How to relax the puborectalis muscle

For the majority of human history the action of evacuating the bowels involved squatting. The invention of the seated water closet style toilet in the 19th century changed that and increased many health problems, according to Natures Platform. Problems relaxing the puborectalis muscle controlling the opening of the anus are now common and can result in chronic constipation, the Mayo Clinic reports. Relaxing the puborectalis muscle is required to open the passage allowing feaces to leave the body in a natural way; the most common way of relaxing the muscle is to take up a squatting position when evacuating the bowels.

Wait until the body requires the bowels to be evacuated to reduce the need to strain when using the toilet. Tense the rectal muscles to reduce the chances of accidental elimination of the bowels.

Sit on the toilet in a squatting position using a support platform or safety rails to allow the bowel movement to take place safely. Pull the heels of the feet towards the body so they are positioned as close to the bottom or tops of the thighs as possible.

Retain balance and control of the body by placing hands on the side of the toilet or holding onto a support platform or rails whilst completing the process of the bowel movement. Remain in the squatting position until the bowel movement is completed.


Platforms and adaptations for modern toilets facilitate squatting to relax the puborectalis muscle.


Modern toilets are not designed for users to remain in the squatting position throughout a bowel movement. Take care not to lose balance and fall when squatting on a traditional toilet.

Things You'll Need

  • Toilet
  • Support rails or platform
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About the Author

Paul Cartmell began his career working in film and TV production before moving into print and online journalism with a number of media outlets, including Yahoo! Sports, "Greenwood Today" and "The Grimsby Telegraph." His areas of interest include sports, politics, the arts and home improvement.