The Art of Belly Massage - A Path to Wellness and Relaxation
Twenty three years ago I went on a week long retreat to learn the art of Mayan Abdominal massage. I studied with Rosita Arvigo and her assistant Hortence, who was a wise woman who had been practicing midwifery for over 70 years, starting as a young child in the hills of El Salvador. Hortence showed me potent techniques for working on the belly. As time passed by in my massage therapy practice I use these techniques more and more.
Belly massage, also known as abdominal or stomach massage, is a time-honored practice that has been used for centuries to promote physical and emotional well-being. This gentle and therapeutic technique offers a wide range of health benefits that can improve digestion, reduce stress, and enhance overall relaxation.
So while relaxation can definitely occur there is also a sense of great release that can come about. Old emotions and traumas, if they are ready to do so, can release.
Belly massage has its roots in various cultural and medical traditions, including Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and traditional Thai massage. These ancient systems recognized the significance of the abdomen in maintaining health and balance in the body. The practice of belly massage aims to stimulate the internal organs, release tension, and improve the flow of energy or "chi" through the body.
I have also found the belly to be a great source of holding old patterns and beliefs, as well as fear. And I notice that working on the belly can help release these issues and restore emotional balance to our life.
Here are a few health benefits of belly massage
Improved Digestion: One of the most significant advantages of belly massage is its positive impact on the digestive system. The gentle kneading and circular motions applied during a belly massage can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion, bloating, and constipation. By increasing blood flow to the abdominal area, the massage aids in the proper functioning of the digestive organs.
Stress Reduction: Stress often manifests physically in the form of muscle tension, particularly in the abdominal area. A belly massage can help relax these tense muscles, reducing stress and promoting an overall sense of well-being. It can also stimulate the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers.
Detoxification: The abdomen is home to various vital organs, including the liver and kidneys, responsible for detoxifying the body. A belly massage can support the detoxification process by enhancing organ function and improving lymphatic flow, helping to remove waste and toxins from the body.
Pain Relief: For individuals suffering from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or menstrual cramps, belly massage can offer relief. The massage can ease abdominal pain and discomfort by relaxing the muscles and reducing inflammation.
Enhanced Circulation: By stimulating blood flow to the abdominal area, belly massage can improve circulation throughout the body. This improved circulation can help with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, aiding in overall health and vitality.
How to Perform a Belly Massage
Many massage therapists are trained to provide the most effective belly massage, and you can also practice some self-care techniques at home. Here's a simple routine to get you started:
-Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can lie down or sit in a relaxed position.
-Warm your hands by rubbing them together and apply a small amount of natural oil or lotion to your abdomen to reduce friction.
-Begin with gentle, circular motions, moving clockwise. Start at your lower right abdomen, near the hipbone, and gradually work your way up toward the ribcage. Be mindful of your body's response and avoid any areas of tenderness.
-As you massage, focus on your breath relax your abdominal muscles. Continue the circular motions for several minutes.
-Finish by resting your hands on your abdomen, taking a few deep breaths, and expressing gratitude for the self-care you've provided.
Belly massage is an ancient practice that offers numerous health benefits, from improved digestion and stress reduction to pain relief and enhanced circulation.
Whether you choose to come in for a therapeutic treatment with me, or practice self-massage at home, integrating belly massage into your wellness routine can be a soothing and rejuvenating experience.
By taking the time to nurture your abdomen, you can support your overall health and well-being while promoting a sense of relaxation and balance in your life.
Peace & Light,