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How Massage Can Relieve Bloating

Category: Health
Last updated on: 15/09/2023
Bloated woman, performing abdominal massage, in a clockwise motion

Feeling bloated? Get quick relief and restore your stomach to its normal shape in just 5 minutes with these easy remedies.

 

Overindulgence is common during holidays and long summer evenings, leading to indigestion and a round belly you don't recognise as your own! But don't let bloating spoil your day. Use these speedy solutions in the morning, and you could be confidently back in your swimwear by lunchtime!

 


 

Stomach Massage for Bloating Relief

First, let's explore the various ways to address abdominal bloating through massage. Whether you prefer a DIY approach, professional assistance, or have special circumstances like pregnancy, we've got your back (or rather front!).

If you're pregnant, it’s best not to do a stomach massage on yourself - read this instead.

If you're suffering from constipation rather than bloating, check out our general stomach massage benefits post which explains how massage can help relieve constipation.

 


 

Easy-to-Follow DIY Stomach Massage Guide for Bloating Relief

Performing a DIY stomach massage is a straightforward way to reap numerous health benefits, from easing constipation to quick relief from bloating and accumulated gas, often in just five minutes.

Here's how to fix bloating with it:

Getting Started

  1. Find a Comfortable Spot: Lie down on a bed or the floor, facing up. Make sure your abdomen area is uncovered.

Initial Hand Placement

  1. Hand Position: Place both hands side by side at the bottom left of your rib cage.

  2. Palm & Finger Alignment: Ensure the centres of your palms rest gently against your lowest ribs. Extend your fingers towards your feet at the top of your abdomen.

The Massage

  1. First Stroke: Apply very light pressure and slide your hands in a straight line down towards your left hip.

  2. Pause: When your fingers reach the top of the left hip, take a brief pause.

Sideways Movement

  1. Change Direction: Keep your fingers pointing towards your feet and move your hands 90 degrees sideways across the lower part of your abdomen.

  2. Midway Check: Your palms should pass over your belly button with your finger tips just above your pelvis.

Completing the Circle

  1. Reach Right Hip: Continue until you reach your right hip and then pause.

  2. Ascend Right Side: Pull your hands gently up the right side of your abdomen towards your lowest right-side ribs.

  3. Pause & Reset: Once you reach your ribs, pause and glide your hands back to the initial position at the top of your abdomen.

Repeat & Adjust

  1. Continuous Movement: Repeat this slow, clockwise circular motion several times around your abdomen.

  2. Pressure Adjustment: With each round, you can gradually increase pressure as comfortable. Use both your palms and fingertips for deeper engagement.

Important Notes

Be Mindful of Pain: Never apply excessive force. Stop immediately if you feel any significant discomfort.

Clockwise: Rub your tummy in a clockwise motion to follow the natural path of food through your intestines. 

 

This massage can be performed without any oils or creams. However, for potentially quicker results, consider adding an essential oil like peppermint to your standard massage oil.


Finally, consider doing this self-massage in private. Why? Because it often aids in releasing excess gas, a primary culprit behind bloating. While a stomach massage may effectively reduce your bloating and gas build-up, those around you might not be as appreciative of the results!

Illustration of clouds of smoke erupting from a mountain, symbolising flatulence from bloating


 

Professional Stomach Massage Services

If you do not feel like massaging yourself, you can also book a qualified massage therapist to visit and perform a stomach massage on you.

And remember, there is no need to be embarrassed if you do unexpectedly release gas! Our masseuses and masseurs are highly trained and experienced professionals who understand the medical consequences of certain treatments, so will take it in their stride. That's part of what you are paying them for after all. 

 

 


 

Stomach Massage During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, it is safest not to perform stomach massage on yourself. Massage can be safe during pregnancy as long as appropriately applied, so consider booking a pregnancy massage with a suitably qualified professional instead.

 

Book Pregnancy Bloating Massage

 


 

Targeted Exercises for Bloating Relief

If you are overweight, you may find you experience indigestion or bloating more than others. Regular exercise together with targeted massage therapy can help weight loss.


But sometimes all it takes to cure bloating is a 15 minute walk. So the next time you wake up the morning after a big night feeling a bit full and swollen, instead of sulking on the sofa with a croissant, go for a short walk instead.


Although most bloating related discomfort does pass naturally after several hours, doing a bit of light exercise can definitely speed up the process so much that you could be feeling better again almost instantly.


Start off with a slow stroll, taking in fresh air through your nostrils. After a few minutes pick up your pace slightly so that it becomes a brisk walk. Continue at this slightly faster pace for several minutes before turning back towards home. As you return towards home, reduce your speed so that you spend the last 10 minutes walking calmly and arrive back feeling refreshed rather than exhausted. Following good breathing techniques also helps cure bloating.


You might be surprised at how quickly your tummy feels flatter again from doing something as simple as a walk.

 


 

Over-the-Counter Cures

From activated charcoal supplements to friendly bacteria yoghurt drinks, there are cures aplenty available at your supermarket and local chemist that claim to help reduce indigestion and the discomfort of bloating.


Whether or not these pills work work instantly to alleviate bloating largely depends on how relevant the ingredients are for combatting your own particular causes. However, there is probably no harm in taking a suitable natural supplement just before following the exercise and self massage tips outlined above to further improve the speed at which you feel better.

 


 

Prevention: Your Ultimate Defence Against Bloating

The most common cause for bloating is what (and how) you ate and drank most recently.


Sometimes the cause is as simple as just having too much too quickly. Pace yourself. Slow down your ingestion to improve your digestion. If you have a habit of gulping down food, try chewing each bite a little longer before swallowing.


Or just simply chat to those around you more whilst you eat. Having a natter will give you a natural break in between mouthfuls. This in turn allows your digestive system to cope better and reduces the chances of indigestion and bloating later on.


If you find yourself suffering from bloating on a regular basis, even when you have not indulged in excess or eaten too quickly, then it might be worth considering whether you have an allergy to certain kinds of food.


Dairy and gluten are two of the most common causes of bloating. Aside from blood tests through your doctor, you can also quite easily test your own tolerance to certain foods. If for example you have a hunch that you often feel bloated after eating pizza, try avoiding gluten for a few days and see if you experience less bloating. If it makes no difference, reintroduce the gluten and exclude dairy products for the next few days. Continuing in this trial and error manner for a few weeks can help identify food intolerances that cause bloating much quicker than waiting months for medical appointments and tests.

 

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