The healthy benefits of abdominal massage
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)(2014) massage therapy can have a positive effect on the physical, mental, and social well-being of people. It’s thought to improve overall health and wellness.
Abdominal massage is a gentle,noninvasive treatment that has relaxing and healing effects..It is used to treat a wide variety of health problems ,especially those related to the stomach, such as digestion issues, constipation, bloating and people with a stoma. According to Salisbury, K.(2020) You can definitely have massages if you have a stoma, after surgery a gentle massage can be used to reduce the risk of adhesions.The body creates adhesions, or scar tissues, when the muscle is damaged.
You can give yourself an abdominal massage or visit a massage therapist for a session. You may benefit from the effects of abdominal massage after only 5 or 10 minutes of massage per day.
Continue reading to learn more about this self-healing technique.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before getting an abdominal massage if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.
Click onto the link for self abdominal massage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onBXcSpgKds
Abdominal massage provide these additional benefits too;
Massaging the abdomen may help to relax your stomach muscles, which helps stimulate digestion and relieve constipation. A study by Turan, N and Atabek, T.(2016) examined the effects of abdominal massage on constipation following surgery. Research found that people who had abdominal massage compared to the group who did not receive a massage had:
reduced symptoms of constipation
more bowel movements
less time between bowel movements.
To relieve constipation, you may wish to focus on these acupressure points during your abdomen massage, they are;
CV6, which is two finger widths below the belly button and
CV12, which is along the centre of your torso, halfway between the belly button and the rib cage
Do not use acupressure points if you are pregnant!!!
Improve digestive function
A study by Dehghan, M in (2018) examined the effects of abdominal massage on the digestive issues of people who had an endotracheal tube and found people who had a 15-minute abdominal massage twice a day for three days showed improvements in their symptoms compared to people who received no treatment. The massage group also reduced the amount of stomach liquid they had, and their abdominal circumference and constipation decreased significantly.
Abdomen massage is also effective in reducing stomach bloating. A clinical trial experiment by Wang,T in (2015) who used this method to treat the symptoms of excess fluid (commonly found in people being treated for cancer) which accumulates in the abdominal cavity. Wang(2015) also discovered In this study, people who had a 15-minute abdominal massage twice a day for three days had lower levels of perceived abdominal bloating, depression, anxiety,plus their well-being levels also improved.
Alleviate menstrual pain
Abdominal massage according to Wang(2005) is also very effective in relieving menstrual cramps and pain. Women who had a five-minute massage daily for six days before menstruation had significantly lower levels of pain and cramping compared to women who had no treatment.
Incorporating essential oils into an abdominal massage may provide more benefits than a massage alone. Using essential oils helps to reduce friction and enhance your olfactory senses during a massage. Research has also showed, according to Marzouk, T(2013) that women who had a 10-minute abdominal massage with essential oils had significantly lower levels of menstrual pain and excessive menstrual bleeding compared to women who had abdominal massage using only an oil medium such as olive oil , almond oil. The duration of pain was also reduced.
Both groups in the study had an abdominal massage once daily for the seven days before their period. The aromatherapy massage included essential oils of cinnamon, clove, rose, and lavender in a base of almond oil.
In addition to the benefits of the above, abdominal massage may also;
aid in weight loss
tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles
release physical and emotional tension
release muscle spasms
increase blood flow to the abdomen
benefit abdominal organs
Is it safe?
Generally, abdominal massage is safe for most people provided it’s done in a gentle and safe manner:
Don’t have an abdominal massage if you’ve had recent abdominal surgery. ( must be three months after)
Talk to your doctor before getting an abdominal massage if you’re pregnant or have any health concerns.
It’s best that you don’t eat any heavy or spicy foods for a few hours before and after an abdominal massage.
Drink plenty of water after the massage.
How to massage the abdomen
To perform abdominal massage on yourself:
Lie flat on your back with your belly exposed.
Overlap your hands on your lower belly and hold them here as you focus on your breath.
Warm your hands by rubbing them together for about 30 seconds.
Apply any oils that you’re using.
Use the palm of your hand to massage your entire stomach in a clockwise direction several times.
Then massage the centreline of your abdomen, starting below your sternum and ending at your pubic bone.
Do three more lines an inch apart down the left side of the abdomen.
Do the same on the right side of the abdomen.
Then press your fingers into your navel firmly.
Continue massaging with gentle pressure and circle outward from your navel in a clockwise direction.
You can spend extra time on specific areas or trigger points that feel like they need some extra attention.
Do this for up to 20 minutes.
If you don’t feel comfortable massaging yourself, you can also have your abdomen massaged by a qualified massage therapist. Call before you make your appointment to see if the therapist performs abdominal massage. You can contact us @ surrealholistictherapy.com for our Abdominal Detox Massage
Massage and its Potential for Stoma Patients By Karen Salisbury(2020) cited in
The Effect of Abdominal Massage on Constipation and Quality of Life. Dehghan, M in (2018) cited in https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26825564/ accessed 15.02.2021
Does abdominal massage improve gastrointestinal functions of intensive care. Science Direct (2018)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388117304693?via%3Dihub#! Accessed (17 03.2021)
The effect of abdominal massage in reducing malignant ascites symptoms. Wang(2005) cited in
The effect of aromatherapy abdominal massage on alleviating menstrual pain in nursing students: A Prospective Randomized Cross-Over Study. Marzouk, T(2013) cited in
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/742421/ accessed (14.02.2021)
Self healing abdomen massage cited on
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onBXcSpgKds accessed (16.03.2021)