How Massage Therapy Helps Crohn's

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Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed. This inflammation can cause great discomfort to the patient, with symptoms that include stomach pain and diarrhea. While massage therapy cannot directly address the cause of the problem, it can help the patient reduce stress, which in turn may help with the symptoms. Eastern-style massage also offers multiple treatment options. Be sure to consult your doctor before deciding which massage treatment works best for you.

Swedish Massage and Crohn's

  • Be sure to inform your massage therapist about your condition. As a trained professional, the therapist is likely know specific techniques that may help. Since massage is topical, the therapist will not be able to cure the disorder outright. The goal of a Swedish massage is to reduce the client's overall stress level, which in turn will help reduce the symptoms of the disorder. The therapist will focus on long, soothing strokes. If the client's general stress level comes down, this helps lessen the severity and regularity of flare-ups.


  • A few massage techniques directly address the abdomen, and these should be avoided. Only light touch should be applied to this area, so as not to aggravate the condition. Again, make sure to inform the massage therapist before your session so necessary precautions can be taken.

    Check with your doctor about receiving treatment during flare-ups.

Eastern Treatments

  • Shiatsu and other Eastern massage styles provide alternatives to the standard Western treatments. In traditional Chinese medicine, pathways throughout the body connect to the energies of various organs. The Shiatsu therapist seeks to calm the troubled organs with work on these meridians. A proper Shiatsu treatment starts with an intake interview, so the therapist can decide which pathways to address. Be sure to detail the current state of your condition. Pressure points on the face, hands, and legs will be addressed.

Combination Treatment

  • Many massage therapists are trained in both Eastern and Western styles. Ask around and find a therapist who is schooled in both practices. You'll get the stress reduction that comes with a Western massage, and the Eastern massage will treat the ailment directly by focusing on energy pathways.

Treatment Plan

  • Since Crohn's is a chronic ailment, multiple massage treatments will be the most effective. This can be costly. Try to work out a discount package with your therapist. Also, some insurance companies cover massage therapy as a medical treatment. Check with your doctor and insurance company. Massage schools throughout the country hold clinics, which many times offer reduced rates for people with chronic problems. Contact a massage school near you to see if this option is available.




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