• Jenna Aquilina MAcOM, Dipl.Ac, L.Ac

Belly Massage for Calm in Covid 19 Times

Updated: May 26, 2020

One of the simplest, most effective techniques I've ever learned in all my years as a practitoner is self care belly massage. For years, I was a practitoner of Arvigo Therapy, and I still recommend it all the time to people, especially that you find an Arvigo therapy practitoner who can teach you the self care. If you are pregnant, different rules apply when doing belly massage, so please do not do belly massage unless you have been trained as to how and when it is okay to do. If you are menstruating, it's best to not massage your lower abdomen. There are so many other types of belly work available these days, and the most important part is that you learn to do some type of belly work regularly on yourself!

Calm and Center during the Pandemic

Many people have been feeling very out of sorts during this time. Our daily lives have been upended and we are in the midst of change. It can be disconcerting at times and all sorts of uncomfortable emotions may be coming up. Daily self care massage can offer peace and grounding, bringing you back to your center and the present moment.

Your Belly is the Earth

In Chinese Medicine, the stomach and spleen meridians are responsible for turning food into energy and nourishment. They represent the element of earth. Earth is grounding and centering. Earth is our connection to Mother Nature and our home, this beautiful planet we all share.

How to do Self Care belly massage

First, pick an oil that you like such as castor oil or any therapeutic massage oil. If you have access to therapeutic grade, high quality essential oils, you can add a couple drops.

Put your hands on your belly flat for a moment and breathe deeply. Make sure you are in a safe and calm space, as much as possible.

Think of your belly as the Earth, when you do your self care massage, you can choose to work on your own belly, or even meditate on your greater connection to the Earth and those around you. You can start from the ribcage and massage gently towards your belly button. It's best to work at the top, most superficial level and release it gently before digging deeper. You may find areas of tension or knots, gently work with these, remembering to breathe. This is not a deep tissue massage! Working towards to belly button from all angles and gathering your qi to the center is a good general rule. Finish with a clockwise motion to encourage movement in the intestines.

Emotions during belly self care massage

It's not uncommon for feelings, or images to pop up during a self care massage. Sometimes nausea, or other things can also show up. This is all normal. You may even notice some tears as you work through some sticky tissue in your body. Just notice and be with it, allowing yourself to feel without pushing away or reacting. Acknowledge yourself for taking this time to nurture your body!

Resources for information on belly work and abdominal massage:

Here are a few: www.arvigotherapy.com, Chi Nei Tsang, Visceral Manipulation are just a few.

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