One of the components to The Tummy Team’s functional core rehabilitation approach is intentional self-abdominal massage. Most of the clients we work with deal with some level of disconnect from their core muscles. Reconnecting the muscles of the core is one of the very first steps in retraining the muscles to stabilize and support the body throughout the day. Unfortunately, as simple and effective as adding abdominal massage to your daily routine can be, it is also one of the most difficult pieces to get our clients to be consistent with. For this reason, it is essential to understand the many health benefits of abdominal rehab so that we all can make it a priority when focusing on reclaiming lost functional core strength.
1. Increases Blood Flow
Blood flow draws in nutrients to help heal the area, while it flushes out toxins and assists in the regenerative process of the skin, muscle and connective tissue.
2. Improves Connection
Massage stimulates sensory nerves in the area to improve the neuro-muscular connection, encouraging improved activation of the core muscles.
3. Helps with Scar Tissue
Scar tissue can act as a glue that keeps the muscles from moving in a healthy function. Massage sets the stage for scar mobilization.
4. Improves Digestive Function
Massaging the abdomen encourages the natural peristalsis (ejection reflex) of the intestinal tract, decreasing bloating, gas and constipation.
5. Aids Myofascial Release
It is common to have an imbalance where the internal abdominal muscles are inactive and by comparison, the external abdominal muscles are too tight. Massage helps to normalize muscle tone between these muscle groups.
6. Facilitates Healing
Abdominal massage helps to process grief and reconnect to the core after events such as traumatic births, surgeries, or any kind of loss.
We encourage you to take 1-2 minutes to massage your abdominal area 1-2 times a day to start seeing the benefits above. Developing daily routines such as abdominal massage in the shower with soap or after your shower with lotion, massage at bedtime while lying on your back before drifting off to sleep, or even occasionally massaging your tummy right over your clothes can be a very effective habit to get into. One thing we have learned through years of clinical work is to never underestimate the healing power of physical touch.
The Tummy Team believes so much in the importance of abdominal massage that we partnered with BabyNest to create a Toning Tummy Balm that is infused with nurturing ingredients to further promote the healing properties of abdominal massage. Below, Kelly Dean explains how using the tummy balm with abdominal massage can be helpful:
Abdominal massage is just one component of the comprehensive Tummy Team functional core rehab approach. If you are struggling to reconnect and restore your core, check out our clinic in Camas WA or look at our online core rehab programs.