplementing it with Magnesium Citrate 250 milligrams capsules. Here's the trick to remember; the healing effect of magnesium is “dosage specific” and not everyone is the same. You need to take your dosage to what's called “Bowel Tolerance”. When you take TOO MUCH magnesium, you'll get too loose of a bowel. But you can't know what TOO MUCH is for your body until you take it to this point and then back off a little.
So start out with about 500 milligrams (mgs) of Magnesium Citrate in capsule or powder form. (Powder is cheaper but doesn't taste so hot). Take this in the evening with your evening meal or before bed with water. If you have a nice, smooth (no hard lumps) bowel movement, then just stay at 500 mgs a day. If not, then increase it the next day to 750 mgs. Then again to 1000 mgs if needed. Some need this amount, others will find the 500 mgs is too much and need to back off to 250 mgs. No problem, do what works for you and do it daily.
Please don't underestimate the power of this simple mineral. It works miracles and its not an expensive supplement. You can find Magnesium Citrate at your local health store or grocer.


This is one area that shines in natural herbal remedies. There are a great number of them to try here. Find the one that best suits your personal needs.

  • Drink a glass of warm milk before going to sleep. If your condition is severe add two teaspoons of castor oil.
  • Drink lemon juice with water two or three times a day.
  • Drink half a teaspoon of honey in half a glass of warm water.
  • Drink one liter of warm water and walk around first thing in the morning.
  • One of the most well known herbal remedies in Ayurvedic medicine is Triphala tea. Mix one half teaspoon in a cup of warm water and drink this one a half hour before bedtime. This is a good laxative that is gentle and does not cause cramping..
  • Please note that it is not recommended to eat any foods after ingesting any of the above teas.


  1. thanks for sharing this blog useful info.

  2. Do you do just one hand? or both?

    sigmoid strokes also 15 strokes?


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