Is abdominal massage effective?
Abdominal massage is a form of therapeutic massage that is used to relieve pain and improve the functioning of the abdominal organs. It is also known as abdominal reflexology or “stomach massage”. Proponents claim that abdominal massage is a great way to reduce pain and improve the overall health of the abdomen. But does it really work?
Research suggests that abdominal massage can be useful for treating certain conditions. A 2005 study found that daily abdominal massage for five minutes over six days prior to menstruation was effective in relieving menstrual pain and cramping. In addition, a study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies showed that abdominal massage can provide all-natural relief from constipation and accompanying abdominal pain.
The benefits of abdominal massage don’t just stop there. It has also been linked to a decrease in low-back pain, postural abnormalities, and post-childbirth fascial syndromes. Furthermore, it is believed to have a positive effect on mental health, particularly anxiety, depression and eating disorders. Some even believe that it can reduce fatigue and give a sense of peace of mind.
Abdominal massage is also said to assist with weight loss. Improved blood circulation caused by the massage can speed up the body’s metabolic rate. This, in turn, can help burn off the fatty deposits stored in the abdominal area.
It is important to note, though, that abdominal massage does not come without risk. Complications can arise from its practice such as infection, embolism, perforation of the uterus, convulsions, injury to the cervix, endotoxic shock, fever, chronic abdominal pain, and vomiting. Abdominal massage can also encourage spontaneous abortion, therefore it is not recommended for pregnant women.
In preterm infants, abdominal massage has been found to reduce gastrointestinal problems and associated pain. However, it should be done by trained professionals to avoid further complications.
All in all, abdominal massage has been shown to be beneficial for relieving pain and improving the functioning of the abdominal organs, but it should not be attempted without proper guidance and instruction. It may not be appropriate for some individuals, so it is important to consult a healthcare provider before attempting any abdominal massage technique.
Whether abdominal massage is right for you or not must be decided by a medical professional. If abdominal massage is appropriate for your situation, make sure you choose a qualified, certified professional for the practice.