Self Care During an IBS Flare / IBS Massage, Meditation & More

Self Care During an IBS Flare / IBS Massage, Meditation & More


hi I’m Michelle the irritable vegan and for
today’s video I’ll be sharing with you the techniques that I use for self-care
during an IBS flare I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the fact that
contrary to the whole theme of this channel the majority of them have very
little to do with food or FODMAPs from massage to meditation and an in-home
spa to ASMR I hope you’ll find something here that will work for you
the next time you find yourself in a flare-up situation let’s get into it so
the first thing I usually address is my stress anxiety and comfort levels to see
what I can do to improve these I don’t know about you but if I don’t get these
things under control first then it really doesn’t matter what I eat I’m
liable to experience a flare-up recently I’ve been listening to IBS specific
meditations and hypnotherapy sessions I was really excited to hear about the
development of the gut directed hypnotherapy app called Nerva
that’s been created in conjunction with the research by Monash unfortunately if
like me it’s out of your budget at the moment I highly recommend finding some
professional quality free sessions on YouTube I’ll link to a few of my
favorites below there’s credible research to suggest that gut directed
hypnotherapy is as effective as a low fodmap diet for treating the symptoms of IBS
which is something I’m particularly excited about over the years I’ve
learned that a good way for me to tackle my anxiety is to meet it head-on now
this can be different for everybody but for me it really helps to be proactive
rather than reactive so I like to start with a big old brain dump down onto
paper and this usually takes the form of meal planning shopping lists to-do lists
anything that helps to break the loop going round and round in my head and
gets my thoughts down onto paper if you’ve never tried this approach before
not only does it free up room internally for some quiet time but it’s a really
practical use of all that excess energy which causes the jitters and
sleeplessness it can help you feel like you’ve achieved something give you
something to focus on other than your symptoms and help prepare you for the fodmap friendly meals you’ll be eating
for the rest of the week which will hopefully help limit any more unexpected
flare-ups then once we’ve got rid of some of that frenzied energy we can look
at trying to introduce some relaxation in any form that appeals to you
crafting journaling or a similar hobby preferably something you can do at home
in your PJs so my go to’s are things like reading writing for pleasure
coloring drawing painting cooking watching TV or your favorite YouTube
channel playing with the kids stroking a pet as long as you enjoy it and feel up
to it then pretty much anything goes once I’ve done some significant work on
easy my mental health triggers then I’ll start to tackle the physical so for me
this always looks like getting some fresh air on a walk with the dog I also
try to include things such as gentle yoga stretching the mindful deep
breathing techniques if you’ve got the energy to spare then dancing around the
room like a lunatic is also a huge mood booster you’re looking for this to be
gentle enough to avoid creating any excess strain on the body systems but
energetic enough to get those nerve endings firing and shift you up a gear
sometimes in the midst of a flare-up any kind of exercise or physical activity is
the last thing you feel like doing but honestly sometimes the only thing that
gets me off the couch is those puppy-dog eyes but when I do make the effort it’s
very rare that I don’t end up feeling better for it in the long run even if it
means that afterwards I’m straight back on the couch in my pajamas with a heat
pad the biggest tip I have here is to find something that you genuinely enjoy
doing when you’re feeling well this will then help to set some positive
associations in your brain which will hopefully mean that you’ll want to
continue doing it even on days when you don’t feel your best another really beneficial action you can
add to your physical wellness routine is self massage this can be done over the
top of your clothing and I’m going to demonstrate my technique whilst lying
down which is the easiest way to do this for yourself when you’re first getting used
to the movements and the hand positions eventually it’s something that you’ll be
able to do pretty much anywhere within reason whilst you sit upright at your
desk or even in a toilet cubicle at work the general rule is to work in the
direction of the digestive system which is roughly a clockwise direction
if you imagine a clock face on your abdomen twelve o’clock would be at you
sternum six o’clock at your pubic bone three o’clock at the left side of the
waist and nine o’clock at the right side of the waist begin by becoming familiar
with the placement of your hip bones then slide your hands up until you feel
your bottom ribs on either side if you were to draw a line up from the inside
right hip bone up to the right bottom ribs across to the left bottom ribs then
down to the inside of the left hip bone you can create an archway this archway
roughly follows a simplistic view of the shape and direction of your large
intestine when you do this it can really help to visualize your digestive system
so the food moves down through the esophagus and into the stomach which
lives in the left upper portion of your abdomen it’s actually much higher in the
abdomen than most people realize and it’s roughly the size of your closed
fist when it’s empty from your stomach the food moves into your small intestine
which roughly fills the whole central portion of your abdomen
if you imagine a diameter of at least a hands width out all the way around your
belly button again in roughly a clockwise direction then where the small
intestine meets the large we have the ileocecal valve this can be roughly
found halfway between your belly button and your right hip bone and an inch or
so diagonally towards the pubic bone the ileocecal valve then transfers into the
ascending colon which begins roughly in the dip on the inside of your right hip
bone and travels up beneath the bottom right ribs moving across to the left
bottom ribs as the transverse colon and then down to the dip inside your left
hip as the descending colon this gives you a rough idea of the layout as you’re
lying down because you transverse colon is actually quite mobile and
particularly when you’re standing or sitting up it can actually drop quite
low into the abdomen which is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to always
massage the whole area in a clockwise direction however for my IBS-C friends
or anyone suffering with chronic constipation we don’t want to begin the
massage by moving the contents of the colon up the ascending and across the
transverse if there’s a severe blockage or rather a backlog already in the
descending colon as we could potentially cause more and more waste to pile up
that’s not been eliminated and cause a traffic jam situation so if you’ve not
had a bowel movement today or you’re prone to IBS-C then we’ll begin the
massage at the top of the descending colon moving down from the left lower
ribs to the dip inside the left hip repeat this ten times using either the
heel or the flat of your hand with a medium firm pressure releasing the
pressure or lifting the hand off as we’ll return back to the top once we’ve
repeated this 10 to 20 times we’ll move across to the start of the transverse
colon beneath the right lower ribs and massage across to the left again with
medium firm pressure lifting off before returning to the start to make sure that
we’re still moving in that clockwise direction after 10 to 20 reps we’ll go
down to the start of the ascending colon at the dip inside the right hip up to
the right bottom ribs using the same pressure and count as the other areas
then finish off with some flowing clockwise strokes all the way around the
arch way of the colon from right to left then we’ll continue with the rest of the
massage to reflect the flow and direction of the rest of the digestive
system if you recently had a bowel movement or suffer with IBS-D we’ll begin
the massage here by rubbing the hands together briskly to generate some heat
before massaging we’ll begin the massage all around the
belly button which is roughly the area of the small intestine in a continuous
clockwise circular motion repeat for 10 to 20 rotations then we’ll slowly begin
to extend the circle outwards to include the entire abdomen using the flat of
your hand and a similar pressure that you’d use to stroke or pet a dog when
the area feels nicely warmed up we’ll locate the ileocecal valve halfway
between the belly button and the right hip and a few inches diagonally towards
the pubic bone we’ll massage here gently in small clockwise circular motions and
when you get well practiced at this you may actually be able to feel the valve
for yourself use the flat of your fingers and unless you’re absolutely
certain that you can feel the valve don’t press directly down into the area
but keep working parallel to the abdomen after a few minutes here we’ll move back
to the start of the ascending colon and perform the repetitions in the ascending
transverse and descending direction as we’ve previously shown repeating each of
the strokes 10 to 20 times once we’ve finished concentrating on each area of
the colon we’ll go back to a nice continuous clockwise movement up and
around the archway then to access the final areas of the abdomen where the
descending colon angles backwards towards a start of the rectum we’ll
locate the hip bones on either side and move down to the pubic bone make a
scooping motion to pull the lower abdomen and bladder to the side then
working diagonally from inside the hip bone towards the pubic bone in a forward
crawling motion with your fingertips repeat this a few times before smoothing
down into this area in a deeper motion than we’ve previously used repeat this
again on the other side working from the right side of the pelvis down towards
the pubic bone to finish the massage perform slow gentle clockwise circles
across the whole abdomen and once you get used to the
shape and feel of your abdomen it may be possible to actually locate areas of
congestion within the large colon by feel if you’re confident to do so you
can use that same forward crawling motion to gently encourage any
congestion along the colon always finishing with the continuous clockwise circles
if you stick to the basic rules of always working in a clockwise direction
not pressing down into the abdomen with the fingers and keeping the pressure
medium firm rather than just brushing lightly over the surface of the skin
then you really can’t go wrong and if you can perform this massage a few times
a week finishing off with some nice calming deep breathing then your
digestive system and your IBS symptoms will be all the better for it if you’re
doing this massage at home then I highly recommend using something like my
peppermint pulse oil recipe directly onto the abdomen so you get the added
benefits of the aromatherapy element along with the effects of the massage
I’ll leave a link to the video that features my peppermint oil recipe down
below but really any massage oil that you have to hand will work fine then
once I’m feeling a bit more back on track mentally and physically I’ll start
to look at the food and FODMAPs now for me this includes eating light easy
digestible gut friendly meals such as broths soups and stews I’ll be looking
at my eating habits over the past few days to see if I can identify any
triggers if I’m feeling up to it I’ll try to prep some simple low fodmap meals
for the next few days such as this five-minute flare-up soup
which I’ll leave a link to down below I personally try not to get too obsessive
at identifying the triggers or beat myself up if I’ve knowingly caused a
flare-up being gentle on your gut often involves also being gentle on yourself
then wherever possible I’ll try to finish off the day with some deeply
relaxing self care for me this means turning off the lights cranking up the
heating lighting some candles playing a relaxing meditation
my favorite chill-out music or most likely an ASMR video from my favourite
artist The Lune Innate and sinking into a nice hot bath and just letting the
world fade away if you’re open to some deeply relaxing vibes then I encourage
you to check out the links below to some of my favorite ASMR creators I find ASMR
an extremely effective way of switching off my overactive brain and giving me
something else to focus on other than my immediate reality if you’ve never
experienced it before just know that it’s a very diverse genre and if you
don’t immediately like a particular trigger or an artist then I encourage
you to keep searching until you find one that’s right for you whilst I’m waiting for the bath to fill
I’ll do a dry body brush starting at my feet working upwards towards the heart
in long smooth strokes this is brilliant for stimulating your entire system
soothing frazzled nerves encouraging your circulation and lymphatic systems
and exfoliating and making your skin feel fabulous this can also be done
gently across the abdomen in the same clockwise motion that we used for the
massage the only areas I avoid are the breasts and face if you’re suffering with
any areas of skin sensitivity sunburn open sores or skin conditions then
consult your doctor first although I’m skeptical about the claims of detoxing
or cellulite removal for dry body brushing I do it primarily for its
calming relaxing effect then there you have it I really hope you found some
helpful hints for managing your next IBS flare-up and I’d love to hear your tried
and tested tips in the comments below thanks so much for watching and I’ll
speak to you soon byeee [Music]

3 thoughts on “Self Care During an IBS Flare / IBS Massage, Meditation & More

  1. ❤ this was so timely; actually it would always be as I have such severe anxiety which exacerbates things but especially today…so happy to see it in my subscription

  2. Did you take care of yourself today? If you're feeling up to it please share your tips in the comments below. 🤗

  3. Brilliant, thanks just what I need atm as my tummy has not felt great recently. Can I also recommend Rachel Eccles hypnotherapy, she does an IBS one which is good.

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