Getting a massage is one of the greatest and most relaxing luxuries in life. But, have you ever had your abdomen massaged?
Although often forgotten, the digestive tract is a muscle, and sometimes it needs a little massaging, too! Just as sore back muscles can benefit from a massage, so can digestive muscles.
Often, when clients start the gutTogether program, they want to know what they need to eat or what supplements they need to take in order to improve their constipation. While both of these things definitely have their place, my clients are surprised that I make recommendations beyond food and supplementation for digestive complaints like bloating and gas.
One of my go-to recommendations for improving constipation is something called the “I Love You” massage. Paired with other lifestyle habits, the “I Love You” massage is a great tool and an easy way to show your gut some love in just under 5 minutes per day.
This massage technique is most commonly taught to parents of infants with gas, but as adults we can benefit, too! One area that many of my clients struggle with is gut motility, which is the movement and contraction of food and waste through the intestinal tract. This manual massage can improve motility, strengthen muscles over time, and help you relieve some of the uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing.
The benefits of doing this massage include:
-Improved circulation to the digestive tract
-Mobilization of scar tissue impacting motility
-Relieving gas and improving constipation
Many of my clients enjoy doing this first thing in the morning or right before they go to bed in the evening.
Here’s how you complete the “I Love You” massage:
1. Using your fingertips, apply light pressure in a circular motion starting on the left hand side of your abdomen, below the rib cage and make small circles down towards your left hip (This is the “I”). Do this for about 15 seconds.
2. Next, using the same circular motion, make the upside down “L” by massaging the upper abdomen from right to left (under the rib cage) and then again down towards your hip. Do this for about 30 seconds.
3. Next, complete the “U.” Start on the bottom right of your abdomen near your right hip bone. Continue up towards your right rib. Make your way across your abdomen to your left rib and then back down to your left hip. Do this for about 45 seconds.
If you would like to, repeat this same pattern for about 5 minutes or until you hear “gurgling” noises in your stomach.
Pro tip: try this massage with some CBD salve, peppermint oil (mixed with fractionated coconut oil) or a soothing massage oil for an even more relaxing experience!