Constipation Blues: Abdominal Massage for Constipation

by: Kennan Wyne, PT, DPT
Women’s Health Specialist


Constipation is obviously uncomfortable, but did you know it can lead to health issues like fecal impaction, colon cancer, digestive problems, and pelvic floor issues.

Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs too much water, or when the colon’s muscle contraction is slow or sluggish delaying transit time. The result is a hard and dry stool, which can lead to straining and the inability to release your movement with ease. So, trying to avoiding the pain and discomfort caused by being constipation should be high on your prevention checklist.

The colon is oriented in your abdomen in an upside-down “U” shape, as shown in the picture below. Performing massage to the abdominal area is an effective and easy way to help relieve constipation, and is safe to perform daily!

To begin, I recommend applying 10 minutes of heat to your abdomen (optional) before massaging your abdomen. Then start massaging 10 times in each direction with firm pressure.

I. Start in the center of abdomen at your navel and perform small circular motion in clockwise direction (10 circles total).

II. Next, place hands at right hip bone and perform 10 small circles in clockwise direction then move up working towards the right ribs. Spend more time massaging areas of blockage, tightness, hardness, pain, cramping, or tenderness.

III. Next, when you reach the right ribs perform 10 small circles in clockwise direction then move across working towards the left ribs.

IV. Last, when you reach left ribs perform 10 small circles in clockwise direction then move down working towards left hip.

Perform these techniques 1-2x daily as needed.