Therapeutic massage is one of the most effective treatments for IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS is a chronic condition that causes pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea and/or constipation. Little is known about the condition and researchers are not sure what causes it. There seems to be a correlation between IBS with diet and stress. There is no known cure but there are several treatment options including laxatives, prescription meds, psychotherapy, yoga and massage.
Massage for IBS works for several reasons. It relieves stress by relaxing tense muscles. Since stress is believed to be a major contributor to IBS, relieving it will reduce the symptoms. Massage relieves back pain and headaches by stretching the muscles until they relax. It encourages healing by releasing toxins and increasing body flow. This enables the body to heal itself.
When choosing a massage therapist for the specific relief of IBS symptoms, it is wise to find one that is certified and with special training in IBS massage therapy. Besides reducing stress and relaxing muscles, massage therapy for IBS will also treat abdominal pain, gas, bloating and constipation. Never visit a massage therapist when suffering from a bout of diarrhea because the therapy will only make it worse.
The massage therapist will start with the abdominal area. They are looking for bowel obstructions (stool) and gas pockets. The therapist will then massage in a way that breaks up the stool and gas bubbles so that they can pass. They do this by using their finger tips to massage the abdominal in a clockwise circular motion. Usually, they start on the right side with small circles that spiral out. They continue this spiral motion upwards to the rib cage. They then travel across the rib cage and down the bottom left side of the abdominal.
Suffers of IBS can do massage therapy at home. There is a form of therapy that can be done to yourself which is very similar to the one performed by professionals. Lay down with knees bent. Make a fist with your hand. Start on the left side just inside the hip bone. Apply pressure in a circular motion. Experiment with the amount of pressure until you find what is comfortable yet works for you. Move up the left abdominal area, making circles with the fist until you reach the rib cage. Then move straight across the abdominal and down the right side (making circular motions the entire time). Stop when you reach the right hip bone.
Read more about IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome at http://www.no-more-ibs.com.
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