Q: I have recently started a waist training program, which has been successful so far. We (my partner and I) are carefully measuring and recording my measurements at each lacing and are not allowing our enthusiasm to get the better of us and over-tighten. I have become accustomed to the corset and now feel better in it than out of it.

I have noticed that it is much more difficult to have regular bowel movements while I am wearing the corset. I am guessing this is a combination of the restrictive nature of the corset and the difficulty I have in pushing the fecal matter out (due to my diaphragm being constricted.) Last night I was awakened by a very sharp pain in my abdomen, which moved up and down my stomach area over time. When all was said and done, it turned out to be related to this issue. Is this common? Are there any suggestions? ---Joanna (12/28/99).

A: What you describe is the combination of two problems: a pinched colon and insufficient fiber in your diet. I suggest you increase your fruit intake, such as oranges or grapefruits.  The pinched colon is fairly common in corseting. You most likely have the waist positioned too low on your body or the waist is too small  compared to the lower chest, forcing some of the colon above the narrow portion and pinching the bend from the transverse to the descending colon. It forms a large loop starting bottom right (ascending), across the stomach (transverse) and down the left (descending). As you are getting used to upper diaphragmatic breathing, you should be able to tolerate more constriction of the lower chest, which will be needed to prevent the colon from moving upward. Long term, reducing the lower ribcage will push the stomach and liver down and help prevent these problems.


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