Abdominal or stomach massage is the manipulation of this area for a range of palliative effects. These are primarily centred on digestive function, as this area houses the major elements of the digestive system. This includes the stomach, colon, small intestine, liver, pancreas, gall bladder as well as the reproductive organs. Constipation and other digestive impediments are some of the most common reported ailments, with some such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), having few obvious or successful medical resolutions. Massage can therefore offer relief without being invasive or involving any medication – which is a great attraction to many.
Digestive System Functioning
If your digestive system is not functioning optimally in can lead to ongoing discomfort and even illness. The movement of food down the digestive system is achieved via the contraction of muscles – termed peristaltic waves. When these waves don’t reach the full extent of your intestines they impede the functioning of the digestive system. Abdominal massage has been shown to help restore this muscular function, with a range of gentle strokes and pressure providing the necessary encouragement.
Benefits of Abdominal Massage
Abdominal massage is a gentle technique that has the potential to provide a wide range of benefits, specifically with regard to:
- Constipation - massage of the abdominal area can help stimulate the muscles in the colon to help remove stagnant faecal matter.
- Circulation – massage can help to promote improved blood circulation, with oxygenated blood reaching all parts of the body.
- Digestion – massage can aid in stimulating the muscles of the digestive track to function at their optimum.
- Toning - abdominal massage is able to tone and tighten the muscles in this area and even aid in weight reduction.
Abdominal Massage Practicalities
An abdominal massage is typically conducted on a massage table, with the patient lying on their back with the stomach exposed. The practitioner will use their palms, fingers and knuckles to perform a range of soft strokes and light pressure on the abdominal wall. A client is often encouraged to engage in deep abdominal breathing to further enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.