You are having an aromatherapy session to reduce your stress and anxiety. As the therapist massages the different points of the foot and legs with essential oil mixes, you are in a dilemma about them tackling your stomach. What do you do in such a situation? Should you go ahead with it or ask the therapist to leave the stomach alone and move on to the back, neck, arms, face and head?
Massage on the stomach is beneficial but may be considered optional depending on your comfort levels. Many patients, especially women, are uncomfortable with stomach massage and are sensitive to exposing their loose skin from child delivery or stretch marks from pregnancy or the scar from the C-section surgery. The therapist must be careful to assess and judge the reaction of the client. If there is apprehension on the part of the client/patient, the stomach sequence can be omitted.
The therapist may also directly ask the client if s/he is unclear about the client response. Here is what the patient/client can expect, if they give the therapist a go-ahead for the stomach massage:
• The patient will be made to lie on his or her back, with those areas covered in clean towels which will not be massaged/ attended to.
• The commencement of the stomach area will be done using friction technique.
• Then a thin layer of oil will be applied and effleurage movements will begin gently and lightly. Effleurage is a massage technique involving a circular stroking movement made with the palm of the hand or padded part of the finger tips without dragging the skin.
• Later, the effleurage is performed on the stomach with the application of a little more pressure but this is done gradually.
• This pressure is applied with circular movements in the following order:
In a mild arch – from above the pelvic bone on either side (right and left) to just below the diaphragm
This will be repeated a couple of times
Then from around the navel to just below the sternum.
This too will be repeated a few times
Massage between liver to just below the sternum (middle). With the other hand from the corresponding portion (spleen) to just below the sternum of the left side.