It seems strange stomach massage, also called abdominal massage often gets overlooked in the overall benefit of massage, while there is little debate to the benefits of muscle massages for various parts of the body.
For adults as well as for infants and young children, massaging the abdominal promotes digestion, alleviates gastric upsets, soothes the nerves related to the area of massage, and benefits the organs that are interconnected with the stomach as well as the intestinal tract.
When performing a abdominal massage on an infant, one can actually feel the small gas bubbles make their way from the intestines and then out of the body, relieving the discomfort of gas.
This is equally true with adults. However, often because adults have larger bodies and the connections and workings of the body aren’t as obvious, the benefits aren’t as obvious either.
A stomach massage can be done either in conjunction with an all over body massage or can be used specifically to deal with certain digestive and stress issues. It is not uncommon for the digestive process to become interrupted with the additional of significant stress or tension.
Abdominal aches, gas, and a “knot” in the gut are all typical reactions to stress and pressure. For individuals of all ages with these stress related issues, a stomach massage can not only alleviate the symptoms, but can actually alleviate some of the stress which causes the symptoms.
Most abdominal massages are done using a firm but gentle pressure, beginning under the rib cage and working clockwise around the area with small but meaningful circular motions. A circle should be completed no less than twice. For many individuals, both grown and growing, abdominal massages can do so much good that often the massage is completed four or five times in one sitting.
Abdominal massages can be excellent for stimulating the bowel movements that can become irregular or infrequent due to stress, dietary issues, medication, or other health consideration. The muscles of the bowels require some form of stimulation in order to undulate appropriately. If the undulation does not occur, the movement of the bowels becomes sluggish or nearly stops.
A firm and intentional abdominal massage can often help stimulate these muscles and facilitate the movements of the bowels. This works for adults, children, and infants. When performing a stomach massage on either an infant or an adult, the pelvic region and genitals are not considered part of the stomach massage.
Colicky infants can benefit greatly from a abdominal massage. There are as many opinions about colic as there are babies who suffer from it. However, there has been documented evidence that stomach massages can create a soothing muscular action which helps relieve infants from colicky feelings and promote peaceful rest during the evening hours. Colic is most likely a digestive issue in infants, and the process of abdominal massage tends to ease the strain of the digestive issue.
Adults as well tend to develop these same digestive issues, we just no longer refer to it as colic. Rather we call it indigestion, acid reflux , gas, bloating, and other forms of digestive malfunction.
When abdominal massage is done correctly, the muscular lining of the abdominal wall activates appropriate muscle activity within the organs protected by the muscular wall. This of course increases the likelihood of a well functioning digestive system.
While healthy eating habits and proper exercise are also excellent for digestive wellness, adding a abdominal massage to the regimen can increase other efforts by at least 25% or more.
The stomach is considered the “core” of the body. Exercise based in control of the muscles such as yoga, abdominal flattening exercise, and meditative exercises are all focused around the core.
The reason for this is that so much energy within the body transfers through the core. Emotions as well as physical exertion all can be stimulated or related to the core of the human body. An appropriate abdominal massage can increase the effectiveness of all surrounding organs, ease the tension associated with those organs, and release the inner emotions carried in the core.
Abdominal massages are one of the few forms of relief that one is capable of providing for him or her self. Back massages, foot massages, and neck massages all carry similar emotional benefits to the stomach massage, but without an individual to willingly participate, these massages can not be performed in a solitary state.
While it is best if a stomach massage is performed by a willing participant, in a pinch, it can be performed by oneself and create the same effect, making it an immediate and accessible form of self love behavior.