Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: January 2019

Ouch - my second brain hurts!

Did overeating during the holidays leave you with an aching gut? You're not alone. But indulging in too many desserts is not the only cause of a sour stomach. The stress and mood fluctuations that are common this time of year are major players in abdominal distress.

Did you know you have a brain in your gut? It's called the enteric nervous system and it's sometimes referred to as a "second brain." Just like the one in your head, it sends and receives impulses, responds to emotions, and records experiences. The nerve cells in this "lower brain" are even influenced by the same neurotransmitters.

The upper and lower brains are always communicating to each other and, like siblings, sometimes argue and upset each other. But a balanced nervous system requires the two to get along. The cranial brain can overwhelm the enteric system with life stress, repressed feelings, and disruptive emotions, creating negative effects on digestion and overall physical health. You know how you always seem to get that awful stomach ache when you're stressed out?

We can help our two brains work together harmoniously by getting regular massage therapy, which helps awaken the communication between the systems. Daily exercise, stretching, and breathing exercises also help to open the body and create balance among the organs. So get massaged regularly and practice good self-care daily, and I'm sure your two brains will get along just fine!

Source - Massage Magazine

How to ease stomach pain and bloating with a simple self massage

Here's one way you can help your brains get along, create balance in your body, and calm your whole nervous system! If you have stomach pain, stomach discomfort, bloating, or distention, this video is for you. Stomach problems are often caused by or exacerbated by stress and anxiety. Follow along with this soothing abdominal self massage and get relief in only 10 minutes. Not only will your stomach feel better, but your whole body will be relaxed and calm.


Abdominal massage decreases pain and constipation

In an interesting study, "Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation - a randomized controlled trial," researchers recognized that constipation is a common problem that often decreases quality of life. Sixty people with constipation were divided into two groups. Both groups continued to take laxatives that had been prescribed earlier, but only the intervention group received abdominal massage.

The study concluded, "Abdominal massage decreased severity of gastrointestinal symptoms, especially constipation and abdominal pain syndrome, and increased bowel movements."

If you haven't yet done my abdominal massage video above, let this study inspire you to give it a try. Even if you don't suffer from constipation or have abdominal pain, this self massage will decrease your anxiety and relax your whole body. Your belly and nervous system will thank you!


What's new with me ...

Sienna comes home every day with books that she has written and illustrated, and I always look forward to reading them. She's also gotten into riddles. She reads or watches tons of riddles online, then tells her favorites to her parents, grandparents, teachers, and even the old lady who sat next to us on the subway. She is quite an entertainer! The really big news is that she lost her first tooth! She wanted money for it, but also wanted to keep the tooth. So she wrote the tooth fairy a note and put it under her pillow with the tooth. "Dear tooth fairy, Don't take my tooth, but leave a dollar anyway. Love, Sienna."

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