Belly Health in the New Year

“Nag, nag, nag…”

My students sometimes toss this out in class when they’re trying to tease me about my repeated attention to detail.  But secretly they love it!  Right?

Anyway, here are a couple of things that I talk about very often as they are soooo easy to incorporate into everyday life for the overall health of your belly (and beyond).

Happy New Year!

Flax Seeds, 2 Tbsp. of Them:  If you eat anything resembling the Standard American Diet, you may be in dire need of some healthy Omega-3s.  Why?  Because they are the world’s best fighters of inflammation . . . and if you are struggling with belly pain, it’s likely you have some serious inflammatory process at work in your systems.

So, what is one of my favorite ways to get those magical Omega-3s in a flash?  1-2 Tbsp. of ground up flax seeds in a small glass of water (daily).


I know it looks gross, but it actually has a really pleasant, nutty taste.  I enjoy it quite a lot.  I recommend stirring it up and drinking it rather quickly, as it turns gelatinous when it sits in the water too long . . . unless you like drinking things that feel like snail slime.  In which case, I salute you.

Reminder: Keep your flax seeds in the fridge once you have opened them as they can go rancid quickly.  You can buy them prepackaged, or in bulk from an often-rotated bulk foods aisle.

32 Ounces of Water First Thing In the Morning (yes, before your coffee):  I know it sounds a bit weird and perhaps slightly distasteful but it carries some of the best health benefits you can possibly imagine.  Most people are chronically under-hydrated.  And dehydration in any form can add to the build-up of adhesions because the blood slows down when it doesn’t have enough water.  When your body is dehydrated it has a really hard time flushing toxins.  This can absolutely, and often does, contribute to pain and dysfunction.

Additionally, what is the best way to oxygenate and perk up your system when you’re feeling fatigued?  Yes, indeedy, water.  Chronic pain and stress can cause long-term problems with your breathing, making it shallow and less effective at carrying oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide.  Water can help with some of this oxygen deficiency.


Most importantly, though, drinking a liter of water first thing in the morning can set a really wonderful tone for the rest of your day.  Immediately beginning your day with such a cleansing, health-supporting practice can make a world of difference.  (For a brief thought about how much water to drink in any given day, here is a water blog post I wrote.)


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Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.

3 thoughts on “Belly Health in the New Year”

  1. Okay, Mommy. Just kidding and thank you for that reminder. Hydration is crucial. Alas, I’ve just made my first New Year’s resolution.

  2. Today is my third day of drinking water first thing in the morning. I haven’t yet gotten to the suggested 32 ounces all at once, but am working towards it and drinking water as well, as the day progresses. Unbelievable, the difference in how I feel, my belly calming down. I’m tolerating better what I eat and am less fearful now, to try new things. This means a lot to me. Thank you!

    • Hi Frances, sorry for the delay in responding. Wow! That is such a great report! Thank you so much for sharing. It really is amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference – it’s so simple it almost seems counter-intuitive. I’m really glad you’ve experienced such a change with it.


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