How Hand Reflexology and Other Natural Methods Can Help Overcome Constipation and Other Forms of Indigestion

I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea, and she gave a dose of it to Peter! 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time'
I am sorry to say that Peter was not very well during the evening. His mother put him to bed, and made some chamomile tea, and she gave a dose of it to Peter! 'One table-spoonful to be taken at bed-time' | Source

Indigestion

Indigestion is the polite way to refer to the varying degrees of aches, pains, cramps, flatulence, and other discomforts that afflict our digestive systems at some point during our lives. As we age many of us spend more time talking about our digestive disorders than we found comfortable or attractive when we overheard our own elders doing the same. Indigestion can be merely uncomfortable "dyspepsia" or full-out intestinal agony that is experienced by folks with serious digestive organ dysfunctions such as Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, or any of the many inflammatory intestinal disorders.

If you have a serious malady, I want you to know that I am not a medically-trained professional. My desire in the following article is to provide tips for quick and effective natural remedies that do not pose significant health concerns or side effects in any of the research I have done online and in my own life. Please take responsibility for your own health and see your own wellness support professional to assist you with health concerns.

The tips below are intended for those times when you can probably trace the reason for your indigestion: you ate too much, you traveled somewhere and indulged in a food you have not ever eaten or eaten in a long time, ate a meal with something in it that caused a sensitivity or allergic reaction, or have made a life-change and find that your digestion is not what it was before. Perhaps you ingested some poison (happens these days) that you want to get rid of fast. Or maybe you just want an effective and inexpensive, readily-available box of tools you can use if indigestion strikes.

The Heartbreak of Heartburn and What to Do...

33 Home Remedies for Dealing With Indigestion

Some of the suggestions that follow will help you develop good digestive 'tone' and fitness if practiced daily (example: yoga and a 'high raw vegan' way of eating) while others are quick fixes for that third piece of cheesecake at Auntie Martha's birthday bash. I haven't made any clear distinctions between types of digestive ailments. I suggest you just try out one or two that appeal to you. Most of them are pretty easy to accomplish and I have provided brief video clips to assist with many of the techniques.

Here they are:

1. Drink a glass of water. Using a straw is sometimes more effective for people who have trouble with taking in air when they drink.

2. For acid reflux, or heartburn, that occurs in the morning, it might be helpful to jump out of bed into an upright position as soon as you get an inkling of the reflux coming on. Stay upright until you can deal with the reflux (trying any of the tips below).

3. Unbelievably, for many, 2 or 3 teaspoons (10-15 ml)of unrefined apple cider vinegar (such as Braggs) in an 8 ounce glass of water, can offset indigestion if taken before meals or whenever heartburn is experienced.

4. Another trick is stir a spoonful of baking soda into an 8-ounce glass of water. It might momentarily taste unpleasant, but it does the trick and that is what counts!

5. Lose a little weight! Drop a few of those unwanted pounds

6. Avoid over-consumption of certain substances, particularly of alcohol, sugar, spices, heavy fats, gluten-containing foods, caffein, nicotine, and high acid-producing foods (dairy, meat, etc.)

7. Slow down and chew your foods well. If you actually sit at a table to eat in a dining room painted in calm colors (greens, for example) you will be more likely to take your time.

8. Stress less! Try the following exercises to help you de-stress and relieve indigestion:

9. "Relax!" and "breathe!" Learn to slow down your breathing, and to belly-breathe, mindfully quieting down your worried thoughts and focusing on the flow of your breathing.

10. Stretch

11. Shrug your shoulders

12. Rub your feet

13. Clench and unclench your hands

14. Rub your head

15. Take a walk

16. Shake it out

17. Find a Yoga pose that works for your digestive issues. Some possibilities (as shown with brief video clips) include:

18. Revolved Triangle Pose

19. Half Spinal Twist

20. Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend

21. Wind-Relieving Asana (Pavanamuktasana)

22. Reflexology offers simply-applied and effective release of indigestion using accupressure points (usually on your feet or hands). Here are some examples of fast-fixes:

23. Relax your digestive system with hand reflexology

24. Using reflexology for constipation

25. Emotional Freedom Technique is a method of tapping on meridians to 'unblock' the energy and can be learned quickly to use overcome acid reflux and other kinds of digestive problems.

26. Enzymes are the little chemical molecules that work to break down our foods and aid in digestion. Enzymes are found principly in the oral cavity, the stomach, and the intestines. As we grow older our enzymes lessen in quantity and effectiveness. It's useful to:

27. Take a regular full-spectrum enzyme supplement before eating. Tropical fruits such as papaya, pineapple, or guava are high in enzymes.

28. Work towards eating a large part of your diet as "raw"-- particularly raw fruits, greens and vegetables. Raw fruits and vegetables ("raw vegan") are rich in enzymes. Cooking vegetables and fruits kills the enzymes and often interferes with good digestion.

29. Self-massage is a surprisingly effective way to correct constipation. Here is a neat little video that shows you how to do it.

30. Fasting, or going without food (even liquid food) can give the body a much-needed rest from over-consumption or a diet high in processed foods. Sip water as needed. Rest from regular activities and work, if possible. Keep warm and comfortable and rest your mind as well as your digestive organs. Do this safely for one to three days (adults) or with professional supervision if you are younger, have a medical condition, or are pregnant.

31. Hydrotherapy (or the therapeutic use of water) can be very helpful for indigestion.

32. Mixing a teaspoon of activated charcoal in water will aid almost immediately in helping you overcome most forms of indigestion.

33. Increase the use of healthy naturally "cultured" (soured or fermented) foods in your diet, such as cultured vegetables like sauerkraut, fermented drinks such as kefir, and sourdough instead of yeast baked products. The fermented foods will help to replace the important digestive microbes in your gut (probiotics).

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Comments 8 comments

Joe Cook profile image

Joe Cook 5 years ago from UK

Cheers! I recently tried having a medicinal charcoal tablet with every meal to help control indigestion - went down a treat!


techygran profile image

techygran 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

that is great Joe! thanks for the testimonial! My husband is also currently using it for his indigestion.

~Cynthia


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

Thank you for this needful Hub. You give great advice. Well done!


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Oops... I neglected to thank you for your comments here James! I hope you find this useful... thank you!


Deb Welch 4 years ago

This Hub is really very good - you supplied a great amount of useful remedy information and help aids. I have tried everything and still do get indigestion - gas - discomfort - aches - (the whole enchilada)! I believe it is not chewing long enough and not eating the right foods for your individual body chemistry. Thanks.


techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Thank you Deb Welch for your excellent comments... I agree that it is highly possible that inadequate chewing (in the mouth where digestion begins)may well be another of those causes of chronic indigestion such as you described. I have a friend who suggests that any liquids (water being the prescribed liquid) be taken at least an hour before eating, and that attention be paid to food combining for people who have ongoing digestive distress. But correct chewing (100 chews per bite, as I recall from my Macrobiotic cooking foray)goes a long way to promoting good digestion. Thanks for dropping by! I'm on my way over to read your work!


Dougalbunny profile image

Dougalbunny 18 months ago from London, England

Very interesting and helpful hub! I am definitely guilty of eating at supersonic speed and suffering the consequences. May give the apple cider remedy a miss and perhaps opt for a spot of yoga, the charcoal tablet sounds promising too! Thank you!


techygran profile image

techygran 18 months ago from Vancouver Island, Canada Author

Hi Dougalbunny - I hope you find something that helps! Yoga generally promotes breathing and slowing down, so that might be something to check into in general. Thanks for the feedback!

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