Last week, I posted “Fighting Parkinson’s, and drinking more water.” In that post, I discussed how an increase in water helps resolve two major issues with Parkinson’s, urgent urination and constipation. Today, I feel it is necessary to add one more topic to this discussion.
Evacuation. Evacuation of the bladder and bowels is a topic normally not discussed in polite company, but one that is important to discuss in Parkinson’s recovery. I have communicated with many people since last week’s “drinking more water” post, and what has been a common theme, an issue I suffered from, was the need for pressing, pushing, and bearing down to get urine evacuation started and to get bowel evacuation to take place at all. I researched this extensively when I had Parkinson’s, and I learned that the pressing, pushing, and bearing down was creating a bigger problem than the two I already had.
That is as graphic as we need to get. Here is what I learned is occurring. The pressing, pushing, and bearing down causes the evacuation release valves to tighten inward, thus blocking easy evacuation from taking place, and sometimes preventing any evacuation from taking place. Those release valves need to relax and open outward, thus allowing for the evacuation to flow normally. We can turn this process around by deep breathing. That’s right, deep diaphragm (deep belly) breathing.
With deep diaphragm (deep belly) breathing, the diaphragm lightly presses down on the large intestine and the bladder and helps the evacuation process in two ways: 1. By lightly pressing against the large intestine and bladder, the deep inhale/exhale creates a massage-like process that “moves” things along; and 2. the relaxing nature of the deep breathing and that things are naturally moving along allows the evacuation release valves to relax and open in the correct direction for easy evacuation of the bladder and large intestine.
Give it a try. You will be surprised with the results.
You are worth it!!!
All my best,
Note: If you do not know how to do deep diaphragm (deep belly) breathing, here is a method to help you practice:
Lay on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. This should have lowered the small of your back to the floor. Place one hand on your chest and one on your navel. Inhale slowly and see which hand rises. If it is your navel hand, you are breathing into your diaphragm and you are in good shape for deep breathing exercises. If it is your chest hand, you need to practice. When I first learned diaphragm breathing, I would push out my stomach prior to the inhale and try to direct the airflow down to my expanded stomach.