Revised April 14, 2012 to explain where the reflex area is located on the right upper arm, see Step 5 below.
What? The ileocecal valve is a sphincter (circular muscle) which is found where the small intestine connects to the large intestine. It is located above the appendix in the lower right side of the abdomen. When this valve does not function properly a host of gastrointestinal problems and other problems including heart symptoms, blood pressure problems, and even migraines can result. Massaging the valve will encourage proper function.
How to Massage the Ileocecal Valve
- To locate the ileocecal valve area (its placement can vary slightly for each person), place your left thumb on your navel, your right thumb on your right hip (the high part of your pelvic bone). Imagine a line connecting those two points and find the middle of that line.
- Place all your fingers 3 inches below the middle of that line and you should be close to the ileocecal valve.
- With all of your fingers, press in FIRMLY and find the tender spot. This area will be tender in 90% of people. It will be like finding a golf ball under a pillow – but some of us have more ‘pillow’ than others so keep palpatating to locate the spot. (Palpate means to press in slowly but deeply to feel for hardened or tender areas.)
- Sometimes it is easier to locate the tender spot while lying down. Using some coconut oil may also enable you to find it more easily. Once you’ve found it, massage it in a circular fashion as you would any cramped muscle. Massage with medium pressure, in a rotary motion for five seconds.
- Then using your left fist, briskly stimulate the bicep muscle on your right upper arm which is the reflex area connected to the ileocecal valve – yes, that is your upper arm. Your bicep muscle is the one that bulges when your elbow is bent—see an image of it on this page Biceps. It is easier if you bend your elbow on your right arm and then briskly stimulate it with your left fist.
- Ideally, this massage should be done 3 times a day before meals. At the least do it in bed before going to sleep and in the morning before you get out of bed.
After all, the whole digestive tract from the throat to the rectum is a muscular tube—and any section can a cramp, i.e. ‘Charlie horse,’ and become too weak to function, etc. Some people experience gurgling, flatulence, burping, or other sounds during or after this massage and sometimes a bowel movement will follow.
All of these are evidence that the ileocecal valve needs help. You’ll find that the tenderness will subside after about a week or two of diligent application of this technique, and you’ll feel much better and be healthier for it.
Overall Abdominal Message
Also do an overall abdominal massage.
- Massage upward from the ileocecal valve and toward the ribs where the ascending colon lies.
- Then go across the belly above the navel to the opposite rib, then down the left side, winding up on the opposite side of the abdomen from the ileocecal valve.
This firm deep massage encourages proper bowel function. Learn where your tender or hardened areas are and continue this massage daily until these resolve. This whole massage can be done through the clothing but take time to locate all of the tender spots. You’ll be healthier for it.