Ileocecal Valve Massage
What is the Ileocecal valve?
The ileocecal valve is a sphincter (circular muscle) which is found where the small intestine connects to the large intestine. It is located above the appendix in the lower right side of the abdomen. When this valve does not function properly a host of other symptoms may be mimicked or become created by it including gastrointestinal problems and other problems including heart symptoms,blood pressure problems and even migraines can result. Massaging the valve will encourage proper function. It is known at the great mimicker as any abdominal or lower back complaints may be caused by spasm or irritation of the valve, and conversely, back pain may cause ileocecal valve syndrome.
How to find it ?
To locate the valve area (its placement can vary slightly for each person) place your left thumb on your navel, your right thumb on your right hip (the high part of your pelvic bone). Imagine a line connecting those two points and find the middle of that line. Place all your fingers 3 inches below the middle of that line and you should be close to the ileocecal valve. On men's trousers there is usually a belt loop right over the area. With all your fingers, press in FIRMLY and find the tender spot. Believe me this area will be tender in 90% of Americans.
It will be like finding a golf ball under a pillow - but some of us have more ‘pillow’ than others so keep palpating to locate the spot. (Palpate means to press in slowly but deeply to feel for hardened or tender areas.) Sometimes it is easier to locate the tender spot while lying down. Using some emollient cream may also enable you to find it more easily. Once you've found it, massage it in a circular fashion as you would any cramped muscle. After all, the whole digestive tract from the throat to the rectum is a muscular tube - and any section can cramp, get 'Charlie horses', become too weak to function, etc.
Ideally, this massage should be done 3X/day before meals. At the least do it in bed before going to sleep and in the morning before you get out of bed. Some people experience gurgling, flatulence, burping - or other sounds during or after this massage and sometimes a bowel movement will follow. All of these are evidence that this valve needs help. You'll find that the tenderness will subside after about a week or two of diligent application of this technique and you'll feel much better and be healthier for it.
And then what?
The same massage should then be applied to the rest of the colon by massaging from the ileocecal valve upward toward the ribs where the ascending colon lies. Then, traverse across the belly above the navel to the opposite rib, then down the left side to wind up on the opposite side of the abdomen from the ileocecal valve. This firm, deep massage encourages proper bowel function. Learn where your tender or hardened areas are and continue this massage daily until these resolve. This whole massage can be done through the clothing but take time to locate the all tender spots. You'll be healthier for it.
If this self help procedure give some results but is incomplete, see a Physician who specializes in Applied Kinesiology for a more in depth work up and health plan. We have found the new Asrya Technology has been excellent at quickly reducing many gastrointestinal disorders. In the past 30years although most patients respond well to Applied Kinesiology massage, other techniques are also very helpful in the office including Acupuncture Homeopathy and Functional medicine is also helpful. If symptoms do not subside or get worse a Gastroenterologist opinion should be sought.
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