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  • Engage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

Massage and Deep Breathing for Constipation

Updated: Oct 31, 2020



A strategy that may help with constipation is massage to your abdomen. This can be a helpful addition to the strategies discussed in our earlier post about constipation.

  1. STEP 1 Stroke upwards to relax the abdominal muscles, in case of hiatus hernia or reflux stroke down.

  2. STEP 2 Stroke from back, to stimulate vagus nerve, which tells the bowel to wake up. Stroke from small of back, round and down inside of iliac crests, finish stroke at groin. Do ten strokes.

  3. STEP 3 Effleurage (toothpaste stoke). Do this in a clockwise direction to stimulate bowel directions to move fecal matter Along. Do this stroke for two minutes. Heart of Massage, the kneading helps to propel the fecal matter along the colon to load the rectum

  4. STEP 4 Palmar Kneading, Descending colon (down pipe) for 2 minutes.

  5. STEP 5 Palmar kneading, up ascending colon (up pipe) for 2 minutes.

  6. STEP 6 Repeat steps 4 (down pipe) for 2 minutes.

  7. STEP 7 Repeat step 3 for further 2 minutes.

  8. STEP 8 Stroking to relax abdominal muscles and to help body to know the massage is ending. Do this ten times.

  9. STEP 9 Vibrations over umbilicus to relieve flatus (wind). Do this four times.

Another strategy that can help with digestion and to keep things moving is deep breathing. This can include taking a deep breath in for 4 counts - hold for 4 counts - exhale over 4 counts. This type of breathing is classed box breathing. The idea behind this is that it helps stimulate the parasympathetic system which is really important with digestion

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