You’ve heard of the benefits of massage on your back, shoulders, legs, feet, arms and hands, relieving tension and aches, softening muscles and assuaging pain. You may have heard that a head and scalp massage can relieve headaches.
However, there is one part of the body that rarely gets the massage attention it really deserves - your belly. Dr. Gaston and Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants is here to explain why getting an abdominal massage - or giving yourself one - is a big benefit to your health.
An abdominal massage can:
- Alleviate constipation
- Stimulate the digestive system to more regular, frequent bowel movements
- Reduce bloating from excess gas
- Relieve pain of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Reduce muscle spasms
- Increase blood flow to the abdomen to benefit digestive system
- Promote relaxation and relieve tension
- May stimulate weight loss while strengthening abdominal muscles
If you’re pregnant or have had a surgical or weight loss procedure on your abdomen, talk to Dr. Gaston or your primary care physician about abdominal massage.
While getting a professional massage feels wonderful, knowing how to give yourself an abdominal massage is very useful when you frequently experience constipation, gas or digestive system pain.
To give yourself a belly massage:
1) Lie flat on your back.
2) Place your hands below your naval and concentrate on taking deep breaths, filling your whole belly.
3) Rub your hands together to warm them and, if you’d like, apply a cinnamon, rose or lavender oil.
4) Rub your entire stomach with the palm of your hand, using a clockwise motion. Make several rotations.
5) Beginning just below your sternum, massage the center of your abdomen downwards, ending at your pubic bone.
6) Starting again at the top of your belly, move your palm about an inch to the left and massage downwards. Repeat two more times, moving about an inch to the left further each time.
7) Repeat this sequence on the right side.
8) Starting at your naval, press fingers firmly into your belly and massage with gentle pressure in a circular, clockwise direction outwards.
9) When you notice areas that feel more cramped or painful, spend extra time massaging there.
Just like a body massage, an abdominal massage has significant benefits - for your physical health and emotional wellbeing. Give your belly a treat with a massage!
Questions about what’s best for your digestive health or about abdominal massage? Click "make an appointment" or call Dr. Gaston at 773-238-1126. We are always happy to help.