Self Massage

yoga on the beach with Jools

Belly Massage with props

 

 

To massage belly with a block

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Utilizing the block to stimulate the nervous system, to relax the nervous system. Stimulating the relaxation response.

  • Place block length wise underneath the ribs 
  • Lay on floor with belly on the block
  • Downward pressure will massage your belly
  • Softly rock the torso side to side (optional)
  • Rest head on hands
  • Empty the bladder before this belly work

Make sure the block is placed correctly. Let your whole body drape over the block as you relax any tension in the abdomen. Gently and gradually release and soften the belly to get use to the sensation.

The pressure of gravity can feel intense and possibly cause slight nausea. please use your best judgment and come off when your body needs to.  

Tips 

If the block feels like it's too sharp or you have a hard block, you can always put a blanket over the entire block.

If you feel like you want a little bit more, you can alternate the knees from side to side (windshield wipers). Keep the head rested.

Most important is to breathe and to surrender into the pressure, into gravity.

...transition into Childs Pose

There is great beauty in the transition of coming off the block.

  • Use hands for support under shoulders to press up
  • Let the hips drop back towards the heels
  • Adjust the block to support forehead.
  • Into child's pose.

Thai Yoga Points for belly massage

Start the belly massage at the naval moving clockwise over the 9 abdominal points.Watch demo at video point 3.09 minutes.

Using the pads of the fingertips to massage the points, lightly stack them one on top of another. With a clockwise circular motion circle each abdominal point 10 to 30 times. Start with gentle easy pressure allow yourself to get used to touch in this sensitive area.

This helps stimulate peristalsis (the movement of elimination). If you have an aggravated or overactive stomach then work in a counterclockwise direction, following the points in reverse.

Most of the energy lines in the Yoga tradition move through the navel area (kandastana). So you can see the importance of working in this area, not only the center of the body physically but energetically as well. The Chinese call the navel area the gate of life, as the first currents of life energy enter the embryo from the mother at this point.

Points of caution

  • Use broad base of finger pads (not sharp pointed fingers)

  • If there is any pain it should be tolerable 2/3 on scale of 10

  • Proceed with caution

 

 

 

Depending on the size of the ball, any size can work even a small to medium size ball not at small as a tennis ball. A board surface area is better not so intense or painful. Watch demo at video point 4.49 minutes.

Get on your knees to drape belly over the ball.

Let your arms hang.

Let your head hang

and just roll. 

Open the knees a little wider, open up the belly a little bit longer and just rock and explore having the pressure ride into all of the stomach points. Playfully rolling forward and back.

This is organic movement. It's incredible for healing the body. Lingering in spots that may feel tight. You can even do agnisara, inhale, exhale. Let it all go and then pulse the belly.

Large Athletic Ball for Belly Massage

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Who should avoid abdominal massage

It should be noted that abdominal massage is strongly contraindicated for some people. People who should avoid abdominal massage include the following:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with gallstones
  • People with kidney stones
  • People with calcium deposits in the bladder
  • Women with inflammation of any sort in the reproductive organs
  • People with hernias of any types
  • People with stomach or duodenal ulcers
  • People with any type of internal bleeding

 

An excerpt from an article Happiness Toolkit: A Simple Belly Massage by Bo Forbes in the Yoga Journal. 
"It also stimulates the vagus nerve, one of twelve cranial nerves that originates in the brain, travels down the back of the neck and into the chest and heart, and then moves down into the abdomen and digestive tract. It's resume is extensive: It regulates heart rate and digestion, and it’s the primary medium through which our belly brain regulates mood. It’s the main communicator to our rest-and-digest system, which helps us to relax more deeply. It also elicits our tend-and-befriend system, enabling us to reach out and connect with others. This is a critical factor in long-term stress resilience and, research shows, in happiness."

 

There's more to us than just this physical body, going deep within the physical has the ability to touch all of those realms.

 

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Fun Fact:

90 percent of the fibers in the primary visceral nerve, the vagus, carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around.