A simple massage to help manage constipation

Constipation pain is a very common complaint that many of our patients suffer from. Suffering from constipation pain can interfere with a person’s daily life and can effect a person’s overall quality of life. Research has shown that performing an abdominal massage can promote bowel motility throughout the colon. To perform the massage, begin at the right anterior superior iliac spine, which is at the base of the ascending colon. Use 2 or 3 fingers in a clockwise motion with moderate pressure and continue up towards the ascending colon. Continue across the transverse colon, toward the base of the left rib cage. Then continue down toward the base of the descending colon. Repeat the massage by starting at the base of the ascending colon and perform up to 3-5 times. When performing the massage, each clockwise motion should take 1 minute.

Sketch of directional massage

Anatomy of colon

If you are not comfortable performing this massage at home, we are happy to help! Please call or email us directly to schedule an appointment. All sessions are one-on-one with a physical therapist. We will focus on making you, or even a partner, confident in these techniques for a home program.

References Harrington KL, Haskvitz EM (2006). Managing a patient’s constipation with physical therapy. Physical Therapy 86 (11): 1511-1519.

BaidyaFebruary, S. (2016, February 15). [Large Intestine Diagram]. Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://factslegend.org/20-interesting-large-intestine-facts/ReferencesHarrington KL, Haskvitz EM (2006). Managing a patient’s constipation with physical therapy. Physical Therapy 86 (11): 1511-1519.

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Holly Horikawa PT, DPT, CLT

Owner and Founder

Dr. Horikawa received her Doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University in 2005 and founded Lokahi Physical Therapy & Wellness in 2013.

R.A. Sovilla

Patient Advocate

R.A. Sovilla suffered with pelvic pain due to endometriosis for over a decade. She is currently living pain-free post surgery and co-leads the OC Chronic Pelvic Pain Support Group with Dr. Horikawa.


Phone 714.963.3322

Fax 714.963.3323

Email lokahipt@gmail.com

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18821 Delaware St Suite 106

Huntington Beach, CA




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