Building strength in the bowel will clear your head, your skin and make you more positive and happy...
The large intestine, in Chinese medicine relates to your skin, skin breakouts, cellulite, colds and flu's, headaches and clarity of mind. If the large intestine or bowel is clogged up, so is your head!
Aside from this, bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of death from cancer after lung cancer in Australia and the USA.
We can strengthen the intestines to help minimise headaches and fogginess in the head and to help ward off colds and flu's. The stronger the intestines the clearer the whole body and mind will be. Remember, the large intestine is supposed to eliminate our waste. When we are able to do this efficiently, we feel and look lighter in the body AND in the mind. When the bowels are working properly, we have less chance of irritation and therefore less chance of bowel cancer.
This exercise will also help to get rid of your love handles and lift your butt!
Autumn is the best time of year to work on the bowel, however, we can strengthen it at any time. But Autumn is also the time of year that we may notice issues (as above) that are associated with the large intestine. It is also the time a lot of our shoulder pain comes which is usually from blockages in the bowels too!
We need to develop strength in the lower belly and back so that we have the strength in the bowels to push out all the waste we need to push out. Imagine that if you don't have enough strength, you are probably not getting rid of all of your waste. The excess waste sits in the bowels and builds and putrefies the body.
Try this: Lie on your back with your hands interlaced behind your head. Lock your legs out straight and pull our toes back strongly so they are above your heels, facing the ceiling. Keeping your knees locked out straight and strong lift your buttocks up off the floor. It doesn't matter if you don't come completely off the floor but just shift the weight onto your heels and squeeze your buttocks up.
Try not to use your shoulders! They will help you get higher but that's not the point of the exercise. We are trying to teach the lower body to work separately to the upper body.
Inhale to come down, exhale to lift up. Repeat 8 -- 10 times.
NOW THAT WAS JUST THE WARM UP!!
So now try this: Lie on your back with your hands interlaced behind your head. Lock your legs out straight and pull our toes back strongly so they are above your heels, facing the ceiling. Your legs are together to make sure you are in a straight line.
Now, bend your right knee up and place your right foot on top of your left thigh. There is no weight under the foot. It is 'just there'. Now without using your shoulders, exhale to lift your buttocks off the floor again. The hips should lift evenly. Inhale to lower x 6 --8.
As you do this one, try to lengthen that straight leg out strongly while you have your hips lifted. As you do this, you will feel a tightening in the back of your waist area. This area relates to the large intestine in Chinese medicine. This area is also known for where people develop 'love handles'. So basically, you can tone this area up AND tone the large intestine. It also helps to lift your buttocks up!
Repeat this whole exercise with your left leg bent up and foot on right thigh.
One side will be harder than the other, so try to do another 6-8 lifts on the harder side. That is your weaker side -- so make it stronger!
Now just to release any excess in your lower back area…
Try this: Lie on floor with your hands interlaced behind your head and your elbows on the floor. Your feet are up close to your buttocks and ankles and knees are glued together. Keeping your shoulders and elbows firmly on the floor take both knees over to your right (roll onto your right hip). Don't collapse the legs to the floor -- only go as far as your left elbow and shoulder allow you to. Breathe in as your return knees back to the middle (centre) and exhale again as you move your knees over to the left, keeping your right elbow and shoulder planted to the floor. Again do 2 slow on each side and then do 10 faster.
It is important that you keep your legs together especially when you move your legs back to the centre as this makes the belly muscles work to help release the spine. When you take your feet to the right, your left foot will come completely off the floor as you roll onto the outside of your right foot. The outside of your right little toe and heel will remain on the floor and vice-versa for the other side.