The massage school I attended in 2004 (in Vancouver, WA) introduced us to abdominal massage as a way to aid in healthy digestion. Over the years, in my massage practice, I have integrated these techniques mostly upon request as well as for friends’ babies who have tummy troubles or for friends’ when camping.
January is a month where we set goals, usually health related or fitness oriented. This year, even my friends’ kids were talking about giving up soda or sugar as a new year’s resolution. Detoxing or doing a colon cleanse is a very good time to consider abdominal massage since it stimulates the body’s natural detoxification process. Abdominal massage benefits the digestive system through increased blood flow within the abdomen which increases oxygen to the organs. These techniques relax tension in the muscles surrounding the colon and helps deep clean the intestinal walls.
It is very easy and only takes five minutes a day to self massage your tummy to help with gastrointestinal problems like bloating or constipation. Start below your belly button and (when looking down at your own navel) in a clockwise direction, use your fingertips to massage the intestinal track by making counter clockwise circles. You may use some pressure, without digging too deep but delivering some pressure you can slowly go around the entire abdomen several times. You can try doing this twice a day, five minutes in the morning and before going to bed for a week to promote gastrointestinal wellness. You may always ask your massage therapist to integrate abdominal massage into your normal massage session.
While attending my massage school in Chiang Mai, Thailand this past fall, we studied and practiced abdominal massage extensively. We learned techniques for gastric problems as well as constipation. However, we also learned to begin a therapeutic treatment for low back pain with abdominal work. My teacher felt very strongly that it is much more effective to release low back tension by beginning the treatment with abdominal massage.
Another interesting benefit of abdominal massage is the stress relief and emotional release that this work offers. We often aren’t even aware of the emotions we store in our body. Abdominal massage for emotional release is highly encouraged. I met a woman at my massage school last fall who traveled from Taiwan to receive a treatment at my school, ‘to cry’. Her friend had told her about a unique treatment that my school offers called ‘Womblifting’. The treatment can ‘re-align’ a woman’s uterus that is not in the correct position through traditional Thai massage techniques. It is common to have emotional releases for up to a week after receiving this treatment. This woman had come to our school to cry for a week. She booked a hotel room in Chiang Mai for a few nights and had no other reason to be there, other than to cry. In our school, we would take turns having our ‘cry days’ due to emotional releases, sometimes from receiving work on the arms, sometimes the knees or the hips. It was always a surprise to us. But everyone experienced interesting results on abdominal days from the abdominal massage techniques.
We tend to stuff our emotions away all over our body. However, all of the energy lines in Thai massage begin and or end one to four inches away from the naval and for this reason, the emotions we may store deep inside our gut can have a profound impact on our entire body. For this reason, abdominal massage, an entire treatment dedicated to abdominal massage can provide peace of mind, stress relief and promote psychological well being. In tumultuous times, whether care giving for or grieving the loss of a loved one, going through any type of emotional stress, this type of work is healing and can help bring balance to one’s life.
For further information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ambrosia Brown at Telluride Wellness Center at 435-260-1122, firstname.lastname@example.org. We are located in the Cimarron Lodge at the bottom of Lift 7, next to Carhenge Parking Lot. Wellness is the full integration of mind, body and spirit. We look forward to helping you towards a healthier life.
By Ambrosia Brown, “Be Kind, Unwind!”
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!