It has been proposed that abdominal massage may be of benefit for patients who suffer from constipation. A biopsychosocial framework helps put into context the interconnected and multidirectional interaction between: physiology, thoughts, emotions, behaviors, culture, and beliefs.
In terms of clinical responses to massage therapy there are a couple of proposed mechanisms of action, including but not limited to: neuroplasticity, contextually aided recovery, and neuromodulation.
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Lämås, K., Lindholm, L., Stenlund, H., Engström, B., Jacobsson, C. (2009) Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation--a randomized controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud.
McClurg, D., Hagen, S., Jamieson, K., Dickinson, L., Paul, L., Cunnington, A. (2016). Abdominal massage for the alleviation of symptoms of constipation in people with Parkinson's: a randomised controlled pilot study. Age Ageing.
McClurg, D., Walker, K., ... Cunnington, A.L. (2016). Abdominal Massage for the Relief of Constipation in People with Parkinson's: A Qualitative Study. Parkinsons Dis. (OPEN ACCESS)
Turan, N., & Aşt, T. A. (2016). The Effect of Abdominal Massage on Constipation and Quality of Life. Gastroenterology Nursing.