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Massage for Your Abdomen!

What is the first place you think of when you say that you want to lose weight?

For many people they pat their abdomen and say, "I have got to lose weight!" When you go to your massage therapist, do you say, "Please pay extra attention to my abdomen?"

Did you know that massage is comparable to exercise?

Now this is not to be interpreted to mean that you can rub your midsection excess baggage away. But you can stimulate your system including cardiovascular, lymphatic and digestive systems through massage. The next time that you go to your massage therapist, ask them to massage your abdomen. A professional can show you how much you have been missing if you have skipped this area of your body in massage therapy sessions before.

Massage creates heat which melts adipose tissue or -- fat. A light effleurage motion on the abdominal area can get the oxygen going, which also burns fat. Continuing with the effleurage massage, the melted adipose tissue will be encouraged to begin leaving your system.

This will leave your skin appearance smoother. The skin itself will be fed by oxygen from the cardiovascular system. Toxins will be encouraged out through the lymphatic system. The fascia, which is the sticky-like layer between skin, fat and muscle, will be encouraged to relax. This will enable toxins to flush out, and oxygen, which nourishes, to get in.

Check with your health care practitioner before you begin any massage or exercise regime.

Some pointers to use until you get to your massage therapist are:

  • Avoid aggressive abdominal massage.
  • Use extreme caution over the liver area.
  • Gently massage from right to left.

Points to know about are the stomach which is generally located on the left side inside the lower portion of the ribcage. The liver is situated on the other side, inside and below the ribcage on the right side. The small intestines are bunched up in the center portion of the abdomen.

The large intestine is usually in a squared off, horseshoe shape beginning on the right side near the hipbone, going upwards and turning toward the center near the liver, then going across through the center of the body to the next turn which is toward the back on the left side then downward and toward the front. At this area, the large intestine again turns. From this point it goes around toward the lower left back, inside the large bony area, and down where it ends.

You can begin your own abdominal massage using the following pointers:

  1. Always use a lotion or massage oil.
  2. Lie on a massage table or floor.
  3. Lie as flat as possible, not bending head or shoulders forward.
  4. Begin on the right side.
  5. Massage toward the left side.
  6. Relax for at least five minutes before getting up.
  7. Slowly sit up before standing up.

Some techniques that are beneficial are:

  1. Tapping with fingertips across whole area.
  2. Ball hands into fists and rotate around in a horseshoe shape from right to left.
  3. Using the lower palm area near the wrists, slide hands up from near back to center.
  4. Gently rock from side to side.

By massaging your abdomen, you will have something to focus on with purpose when you begin your exercise regime, or before you have that second helping at the dinner table.

After you have any type of massage, remember to drink water. Not any fluid, but water. This will assist in the flushing out of toxins, as well as hydrate your tissues, so long as you slowly sip the water, and not gulp it just to get it down.

Jill Russell, ND

Author Profile: Jill received her Doctor of Naturopathy degree from Trinity College of Natural Health. She is a Registered Massage Therapist, Massage Therapy Instructor, and is a trained Colon Therapist. Her primary purpose now is to educate and inform through production of informational health products.

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