Why abdominal massage? Well, you do have four layers of muscles in your abdomen, and that doesn't include the diaphragm, which lies directly under the rib cage, or the psoas, which is under those four muscles (rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, and tranverse abdominis).
These muscles get tense too! In fact, tense abdominal muscles can contribute to back pain and to problems with abdominal organs (stomach, colon, small intestine, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder).
Massaging the abdomen can improve blood circulation, help open the abdominal cavity, and release the fascia, so the organs can lay unrestricted in their natural positions in the abdominal cavity.
Swedish Belly Massage Videos
The following two videos demonstrate a basic Swedish-based stomach massage routine.
Abdominal Massage Technique Description
Here are some basic massage techniques for the abdomen:
Warm up rocking: Place your left hand on the person's forehead and right hand on the outside of the hip. Rock the person gently, finding a rhythm that suits the person receiving the massage. Move your right hand from the hip to the center of the abdomen and continue rocking. You can move your right hand to different areas on the abdomen to help release constrictions.
Wringing: Place one hand on each side of the person's torso. Move your hands from one side of the abdomen to the other in a wringing movement.
Place your flat palms, one on top of the other, on the person's lower right abdomen. Apply a gentle circular pressure and then move your hands slowly clockwise around the abdomen until you have massaged the entire area.
Place both of your hands under the person's back on the side opposite you. Alternating your hands, pull up and around the person's abdomen. Repeat on the other side.
In addition to general Swedish massage for the abdomen, two other specialized techniques are available:
Maya Abdominal Massage promotes optimum health by guiding internal abdominal organs into their proper position. Dr. Rosita Arvigo developed this technique using her medical background and knowledge gained from her apprenticeship with the Maya healer Don Elijio Panti. Maya massage reduces congestion and blockages to improve energy flow and the flow of fluids in the circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems. See Touching the Core for more information.