That's a great summary Taomeow.
Some say that our rectums are permanently deformed because of sitting on toilets since early age.
That's not so good, but I'm only wondering whether a sudden change to squatting won't cause some problems, just assay starting walking barefoot all the time(your feet won't take it).
On the other hand, mattresses were probably also "invented", or at least popularized some 100 years ago. And I think everybody would agree they work better than a bed of straw...
Same goes for lot's of other things.
About squatting: I practiced it about a year ago, after I've done a prolonged fast, and it was incredible(especially because I was on raw food and there was no need to wipe or clean whatsoever, not to mention there was no bad smell! Oh I miss that lol).
Now I have trouble deciding whether I should sacrifice my knees to promote good elimination. I can't squat!
Maybe bending over touch your knees with your chest while sitting is enough?
A bed of straw is definitely better to sleep on than the mattress! I've slept on straw tucked under the tarpaulin floor of a tent in the wild, and it was the best sleep of my life -- at one point (on dry clover hay that smells like paradise) everybody in our group pulled off between 14 and 18 hours of sleep in one stretch, the bodies seemed to be making up for all the sleep lost under "civilized" conditions. There's a thread somewhere where I shared my quest for the perfect sleeping surface for the spine, qi, and so on, and although it is not a bed of straw I ultimately zeroed in on, it's most definitely not a mattress that causes your mingmen area to sag (leaking qi from the Gate of Life all through the night) and is the root of much back pain and bad postures (an epidemic).
As for sacrificing the knees -- no, of course not, but I think higher up the thread it has been discussed. You should never squat with your knees going past your toes, or in or out -- keep them smack over your ankles -- and you can practice (on flat surface for starters) as high as you can manage and squat lower gradually, the action is in the spine and the hip joints, not in the knees. Do stuff to elongate your spine and open your hips for a good squat and leave the knees out of it, they are there for the ride only and should not take any pressure onto themselves. Good luck.
Edited by Taomeow, Yesterday, 10:35 AM.