Category: Health Posted: 24 Nov 2018
Posted: 24 Nov 2018
Many customers select the stomach as one of their preferred focus areas when booking a treatment. A stomach massage offers the perfect soothing end to any relaxation therapy but can also deliver important benefits to your digestive health. Find out how an abdominal massage could help clear both your mind and gut of unwanted debris. It's not only cats that love a belly rub!
The techniques applied for stomach massage are quite simple. With a bit of practice you can even do it on yourself at home.
Abdominal massages are carried out over the area where your intestines are located, which is just below the rib cage and stomach organ. For this reason, the technique is also often called lower abdominal or colonic massage.
Your therapist will perform your stomach massage whilst you are lying face up, usually during the final stage of your massage. The pressure applied is light to medium as this creates a wonderfully warm, soothing, continuous stroke right in the core of your torso.
A typical procedure goes something like this:
⦿ Both hands are placed palms flat and facing down across the centre of your belly.
⦿ Each hand is then moved in a circular motion, slowly and calmly, around your belly button, one following the other.
⦿ The direction of stomach massage is always clockwise, tracing the same path that food takes through your intestines.
⦿ Gradually, your therapist will extend the radius of the strokes so that the circle of light pressure moves outwards towards the edges of your stomach.
⦿ As your therapist moves towards your large intestine, the pressure may be transferred from the flats of the palms to the soft tips of your masseuse’s fingers. This allows your masseuse to apply more focussed pressure to the muscles of the large intestine.
The whole procedure usually lasts between 5 to 10 minutes and is one of the most pleasant ways to complete a relaxing full body massage session.
It is widely believed that massaging the abdomen can also bring digestive health benefits such as reducing constipation or excess gas and bloating. Certain specialist stomach massage techniques, such as those used in anti-cellulite slimming massage, can also help you to lose weight.
Stomach massage is focussed on targeting the muscles in your intestine walls. Your intestines are a network of long muscular tubes, made up of two main sections: the small and large intestine. They start just below your stomach and extend down to your pelvis. Your stomach mashes the food it receives into a more fluid liquid form and then pumps it into your small intestine. On average around 10 litres of liquid food is passed to your small intestine every single day.
With help from enzymes produced by your liver and pancreas, your small intestines digest nutrients in the food into your blood stream. Massage therapy is well known to increase the rate of blood flow around the whole body. Massaging around the gut area can therefore increase the efficiency with which those enzymes are delivered and also the speed at which good nutrients extracted from food are carried to other parts of the body.
By the time the processed food slush reaches your large intestine it contains mainly fibre, waste, salt and water. At this stage, water and salt is absorbed into your body, leaving behind a thicker substance. This residue, which contains mainly waste produce, can become more difficult to pass through your body. The circular clockwise motions used in abdominal massage aim to relax muscles in the intestine walls and follow the direction in which the waste needs to travel. The idea is to aid the journey through the gut by relaxing muscles and encouraging flow. In this way the risk of waste becoming stuck and causing problems like constipation is reduced.
Finally, it is worth remembering that any treatment which soothes and calms your mind can also be beneficial to your mood and mental health. By their very nature, stomach massages are soft and calm, and thus also offer a particularly comforting aspect of massage therapy.