Professional Massage Therapy in Your Home or at My Offices
Serving NYC, Long Island, Wantagh, Nassau County, NY
Eugene Wood, Licensed and Certified Massage Therapist
"Eugene is an excellent massage therapist. His calm, supportive personality makes the client feel at ease. He’s always fully aware of the client’s reaction to every part of the experience; the sight, smell, and sound as well as the touch. Most importantly, when something hurts, he knows how to make it feel better."
New York City
How Massage Therapy Can Help With GERD
What Is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a chronic condition stemming from frequent acid reflux. Stomach acid and sometimes even stomach contents can flow back up the esophagus as what is commonly referred to as acid reflux. This can also cause heartburn, which most people will experience from time to time throughout their lives. Heartburn is specifically the burning sensation sometimes caused by the acid as it travels back up the esophagus.
Sufferers of GERD experience acid reflux very frequently - usually more than twice a week. GERD actually refers to the side-effects of that frequent acid reflux. Stomach acid exists to break down the foods we eat, so it is very strong. Along with foods, it can also begin to break down the body's own esophagus. Frequent acid reflux will begin to damage the tissue of the esophagus and throat over time. This causes pain, irritation and other symptoms that often interfere with the daily life of many GERD sufferers.
Most people choose to manage their GERD with over-the-counter medicines. Lifestyle changes can also help because flare-ups are commonly associated with eating certain foods as well as stress. People with extremely severe GERD will sometimes turn to prescription medications or even surgery to help treat their problem. These strong medicines and surgery are often costly and carry the risk of many negative effects. A treatment option that is completely safe and effective is massage therapy for GERD.
What Are The Symptoms of GERD?
GERD symptoms vary from person to person, and they can worsen over time as the acid reflux causes more and more damage to the esophageal tissues. The major indicators of GERD are obviously frequent acid reflux and heartburn. But GERD is not just that discomfort, it is the results of the stomach acid on the esophagus. Additional symptoms can include:
- dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
- hoarseness and frequent sore throat
- sensation of a lump in the throat
Relaxation does wonders for the body as a whole. Reducing stress promotes healing, and stress has been shown to be a major factor in GERD. Massage is well-known for its stress-reduction qualities. Abdominal massage therapy for GERD will not only help to relieve general stress, but it will also reduce stomach pressure and help to ensure that the digestive tract is properly aligned and in tune. With less stress and stomach pressure, acid reflux is also reduced. This gives your esophagus time to heal from the acid damage. Massage also encourages the body to heal more rapidly, as an added bonus.
What Causes GERD?
The acid reflux that leads to GERD's symptoms is caused by abnormal functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter. This esophageal sphincter is a circular muscle band at the bottom part of the esophagus where it connects to the stomach. When you swallow as you eat and drink the band loosens to allow everything to pass into your stomach. After swallowing, it closes again and should remain closed.
Acid reflux is caused by the band relaxing and opening the valve again - this can happen to anyone for a variety of reasons, but the results are the same - the stomach acid flows upward causing acid reflux and heartburn. Those with GERD usually have an esophageal sphincter that is weak. The sphincter either doesn't completely close, or it opens back up often. Sometimes the sphincter may also be misaligned slightly with the stomach due to a build-up of stomach pressure. Chronic stress will also result in the digestive system behaving abnormally and the sphincter not doing its job.
A GERD massage therapist will often make use of very specialized abdominal massage coupled with massage specifically for optimal relaxation and stress-reduction. Regular massage sessions will leave you feeling wonderful, which will help your esophagus begin to heal. Our bodies are very good at healing and massage can jumpstart the response. This specialized abdominal massage can also help strengthen a weakened or misaligned esophageal sphincter, which will help to reduce acid reflux flare-ups.
Contact a GERD Massage Therapist Today
If you have been diagnosed with GERD or believe that your frequent acid reflux may lead to GERD, then do not wait to call a professional massage therapist today. Schedule an appointment for a consultation and we can determine if massage therapy is the right treatment for you.
"Massage therapy isn't the first treatment option that people think of to help with GERD. Massage isn't just for your muscles and your joints, a professional massage therapist can utilize it to treat digestive issues as well help you heal from the effects of your GERD."
-Eugene Wood, LTM
Locations: Long Island 2050 Wantagh Ave., Wantagh, NY 11793 | New York City Institute of Physical Therapy, 30 W. 60th St, Apt. 1C
Page Updated On: 7/21/2016
Institute of Physical Therapy
30 W. 60th St, Apt. 1C
Phone: (917) 952-8052
Center for the Alignment of Body, Mind, and Spirit
2050 Wantagh Ave.
Phone: (917) 952-8052