Do you ever have digestive issues, like loose stools or constipation? Have you been diagnosed with IBS, or do you notice that you have more issues with digestion in times of stress? Massaging your abdomen daily can really help! It takes about 20 minutes, and it can be a nice way to wake up or wind down the day. With regular practice, you’ll have better digestion, less stress, better sleep, and more energy. We can all benefit from this simple self-care method.
How To Massage Your Abdomen
1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet slightly apart, so that your knees can fall together.
2. Press lightly with the flats of your fingers of both hands under your right ribs near your midline. Exhale as you begin pressing, and continue to press and exhale for a count of 6. As you inhale, move your fingers to the right, then exhale and press again. Repeat until your fingers have traveled to be beneath your right floating rib.
3. Repeat on your left side, moving your hands gradually from your left midline to under your left floating ribs as you press in and exhale.
4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 twice more, using firmer pressure each time. Pain or tension are common in the beginning, but with further practice, this tension will ease.
5. Place your hands at the lower right corner of your abdomen next to your pubic bone. Exhale for a count of six as you press in, and gradually travel up to the area beneath your ribs again, following the path of the ascending colon. Repeat along 3 lines, gradually moving closer toward your midline.
6. Beginning at your the area where your midline reaches your ribs, press in and exhale for a count of 6, and continue this process while traveling downward toward your pubic bone. Repeat on 3 lines gradually moving left, following the path of your descending colon.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 twice more, using firmer pressure each time.
8. End your practice by beginning again at your midline under your ribs and press out 3 times, then press from midline out to the left 3 times.
If you feel a lump or mass in the abdomen, do not press directly into the center of it. Look for a sore or sensitive spot on the periphery of the mass and press there. You should also mention this mass to your primary care doctor.
To your good health!