The motivation and application of this massage is found in the Abdominal Massage introduction.  The diagrams associated with these written instructions are found here.

Beginners Steps 1-5,   Advanced Steps 1-10


  •  Gather at your bedside and within reach, a couple extra pillows for under your knees, massage oil, and an old towel
  •  Allow at least 2 hours to pass after a heavy meal; 1 hour after a lite snack.
  •  If you are not familiar with the landmarks of the abdominal bowl see the Abdominal Bowl Map.  This mentions a CD which I had made for my clients and which is not available anymore.
Beginners – the counter gravity moves

-Having completed all tasks normally done before sleeping, gather items for massage within reach and lie on your back.  Remember, after completed we want to go to sleep.  Relax shoulders.

The ‘breathe’ action.  At the end of each step, we will take a deep breath to exercise the diaphragm muscle and extend it to its maximum out and in positions.  To ‘Breathe’ means fill the abdomen, chest and throat with air.   Then exhale and pull the stomach in as far as possible as if to form a vacuum against the abdomen and lower ribs.    This is done 3X.

1.             Dip fingers into massage oil and with moderate but comfortable pressure circle the belly button.  As your fingers pass above the belly button they should be going right to left, and, below, left to right.  Feel what kind of pressure feels comfortable to you.  With that pressure begin making larger spirals until you reach the rim or bone-y outline of the abdominal bowl.  Five spirals are sufficient. Continuing in the same direction with as much pressure as is comfortable, make the circles small again and come back to circling the belly button.  This should relax the tight abdominal muscles and muscular organs like the stomach and colon.  Relax hands. Relax shoulders.  Breathe.

2.             Bring the thumb sides of your hands together and place all your fingers on your pubic bone – the lowest bone in the abdominal bowl.  (If any part of this bone is tender then there is lymph stagnation in the lower pelvic cavity and likely associated bladder problems.  To release this stagnation, massage the tender points along this bone. The lymph doc explains this.)  Now with as much pressure as is comfortable, sink into your belly with your fingers just above the pubic bone while moving slowly up towards the navel with a scooping hand posture.  I think of it as a raking motion – lifting the sunken organs up into their proper place. This lifts pressure off the bladder and other lower pelvic organs, allowing them space AND better circulation.  You will find this helpful for increasing bladder volume. The beneficial side-effect – less bathroom trips at night.   Do this 2 more times. Breathe.

3.             Bring all your fingers to your right leg crease.  L. little finger on pubic bone; R on R ASIS.  With comfortable pressure, sink fingers into your tummy and rake towards your belly button.  This often will relieve both hip problems and circulation into the legs.  Varicose veins in the legs also benefit from removing resistance produced by visceral organ pressure.  Do this 2X more.  Do the same on the left 3X.  Relax hands.  Breathe.

4.             Now that we have enabled lymphatic passage, with open hands place lightly on the skin and shake just the skin on the thighs by moving it back and forth.  Don’t sit up to do this just shake the parts of the thighs that you can reach (You can bend your legs.)  Now move up to shake the area around the leg crease, the lower abdomen, and then the upper abdomen.  Shake only the surface of the skin (like Jell-O) to encourage lymph flow.  How easy is that?  Breathe 3X. (Breath pumps lymph)

5.             Now with as much pressure as is comfortable, make small 2-inch circles above the belly button in the same direction as before (with the top part of the circle going right to left).  Continue these circles moving to the left and going around the belly button.  Circle the navel 2X.  Relax hands.  Breathe.  You are done here unless doing advanced part.  Please do this basic massage for a week before continuing on to do the advanced massage.


6.             With all fingers placed along the upper right rib, with comfortable pressure, sink your fingers into your tummy and rake towards your belly button. Then 2X more.  Do the same on the left 3X.  Relax hands.  Breathe.

7.             With all fingers placed below the sternum and with as much pressure as is comfortable, make small zigzag steps down towards the belly button.  This softens the muscles of and around the stomach.  Do this 2 more times. Relax hands.  Breathe.

8.             With all fingers placed below the sternum and with as much pressure as is comfortable make a straight path down from the sternum to the belly button.  This aides in removing the stomach from the diaphragm allowing more diaphragm movement.  Do this 2 more times. Relax hands.  Breathe.

9.             With the pads of your fingers massage your lower rib rim.  If this is tender there may be lymphatic stagnation in the mid abdomen associated with the small intestine.   After about a week the tenderness will resolve.   2 more times.  Breathe.

10.           With open flat hands shake just the skin of the thighs, leg crease and whole abdomen (like Jell-O).  Breathe 3X.  With the old towel, wipe excess oil from your hands and tummy, turn over, and go to sleep.

Diagrams of the abdominal massage

Special Case: Uterine prolapse

The symptoms of uterine prolapse range from bladder issues (same for prostate issues), to the sensation of ‘something falling out’ of your bottom in the extreme case.  There are many causes including heavy lifting, jogging while overweight or with full intestines, having babies w/o proper postpartum replacement/remediation, or basic gravity which continually acts on weakened muscles and connective tissue.

I had to figure this out on my own.  Doc said surgery (of course).  Standard physical therapy was ineffective and an embarrassing waste of time – devoid of common sense.   I knew that, but hope springs eternal.   Pessaries caused problems I didn’t have before.  OK, enough said, so here is really how to fix this.

Do the ab massage as described above to address some of the causes.  Then, to reverse the prolapse, after the scooping up in step 2 & 3, when doing the exhale and stomach vacuum, spend time tightening the muscles on the abdomen below the navel whilst also Kegeling*.  Tighten as long as is comfortable – you’ll get more chances.  This isometric tightening activates your own natural girdle to hold your organs up where they function best.  Transformation doesn’t happen overnight – although after a few weeks of this you may notice fewer wake-to-pee events each night.

If you are too aggressive when doing the lower ab tightening, you may notice muscles in your back becoming involved.  This isn’t bad but can result in back issues, so be patient and kind in your isometric efforts.  To strengthen weak back muscles do the following exercise sometime during the day.   Kneel and get on all fours (doggy pose), then straighten one leg and lift it up in the air behind you for a count of 20 while tightening you lower ab.  Same with the opposite leg and then repeat one more time.

*To Kegel means to tighten the lower pelvic muscles that you would use to stop a urine stream.  Doing this alone, as some suggest, is NOT enough.  You must retone the lower abdominal muscles, aka your natural girdle.

©Pat Block ND 2007


17 Responses to Abdominal Massage Written Instructions

  1. Nicki Abbott says:

    Hi Pat,
    Am looking at Abdominal massage written instructions and find that this massage has really changed from what you taught us 10-15 years ago.
    Is it possible for you to send this to me in a document to
    1. print out
    2. send to my group in my weekly newsletter.

    Also in Advanced #6 when raking down toward belly button, is that raking strait down or diagonally like / \ ?

    • PatBlockND says:

      Hey Nicki,
      I don’t think it has changed much as I copied it right from the old website to this one. The old website gave people trouble printing but you should be able to just print anything from this site as can any member of your class. Or you can send the link in your newsletter.
      In advanced #6 the hand motion is kinda diagonal like you say “\/”. Maybe the cartoons make it clearer.

  2. Penny DeVoe says:

    i just came across your site as i am suffering from abdominal pain. i was told i had a hiatal hernia and a dilated loop of bowel. i am instruction challenged but am hoping i can understand enough to be able to do this and it will help me start to feel better. can you please tell me about how long this takes and how soon people normally see results?

  3. Joanne says:

    This Abdominal Massage has been very helpful for me with many issues. My abdomen was growing but I was not gaining weight. So on Pat’s recommendation I started the Beginner’s Abdominal Massage. Also I’ve been having ear infections for months now. About the 4th day I began the advanced version and the next morning actually heard gurgling in my tummy. I have not awakened with gurgling or hunger in at least 10 years. Then the 7th day I woke up and my ear drained. I’m going to keep doing this massage for an entire month and hope for many more benefits including weight loss.

  4. Britton says:

    Hi, Pat! I am starting to research education of abdominal massage to nurses and would love to use some of your diagrams if possible? I also noticed that another nurse had commented last week on her research and wondered if it would be possible to have her contact me or vice versa? Thank you!

  5. Kay Cunningham says:

    Hi, Pat,
    I want to do the abdominal massage but cannot print anything off your website. Can you help? I have gerd and also have a cystocele, and I am hoping this will help.

    • PatBlockND says:

      Yes Kay, anyone should be able to print this and it will definitely help. On your browser menu bar go to file then print. If you cannot see a menu bar, right click on the top bar of your browser and click on ‘menu bar’. Then file/print.

  6. Michelle says:

    Is abdominal massage recommended for diverticulitis?

    Thanks, Michelle

    • PatBlockND says:

      Hey Michelle,
      The Abdominal Massage helps you avoid diverticulitis. When you are in the inflamed state the Abdominal Massage will be too painful to do. Instead calm the situation down with soothing demulcent herbs and antioxidants. I’d do several bottles of Small Intestine Detox at 4B, 4D and Grapine HP 2B, 2D when there is pain. Keep your problems small – they are cheaper to fix, and quicker to fix.

  7. Steve says:

    Hi Pat,

    I started doing this massage and it really helps in circulation and lymph movement at the abdominal area. Two questions:
    1. The shaking movement of the skin in Jello is up and down, I guess (I don’t understand what you mean by “back and forth”). How many reps (shaking movements) should I do in total?
    2. Why is it important that I go to sleep right after I finish the massage? Personally I need to get to up, clean the excess oil, maybe go to the toilet to urinate and then lie down. It is such as problem if I stand for five minutes before going to sleep? Or even worse, what will happen if I stand even longer?

    Thnaks for your answer.

    • PatBlockND says:

      Hey Steve,
      Glad you’re getting good results.
      1. The shaking is from side to side meaning left to right. This is a lymphatic release for the legs. And there is no need to do it more than say 10 to 15 seconds.
      2. The only reason not to get up is gravity. It can undo steps two and three in the abdominal massage.
      To compensate, when you get back into bed you could simply redo steps two and three to pull the guts out of the lower pelvic.

      • Steve says:

        Thanks, Pat!!
        So, as far as the other steps than 2 and 3 are concerned can I do them at any other time of day (that is, I won’t go to sleep afterwards but I will be standing) with the same benefit? For example, I could do them first thing in the morning with my stomach still empty and leave steps 2 and 3 just before sleep.
        The reason I’m asking is that I’d rather not have to perform the whole set of steps just before sleep, because it is a bit annoying for my wife and embarassing for myself as well.

        • PatBlockND says:

          Hey Steve,
          The full abdominal massage is a shotgun approach to addressing many problems. After doing the full abdominal massage for a month it is fine to do shortcuts. For example steps one and five can be combined and done many times during the day. It is especially efficacious before eating or moving painful trapped gas. Steps seven and eight are life savers with acid reflux or even heart symptoms (like chest pains). If your primary symptoms are lymphatic swellings you may want to visit the Chapmans reflexes some of which I have included in this massage. The above can be done at any time, even several times a day.
          Since steps two and three work against gravity it is best to do those when laying down even for a nap to relieve lower pelvic congestion.
          Finally your wife and you may consider applying this massage to one another and then…

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