Self Help Videos

Self-Massage for the Abdomen

Using self-abdominal massage regularly may be helpful in stimulating digestion by aiding peristalsis which is the movement which propels food and waste through the digestive tract, encouraging regularity of bowel movement. It may also be helpful in the management of pain and discomfort in the abdomen and pelvic cavities through switching on the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for the ‘rest and digest’ state.

Important note: If you are experiencing new and recent changes in bowel movement including discomfort, blood in the stool and generally feeling unwell it is always strongly advised to discuss this with your GP and have it investigated. This massage should be avoided with the following:

- Do not perform on the lower abdomen if you have an IUD/Coil fitted.
- Had recent surgery. You should wait 8-10 weeks and get clearance from your medical practitioner before commencing.
- If you have a current infection.
- If you have an acute flare up of Chron’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Diverticulitis or any condition of the abdominal or pelvic cavities.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you are taking pain killers that are masking the pain, especially if you have an undiagnosed problem.

This is not an exhaustive list and if you are unsure about whether this massage is suitable for you, please consult your health practitioner.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing can be used to help you activate the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as your ‘rest and digest’ state. If used regularly it can help improve your lung capacity and oxygen intake, help you to manage stress, improve your digestion, improve your quality of sleep and much more.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) is a relaxation technique that involves the tensing and releasing of all the muscle groups in the body, one group at a time usually from head to toe. The aim is to help you become aware of how tension feels and also how it feels to relax and let go. PMR is used to help switch off the body's stress response and improve well-being. It is often used to help reduce pain, anxiety and insomnia. It helps by improving vagal tone, a vital component of the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system which is important for growth, repair and immune function. Having optimal vagal tone will help aid digestive function.

Please note: avoid tensing any muscle groups where you have an injury. Also avoid over-tensing as this may result in cramping and pain.