Potty talk is not only for when you have young children at home or when you go to the doctor. There are many professions interested in your defecation habits, massage therapists included. You may think this is weird, but GET OVER IT! If you are not pooping at least once a day (the ideal is three), you are at risk for more serious problems down the road. You may be thinking “How would this be important to a massage therapist”?
Massaging the body, even if we don’t do specific abdominal work, can be beneficial in increasing peristalsis, just by allowing your parasympathetic nervous system to get some “me” time. If the massage therapist is made aware of a constipation issue, then more specific work can be done to help.
Massaging in the direction of the colon: ascending colon(bottom right of your belly) to transverse colon (across the top of the belly) to descending colon (bottom left of your belly…think of the massage as an arc) can be very useful to help get “things” moving along. Adding castor oil and heat can get results almost instantly…meaning the same day. So for no client has not been able to make it through a session.
Other specific modalities that are useful in alleviating constipation are visceral manipulation and lymph drainage therapy, amongst others.
If you are still too embarrassed to bring this up in a massage session, here is how to do your own castor oil pack at home:
1. Get a microwave safe heat pack, preferably one that you can wipe down when finished and start heating.
2. While the hot pack is heating, take a generous amount of castor oil and massage your belly in the direction of the colon. Rub it in as much as you can.
3. Wash your hands thoroughly and take the hot pack out of the microwave. Cover it with an old pillow case or something you will devote to castor oil pack use, find a place to get comfortable (bed is fine, recliner, someplace you can just chillax), and place the covered pack directly on your oiled belly.
4. Keep this on your belly until the heat dissipates, about 20 minutes or so.
Before you get started and ruin all your clothes, or think this is a cure all for more hard core intestinal distress, please keep this in mind:
You can have a shirt on over the pack, but it should not be your Sunday’s best as it will probably get stained with oil.
This is for people with occasional constipation. If you have a serious problem, PLEASE go see your doctor. Untreated constipation can lead to intestinal blockages, which are no fun. Another simple way to help yourself is to make sure you are hydrated. Warm water or room temperature water is more helpful with moving the bowels.
I love giving this treatment. It can be incorporated into a general session. Try and let me know ahead of time so that I can have the hot pack ready to go. If you have any questions, feel free to email me..or respond to this blog post if you wish.