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Have you heard of abdominal massage??

Author: Ngametua Varu

Date: 9/21/22

There may be many different medical conditions that benefit from the use of abdominal massage treatments. More studies are coming out to see if and how effective it could be.

Massage therapy is a part of healthcare, and researchers at looking at many different conditions that may benefit from abdominal massage intervention. Check out some of these related studies.

Don't Choke!

Aspiration occurs when contents such as food, drink, saliva or vomit enters the lungs. This can increase the risk of pneumonia and death. Patients in the hospital who are intubated (have a breathing or feeding tube inserted into the body), are at a naturally increased risk of aspirating and even background aspiration.

Background Aspiration is a serious side effect of delayed gastric emptying and increased residual volume in intensive care patients.

This 2020 clinical trial aimed to examine the effect of abdominal massage on aspiration incidence in intensive care patients with an endotracheal tube.

Although the low rate of aspiration in the abdominal massage group did not differ significantly with that of the control group, it can be clinically important. It is suggested that further studies be conducted to confirm the effect of abdominal massage on the prevention of aspiration in intensive care patients with an endotracheal tube.

The results of another study revealed that abdominal massage could improve gastrointestinal functions in enterally fed patients with an endotracheal tube. It is suggested to use abdominal massage as an adjunct therapy for improving gastrointestinal functions in intensive care patients.

Gut microbiomes

The gut microbiota has been recognized as an important factor in the development of metabolic diseases by affecting the body's natural metabolism. Studies are examining the effectiveness of abdominal massage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus as it relates to gut bacteria and metabolism. Findings are showing an improvement in the regulation of healthy gut bacteria while decreasing amounts of unhealthy bacteria and "may even correct microflora disturbances to a certain extent."

Gotta poop!

Constipation is a surprisingly common concern affecting 63 million people in the US as of 2000. There have been several studies examining different groups of people struggling with chronic constipation.

This 2019 study looked at a group of adults over the age of 65 living in a nursing home and how abdominal massage may improve their quality of life. Their findings showed a "statistically significant difference" between the control group and the group who received abdominal massage training for eight weeks, five days, for 30 min/day after the meal. The group who received massage showed a noticeable improvement in terms of Constipation Quality of Life Scale post-test scores.

Another study conducted between 2017 and 2018 examined the efficacy of abdominal massage for opioid-induced constipation. "Patients in the experimental group were given a 15-min video-guided abdominal massage training by the researcher, and the patients in this group were asked to perform abdominal massage for 4 weeks, twice a day, 30 min after breakfast and dinner." The data from the study showed that abdominal massage decreased the severity of constipation, and increased quality of life scores.

Other studies also look at treatment options for constipation relating to conditions like:

There are many medical applications for massage therapy and a wide range of treatment methods to suit different conditions. Research continues so we can see the efficacy of more natural, holistic healthcare treatments.

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