6 Tips to Potentially Improve Digestive Motility
The first 5 of these suggestions were found through medical providers. The last suggestion is something I stumbled across myself. I’ll put an extra note on that one to clarify that there is absolutely no evidence other than my own personal experience.
1) Digestive Yoga: There are specific yoga poses designed to support digestive function.
Check out the video demonstration below to see a whole digestion yoga session. I chose this video because the sequence is extremely mild and slow.
2) Exercise & Movement: Dymotility patients often find benefits from mild exercises like walking. With EDS, walking may not be a possible or reasonable option. In my experience, I’ve found swimming works best. Many land exercise acutely worsen my motility because of how much they increase muscle tension and spasm.
Staying active and not being sedentary can in general help with dysmotility, it’s interesting to note that I couldn’t find a single medical study that demonstrating that exercise directly improves gut motility.
3) Visceral Massage: A visceral massage is an organ massage. There are chiropractic health care providers specially trained in what is known as “visceral manipulation” . These practitioners can do a visceral massage designed to treat mainly dysmotility in the large intestine, but it’s also something that you can do on yourself in just a few minutes. It can be done regularly after meals or during flare ups. Watch the video below to learn how to do your own visceral massage.
Medical studies on abdominal massage for constipation
Lämås, K., Lindholm, L., Stenlund, H., Engström, B., Jacobsson, C. (2009) Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation–a randomized controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud.
Turan, N., & Aşt, T. A. (2016). The Effect of Abdominal Massage on Constipation and Quality of Life. Gastroenterology Nursing.
4) Myofascial Release: Mysofasical release is a therapy designed to release restrictions of tissue built up in the fascia. These fibrous build ups can be a cause numerous types of pelvic pain and lead to various problems with the pelvic floor muscles including problems in coordinating the evacuation of stool.
Here’s a link to a video about what a myofascial release session can look like for the abdominal cavity. Note that this demonstration looks too aggressive for an EDS patient and you should always make sure your therapists is educated in how to take extra EDS precautions.
5) Abdominal Support Girdle: An abdominal support girdle can help decrease pain associated with bloating and distention. It also, has the potential to improve motility in cases of organ sagging by helping keep the GI organs in a more anatomically correct position.
6) Floating: Floating in a sensory deprivation has helped me decrease symptoms of POTS and essentially reset the autonomic nervous system from fight or flight mode. This last tip was discovered totally by accident and personal experimentation. Read more about Float Therapy for EDS
LivingWithGastroparesis.com : This website run by Crystal Saltrelli is filled with information about living well with gastroparesis. There’s a large archive of blog articles, educational videos, and classes available for purchase.
NHS A Guide For Adults With Intestinal Dysmotility : This is a clinical guide given to patients explaining the basics of dysmotility. I included it this post because page 11 contains a comprehensive list of organizations and further resources.