Abdominal Self Massage

Abdominal Self Massage

We are all about empowering our clients with information that is educational and something that perhaps is able to be added to their daily life actually enhancing their lives by investing in self-care. It is so very important to love your body, that magnificent amazing vessel that houses our incredible organs our smart curious mind and all the many moment to moment thoughts ideas and feelings we have.

One very easy self-care skill to learn that sends a great message to the body and in particular your amazing colon (because life would be very different without it) is abdominal massage.

Massaging not only feels good, it sends you your own positive body messages, it can release feel perception good hormones like oxytocin and a discomfort perception changer hormone called endorphins and also by massaging an area that feels discomfort the body via the gut- brain axis can dampen down the severity and type of pain experienced.

So why not give this a go?

  • Firstly as this is a self-care connection of the mind body really take the time to set up your environment as this will not only enhance your experience, the effects of the massage but importantly you deserve to and need to be kind to yourself
  • If possible ideally you will have practised this massage when not in any colon discomfort so you get practised for and if you ever need it
  • This massage can be used though for any abdominal pain ( if not associated with other symptoms such as high fever, chest pain), excessive gas, constipation, bloating, nausea, heartburn, digestive issues
  • You may like to do this pre colonic at home before your appointment so when having your colonic you really connect with your colon. This can really help you become more regular opening your bowels if you often get constipated. You aren’t a passive recipient of a colonic rather you are a participant in your health care
  • When you massage you may like music on, ensure you have somewhere quiet to lie down so you can fully relax. As using oil makes it easy to massage it is not essential. If you do like to use a body oil or an aromatherapy oil make sure it is a good quality base oil and aromatherapy oil, as remember whatever you put on your skin will be directly absorbed into your body
  • Set aside 10-15 minutes for massage, you can when have more time even extend to 20 minutes. It is a great self-care activity to do daily perhaps before bed
  • Some like to have a bath or shower pre massage to warm their body and further enhance their experience but it isn’t a must do
  • Whatever your preference you may like to try very widely used oils such as peppermint, anise, fennel, ginger or even a blend of a citrus like orange with peppermint or a great one to ease the symptoms of gas discomfort and cramping is chamomile and lavender
  • Always be respectful of essential oils as they are very potent and you only need to mix 1-2 drops in your carrier oil
  • Please do not use on children or pregnant women without direct advice of your health practitioner
  • Try to work with your breath breathing deeply through the nose both in and out breath if possible as nasal breathing activated the parasympathetic nervous system therefore you relax more deeply. At times to let go of tension really breath it or sigh forcefully through your mouth
  • Do not work over the rib area rather below your ribs right down to your belly button. You can go lower into your pelvic region, but in all areas be conscious of not exerting too much pressure. This is meant to be relaxing not make you more stressed!
  • Prepare yourself and your oil , I usually mix in a bottle so easy to use
  • Put a towel down on your bed to protect bedlinen
  • If you have back concerns place a cushion or bolster under your knees while lying down
  • Work lightly using your fingers and thumbs in gentle circular motion.
  • You may like to start on the right side of your body and move across the body towards tour left side and down therefore clockwise direction
  • Be curious, some people like to place one hand under their sternum area and move that hand down the abdomen followed by their other hand creating a firm constant pressure motion and keep doing this movement for a while
  • This is great if constipated or have gas as it supports the body in moving contents towards the rectum
  • Finish massage with your left hand on your heart, right hand on your belly button area and take a few conscious deep breaths
  • Be aware the abdomen stores lots of emotion so you may during the massage or after be a little more vulnerable in the way you feel, so ideally don’t finish the massage and jump off the bed and jump in the car to do a stressed school pick up in Vancouver traffic, or is that just me!!

Kate Brereton

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