A diet high in processed food, common in Western countries, can lead to diminished bowel movements. A new review indicates massage therapy is an effective means of addressing chronic constipation.

“Constipation is a disorder of gastrointestinal motility characterized by difficult or decreased bowel movements, and is a common condition in Western countries,” an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov noted. “Laxatives are the most common strategy for managing constipation; however, long-term use of some laxatives may be associated with harmful side-effects including increased constipation and fecal impaction. “

A new review looked at studies conducted from 1999 to present.

“Abdominal massage, once an accepted method of treating constipation, is no longer standard of care, but may be a desirable therapy for this condition because it is inexpensive, non-invasive, free of harmful side-effects, and can be performed by patients themselves,” noted the abstract.

“The use of abdominal massage to treat chronic constipation” was published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

Related article:

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Abdominal Massage May Ease Constipation