Abdominal massage is a healing technique used by many ancient cultures, including the Mayans, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Thai Therapeutic Massage. However, when we get a massage in the United States, this part of our body is rarely touched. The abdomen is where the majority of our organs reside and giving this area of our bodies attention can have many benefits.
In the chakra system, the abdomen is home to the first three chakras. These include the root chakra, which is related to stability, safety, and our basic needs; the sacral chakra which is related to creativity, sexuality, pleasure, and self worth; and the solar plexus chakra, which is related to our personal power. The underlying organs in our abdomen include the bladder, reproductive organs, digestive organs, and more. Focusing massage over these area can help to release deep tension, increase blood flow, and reopen blocked or stagnant qi (energy).
The most obvious benefit of stomach massage is that it can aid digestion, but so much of our health can be improved by healing our abdomen. The gut holds a significant portion of our immune system and is also related to brain health, including memory and emotional health.
If our gut health is suffering, we’ll feel the ramifications throughout our whole body. Self abdominal massage is simple and easy and can help stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems, improve digestive issues, decrease PMS symptoms and benefit fertility, release physical and emotional stress, and may even help reduce abdominal circumference. Maintain optimal abdominal health through a nutritious diet, movement, stress management, enough sleep—and regular abdominal massage.
Healing Ritual: Self abdominal Massage
- Lie flat on your back with your abdomen exposed. You can bend your knees, or put a pillow under them to relax your abdomen more and protect your lower back. I also like to play soothing music. (Note: it is best avoid eating heavy or spicy foods right before abdominal massage).
- Choose an organic oil, like castor, black sesame, coconut, or grapeseed. You can also add a drop of essential oil like relaxing lavender, warming ginger, or a digestive blend. Be sure you are always using therapeutic grade oils to get the benefits. You can warm the oil before applying for additional soothing.
- Apply the oil to your abdomen. I start in the navel and then spread it from the pubic bone to all the way up under the ribs.
- Begin around the navel in a clockwise direction and slowly spread the circles wider and wider so they encompass your entire abdomen. Do this several times. Start with gentle pressure and as you continue you can increase pressure to your desired comfort level.
- Apply gentle pressure slightly under the ribs, in the area of your liver (right) and stomach (left).
- Massage the center line of your abdomen, starting below the sternum all the way down the abdomen. Then done this on both sides of the center line.
- Using clockwise small circles, gentle massage any areas of tightness.
- End with gentle clockwise circles and then placing one hand below the navel and one hand above, letting the warmth of your hands penetrate the abdomen.
- Acknowledge yourself for taking some time for self-care.
Abdominal massage is generally considered safe for everyone but refrain from abdominal massage if you have recently had abdominal surgery and talk with your doctor if you are pregnant or have health concerns.