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June 01, 2020
Get the gut massage message
We all love massages. And so does our gut. There's a good reason too. Massaging your gut area before and after meals is therapeutic in so many ways - physical, mental, spiritual and digestive.
Why massage your gut (as if you really need a reason)?
A quick, gentle rub of your tummy as you read this will tell you all you need to know why it's a good thing. It just feels soooo yummy and relaxing.
But it's much more than that. It's especially a good personal care practice for your digestion and gut health.
Get your gut gunk moving. We can hold up to 3 kilos of waste (or gut gunk) in our front trunks! 3 kilos of undiscarded food waste, bacteria, plaque and, well, gunk! This build-up adds to our weight and can contribute to fatigue and less nutrient and hydration absorption.
Think of it like brushing your teeth. If you miss just one brush you'll feel a slight film on your teeth. And your breath can start to smell with the bacteria on your teeth and gums. Now if you miss a few days of brushing! Your digestive system is effectively an extension of your mouth. The same food and hydration pass both. And without proper care and cleaning your intestines and gut can store plaque.
Taking Love Your Gut powder 30 mins before you massage is an effective way of starting to gently clean and tone your gut, slowly 'chipping away' at the gunky build-up.
Stress out! Much of your stress is held in the gut. There are even metaphors for it - "my tummy's twisted in knots!", "Gut-wrenching". "Butterflies". Stress causes inflammation to build in your gut, with the knock-on effects of indigestion and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, constipation and bloating.
Some people especially hold their tension in the gut area. Much of our nervous system is in the stomach region. Just like a massage can release tension in your shoulders, it will do the same trick for your stomach. It relaxes your stomach muscles and digestive system, allowing them to focus on their main job of processing nutrients and disposing of waste.
Rest and digest. There are a few simple practices to include with your massage. They all centre on priming your gut to do its job of processing nutrition and hydration.
Start with chewing your food well. Chewing acts as pre-digestion, breaking food down for easier processing. It also slows us down to enjoy food more and be present.
Sweep your digestive system with Love Your Gut powder or capsules. It's gentle and easy-to-take every day.
Deep breaths. Deeeeeep. Brrrrrreaths. In through your nose. Right into the belly. Keep it there for a few seconds and release through your mouth.
Now you're ready to get the massage!
Go with the flow
The simple rule of a good gut massage is to follow the flow of your intestines. The food and hydration go through in a clockwise direction.
Your massage should follow suit.
Use your fingers or palm of the hand, rub in a clockwise motion around your navel. Apply the amount of pressure that feels best.
After the clockwise massage, try a vertical approach.
Start at the base of the ribs along your centreline. Then move in one motion down to just above your pubic area. It's akin to gently pushing the contents of your system through.
Then do the same one or two inches to both the left and the right of your centre.
Repeat for a minute.
To help with constipation, focus on acupressure points:
Doing your own gut massage doesn't require an oil. It's more important and useful just to massage regularly. If adding elements like oil distract you then do them every so often. Using an oil can add a little indulgence and quite a bit of moisturising.
In Ayurvedic practice, sesame oil is used. Regular body oils work well as do creams. It's a personal preference what oil or cream you use. Again, it's more about getting into the habit of a tummy rub.
Give your gut the massage message.
Watch this simple self-care gut massage and give it a go on your gut!
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