Abdominal Constipation Treatment Guidelines


  • Ask client to take deep belly breaths throughout
  • Double check with client before you undrape their abdomen or touch their abdomen


  • Two pillows under knee, one pillow under head
  • Tuck towel into shoulders and undrape linen to below the ASIS

Specific Treatment

  • Instruct client to do deep breaths as you slowly place hands on abdomen
  • Begin with circular effleurage , state 20 – 40 strokes
  • Clear off any lotion
  • Muscles to treat:
    • Rectus Abdominis:
      • Ribs 5-7, xiphoid to pubic bone
      • Fascial work, state they may feel a burning sensation
      • Direct fascial, indirect spreading, skin rolling, S/C-bowing
    • External Oblique:
      • Lateral aspect of body to iliac crest
      • Direct fascial, indirect spread, skin rolling, S/C-bowing, myofascial stretch from iliac and out/away at ribs (state this will happen for 30 seconds )
    • Internal Oblique:
      • Slowly into diaphragm area, lateral into ribs
      • Communicate deep breaths and sink in when they exhale
      • Drag up at iliac crest
      • Myofascial stretch (push up and down at ribs and iliac crest for 30 seconds ), direct fascial, indirect spread, skin rolling, S/C-bowing
  • Circule effleurage for 30 – 40 strokes

Constipation Treatment

  • Start on left side with broad vibrations
  • State you are starting at the sigmoid
  • Push down and work up in clock-wise motion
  • Fine vibrations over “gurgly” areas
  • Circule effleurage for 20 – 40 strokes
  • C-Scoop
  • Circular effleurage for 20 – 40 strokes

Cold Wash Communicatino

  • Purpose: to bring blood flow to client’s G.I track and help with bowel movement
  • Benefits: to bring relief from constipation and decrease pain
  • It will be very cold, so have an extra blanket or sweater for client and put a blanket over top of towel
  • Let client know, their body heat will warm towel up within 5 minutes, but keep it there for 15-20 minutes
  • If the client doesn’t gain any relief from it, let them know they can stop
  • Ask if the client has any questions

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