Physical activity and well-being to relieve stress

Stress and anxiety are risk factors for digestive disorders. It is therefore in your best interest to take the necessary steps to manage them if you regularly suffer from constipation. From yoga to massages, there are many solutions available.


Massages and constipation

Relaxing massages can help limit the risks of constipation because they reduce stress by giving you a sense of well-being. Some self-massages are particularly recommended to help relieve constipation-related pain and improve bowel movements. Here is one of them:

1. Lying on your back with your stomach bare, place one of your palms near your belly button. With your fingers flat, massage gently by tracing four small circles around your belly button. This should be done clockwise, i.e. the direction of bowel movements in the colon. Start by massaging lightly, but increase the pressure a little each time.

2. Place your other hand on top of the first one. Trace four large circles around your belly button, exerting even pressure (still clockwise). Lastly, trace another small circle with the tips of your fingers.


Yoga and other well-being activities

In addition to massages, there are many activities you can do to relieve stress. Consider meditation or a relaxation technique called sophrology which involves breathing exercises. Another useful activity in the event of constipation is yoga. Highly practical, yoga combines relaxing exercises and physical exercises that improve transit. Many hatha yoga (one of the most popular forms of yoga practised in France) poses are useful for relieving constipation, including the Forward Fold, for example, but also the Shoulder Stand and the Plough. If you want to give yoga a try, get in touch with a yoga instructor to find out how to do these poses correctly and safely.


The role of sports

Doing sports is recommended if you need to relieve constipation and stress. One the one hand, sport is an important source of well-being as physical activity releases endorphins (also called “happy hormones” and “pleasure hormones”). Endorphins boost morale all the while relieving pain. On the other hand, some sports help tone your abdominal area, which improves intestinal transit. Lastly, moving your body facilitates intestinal transit, whereas remaining stationary does not help with bowel movements. Unless otherwise advised by a doctor, most endurance sports and cardiovascular activities are recommended for relieving constipation. Consider swimming, hiking or cycling, for example. How long and how often? At least 30 minutes, one to two times per week.

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