Are you constipated? Oh not me!
A diet high in processed foods combined with every day stresses, is detrimental to our digestive systems. The digestive system is at the beck and call of the nervous system. It is our sympathetic nervous system that has us multitasking and taking care of the multitude of task and chores demanded of us every day. It is this state of attention that we are so good at. In a well balanced life one would finish all of one’s chores, close those projects and put them aside for follow up the next day. This would allow the parasympathetic nervous system to prevail; than when we eat we can digest and assimilate better. We would naturally slow down, prepare, chew and process our food better, we would sleep better, be more recovered, and have a better Bowel Movement (BM). Like a cherished good meal or good nights sleep,
a good BM is even better.
Several studies have shown that abdominal massage improves constipation. Constipation is a disorder of gastrointestinal motility characterize by difficult or decreased bowel movements. “Abdominal massage has been shown to be an effective intervention for constipation” as stated in Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2011 Nov 21. ‘Studies have demonstrated that abdominal massage can stimulate peristalsis, decrease colonic transit time, increase the frequency of bowel movements in constipated patients, and decrease the feelings of discomfort and pain that accompany it’ as stated in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2011 Oct, 15.
If the body’s elimination process has been suppressed for a prolonged period of time then multiple bodywork sessions may be needed and/or to more readily jump start the elimination process than colon hydro-therapies should be considered. In order to relax the grip of the sympathetic nervous system, request that your massage therapist or other qualified therapist release your mid Trapeziums muscle which directly receives signals from the sympathetic ganglion (nerve center or concentration). In kind also have your therapist address the sacral tuberous ligament to affect the ganglion of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Always make sure your well hydrated, which is an important component of elimination. If you’re drinking wine with dinner drink an extra glass of water is in order. A relaxation yoga class or other body/mind discipline is also very effective in using the mind to consciously relax the body. Poor posture not only inhibits breathing but also digestion and elimination. Sit down to eat, to register a parasympathetic response. Pertaining to men, always sit down to urinate, this naturally relaxes the perineal muscles (pelvic floor), a pleasant respite from standing or sitting all day. This relaxation would also be beneficial to the prostate gland. The simple act of sitting to urinate may be enough to cause elimination. If it’s true that the naturopathic discipline recommends two or three BM’s daily, we need every help and opportunity we can get.