February 07, 2019 at 11:19AM by CWC
“Where do health and wellness begin?” When an audience member asked that (kind of existential) question at the most recent Well+Good’s most recent TALK in New York City, it brought about an answer from panelist Daphne Javitch that would be absolutely ridiculous if it weren’t totally true. According to the holistic nutritionist and founder of Doing Well, you should make sure you’re connecting with other humans on a regular basis. And also pooping. Like, often.
“I would say: ‘When was the last time you pooped?’ because a lot of times, holding waste in the body creates congestion, creates buildup, [and] residue,” she says. And just to illustrate her point, she reminded everyone in the room that kids (and dogs, for that matter) get really, really jazzed after they’ve, ahem, cleared their pipes. “Getting waste out of the body has profound effects, so creating flow—physical flow—ultimately leads to emotional and energetic flow as well.”
I had a gut feeling she was right, but just to be sure, I did a little digging. And guess what? Science has her back: Gastroenterologist Anish Sheth, MD, co-author of the book What’s Your Poo Telling You? told the Australian site News that this physiological phenomena is known as “poo-phoria.” And well, it’s basically exactly what you think it is. “The distension of the rectum that comes with the passing of a large mass of stool causes the vagus nerve to fire,” he said. The feeling is described as almost orgasmic, and the nerve is fondly referred to as the (I’m not kidding!) “vagina of the brain.”
“A lot of times, holding waste in the body creates congestion, creates buildup, [and] residue.” —Daphne Javitch, holistic nutritionist and founder of Doing Well
Now that we’ve aired all that out, let’s talk about how you can keep your BMs arriving like clockwork (in the name of wellness, duh). Javitch says that chugging plenty of water is a good place to start. But don’t forget to eat fiber-rich and fermented foods either. So while you’re sipping your two liters and enjoying those Brussels sprouts, just remember: You’re doing it for the poo-(gasm).