Secrets of Korean Medicine, Part 26: Regular Bowel Movements
Throughout the human history, wise people claimed that the secrets of good health included good appetite, sound sleep, and regular bowel movements.
Although many people are looking for healthy foods, the quality of life inevitably degrades if our bowels are uncomfortable throughout the day due to the failure to generate regular bowel movement, regardless of the wonderful foods that we eat.
The ideal stool is golden-colored and banana-shaped, easily and fully excreted once a day without imparting undue burden on the anus.
Many young women who reduce the quantity of food they consume for dieting purposes and do not drink sufficient water because they want to prevent water retention frequently complain of constipation. However, although many claim to suffer from constipation, the criteria that define constipation are frequently ambiguous.
If the bowel movements are not regular, the feces accumulate in the bowels for a prolonged period of time, leading to a reduction in the water contents in the bowels and causing difficulties in passing stools. The condition is frequently accompanied by pain or hemorrhage.
Criteria for Diagnosing Chronic Constipation
- Bowel movements less than twice a week
- The quantity of feces less than 1 ounce to 1.2 ounces per day
- Excessive force needed for more than 25 percent of bowel movements
- Hard and thick feces in more than 25 percent of the total number of bowel movements
- Feeling of insufficient defecation in more than 25 percent of the total number of bowel movements
If more than two of the above symptoms persist for longer than three months, there is chronic constipation.
Causes and Complications of Constipation
Although the diminished movements of the bowels are the main cause of constipation, there are other causes, including insufficient water within the large intestine and various diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, intestinal obstruction, ulcerous colitis, and colorectal cancer.
Since fiber and water assist in discharging waste from the bowels, if there is not enough of these in the diet, constipation will occur.
Large quantities of high-fat food such as meat and fried foods as well as stress and lack of exercise will also cause fewer bowel movements. It is also not advisable to skip breakfast or try to resist the need to defecate.
In addition, relying on laxatives to relieve constipation will eventually lead to the situation in which one will not be able to defecate naturally without the aid of laxatives. One must try to avoid reliance on such drugs as much as possible. The majority of the symptoms of constipation can be relieved and cured through regular exercise, dietary therapy, and drinking sufficient water.
If constipation becomes chronic, gas will fill the bowels, and one will experience an overall feeling of discomfort, heaviness, a churning feeling in the bowels, and loss of appetite.
In addition to hemorrhoids due to constipation, having decaying substances in the bowels for a prolonged period of time will cause fatigue and lead to various adult disorders such as colorectal cancer and benign tumors. In women, it can induce various skin disorders such as hyperpigmentation and acne as well as menstrual irregularities.
Proper management of constipation is essential for patients with high blood pressure. Symptoms of chronic constipation include digestive disorder, feeling of distension of the abdomen, headaches, skin disorders, and stiffness of the shoulder. In elderly people, constipation can lead to dementia due to the entry of toxic substances such as ammonia gas into the brain.
Healthy Lungs, Healthy Large Intestines
Korean medicine regards the lung as the principal organ for the governing of the internal energy of the body, with the lung and large intestine as brother organs that deal with waste generated in the body.
Through breathing in and out, the lungs ensure the exchange of huge quantities of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The large intestine extracts nutrients and moisture from the food consumed and digested and sends the remaining waste matter to the anus for discharge. Accordingly, the lungs are like the older brother and the large intestine the younger brother.
Since the lungs are in charge of the proper conveyance of all energy in the body, they affect the functions of the large intestine, the subordinate organ of the lungs, so that peristalsis is normal.
An elderly woman in her 70s suffering from severe constipation visited me complaining that she would only have a stool once a week, on average, sometimes with 10 days or more between bowel movements.
Due to the failure to discharge toxic waste materials accumulated in the body, she felt pain, and her vitality was depleted.
After three months of pulmonary-cleansing therapy, she became cheerful and full of life, reporting that she had regularly bowel movements.
When the lung is thoroughly cleansed, the pulmonary functions will harmonize the circulation of bodily energy and revitalize the large intestine, the subordinate organ of the lung, to improve the symptoms of constipation.
What is amazing is that, although constipation and diarrhea are opposite disorders, both return to a normal state following pulmonary-cleansing therapy.
As the results of the clinical observations in having treated several hundred patients suffering from various pulmonary diseases, I found that the functions of the lung improve in 8 out of 10 patients after pulmonary-cleansing therapy.
I have observed countless clinical cases in which the feces of both the constipation and diarrhea patients return to normal after two months of pulmonary cleansing.
Accordingly, if the pulmonary functions are fortified, it is possible to cure even severe constipation to discharge soft and banana-shaped feces within three months of therapy.
Pulmonary Cleansing Enhances Immunity
An astronomical number of microorganisms thrive in our internal bowels. Harmful bacteria account for 20 percent, beneficial bacteria for 20 percent, and intermediate bacteria make up 60 percent of the total.
The intermediate bacteria survey the overall circumstances within the bowels and side with the bacteria that display dominance. What is truly amazing is that when the health of the lung improves, these intermediate bacteria cooperate with the beneficial bacteria and prosper to suppress the activities of the harmful bacteria.
In doing so, the health of the bowels, in which approximately 70 percent of the immune cells of the human body is allocated, improves to further facilitate the discharge of accumulated toxic waste substances out of the body, which in turn substantially improves the immunity of the entire body.
In particular, when the health of the lung improves, it is possible to observe the rapid proliferation of Akkermansia muciniphila—a probiotic bacterium that helps to repair a disturbed metabolism, which is associated with obesity, inflammation, and Type-2 diabetes. A diverse range of other beneficial bacteria follow suit.
In general, the abundance of beneficial intestinal bacteria after six months of pulmonary cleansing will eliminate chronic constipation and diarrhea, as well as treat and prevent polyps in the large intestine and other cancers in the body.
A university professor began pulmonary cleansing therapy upon the recommendation of his wife. He had six polyps in the intestine, which were excised only to find another six polyps. Following 10 months of the therapy, the professor had the amazing experience of complete elimination of polyps without any further recurrence.
As “the king of lymph glands”—the tonsils—become healthier, in two months of pulmonary cleansing, it is possible to prevent the common cold and even cancer and polyps.
If the immune system—”the doctor within”—is at its peak, it will take care of the body to maintain optimum health.
Dr. Seo Hyo-seok is the director of the Pyunkang Korean Medicine Hospital, which has seven branches in South Korea, one at Stanton University in California, and one in Atlanta. Dr. Seo entered Kyung Hee University in Korea at the top of his class and after years of research, developed the Pyunkang-Hwan herbal formula, which improves immunity by strengthening lung function. It has helped cure over 155,000 patients of various conditions.
Find out more at Pyunkang.com