Belly Massage and How to do It

Before you begin:

  • Read the directions before you attempt it
  • Study the anatomy of the digestive organs
  • Follow peristalsis which is in a clockwise direction
  • Always be gentle and stay in touch with yourself, or recipient, if you are giving the massage to someone else.


Abdominal massage, which may sometimes be referred to as stomach massage, is a gentle, noninvasive treatment that may have relaxing and healing effects for some people.

It is used to treat a wide variety of health concerns, especially those related to the stomach, such as digestion issues, constipation, and bloating.

You can give yourself an abdominal massage or visit a massage therapist for a session. 

You may benefit from the effects of self- massage after only 5 or 10 minutes per day.

Be sure to talk to your doctor before getting an abdominal massage if you are pregnant or have any health concerns.

The simplest of all abdominal massages is just to rub your belly clockwise. This is the direction of normal peristalsis.


This is best done when you are relaxed, on your bed, a beach towel on your floor, or your yoga mat.

  1. Place your palm on your navel and take a deep breath. Then move your hand to a circle outside your navel and work your way in. Do this as many times as you like and are comfortable doing. You don’t have to press hard, but if you give some firmness to the touch, it works better.
  2. Now you are going to address the lymphatic part of your belly. This is where your immune system gets a workout. Gently stroke the sides of your abs up and down with the heel of the hand, both sides. Think of it as a sponge that wants fresh new water in it to clean your body effectively. You wouldn’t want to clean your house with a dirty sponge, would you? (So after the belly massage, drink some pure water.)
  3. There are two valves that are the gatekeepers for your belly: the ileocecal valve on the left side and the sigmoid flexure on the right. Rub those valves and help them relax and reset. They are in the lower corners of your belly above the pubic bone and below the navel. (See diagram).
  4. Place your hands under your ribs on the soft part of your belly just under the diaphragm. Breathe softly into your hands, and let this part of your belly relax. Work your way down repeating the same breathing technique. It is better to let your belly relax naturally, then forcing yourself to take big breaths. I like to think of it as watching a flower unfurl. When it feels soft, give your stomach and pancreas (left side) a massage, along with your liver and gallbladder (right side). Don’t worry about being anatomically correct, the area under the ribs benefits if you rub it there.
  5. You can do these in any order you want. Try it once and find out how your body responds, then adjust the routine to fit your tummy. We are all women, yet we all are different, so it is up to us to become experts on our own bodies.

Published by Jane Dance

Health Educator, Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher

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