The abdomen is the center of the body. Inside this center are organs that continually work to turn our food into nutrients, to remove waste from the body, and to create new life. They accomplish these amazing feats packed together in our abdominal cavity protected and supported by abdominal muscles, the spine, the ribs and the pelvis. Within this relatively crowded space, there is a lot of movement going on. Each organ has its own rhythm. For some, like the bladder or the uterus, this can include large amounts of expansion and contraction. Beyond the individual rhythms, organs move around each other, spinning, twisting, and sliding to fit into the ever changing space that is our very flexible waist. Now ideally all these organs slide around each other smoothly, allowing space for each individual to move freely to its own rhythm. However, like muscles, organs often get stuck or develop what bodyworkers like to call adhesions. For the moment I would like to think of it as stickiness.
Stickiness develops from a lack of movement. This lack of movement can be created by inflammation, poor posture, repetitive movement, surgery, physical or emotional trauma. Regardless of how the stickiness occurred, what it does is create a pull. This pull can move organs out of their ideal location within the belly, it can cause organs to lean on or be pushed by neighboring organs, muscles or skeletal structures, or it can cause organs to bind to themselves. All this pulling, pushing and binding does not allow for proper movement of the organs around each other or within themselves. When this happens organs start to work less efficiently. Similar to trying to walk with a toddler grabbing onto your ankle, you can still walk, but it becomes more work to do so. All this can lead to issues with digestion, menstruation, fertility, and back pain.
Abdominal massage can help. Through warmth, compression, and movement, bodywork can find and release the stickiness, gently guiding organs back to their ideal placement and allowing organs to regain their full range of movement and function. The return of movement to the belly can lead to better digestion, healthier periods, happier more fertile uteri, more energy, and a centered state of being.