Abdominal massage can help prevent bowel obstructions. Because hands-on work and movement can keep the tissues of your intestines and belly operating fluidly, it greatly reduces the chances of material getting stuck in your gut.
Obstructions can happen for many different reasons:
- Abdominal surgery (after surgery)
- Impaction (extreme constipation)
- Intestinal loops stuck to each other or other organs
- Intestinal loops stuck to the abdominal wall
- Chronic inflammation or infection in the gut
- Sudden diet change or change in the gut’s ability to process food
- Twisted bowel
In order to avoid an obstruction, it will help if you can:
- Stay well hydrated
- Avoid highly repetitive motion or staying in one position for hours on end
- Proactively manage your stress level and be sure to use physical activity to keep stress hormones lingering in your system
- Actively (safely) massage areas of your belly where you know or suspect you have abdominal adhesions
- Be aware of and work to reduce any intestinal inflammation
- Manage your diet in a way that avoids challenging your digestive system (usual foods to avoid in obstruction cases are corn, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and any other known allergies or irritants for you). Dietary triggers are highly individual and are often the most frustrating aspect of bowel obstructions to figure out.
- Be aware of the side effects of your medications
If you have experienced a bowel obstruction I’m sure you’ll want to avoid having it happen again. Many of my clients, and those in my programs, have been able to prevent their own obstructions by:
- Learning to recognize the earliest signs
- Immediately beginning the appropriate hands-on and movement techniques
- Staying hydrated
- Learning their digestive system and managing their diet
What to do next?
There’s no question that the trickiest part of all of this is figuring out if your obstruction was triggered by a specific food or by your intestines being restricted within in your abdomen.
Over the last decade of working with people on this issue, I can safely say that the hands-on massage work is essential. It helps to ensure that the intestinal loops are not getting stuck together. Even if your obstruction was triggered primarily by diet, the tissues of your belly will likely need to be addressed. Correct abdominal massage can go a long way toward making sure you never end up in the ER again for an obstruction.
If you are looking for a safe and effective method to learn to help yourself, I hope you’ll check out the Recover Program.