North Shore Massage and Bodywork by Milica 
Human Remodeling: massage that works!


Abdominal Massage

copyright 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic  


All oriental massages do massage the abdomen. Shiatsu calls it ampuku, lomilomi calls it opu huli. 

The abdomen is the front neighbor of the lower back. If the abdomen is not happy, the lower back is not happy either. As simple as that. BOTH of them need to be happy in order for it to work.

The abdomen is not going to be happy for many reasons. I will list a few.

The main thing that "gets it" is stress. Stress makes the abdomen get shorter and tighter. Check out work of Thomas Hanna on Somatics. We just "cringe" to protect our tummy when we are stressed out. All animals do this. Watch your cat or dog when they feel threatened.

Psoas and illiopsoas are muscles that run from the back, through the abdomen, and to the leg. We can access them near the hip joint, from the front. Obviously, when they are tight, the lower back is tight and the tush sticks out. Psoas is the muscle responsible for flexing the hip, so: it has to work every time we sit. That's most of the time, isn't it? So, not working on the psoas (through the abdomen) is a very bad idea. 

Most massage schools teach beginning Swedish massage and most massage therapists don't take any more classes. So, if a massage therapist does NOT massage your abdomen, it is because they are a beginner and don't know any better. 

Some massages are done on the abdomen over naked skin (e.g. lomilomi), and some are over clothed abdomen. In any case, only the abdomen should be exposed. 

If a client demands that they absolutely have to have their abdomen massaged without clothing, and the feeling about it is a little funny, that would make me suspicious. Run.

If the client is pregnant, then I do NOT massage the abdomen. Some therapists do. Perhaps when the baby is larger, it is nice to massage the abdomen, and in any case it is good to rub in avocado oil and other oils that prevent stretch marks. However, I'd rather let the pregnant woman massage it herself. 

Telling it as it is, from a lot of experience :)


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All images and text Copyright 2007, 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic.   

For a fabulous massage, call Milica today. Gift certificates are available. North Shore, greater Haleiwa and Waialua area, Oahu, Hawaii. Email or call 808.351.0848.