Finally, some information that strikes me as worth knowing was passed along in email ... how to take an effective shit ... courtesy of the renowned samurai:
I haven't yet tried it, but I plan to.
Poop More Effectively by Repositioning One LegYou can learn a lot from the samurai way, including how to poop more effectively. As writer Will Black discovered, you just need to reposition your leg.The samurai would sit squarely on the seat, cross his leg so that his right ankle rested on his left knee (his left foot remained on the ground), place a hand on each knee, then straighten his back. Supposedly this aligns the bowels to help one from having to strain. You may think it seems like a bunch of malarkey, but this one actually works. If you have ever felt like there is a plumbing issue when you sit down, then pay attention. Take your time, have some patience, and you will get the yoga version of Draino on your system that has been passed down from samurai warlords of old. I have literally felt a swirling sensation during the act of evacuation. Try it out to see for yourself.I didn't want to take his word for it so I tried it myself and this does work. It's not particularly comfortable outright, as toilets weren't designed for anyone to sit this way, but you can adjust yourself for comfort before you begin your business. Once you start pooping, you'll realize your crossed leg almost acts like a frozen yogurt dispenser as it feels like it's helping to push the poop out without the need for any muscle strain. This technique won't replace the need for a balanced diet with sufficient fiber and water, but if you have healthy poop it will help you do your business better.