Constipation – for some it’s a short term consequence of a change of diet, for others it’s a chronic health issue that can be painful, embarrassing and require ongoing medication. But can your bowel movements be affected and improved with reflexology?

You’ll know that I’m a firm advocate of the health benefits from reflexology. It’s known to help improve mental wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety, improve circulation and remove toxins from the body.

What you may be less aware of is the benefits reflexology can have on the mechanics of the body – in particularly the gut. There has been some interesting research into just how reflexology can be used to assist with constipation in particular.

About constipation?

Although the definition of constipation is having bowel movements less than 3 times a week, most of us would associate it with the difficulty in passing a stool, which may be small and hard, and in severe cases, with stomach pains and vomiting. As well as the physical effects, constipation can cause emotional distress and embarrassment.

Generally we assume constipation is caused by poor diet, lack of fibre of dehydration. However, there are plenty of other causes, including low levels of exercise, as a side effect from medication or from medical conditions such as diabetes.

Research into the effect of reflexology on constipation

A number of research studies have been carried out, measuring the impact of reflexology on children, and on adults suffering from idiopathic constipation. Each study has shown an improvement in constipation, and often a corresponding improvement in anxiety and depression.

How can reflexology help?

By applying pressure to the corresponding points of the foot or hand, blood circulation is improved. This takes nutrients and oxygen to the intestines and other organs in the body, helping them to work more efficiently. In effect, the gut is given a wake-up call.

Well-functioning intestines mean improved digestion and bowel movements, leading to more regular movements, necessary to regularly remove toxins and stool from the body.

In addition, reflexology is also highly effective at reducing stress. Relaxing your body helps tension to leave your muscles and organs – allowing them to function more efficiently.

Is reflexology right for you?

Of course, reflexology brings balance to the body and mind – and a balanced body will function better and heal itself. Science is still unable to fully explain how reflexology works, however the research shows that regular sessions do have a positive and beneficial impact and reduce constipation.

If you suffer from regular or chronic constipation, try a course of reflexology. It may provide the relief you’ve been looking for.