This tummy-soothing massage for stomach aches will ease your pain, whether you’re suffering from a case of indigestion or constipation. Plus, it may actually improve your digestion in the future.
Before you go blaming your tummy troubles on eating too quickly, consider whether you’re feeling extra stressed. Maybe you have a big presentation coming up at work, or you’re stressed about decluttering after the holidays. Stress may be the real root of your stomach pains, as it can lead to inflammation in the gut. These feelings can also cause your abdominal muscles to tense up, making digestion even more difficult.
One expert-recommended solution is to give your belly a quick, two-minute massage before chowing down. Thanks to the brain-gut connection, this practice gets your mind and body into “rest and digest” mode, nutritionist McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN, writes on her blog. Essentially, you’re telling your body, “OK, it’s time to calm down and prepare for digestion.”
Now that your body is prepared for food, practice mindful eating with each forkful. Digestion begins in the mouth, so sit down, eat slowly and without distractions like screens, savor your food, and take sips between bites to help your body breakdown food better. Mindful eating will also help prevent emotional eating, making it easier to hit your 2019 New Year’s resolution to eat healthier.
Massage for Upset Stomach
- Find somewhere comfortable and lie flat on your back. Your knees should be bent with your feet flat.
- Massage your belly with both hands, moving in circular motions. Alternate between using your fingertips and palms. Work from the left side to the right side of your stomach, before moving to the bottom of your ribcage.
- Continue these motions for two minutes, applying gentle pressure to areas that feel sore or tender. You can stop once the inflamed sections have relaxed.