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The Facts regarding Belly Massage for Constipation

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Symptom of constipation

Constipation is a problem with passing stool. It can have different symptoms depending on the person and the cause. Some of the common symptoms of constipation are:

Fewer than three stools a week: This is one of the most obvious signs of constipation. However, some people may have normal bowel movements less often than three times a week. Therefore, it is important to know your own pattern and frequency of stools.

Hard, dry, or lumpy stools: This indicates that the stool has stayed too long in the colon and has lost too much water. Hard, dry, or lumpy stools can be difficult and painful to pass. They may also cause bleeding or tearing of the anal tissue.

Straining or pain when passing stools: This is another sign that the stool is too hard or large to pass easily. Straining or pain can also cause haemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the anus or rectum. Haemorrhoids can cause itching, burning, or bleeding in the anal area.

A feeling that not all stool has passed: This is also known as incomplete evacuation. It means that there is still some stool left in the rectum after having a bowel movement. This can cause discomfort, bloating, or gas.

A feeling that the rectum is blocked: This is also known as faecal impaction. It means that there is a large mass of hard stool stuck in the rectum that cannot be expelled. This can cause severe pain, nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. Faecal impaction requires immediate medical attention.

The need to use a finger to pass stool: This is also known as manual evacuation. It means that you have to insert a finger into the anus or rectum to help push out the stool. This can damage the anal tissue and increase the risk of infection.

If you have any of these symptoms for more than three weeks, you should see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Constipation can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition, such as colorectal cancer or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Studies on Belly Massage for constipation Therapy and Constipation

If you suffer from constipation, which is one of the most frequent digestive problems, giving yourself a massage at home could bring you some much-needed relief. By stimulating the muscles that are involved in producing bowel movements and easing chronic stress (a problem that is closely related with many digestive ailments), self-massage of the abdomen has the ability to alleviate constipation in a number of different ways. One of these methods is by stimulating the muscles that are involved in producing bowel movements.Even though massage is not typically recommended as a treatment for constipation, there is some evidence to suggest that it may be helpful in regaining regular bowel movements.

A number of clinical trials concentrating on abdominal massage and its use as a treatment for chronic constipation were analysed and summarised in a study that was published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in 2011. Peristalsis is a sequence of wave-like muscle contractions that assist transport food through your digestive tract. The results demonstrated that abdominal massage may provide relief from constipation in part by stimulating peristalsis.

The same study indicated that abdominal massage may also assist in reducing colonic transit time, which is the amount of time it takes for food that has been digested to pass through the colon (the final section of your digestive tract). In addition, the research concluded that abdominal massage is an effective method for relieving the discomfort and agony that are associated with constipation.

People who suffer from constipation have reported increases in their quality of life after employing an abdominal massage, which has been the subject of research trials. However, other studies (including a small clinical trial that was published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies in 2009) suggests that employing abdominal massage for the relief of constipation is not likely to result in a decrease in the usage of laxatives, which are the treatment for constipation that are most widely used.

Can a massage relieve constipation?

Constipation can be alleviated with regular massages since they assist in the release of gas and waste products. They might also be helpful in treating any conditions that are either present or accompanied. Regular massage, for instance, helps relieve tension, which in turn can alleviate the pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).It is commonly believed that abdominal massages are particularly helpful for people who suffer from constipation; however, you may also discover that other types of massage can be therapeutic.When performing these massages, you can use either castor, argan, or coconut oil. You might also try these essential oils out for yourself to reap additional benefits.

How to apply belly massage for constipation by your own

This relaxing abdominal massage consists of three steps: the first of which involves tracing the letter "I" on your stomach. The second one forms the letter "L." The third one forms the letter "U." Because of this, people sometimes refer to it as the "I Love You" or "I-L-U" belly massage for constipation. Our interiors are in need of some additional tender loving care!

Place yourself flat on your back.When you start on the left side of your belly, apply mild pressure as you move your hand down in a straight line (like the letter "I"), beginning just beneath the rib cage and moving down to the top of your left hip bone. Start on the right side of your belly and repeat the procedure. Repeat this process ten times.

What this does is that it starts the process of triggering the intrinsic small contractions that are known as peristalsis, which will get the poop moving in the appropriate direction.Now, apply a little, comfortable amount of pressure as you move your hand from right to left down the straight line that runs over the top of your belly (just beneath the rib cage). Keep exerting pressure and move your hand down the "I" line on the left as you were doing earlier, as in the previous example. Again, do this a total of ten times. (To view the video, please scroll up. That would be the "L.")

At this point, you should finish forming the inverted letter "U." Beginning on the right side of your hip bone, apply a light amount of pressure and slowly work your way up. Proceed to cross over. After that, finish off the inverted U by descending the letter "I." It should be done ten times. If you want to get things rolling, do this abdominal massage first thing in the morning after breakfast. If you do that, there is a strong probability that within a short amount of time, you will be pooping cheerfully (and regularly).

belly massage for constipation (belly massage for adults)

Image by Yan Krukau from pexels

Alternative massage techniques to relieve constipation

There are a number of additional massage techniques that can be utilized to alleviate constipation. Massage techniques that target areas of the body other than the back can be performed on their own or in conjunction with other types of massage. This gives you some variety as you determine which solutions are going to work best for you.

Foot massages (reflexology)

Reflexology, which is another name for foot rubs, is sometimes used as a treatment for constipation.After undergoing reflexology, the symptoms of children who suffered from constipation improved, according to research that was conducted in 2003. The youngsters participated in six sessions that lasted for a total of thirty minutes each over the period of two months. Encopresis, often known as faecal soiling, was also improved as a result of the treatment.

To accomplish this:

1. Apply pressure with the pad of your thumb to the centre of your right heel and work your way out to the edge of the heel.

2. After that, work your way upward into the centre of your foot.

3. After giving the middle of the right foot a thorough massage, switch over to the left foot and repeat the process. Continue massaging all the way to the edge.

4. After that, massage the area all the way down along the edge, and then work your way in toward the middle of the left heel.

5. To finish, move on to the left foot's inner side and massage that area.

Back massage

It is possible that getting a massage on the back or on the whole body will help calm the entire body. Massages that cover the entire body are beneficial for a number of reasons, including the relief of stress and tension in the muscles. It's possible that treating constipation with any of these will be helpful.You're going to want to have a back massage, either from a professional massage therapist or from your lover.

Perineal massage

In a study conducted in 2015, researchers discovered that treating constipation with conventional treatment in conjunction with perineal self-acupressure was more successful than standard care alone. Participants in the study exhibited improvements in the following areas after receiving massages for a period of four weeks:

  • bowel function and health

  • well-being

  • constipation-related quality of life

To accomplish this:

1. Make a little pressing motion with your first two fingers on your perineal skin. It refers to the region that can be found between the anus and either the vagina or the scrotum.

2. Apply pressure on the skin while moving it toward the anus.

3. Keep pushing in pulses that last between three and five seconds each.

4. When you feel the need to go to the bathroom or have a bowel movement, you might want to give yourself this massage.

Additional Thoughts on Massage Therapy for Constipation

When a healthy diet and regular exercise are not enough to alleviate constipation, several massage techniques can help relax the abdomen, lessen abdominal discomfort, and induce regular bowel movements.

Essential Oils for the Maintenance of Good Digestive Health

Incorporating essential oils into your routine could be of significant benefit to your digestive health. In her book Scentual Touch: A Personal Guide to Aromatherapy, Judith Jackson proposes mixing six drops of rosemary essential oil and six drops of thyme essential oil to one ounce of a carrier oil. Then, using a circular motion, the massage should be performed on the abdomen region, moving from the right side, over the top, and down to the left. Other oils that have been traditionally taught to aid in digestive health include the following:

  • Juniper

  • Peppermint

  • Fennel

  • Ginger

  • Jasmine

  • Cinnamon

  • Coriander

Touch techniques such as Acupressure can also aid digestive health. Touch therapies such as acupressure can also be beneficial to the health of the digestive tract. The application of gentle pressure on the acupressure sites Conception Vessel 6 (which is located three finger-widths below the navel) and Large Intestine 11 (which is located at the outer edge of the elbow crease) can stimulate bowel activity. This is one of the recommendations made by traditional Chinese medicine.Working on the Stomach meridian, which runs from the head to the feet, down the front of the abdomen, and into the legs, can also help relax the digestive system.

Other Considerations Regarding Massage for Constipation

Is it possible that a back massage could relieve constipation?

Massage techniques that relieve tension in the lateral lumbar area can have a beneficial effect on the health of the core intestinal muscles because of the tendinous union of the oblique muscles into the thoracolumbar aponeurosis.

Will foot massage help with constipation?

The application of reflexology techniques to specific spots on both feet and both hands that correspond to the lower back and bowels, as well as the solar plexus, can have a calming and restoring effect on bowel motions that are not regular.

Is it possible that giving a toddler a belly massage for constipation could help relieve constipation?

It's been found that giving a baby a gentle, therapeutic touch can help ease the symptoms of colic. The Touch Research Institute lists multiple studies that indicate massage can help babies and toddlers with digestive issues. It can be quite good to keep massage techniques pleasant and soft, focusing on smooth circular motions instead of other actions.

Are babies safe to receive belly massage for constipation?

It is common knowledge that infants scream and consume a great deal of food. And because they are opening their lips when they engage in these activities, they are able to take in additional air. Sometimes, this air doesn't make it out of the body and instead becomes trapped in the bowels. This can be very uncomfortable.Because of the discomfort they cause, these little air bubbles can eventually combine to form one enormous air pocket that can cause a baby's stomach to become hard or sore as a result of the condition.

belly massage for constipation (baby belly)

Image by Ksenia Chernaya from pexels

You may help your little one feel better and more like themselves again by giving them a baby massage. During this type of massage, you will use your hands to gently move any air that has built up in the digestive tract. There are a variety of factors besides air bubbles that can have an effect on young children's stomachs. Infants, for instance, do not yet have their vagus nerves fully grown. The vagus nerve is one of the nerves that helps govern the rate of digestion. Because of this, maintaining regular digestion may be difficult.

By gently rubbing your baby’s tummy area, you can help stimulate the nerve and relieve constipation and air bubbles. The development of the muscles in the walls of each baby's digestive tract will naturally be unique to that baby because of their individuality. This is the reason why some infants and toddlers have more difficulty than others with constipation and air bubbles issues. You can stimulate more blood flow to the intestinal wall by rubbing your child's stomach. This kind of massage can open up the area to allow for a greater flow of nutrients and oxygen, and it can also help strengthen the wall. Your child may experience less constipation as a result of all of this activity, which translates to less stress for you.

The following are some of the many additional advantages that are associated with giving your baby massages:

  • Helping them sleep better

  • Improving muscle tone

  • Encouraging focus

  • Improving the immune system

Let's get down to the specifics of how to get ready for a baby massage for constipation now that we have a basic understanding of how it works and why it's helpful.

The correct way to massage your baby's belly

Above all, it's a good idea to discuss any at-home cures you wish to try with your pediatrician. Your physician may discuss crucial safety or efficacy concerns with you or provide ideas for remedies you hadn't considered! If you get the go-ahead to try giving your baby a massage for gas, begin by gauging how your little one is feeling. A successful massage should ideally start when they are relaxed, conscious, and satisfied. Stop the massage if your infant ever seems uncomfortable or unhappy. As part of their bedtime routine, massaging your baby in the morning or right before bed may be the easiest time to do so. You can give them a daily massage or just sometimes.

Pay attention to your baby's signs regarding the ideal time of day and how often to give them a massage. Start by getting your baby's consent, which is a crucial first step (International Association of Infant Massage). Throughout the massage, keep your eyes open. Begin with very light pressure. If your kid appears pleased and content during the massage, you can always apply more pressure as it goes along. It might not be the best moment for a massage if your infant is twitching or turning away. In order to lower the chance of a baby throwing up after feeding, the Mayo Clinic advises waiting at least forty-five minutes. Give your infant a massage in a warm, peaceful area. As you lay them on their back with a cozy towel, describe what you're doing. To make it more comfortable, you can wish to use some lotion or oil, but pay attention to the components. To reduce the likelihood of irritating their delicate skin, it is advisable to use a product designed especially for infants.

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