CHARLOTTE – In massage school we are taught to massage the abdominal area. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, how many people touch your belly at any given time? In my opinion, we as therapists eliminate ab massage as something we do in our regular massage routine because of time constraints. Generally speaking, people declined so much when I started practicing, I just stopped offering. I figure if you’re interested, you’ll make a request. People do, but it’s rare.
What are the benefits of the stomach or abdominal massage? What I see in our industry are the claims it helps with constipation and the elimination of toxins. I’ve even seen claims that it has metabolism-boosting effects, can increase your antioxidant intake, and increase your overall quality of life. Wow! Just by massaging your tummy? In my research, I can’t speak to some of the claims, but here’s what I’ve found is study proved: Abdominal massage decreases the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, especially constipation and abdominal pain syndrome, and can increase bowel movements. With regards to constipation, massage doesn’t necessarily take the place of laxatives but is good to use as a complement to laxatives. I’d recommend trying massage before trying laxatives to stay off medication.
That’s not to say that the above claims don’t necessarily happen. Everyone is different. I can tell you several instances where I’ve done abdominal massage and my client did see an overall health improvement. Talk with your therapist to see if this is an option.