It is estimated that 25% of Americans suffer from a digestive disorder, such as Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation and other conditions that affect digestion and elimination. Although many factors play a role in developing digestive disorders, one common element is stress. Massage therapy – mainly in the form of chair massage or abdominal massage – is proven to effectively reduce stress and can also mitigate symptoms connected to digestive disorders.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that can cause recurrent diarrhea, painful constipation or both. Research into the cause of IBS highlights the effect that stress and muscle tension have on hindering the proper function of the organs that control digestion and elimination. The exact relationship between stress and gastrointestinal function is the subject of ongoing research, but many patients with digestive disorders such as IBS report stress as the main trigger for their symptoms.
Massage provides immediate results in terms of stress and anxiety reduction. This is beneficial for those who suffer from stress related digestive disorders and can also help to keep symptoms from such conditions from becoming worse. Although an abdominal massage is contraindicated during flare-ups of IBS and Crohn’s Disease, a massage focusing on the head, neck, shoulders and back, such as chair massage, is a valuable tool in relieving tension and pain. Chair massage can be performed in the client’s preferred setting, in a session lasting an average of fifteen minutes. A chair massage is an affordable option for those who would like to experience its stress relieving benefits several times a week.
Poor diet choices are also culprits in digestive disorders. Improper mixing of protein and starches can cause the digestive process to become labored and inefficient, leading to abdominal pain and discomfort. An abdominal massage prompts the release of hormones responsible for processing food. Abdominal massage also helps to carry the processed material through the stomach, intestines and colon.
Misalignment of the digestive organs is also seen as a cause of digestive disorders. The organs are supported by a connective tissue called fascia. Fascia is responsible for suspending the digestive organs within the abdominal cavity. Stress can cause the fascia to contract, which can keep organs from being properly aligned. Abdominal massage can break apart areas of fascia that have become adhered together, promoting proper alignment of organs and leading to better functioning of the digestive system as a whole.
Effective mitigation of stress is paramount for those who suffer from digestive disorders. Although there may be other root causes, stress is the most common trigger for the unpleasant symptoms associated with these conditions. Adding regular chair massage or abdominal massage to a conventional treatment plan is an affordable and proven method to alleviate anxiety and stress.