Stomach ache got you down? Rubbing your tummy can be extremely comforting, not just for your mind but also to give your digestive system a nudge in the right direction.
We use the term ‘stomach ache’ to refer to all kinds of abdominal pain. However, often what we perceive as a stomach ache is really intestinal pain. A simple self-catered massage can help to relieve digestive aches and pains, and help your stomach feel (and look!) better fast.
How to Give Yourself a Stomach Ache Massage:
1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat or comfortable surface. This massage is most effective a few hours after eating or first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Breathe in and out slowly for a few minutes to relax.
2. Identify your cecum. The cecum is where the small intestines empties digested food into the large intestines and where the peristaltic muscle action begins to push digested food through your colon. This is generally located halfway between the part of your right hip bone that juts out and your belly button. Place your right thumb on your belly button and your pinkie on your hip bone, lower your middle finger so it touches your skin and this is approximately where your cecum should be.
3. Once you have identified the cecum, begin to push down on it with two hands (one atop the other), massaging slowly and carefully in a circular motion. This helps to enhance digestive action.
4. Next, expand these circular massage movements in a clockwise motion, which mimics the passage of food, across your entire abdomen — upwards to just under your rib cage, across and along the rib cage to the left side of your abdomen and downwards to below the left side of your belly button.
5. Now, using sweeping motions with your hands, repeat the same clockwise direction. Repeat 2-3 times, alternating between circular massage movements and sweeping movements.
6. During the stomach ache massage, you may notice a particularly tender part of your abdomen or an area of particularly strong stomach pain. Once you’ve pinpointed the exact location, focus your attention there, continuing with clockwise massage movements.
7. Bend both of your index fingers and use your knuckles as a mock acupuncture needle, so to speak. Apply pressure to opposite ends of the area just under your rib cage — one on the furthest left point of your abdomen and the other on the furthest right point of your abdomen. These areas are called flexures and are where your colon bends. Often food and gas will get caught in pockets of your flextures. Applying pressure helps to release them.
8. Keeping your back flat on the ground and your arms by your side, twist your body below the waist, with your right leg leading the way. Stretch it to your left side. Repeat with the left leg. Pull it up and stretch it to the right side of your body.
9. Gently roll off your back and stand up. Jog in place for a few seconds and twist your body with the abdomen as the focus. This helps to inspire get gas and other problem areas moving along.
This article originally appeared on ecosalon.com and was written by Aylin Erman