Natural Solutions To Common Digestive Problems

Most people, at some point, will experience some form of digestive issue, rather than reaching for the medicine cabinet there are some alternatives to help your body recover naturally. Most digestive issues are related to lifestyle choices, food we have eaten and stress levels. Here are alternative remedies to explore for a few common digestive ailments.

Bloating - To counteract bloating you can use a gentle self-massage (or book an Abdominal Massage Treatment) to aid your digestion and hasten the exit of the offending food stuffs or excess trapped air.

Prevention - Avoiding wheat and dairy for a month to check for intolerances; make eating a more mindful experience as a combination of talking and eating can lead to trapped air.

Constipation –Focus on mealtimes being as relaxed as possible, as stress is a major contributor to most digestive problems. To ease any bowel blockages a soothing self-massage can offer some relief and it is important to stay fully hydrated.

Prevention – Increase fibre in your diet and stay well hydrated; regular exercise and abdominal massage help to stimulate the movement of the bowels.

Indigestion - Traditional herbal remedies for indigestion (to be taken as a tea) are peppermint, fennel seed and chamomile.

Prevention - Reducing anxiety and stress levels before and during meals is essential and checking for sensitivity to spicy foods which may aggravate the symptoms.

Self Massage Technique

Lie down in a comfortable position with a pillow under your knees to support your lower back. You could put on some soothing music and light some candles to create a relaxing atmosphere. Using a massage wax or oil, of your preference, gently rub your stomach area in a clockwise direction; begin on your right hip, move slowly upwards to your ribcage, across your upper abdomen to the left side of you ribcage, then with a firmer pressure move your hands towards your left side hip. Move back across your lower abdomen to your starting point in the right hip. Repeat as necessary until you notice an improvement or need to visit the bathroom.

An alternative is to book in to the Centre for an Abdominal Massage, where you can experience the technique and be taught first-hand. During the treatment the lower back is also massaged to improve blood flow through the spinal column to the digestive area.

Acupressure points can also offer relief for stomach cramping, nausea and bloating such as Stomach 36 (leg three miles) http://bodyecology.com/articles/3-acupressure-points

Love your Gut Flora

The intestines are where 90% of your immune system lives so it is of vital importance to take care of it. We absorb most of the nutrients our bodies need and, on an energetic level, this area is a key player in our emotional journey. The usual suspects for poor gut health is a high sugar, wheat based diet (which feeds the bacteria and yeasts) and the overuse of antibiotics.

Here is an overview to give an idea of how you can improve your gut health.

The first stage is to eliminate the nasties in your gut such as bad bacteria, yeasts and other pathogens by removing their food sources. There are many specialised diets for improvement of gut health available such as GAPS (http://www.gapsdiet.com/)and the Candida Diet (https://www.thecandidadiet.com/) but a good starting point would be to remove sugar, refined food, caffeine, alcohol and gluten from the diet.

Stage two is to repair the gastro-intestinal walls by giving your body a chance to improve the integrity of the lining, a specialised supplement and diet plan are key here so consult a qualified nutritionist. (See references below for ideas)

Stage three is repopulate the gut with good bacteria which will allow you to gain more nutrition from the food you eat. There are many good quality probiotic supplements or bone broth is a very nutritious alterative (see references for more information)

Stage four is to restore the levels of digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid in theAbdominal Massage stomach to support effective digestion. There are many readily available foods like Papaya, Pineapple and Avocado which can help support this stage.

It is advisable, if you are experiencing any digestive problems to consult a GP or nutritionist who can test for allergies/ food intolerances and construct a specific dietary plan to cater for your specific constitution.

Sarah Rowe Bsc ITEC CThA

Abdominal Massage

Swedish Massage

References:

The Real Meal Revolution 2.0 by Jonno Proudfoot

The Weston A Price Foundation

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride