What Do Abdominal Adhesions Feel Like?

The title of this article can be interpreted in two different ways:

  1. What do adhesions feel like to the touch?  and . . .
  2. What does it feel like to have adhesions?

I will be answering both!

What do abdominal adhesions feel like to the touch?

What do Abdominal Adhesions feel like?

Everyone wants to know, “What do abdominal adhesions feel like?” and rightly so!

Learning to feel your own adhesions is very important because once you are able to feel them with your hands, you suddenly become MUCH better able to start resolving them.

Most people don’t believe that you can feel the difference in any tissue when there is adhesion present. But really, it is so easy! At first, and in the early stages, it can seem like you are imagining what you are feeling under your fingertips, it can be tempting to not take it seriously.

If you do practice and learn to take seriously every little thing you notice, you will be amazed by what you can find – even on your own.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • The first thing you need to do is learn about how your own belly feels in a general way –
    • what part of your belly feels super-soft?
    • what part feels medium-soft?
    • what part feels hard to the touch?
    • does your touch trigger pain in any area?  (often the pain is somewhere else entirely such as another part of your belly, or a hip or a shoulder . . .)
    • Answering these questions will give you your own personal answer to the question of “What do abdominal adhesions feel like?”
  • Often, when people are first starting to feel for adhesion, they run their fingers over an area and it’s not until after they’ve passed it that they realize they may have just found something interesting. That’s why it seems like we imagined it. But you didn’t imagine it. It was there, you just aren’t used to looking for it, much less stopping for it in order to resolve it.

abdominal massageI give a step-by-step of how to do this throughout the different layers of your belly in the Getting Started Program, so I recommend you sign up for that program as you are getting acquainted with your own belly.

Once you have learned how the different parts of your own belly feel, then you can start to notice what I call the “hard” and “slow” spots. Again, I talk about and show this in the videos but, in short, hard and slow spots mean exactly that.

To Do:

Gently engage your fingers into the skin of your belly (not pressing in, just sinking in a little bit) and then drag them over the skin with that same amount of pressure

  • Do you feel spots that your fingers move through very easily?
  • Do you feel spots where it feels like you get stuck, or where your fingers aren’t moving very easily?
  • Do you feel places where your fingers feel like they come to a stop all on their own?

These “slow” spots are almost always the product of some kind of adhesion, even if they don’t hurt.  And especially if they feel numb to the touch.

abdominal adhesionsLikewise, when you find spots that are literally harder to the touch than other areas of the belly, you have most likely found adhesion. I have had many people say,

“But isn’t that because that’s near the belly button?” or,

“Isn’t that just the way my belly is?”

That may be just the way your belly is, but healthy soft tissue (including healthy scar tissue) is supple and has a certain amount of spring to it, so the “way your belly is” might not be in your best interest in the long run. Hard spots are almost always an indication that the soft tissue needs some help.  In the absence of deeper disease, tumors, or fibroids, adhesions are the most likely culprit.

If you can practice this touch over and over again, you will learn how to feel the “boundaries” of any given adhesion and you will be able to feel the “beginning” and the “end” of the area without having to pass over it and accidentally miss it first.

And believe it or not, that’s the ease with which we can feel adhesions in our soft tissues. As you can imagine, it can take some repeated trying in order to start trusting what’s under your fingers, but it really is that simple.

And once you can feel it, then it’s just a matter of learning to resolve it.


What does it feel like to have adhesions?

As far as symptoms go, in the beginning stages, adhesions don’t “feel” like much.

  • Perhaps a moment of unusual tugging in the belly,
  • a sudden pang of discomfort that goes away pretty quickly and doesn’t show up again for a while,
  • a dull ache in the belly that resolves itself and only reoccurs occasionally.

roseThese are the early symptoms that tell us something is brewing. If we pay attention and address what’s going on in this stage (which is, admittedly, pretty hard to remember to do), then it takes almost no time at all to resolve the adhesions and move on.

In the middle stages of adhesion, what we feel becomes more pronounced.

  • Discomfort generally turns into pain and starts sticking around a lot longer. It may still come and go, but it doesn’t stay gone for very long at a time.
  • Constipation, bloating, general distention of the belly start to show up.
  • Sometimes indigestion and discomfort while eating also start to become a problem.
  • If the bladder or prostate is involved, urinary incontinence and pelvic or prostate pain can become symptoms.
  • Some infertility can become an issue, if the reproductive system is involved in the adhesions.

The “advanced” stages of adhesion are far more problematic for most people. The pain and dysfunction often become debilitating to the point of resulting in a serious loss of a quality of life. One story I have heard over and over again is from people who have more or less become home-bound because they cannot walk, drive a car, or otherwise move without excruciating pain.

roseIn the advanced stage, the mental, emotional, and energetic functions of the whole self often become seriously disturbed. For most people in this stage, fear, anxiety, and a loss of hope are a part of the package. This is a profoundly difficult stage to be in and I have been, time and time again, so deeply impressed by folks who experience this level of disturbance in their health and still muster the wherewithal to work so hard, stick through so much s***, and come out the other side able to live their lives again.

As you can imagine, what people feel through the various stages of adhesion really vary, and I want to stress that that adhesions are treatable in every stage.  No matter where you are at with it, there is a lot that can be done to help yourself recover.

I hope you will sign up for one of my Programs.  I have created each of them as a resource for you to learn take matters into your own hands and get your quality of life back.


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