Constipation is a disruptive and uncomfortable condition that can create health problems. Efficient, regular bowel movements are essential to remove waste and toxins from the body and maintain colon health. A healthy colon is part of a healthy gut, and a healthy gut is essential to whole-body (and mind!) health.
Most people treat constipation with over-the-counter drugs. Those remedies often don’t work, or work too well. They can also have unpleasant side effects. ILU is a form of self-massage to treat constipation and mild abdominal discomfort. The process is meant to stimulate the bowels and promote the movement of fecal matter through the colon and out of the body. It can also provide a measure of relief from menstrual cramping.
Unlike many store-bought constipation treatments, ILU self-massage is a wholly natural remedy that you can use several times a day without side effects. It is safe and effective. Best of all, it is simple to learn and easy to do.
Although some sufferers prefer to do this technique lying down, you can just as easily do it while sitting up or even standing. It’s a good idea to experiment with different positions to determine which works best for your body. In any case, try the massage first thing in the morning, as your body becomes active and would naturally move your bowels. Repeat it during the day until you achieve relief.
ILU self-massage is a simple three-step process. Use steady, forceful pressure for best results. However, if you experience sharp pain at any time when you’re pressing during the massage, stop and consult your physician. Here are the three interrelated steps of ILU self-massage.
1: “I”. Starting from under the left rib cage, press into the abdomen with firm, moderate, steady pressure. Push your fingertips down to the top of the pelvic bone on the left side. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
2: “L”. Starting from right under the rib cage on the right side of the abdomen, press in and push across to the top of the “I”, and then down as you did in the first step. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
3: “U”. Starting above the pelvic bone on the right side of the abdomen, press in and push straight up toward the underside of the rib cage. Continue the motion across and down as you did in step 2. Repeat 8 to 10 times.
Get Back on Track
Although ILU self-massage can be effective in relieving constipation, the best strategy is to avoid the problem in the first place. Follow these simple lifestyle habits to keep bowel movements regular. (You can also preform ILU self-massage as a preventative measure.)
- Stay hydrated. Supplying your body with all the water it needs throughout the day ensures against hard dry stools and keeps things moving. You’ll know you’re properly hydrated when your urine is consistently pale yellow.
- Consume abundant fiber. Naturally high-fiber foods like apples, broccoli, and leafy greens add bulk to your stools and absorb water, making stools pass more readily and easily.
- Exercise. Staying physically active will keep your bowels active.
Some medical professionals and physiotherapists use a slightly different ILU method (for instance, some begin on the right side, and many start with a circular massage at the bottom center of the abdomen); don’t hesitate to experiment, and tailor the technique to your own body and needs.
Be aware that constipation can be a symptom of a serious disease or condition. If you experience ongoing or recurrent painful constipation, severe abdominal pain, persistent lasting constipation coupled with vomiting, black tarry stools, or blood in your stool, consult a physician immediately.