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ABDOMINAL MASSAGE - PART 1

02/02/2012

Not to be overlooked during your massage session

The benefits of abdominal massage are endless, yet this region is too often neglected during treatment.

We’re always hearing about the abdomen being our ‘core’ and with good reason! It really is central to good health as it houses not only our physical but emotional wellbeing.

We’ve all felt stress related symptoms before and the effects that asserts on our abdomen – bloating, diarrhoea, pain and even nausea. Massage can play two roles – directly via relieving these symptoms and indirectly by influencing the impact the stress then has on the body in the longer term.

There are many reasons bowel movements may be altered or decreased including a sedentary lifestyle, poor nutrition, medication or health conditions. Massage can stimulate this movement, decreasing the transit time, thereby decreasing the exposure of toxins to the body.

The average transit time from ingestion to elimination should be 12 – 24 hours. Should you wish to measure this timeframe you can do so by eating beetroot. You will know when this has been eliminated due to the deep red colour of the stool.

The rising incidence of food allergies and digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can respond fantastically to abdominal massage. You may even wish to use an essential oil such as peppermint or basil to enhance the stimulating effects on the digestive system to compliment your treatment.  Bear in mind your client’s plans for the remainder of the day, you may ask them to attend your clinic after work or when they don’t have commitments immediately after your treatment.

In addition to stimulating muscles and increasing blood flow, massage can increase the function of all the surrounding organs, some of which are gender specific. Women may experience less painful periods or easing of PMS symptoms, whilst relief of prostate symptoms such as frequent urination may be felt by men.

The great thing is this can be a fantastic take home management tool for your clients – you can educate them to self-massage in order to alleviate symptoms between treatments.

So ensure you treat the core of the body in your full body treatments by incorporating abdominal massage.

You can also assist functioning of the digestive system and abdomen by focusing treatment on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve supply to the abdomen which we will cover next week.