Many people find themselves suffering from digestive issues, either chronically or occasionally, it does happen to all of us. Bloating, gas, and constipation are uncomfortable and indicate that some part of the digestive system is not operating like it should. One of the more overlooked treatments for digestive issues is massage therapy. Massage therapy manipulates soft tissues to bring increased health and wellness, improving the function of mind and body. It can be an effective therapy for treating digestive issues both through direct manipulation and the comprehensive benefits of massage.
Digestive issues may occur occasionally or chronically due to stress, a poor diet, lack of exercise, or a disease or malfunction of the digestive tract. Chronic digestive issues should always be evaluated by your health care provider and definitely before beginning a massage therapy program. Occasional digestive issues happen to us all and are more likely due to chronic stress, anxiety, or poor diet. A massage therapist can help bring relief from the discomfort of digestive issues by applying manual pressure to the areas of congestion in the abdomen, helping to stimulate the movement of the digestive tract. Massage directly to the abdomen can help relax the abdominal muscles and stimulate trapped gas, which can cause abdominal pain.
Massage therapy is shown to help reduce pain, and improves circulation, resulting in the faster removal of stagnant, deoxygenated blood and toxins from the body and improving the flow of oxygenated blood to the organs, such as those which aid in digestion.
Many digestive disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome ( IBS), Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis can worsen under anxiety and stress. Massage therapy should not generally be used during a flare-up but can be used to keep symptoms under control as a regular preventive therapy in combination with treatment or a special diet recommended by your health care provider. Massage therapy is shown to lower feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as the blood levels of hormones associated with stress such as cortisol. Preventing flare-ups is important for an improved quality of life for individuals with these diseases.
Besides direct abdominal massage, a massage therapist may focus on muscles throughout the digestive system, facial massage, and the lower back. The muscles in our body are interconnected and working a seemingly non-related area can result in significant benefits to digestion. The digestive system is a sensitive area and topic for many people with a large number of people preferring not to generally be touched around their abdomen. Communication with your massage therapist is key to feeling comfortable! Moderate pressure is shown to bring the most benefits but it is important that you are not in any pain or discomfort so let your therapist know how you are feeling each step of the way.