New research shows just 15 minutes a day of massage therapy helps relieve symptoms associated with constipation.

For this study, 60 constipated people were divided into two groups, one of which “received 15 minutes of abdominal and hand massage a day, five days a week for eight weeks, in addition to prescribed laxatives,” according to an abstract published on the website “The other group received only prescribed laxatives. Interviews with participants were also conducted.”

Results of the study showed that “abdominal massage used alongside laxatives reduced abdominal pain, increased bowel movements and improved quality of life compared with laxative use alone,” the abstract noted.

“The study participants considered abdominal massage to be a pleasant treatment compared with using laxatives, which often have negative side-effects,” the study authors wrote. “It is uncertain if abdominal massage can replace laxatives but it can be used as a complementary therapy or as a first-line treatment.”