Abdominal Massage...More Than Just a Belly Rub
Abdominal massage is more than just a belly rub
It may not be the first (or probably even the 10th) area of your body that you would think to get treated by your Registered Massage Therapist, but getting an abdominal massage can be the key to treating many nagging conditions that just don't seem to be getting better.
Abdominal massage for digestion concerns
First and most obviously abdominal massage can help with conditions such as constipation, bloating, gas and cramps. The rhythmic and circular motions of an abdominal massage treatment can help mechanically move along any waste or gas that's just not going anywhere. This treatment can help stimulate the muscles of the intestines to wake up, do their job and help get your digestion moving again. Alternatively, an abdominal massage can help release tension from the abdomen caused by stress and anxiety (not everyone holds their stress in their neck and shoulders!) that may be affecting digestion.
Abdominal massage for breathing and ribs
The top of the abdomen starts at the diaphragm, the large umbrella shaped breathing muscle that sits under the lungs and acts like a divider between your upper thorax and lower. Every time you take a breath in, the diaphragm should drop down, extending your stomach, and pop up when you breath out sinking your stomach. Unfortunately due to many reasons by the time we get to adulthood most of us just don't breath properly using the diaphragm. Treatment of the diaphragm through the abdomen under the front of the rib cage can help release adhesions and help get the diaphragm moving and functioning properly again, which can help ease pain and dysfunction with the ribs, as well as the upper back, shoulders and neck, not to mention it can just make it easier to take a deep relaxed breath.
Abdominal massage after surgery
Whether you've had a c-section 10 years ago, just had a hysterectomy, or got your appendix out as a kid, any surgery in the abdomen no matter how small is going to cause some adhesion to the many layers of the abdominal wall. Scarring, especially if the scar feels tight, is thick or visually looks like its pulling the skin in one direction or another will be that way not only on the surface but all the way through to the inside of the abdominal wall. Adhesions in the abdomen can restrict the movement of organs, inhibiting their function as well as cause a forward pulling of fascia leaving the low back in a vulnerable position to get injured. Abdominal massage can help break down scarring and get the tissues moving properly again. Getting treatment as soon as wounds heal post surgery is the most beneficial to preventing scars from getting too bound down. Even if scars are 30+ years old (or older) abdominal massage can make huge improvements to decreasing pain, increasing general comfort and helping restore function around the area of surgery.
Abdominal massage for low back pain
Low back pain can have any number of causes, and not treating the front of the body when trying to resolve it can miss out on important problem areas. Digestion problems, diaphragm and breathing as well as abdominal scars can all be factors in low back pain that often go un treated. Abdominal massage can also target the hip flexor muscles that go from the front of the hip deep through the abdomen and attach into the front side of the lumbar spine. When these muscles are in dysfunction they put tension on the lumbar spine and leave it in a vulnerable position to contribute to pain and injury.
Although abdominal massage may seem unusual at first, it's a part of your body (and a pretty important one too!) just like any other that can be treated by your Registered Massage Therapist. Don't be afraid to ask about getting your abdomen treated because it might just be the key to reducing your pain and help make you feel better!
If you think abdominal massage is right for you, book an appointment with Spencer Krueger, RMT today.