Have you ever “massaged your own belly”?
Yes dear reader you read quite right. And it is as easy as it sounds. Implying the answer to my question is “no” and you are open-minded and can spare some time, just put some oil on your belly and start. Olive or coconut oil is fine if you have no special massage oil stashed at home. But beware that olive oil has a peculiar smell which some people don’t like.
Oh and if you are disgusted by the pure thought of massaging your own belly, chances you will benefit from this practice are even higher.
A friend mentioned it some time ago. So I tried and it felt really good. I don’t know exactly what it did to me. The closest description I have, is that it felt like “knots and blockades got dissolved”.
A picture of the “gordian knot getting split in half and all the bound and trapped energy inside of it flowed back to where it once belonged” flashed in front of my inner eye, the first time I tried. I visualize it everytime since.
I chose to write about it, because it is very easy to perform on yourself, doesn’t need much time and it is the center of your body.
A few things you should consider before starting:
- don’t do it when you have just eaten. I normally do it before sleeping when I am already lying in bed.
- do whatever feels good for you. Try different areas, hand techniques and amount of pressure.
- stop moving or do really small moves and just vary with the amount of pressure.
- you can try to grasp “under your rips” and move them a little bit in both directions. Beware: tight is followed by broken, so be gentle to yourself ;-).
- you can do a large circle consisting of a lot of smaller circles as shown in the picture below.
when you are moving in circles over your belly, take care you do it in the right direction. If you would stand in front of yourself the direction is clockwise. Otherwise you would massage against the natural direction the food goes inside your guts.
If you are not sure, this picture drawn by myself in an two hour drawing session should clear things up. If I should fail as a web-logger, painting will be my next craft of choice. Or I switch to Ethereum to sell this masterpiece as an NFT and get millions.
While we are on the subject of eating: when you are lying down after eating, it is better to lie on your right side, because thats where the exit of your stomach is. So when the pylorus “opens”, which is the sphincter muscle at the end of your stomach, gravity will do its part and the digested food gets released into your guts. If you are lying on your back or on your left side you won’t be able to get gravities support.
I won’t go into detail about the benefits of massages in general. I think it is obvious. Touching ones own, or another humans body can be a beneficial, pleasant, energetic and even ecstatic experience. Without it, we may have gone extinct already. I don’t believe nature has placed all those nerves under our skin, firing cascades of electronic pulses at our brain when touched, just because for the fun of it. And it doesn’t divide those “touches” into pleasure and pain just for the fun of it as well.
Some posts during this challenge have been about “pain as a trigger to know where to focus and work on”. When massaging, you can choose between the “nice ones” and i.e. a “trigger-point massage”, which is a rather painful one. Both have their benefits and therefore both should be applied and enjoyed.
But how can you enjoy pain? You enjoy it the same way you do when facing painful challenges in real life. The pain becomes enjoyable or at least bearable, because you know about the beneficial effects afterwards. You endure it, because you know you will eventually gain something out of it.
Thats the trick!
The human skin is the largest organ we have and one of our five senses. Every sense needs stimulis, so does our skin. Stimulate it. Needs need to be served, at least to some degree, same as with supply and demand. Otherwise they atrophy and that would be a waste.
If you are interested, there are some other things you can try. Research “massages” in general as well as “blackroll”, “acupressure mats” and “stainless steel deep tissue acupuncture tool”.
The blackroll is nice but can be painful, whereas the acupressure mat is pure pain during the first two to five minutes. After five minutes your nerves are overstimulated and desensitized and you won’t feel the pain any longer. You may even fall asleep. Get your legs up, so your whole back has contact with the mat.
The “acupuncture tool” can be painful, depending on how much pressure you put on. But I normally use it to get a lot of pressure onto a single point.
Focusing on deep breathing helps and benefits each of those “practices”.
So if you have some oil at home and can spare five minutes before sleeping, give that belly massage a try. If you start you should do it for at least a week, consistency is the key as with most things in life.