Massage for Constipation Relief

Massage for constipation relief is one of the best free treatments around.  The stomach muscles are toned by massaging the abdominal area. The walls of the colon will be strengthened as well with regular massages.  It will also loosen fecal matter for constipation relief.

How effective is self massage

A bowel movement can be encouraged with a gentle abdominal massage. Doreen Mc Clurg says, "Abdominal massage can relieve constipation of various physiological causes." (1) It also improves the quality of life, induces relaxation, and reduces discomfort and pain.

In the book Prescription for Natural Cures, by James F. Balch, he states the following;  "when you're constipated, doing a self massage to your abdomen can bring some sweet relief. It may even result in the wave-like contractions of the colon that helps to initiate a bowel movement.”

In Nursing Times it states, “Abdominal massage should be considered when patients are being treated for constipation.  It can easily be taught to patients ... so they can perform it themselves, and it has no adverse side-effects.” (1)

Massage can be even more effective when accompanied by a magnesium supplement. Magnesium draws water into the colon. This helps soften the stool. Moist stool is slicker and moves better through the colon. It also provides numerous other health benefits.

Self massage technique

Massage for constipation relief may be performed in the shower or tub, or while lying down. To use massage for constipation in bed, lie down on your back with knees bent. Next, begin massaging the abdomen area using your palm. Use gentle but firm pressure as you massage.

Simply take about a minute to follow the large intestine from where it begins all the way to where it ends at the rectum. Move in a rocking motion in the direction of colon flow.

  1. Start in your lower belly below and to the right of the navel.

  2. Move up till you reach a height of an inch or two above the navel and just below the rib cage.

  3. Move across to the left side.

  4. Move down your left abdomen.

  5. When you reach the groin area, move over toward the center just above the groin.

Repeat this a few times, and in a bit you will likely notice an urge to have a bowel movement.

Do daily massages for about 1-2 weeks until you feel more long-term relief from constipation. To benefit colon health and improve circulation in the surrounding organs, continue with massages periodically.

A constipation relief strategy

  1. Drink preferably a warm glass of water right after you wake up every morning.

  2. Make a habit to sit on the toilet right after breakfast for five minutes. Your body will soon get used to the habit of the early morning bowel movement.

  3. For a few minutes a day massage the abdomen, following the colon as outlined above.  

The above massage may be especially helpful for children experiencing problems with constipation.

Massage for senior citizens

A study was done using massage for constipation on those sixty and older who were constipated or dependent on laxatives.  It was concluded (by Lamas et al / 2009), "abdominal massage could be used alongside laxatives, but must be seen as a long term intervention as its effects were not evident until after four weeks of massage."  (2)

Massaging around the appendix

Constipation relief may occur by strengthening and toning the ileocecal valve. To do this, massage in circles around the appendix. This valve is very important and controls the gateway between the small intestines and colon.

This is especially helpful if stress is a cause or a result of constipation.

Massage of the appendix can also help to mobilize any fecal matter trapped in it.

Massage for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

One of the alternative treatments to relieve the symptoms of IBS includes massage.  Massage on pressure points and specific massage movements can be used to

  • Relax abdominal muscles
  • Relieve bloating
  • Stimulate sluggish digestion

"Regular massage treatments for IBS and constipation can be used to prevent further problems and be used to relieve symptoms."  (3)


"Do not massage if there is a pregnancy or if you know of any medical or surgical reason why you shouldn't."  (4)



(Return from Massage for Constipation to Treatment for Chronic Constipation)

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