Massage & Digestion… Get Things Moving!
Did you know… regular massage can help you stay more… regular? I know, it seems weird to put the two in a sentence together. After all, when most people think of massage they automatically get visions of comfy robes, candles and the unrealistic blissed out faces of your average massage stock photo. We all know our faces don’t look that happy when smashed into a face cradle for an extended period of time, but I digress…
Along with all of the other wonderful benefits of massage (stress reduction, lower blood pressure, pain management, increase flexibility, etc.), massage can actually help to keep your digestive system happy and working at it’s peak. Massage to benefit the digestive system is done primarily in the abdominal area. This area, though more sensitive and uncomfortable at first, is rarely worked on in your average massage and should definitely be addressed if you find yourself having troubles with constipation, bloating, diarrhea and even absorbing fat properly. I know it may seem awkward to bring these things up to your therapist but as we would all tell you, the most successful sessions come from being honest and open about what your body is experiencing. How can we use our super powers to help you if you’re leaving information out?
Your gut is often thought of as your second brain, therefore any extra stress or anxiety you are experiencing will most likely project itself through pain in your tummy and should be addressed by your therapist. If that makes you uncomfortable, ask him/her to demonstrate ways you can work on your own abdomen! Regardless of who is doing it, you will reap the benefits.
Abdominal massage, for the most part, is pretty noninvasive and unless you are having some serious issues, won’t be painful in the least. Some of the wonderful benefits of massage for you digestive system include but are not limited to: improvement of tone in the large and small intestines, stimulation of peristalsis, improves mixing actions, stimulates the small intestines which can help with fat absorption. In addition to adding in some good belly massage into your regular routine, there are also other ways to help your digestive system stay happy and healthy. Taking part in a regular cleanse (no, not juicing!) that encourages eating whole, raw foods to help detox your digestive organs is a great way to reset the gut. Obviously staying away from processes foods and any foods you may have allergies or sensitivities to will help and taking a clean, effective probiotic daily(not just eating yogurt. Most of those cultures won’t make it past your stomach to the intestines which is where it needs to be!). No matter how you do it, your gut/digestion should be getting some love more often than not.
“Bad digestion is the root of all evil” ~Hippocrates