MASSAGE FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS

 

Now that the holidays are over and winter is in full swing. Now that you have had your fill of foods that you may not normally eat or perhaps it’s an increase in quantity with which you don’t usually eat them. Our cold weather makes it challenging to keep moving, especially when we would rather be inside sitting.

How is your digestive system working for you? These are two factors that can affect our intestinal tract, slowing it down. They can even leave you feeling stuck when it comes to elimination. Loading up on holiday treats and lack of exercise can both play havoc on our body.

To help us all be on the same page, here’s the definition of constipation according to Modern Essentials: “Constipation is a condition characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements. A person is considered constipated if he or she has fewer than three bowel movements a week or if the stools are hard and difficult to expel. Common causes of constipation include a lack of fiber, dehydration, ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement, depression, medications, large dairy intake, stress and abuse of laxatives.”

 

And, yes, massage can help. Better yet, if you feel shy about discussing your constipation with your massage therapist, you can do this massage yourself. Abdominal massage is easy to self-apply. Modern Essentials recommends the following essential oils: rosemary, peppermint and lemon. Add 1 – 2 drops of each to a carrier oil.

A carrier oil is a neutral oil that will help apply the essential oils without interrupting what the essential oils need to do. Examples of carrier oils are coconut, almond, jojoba, grape seed and olive oil. For a complete listing, I suggest googling it. There was another article I came across where this author suggested rosemary and thyme, six drops each in a carrier oil. Now you have two different recipes you can try.

Here’s how to give yourself an abdominal massage. Lie on a flat surface, face up. Apply and spread the oil mixture across your abdomen. Starting on your right side, place your massaging hand just above your hip bone and stroke upward, until your reach the bottom of your rib cage. Then take a 90 degree turn across your body to the left side, taking another 90 degree turn downward toward your left hip bone.

This is not a race, so take your time. And remember to go in a clockwise direction. Messaging in the opposite or wrong direction can and will make you constipated. In one sitting, you can do this stroke easily half a dozen times. You be the judge. If this technique is applied at night, before bedtime, you may see positive results come morning. You can do this technique as often as you feel you need to.

Keep in mind, depending on the actual cause of your constipation, there may be other things you may need to do to help eliminate it. If it’s depression or your medication that is causing you to be constipated, then a talk with your doctor may be in order.

If you are consuming a lot of dairy products, then you might want to change your diet. In addition, increasing your fiber, drinking more water and getting out and moving more may help. Combine these possible solutions with an abdominal massage and see if you aren’t feeling better.

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