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Constipation

03 January 2019

Massage your way to constipation relief

Before reaching for the laxatives, give these massage techniques a try.

Constipation is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition is characterised by difficult bowel movements and passing hard, painful stools.

Anyone can suffer from constipation, and with treatment the condition usually passes within a few days. Constipation is commonly treated with laxatives.

However, misusing laxatives can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes and minerals in the body. It can also cause significant dehydration and lead to laxative dependence.

If you’re looking for constipation relief but want to avoid potential complications, taking a more natural route may be just what you need.

Flex those fingers

Various studies have indicated that abdominal massage improves the symptoms of constipation. Regularly massaging the abdomen can also help to release gas, which helps when you’re feeling bloated.

Applying a little pressure to the stomach and moving your fingers or your palm in a clockwise direction can help to stimulate and promote peristalsis, the muscular contractions that help to move food through the gut.

Massaging the area between your hip bone and your lower abdomen has also been shown to help with constipation symptoms. This can also provide relief from abdominal pain experienced by people who suffer from constipation.

Digging deep

If you feel that the self-administered massages are not really working for you, some health and wellness centres offer deep colon massages. These massages help to reduce any blockage that you may be experiencing in the gut, leading to more regular bowel movements.

Massages are known to reduce stress and anxiety. For people who suffer from IBS associated with constipation, relief from stress can promote regular bowel movements and ease symptoms.

Reflexology

When trying to alleviate constipation, one's first impulse is to aim for the intestinal tract. However, some practitioners prefer to target the feet in order to treat gut health issues.

Reflexology is the practice of massaging the nerve endings located on the feet. The different sections of the foot are believed to correspond with different areas of the body. The gut area is located just above the heel area of the foot. Using your thumbs, massage from the inside of your foot to the outer edge to target intestinal reflexes.

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