Can massage help you if you are constipated? 24 Jul 2019
Recently scientists have looked at the impact of abdominal massage on people with constipation.
Constipation affects twice as many women as men. Older people are more likely to be affected and in addition taking certain medications e.g. opioids can cause it.
A randomised control trail of 204 patients with constipation (from opioid medication), were split into two equal groups. The intervention group were taught how to administer abdominal massage on themselves, in a clockwise direction over the intestines on the abdominal wall, which they performed twice a day for four weeks after breakfast & dinner.
The control group received standard medical care, such as laxatives, suppositories and enemas.
Both groups were asked to keep a diary of their bowel movements and to complete three questionnaires, including the Bristol stool scale for evaluating stools and bowel habits, the visual analogue scale, which contains questions about constipation, including severity, straining & pain.
Patients in the massage group reported significant improvements in stool consistency, straining during defecation, the feeling of incomplete emptying after defecation and experienced increase bowel movements. They also reported a reduction in the severity of constipation, pain, straining, gas & fullness in the rectum. However, the massage had no effect on the stool amount.
The researchers concluded that abdominal massage was an effective approach for managing opioid induced constipation. So if you suffer from constipation consider abdominal massage.