Love My Belly
Love My Belly
Ayurveda encourages us to massage the belly area. Many people do not think about or understand the importance of massaging, loving and caring for the abdominal area.
Also, many therapists tend to ignore the stomach area, it is one of the most vital points of focus. Stomach massage not only helps relieve stress but also treats oxygen circulation via blood in necessary areas and other bodily fluids to flow, ensuring the body secretes enough enzymes for clearing bowels and friction between joints and bones.
Ayurveda Massage is an ancient technique which combines the manipulation of muscle and connective tissue and is traditionally used to promote relaxation and enhance wellbeing. Ayurveda sees self-massage as a way to bring about health and clear toxins.
There are many different types of Ayurveda massage which is called abhyanga, here self-belly massage helps to tone the abdominal muscles, improve digestion, increase circulation, reduce stress and to help relieve constipation and ease abdominal discomfort.
Self-massage is a really effective way to ease the above symptoms. And it can be done gently and quietly whilst lying in bed.
For those with constipation belly massage aims to stimulate the large intestine (colon) to improve bowel motility and get you 'moving'.
Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Lie down on your back, either on a bed or on the floor. Ensure you are comfortable. Place one of your hand's palm down on your abdomen.
- Keeping your fingers flat, make a clockwise motion around your belly button. Apply light pressure initially and gradually increase it as well as enlargening the circles.
- Continue to rotate your hand in large circles over your abdomen (following the direction of your large intestine) applying relatively firm pressure to ensure the massage is effective.
- Repeat the clockwise motions 5-10 times
- Allow yourself to relax and help soothe the abdominal area by smoothing your hand from left to right, using both hands alternately. Try to breathe deeply and slowly.
- The massage can be effective both due to the stimulation of the large intestine which initiates peristalsis in the bowel. It also helps to induce a sense of relaxation which helps to draw blood flow back to the organs and digestive system.
When we are stressed, our bodies focus attention away from our digestive system which can cause constipation and sluggishness. After you have completed your belly massage, relax and notice what your body is doing.
If you have any trapped wind you will find that it will be released, so be warned!
This is a really good YouTube Video that demonstrates breathing and belly massage.
I like to use lovely oils for this.
- Vata would use Sesame oil
- Pitta Coconut Oil
- Kapha Sunflower oil