Trapped intestinal gas - What to do
Blame it on Hurricane Gonzalo and Typhoon Vongfong if you will but this month we are going to discuss a slightly more sensitive subject: wind. More specifically, trapped intestinal gas.
Yes, I know - gas, wind, flatulence, call it what you will, is very often the source of much schoolboy giggling and laughter.
However, not only does it cause discomfort and occasionally severe pain, it can be very embarrassing if it decides to manifest itself at the wrong time.
Business meetings, dinner dates, and heaven forbid, when you are trying to get that extra stretch out of your downward-facing dog, trapped intestinal gas is something you definitely want to be in control of, rather than vice versa.
Because there are so many possible causes there are many ways to treat it, and you can usually find relief with simple natural remedies.
Several kinds of tea work wonders for reducing and eliminating gas.
Peppermint is great for soothing churning stomachs and easing gas pains. Its essential oil contains menthol, which has an antispasmodic effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract.
Ginger contains two chemicals: gingerols and shogaols, which relax the intestinal track and ease inflammation.
Chamomile has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help with gas due to indigestion as well as heartburn.
Anise and Caraway seeds aid in moving gas through your digestive tract. If you can handle the taste, chew on a handful of either seed throughout the day.
Cardamom is a spice that you can either use in your cooking or chew on the pods to relieve bloating and gas problems. Alternatively, you can add some to your ginger tea for extra benefit.
Fennel is incredibly effective and also starts working very quickly. Simply chew slowly on a small amount of fennel seeds or put them in a cup of boiled, hot water for 3-5 minutes and then slowly drink.
Gas is a natural part of life, but western culture shies away from it, which can make it terribly embarrassing. If you’re passing gas, this means everything down there is working as it should – so if you have trapped intestinal gas, try not to hold it in.
This isn’t always possible of course, but if you can find a quiet spot or visit the bathroom you’ll do yourself a favour. The air has to come out some way, and it’s only going to build up and get worse if you hold it in.
Massage of the Sigmoid Colon (Pelvic Colon)
This massage of the Sigmoid or otherwise known as the Pelvic Colon can be performed in a standing position or lying down, and you can do it yourself, or get a friend or partner to help. You can use a lotion or oil, or even dry through your clothes. You will follow the clockwise path that food and faecal matter passes through your colon.
Note. When starting the massage, apply pressure slowly and easily, progressively applying more pressure. The complete massage should take about 2-3 minutes (or longer if necessary) and for the best relief, should be practiced a few times a day.
1. First start by massaging your tummy gently, in a big clockwise circular motion like so: from the left hand side down the Sigmoid Colon and round towards the level of the top of the rectum, which is at the bottom centre of your tummy.
Then round up to the appendix and the Ascending Colon to the right hand side, round and up to the centre top and join again on the left as a full circle and start again 4 to 5 times.
2. Starting from the bottom of the Sigmoid Colon, place one hand on top of the other, almost flat against your tummy. Using your fingers, apply pressure in small circular movements.
Careful not to apply too much pressure at first. The pressure should be applied using your fingers as the hands are descending forming the small circle and almost no pressure on the way back up, closing the circle. As you complete the circle, start a new circle slightly further up and repeat until your fingers come up to the diaphragm, just below the rib cage.
Here is another diagram to help you start. Follow the white line's curves from the bottom to the top. When at the diaphragm push everything back down following the white arrow.
3. Now, glide your fingers and push the trapped intestinal gas and faecal matter all the way back down pass the Sigmoid to the top level of the rectum, which is your groin area.
Pay particular attention to this area, as this is where the Sigmoid (or Pelvic Colon) has a curved area , which may trap things on the way out!
It's function is to expel solid and gaseous waste, and it has a superior arched portion specifically designed for gas storage, so it’s here that you could achieve the best results.
4. Start again doing the small circles with your fingers imitating and following the white line's curves in the picture. Always applying light pressure towards the Sigmoid and almost no pressure when going the opposite direction.
When finished massaging the transverse Colon, glide your fingers along the transverse, descending and Sigmoid Colon in one go towards the Rectum.
5. Start again doing the small circles with your fingers imitating and following the white line's curves in the picture starting from the top right hand side. Always applying light pressure towards the Sigmoid and almost no pressure when going the opposite direction.
6. When finished massaging the Ascending Colon, glide your fingers along from the Apendix, botom right handside through the Ascending , the transverse colon, the Descending and Sigmoid Colon in one go towards the Rectum.
Try charcoal activated tablets
Charcoal works on two levels: it absorbs excess air in the digestive tract and absorbs the toxins that cause the foul smell that sometimes accompanies flatulence. The best way to take activated charcoal is before meals. This way, you can prevent trapped intestinal gas and bloating problems before they start.
Chew food thoroughly
In order to absorb food more efficiently, make sure you chew it properly and maybe eat 4-5 small meals a day instead of the traditional big three. Gas is created, in most cases, by food that we’re having a hard time breaking down.
If you chew your food thoroughly you’ll digest it faster and it will pass through your body with ease. That means it's not sitting in your intestines causing more and more gas to build-up.
Sigmoid Colon Massage
The complete massage should take about 2-3 minutes and for the best relief, should be practiced a few times a day.
Monitor your diet
While it is true some foods, such as beans and Brussels sprouts, can cause trapped intestinal gas, there may be some foods that your body is particularly sensitive to. List all the foods you eat each day for one week, and what effect it has on your digestive system.
You should quickly see the correlation between your dietary habits and your digestive state. A few of the better known culprits for digestive issues are caffeine, sugar, poorly absorbed carbohydrates and fatty fried foods. Also try to avoid wheat and milk products where possible, as many people have sensitivity to these.
As we all know, a little daily exercise is great way to keep fit and feel good. When you feel gassy, some light exercise or any type of physical movement, will help speed up digestion and prevent gas build-up in your intestines.
Try going for a quick 10 minute walk immediately after each meal.
Reduce your anxiety
When you are anxious or stressed, you increase your breathing rate which causes you to swallow more air. Practice deep breathing when you get anxious to reduce the likelihood of gas later.
Sip water throughout the day
Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day will prevent bloating and constipation, but gulping the water can actually cause too much gas and bloating. Concentrate on sipping water during your meals and throughout the day.
Good To Read: Hello H2O! Water for a Healthy Life
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