Abdominal Massage for Constipation Relief

| 3/24/2015 11:58:00 AM

Tags: constipation, Chelsea Clark, Washington,

Abdominal Massage for Constipation

Having trouble finding relief from chronic constipation? Natural, first-line approaches include drinking plenty of water, increasing fiber intake, and identifying food intolerances. But if these strategies haven’t worked for you, don’t give up just yet. You may benefit from abdominal massage for constipation.

Causes of Constipation

Constipation can be caused by a dietary change, medication use, daily routine disruption, surgery, or emotional stress. In these cases, constipation is usually considered acute and can be resolved relatively quickly without treatment. If your constipation is long-lasting and bothers you on a regular basis, however, it could be caused by an underlying medical condition, poor diet, or other factors requiring your attention.[1]

Visit your doctor to discuss your symptoms and possible causes as your first step in managing constipation. You may be prescribed a laxative, but these should only be used as a last resort and should not be used regularly. Increasing your dietary fiber intake should be tried first, and you should stay well hydrated. But if this doesn’t help, you might find abdominal massage to be the treatment option you need to find relief.

What Is Abdominal Massage and How Does it Work?

Abdominal massage is the use of massage therapy techniques on the abdomen, focusing the touch over organs of the digestive tract. Compressing and releasing sections of the intestines and other digestive organs can stimulate digestion and help promote bowel movements. Abdominal massage can be done by a professional practitioner, but it can also be easily taught. Parents can learn to perform abdominal massage for their children, and in some cases, you can do it for yourself.[2,3]

Researchers believe that abdominal massage increases the contraction of muscles in the digestive tract that push waste through the gut (a process called peristalsis).[4] Bowel movements are also associated with parasympathetic nervous system activity and massage may stimulate this division of the nervous system, helping to stimulate activity in the digestive tract.[5]

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